Beef Jerky Woolworths
I love beef jerky. Been eating it for 15 years. Like most people I was introduced to the standard pub jerky and the stuff in vending machines. That used to be Nobbys jerky. Then I moved on to Jack Links. That lasted a while, but I sort of knew it wasn't what I was looking for. The texture wasn't right and there wasn't much choice for flavour or larger packs. When I joined the Army beef jerky became an essential. I would try every brand I could get my hands on.
So when Woolworths in Australia came out with their own brand of beef jerky, I was excited to try it out.
In this comprehensive review, I'll be breaking down all aspects of their product - from how it chews and what it tastes like down to the packaging and nutrient contents. Stay tuned for my in-depth analysis!
WOOLWORTHS BEEF JERKY BARBECUE REVIEW
First up - the important stuff. Ingredients, nutritional info and allergen status. This will provide an insight for those who are conscious about what they're eating.
This is sold in a 50g pack.
Beef, Sugar, Salt, Soy Sauce Powder, Natural Flavours, Yeast Extract, Canola Oil, Cherry Powder, Spices (Chilli Powder, Black Pepper, Ginger Powder), Celery Powder, Garlic Powder.
May be present: Sesame.
My thoughts? I'm suprised to see a 0.5 star health rating. Jerky is meant to be a healthy, nutritious food. A closer inspection shows its high in sodium (4.25x the healthy guidelines).
It's also a high sugar content beef jerky. Some brands are known to be sugary and that's often the case with supermarket beef jerky. For a lot of people the sugar content is the first thing they look for.
Beef jerky contains lots of protein compared to other food categories, but this packet of Woolworths beef jerky has much less protein than a more dried, premium beef jerky. For example, this pack of Woolies jerky has 37g of protein per 100g vs our Smokey BBQ beef jerky that has 52g of protein per 100g.
Now on to the meaty part of our article 🐮
Here's the flavour blurb on the back of the packet:
"Bring the barbecue with you wherever you go with these smokey bbq flavoured beef strips. Oven-baked to perfection, it's the best way to enjoy beefy goodness anytime, anywhere."
There's qite a bit of moisture in each piece - it's a wet jerky. It's a very tender chew. Some people prefer an easy chewing jerky, but not me. This would suit someone who prefers a soft wet style of jerky, maybe someone with bad teeth who can't chew the tougher stuff.
Look, I'll say it does the job. As soon as it's opened I can smell it. It's got a very sweet smell, the BBQ comes through but the cherry does too (they've used cherry powder in their flavouring). It smells a little processed.
The pieces are cut into uniform strips. Definitely real beef, not a minced meat style. There's about 23 pieces in this packet.
It breaks apart easily when chewing. You can feel the texture of the meat fibres, but they don’t put up much resistance. I was able to bite through 6 pieces at once with my front teeth, to give an idea how soft this jerky is.
On the tear test, it doesn't have that nice rip you get with a dry jerky. It bends 180 degrees before it starts to break apart.
On the chew the tastes is alright. There's no mistake it's BBQ, the cherry is noticeable too. The smell is so strong you can taste it before you start chewing. The flavour doesn’t develop or get stronger with each chew though. You get probably 3 or 4 chews and can swallow the piece. It's not a long lasting chew.
The first thing my girlfriend commented on when trying it was "WOW that's salty".
Overall I'd rate it 2.5 out of 5. If you're in Woolies and desperate for a bag, for $3.50 this'll do the job.
Let's see what others have said. There's currently 7 reviews on their product page scoring an overall 3 star rating. These customer reviews have been taken directly from the woolworths website.
About Woolworths Beef Jerky
One of the first things I noticed on the packet, it says the product is oven dried. This implies it was dried with more heat than a traditional dehydrator - the tool of choice for making beef jerky. This corresponds to the short shelf life of their beef jerky. "Once opened, refrigerate and consume within 3 days".
The point of making beef jerky, dating back to its origins, was to make beef last a long time - without a fridge. A well dried jerky will last months without refrigeration. After all, jerky was invented long before any sort of food storage system. This makes me think we are getting a product that is towards the lower side of quality. The product is rated 0.5 on the health star rating system - the system Australia uses to help identify healthy foods when shopping.
A closer inspection shows there are 1700mg of sodium per 100g. I didn’t know what the daily recommended intake was and had to look it up, so it might not be apparent for other consumers why this has been identified as an unhealthy snack. Here's some info from www.eatforhealth.gov.au explaining how to understand food labels:
Here we can see foods with less than 400mg of sodium per 100g are considered healthier choices. Woolworths beef jerky, at 1700mg of sodium per 100g, is 4.25x the guideline.
Something good is there are no artificial colors or preservatives in this product.
One thing I do like to see is it's made in Australia from at least 97% Aussie ingredients. This is in contrast to a brand like Jack Links, which is a US company who manufacture overseas.
"Ready for snacking" shows the target market is people wanting a meat snack. In a 50g pack, this is pretty much a single serve. Even though the packet says 2 servings, most blokes and lady blokes I know would still be hungry after 50g. But for $3.50 it's a cheap way to satisfy a craving.
Through the cow shaped viewing window (cows AND bulls have horns) I can see the pieces are about an inch long and 1.5cm wide. They look just a liiiittle bit wet. They leave a thin residue when they rub against the window.
The packet is pinkish, I think. Although I'm sure my missus would know the exact colour (that's dusky sunlight pink, duh) but not sure if it's a BBQ sort of color. Now that I think about it that might be due to the cherry flavouring.
It's packed in a plastic pouch. It's glossy and feels a little slippery in the hands.
I don't see Woolworths written on the front at all but they do have their logo on the top left - where the eye is naturally drawn.
First thing I notice on the back of the packet is the white nutrient info panel and the flavour blurb. Flavour blurb says: "Bring the bbq with you where ever you go with these smokey bbq flavoured beef strips. Oven baked to perfection, (not air dried, hmm) it's the best way to enjoy beefy goodness anytime, anywhere."
I don't know if that's my opinion, but sure.
Pics of the meat on the back. Under barcode, says "packed for Woolworths" so they aren't making it. That makes sense and I wouldn’t really have expected them to be manufacturing themselves.
Their storage guides read as follows "Store in a cool, dry place. Once opened, empty contents into an airtight container, refrigerate at 1-5C and use within 3 days". It's not a long lasting product, but keep in mind it's a small serving so I wouldn't expect shelf life once opened to be an issue.
A look at the nutrient info shows 2 servings per pack. This flavour contains 5g of sugar per serve which seems high for jerky, but only represents 2% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for sugar in Australia. This small percentage might trick the consumer to thinking this jerky is a low sugar product. I would argue 5g per 25g is a high sugar content for beef jerky - that's 20g of sugar per 100g of beef jerky. Putting it out of bounds while on a Ketogenic, Paleo or any low sugar diet.
This flavour of Woolworths beef jerky contains 9.5g of protein per serve, so with 2 servings that's 19g per pack. That's a slightly higher protein content than Jack Links barbecue beef jerky. Jack Links barbecue beef jerky contains 34g of protein per 100g, This pack from Woolworths has 38g per 100g.
"Oxygen absorbing sachet enclosed to guarantee freshness. Contents of sachet are nontoxic
but should not be consumed"
😂 This is probably good advice.
*May contain natural occurring glutamates.
The short version is glutamates are an amino acid found in all protein-containing foods. They can sometimes be added to food to give it a "savory" or "meaty taste" - Think MSG (monosodium glutamate).
An interesting point to note - the bag can be returned to the store to be recycled. I wasn't aware they did this so I googled it and found it's a part of their sustainability efforts. So you can recycle the packet back where you purchased it.
There is a tear notch on both sides. I found the packet easy to open. Sometimes these pouches can tear over the sealed section, so you aren't able to get into the packet.
Hopefully you found this review of Woolworths beef jerky interesting and it's helped inform your purchase decision. If there's any other flavours or brands of beef jerky you'd like to see me review, drop a comment below and I'll make it happen.
Cheers everyone, and keep on chewin'
- The Chief