Kaimana is a tuna and marlin jerky maker located in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. They recently reached out and sent me 5 flavors of their Ahi Tuna jerky for review.
Fish seems to be one of those acquired tastes. My wife and daughter hate the smell of anything fish. I personally don't eat much fish jerky, although I do catch and eat trout from the river during the summer here in Montana. Now, after reviewing Kaimana, I'm a believer! I'll definitely order more and start hunting for more fish jerky to try.
I was surprised with what I found in each bag. Although it's fish, this jerky has a texture much like what you'd expect from a beef jerky. The pieces are each roughly an inch by an inch. The thin pieces turned out to be great too. These bags are 2.75oz but the cut really gives you a lot of pieces in each bag.
We enjoyed every bit of this review. I should say how much I hate it when I get a bag of jerky and it's just a few big honking pieces. That wasn't the case with any of the Kaimana bags.
This review involved what I tried, along with a 2-year old, a 5-year old, as well as two dogs who all love jerky. And even after a full round of great taste testing there's still jerky left over today!
Don't be afraid! Our Peppered Ahi Tuna Jerky will only leave you wanting more and reaching for the nearest cold drink. Indulge in a perfect blend of black pepper and spices. Enjoy responsibly!
Ahi (Tuna), Sugar, Salt, Soy Sauce (Water, Extract of Soy Bean, Wheat Flour and Salt), Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Black Pepper, Red Chili, Sesame Oil, Spices. Contains: Fish, Wheat, and Soy
First off, I love fresh ground pepper and this is a really great pepper jerky. I've tried dozens of other types of pepper jerky and this one really packs a punch.
Every brand has an Original flavor right? Well, this is our take on what Original should be. Sweet, smoky, and delicious!
Ahi (Tuna), Sugar, Salt, Soy Sauce (Water, Extract of Soy Bean, Wheat Flour and Salt), Hickory Liquid Smoke, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Black Pepper, Red Chili, Sesame Oil, Spices. Contains: Fish, Wheat, and Soy
The original flavor is usually really telling of how great a jerky brand is, and I was impressed with Kaimana's original. There's a nice smoky smell and flavor in the first couple of chews. Then near the end I could taste a little bit of pepper.
Our Lemon Salt Ahi Tuna Jerky will leave your mouth watering and wanting more. This zesty flavor has been a local favorite for years. Try it and you'll know why!
Ahi (Tuna), Sugar, Salt, Soy Sauce (Water, Extract of Soy Bean, Wheat Flour and Salt), Sesame Oil, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Lemon Peel, Black Pepper, Freeze-Dried Whole Lemon, Citric Acid. Contains: Fish, Wheat, and Soy
I'd never tried a lemon jerky before, but I was excited as soon as I saw the package. And lemon salt flavored fish jerky really is an amazing combination. It really has a subtle lemon flavor in each chew.
Who can resist the teriyaki flavor? Not too sweet, not too salty, but just right! We make our own Teriyaki sauce from scratch with real ingredients.
Ahi (Tuna), Sugar, Salt, Soy Sauce (Water, Extract of Soy Bean, Wheat Flour and Salt), Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Black Pepper, Red Chili, Sesame Seed, Sesame Oil, Spices. Contains: Fish, Wheat, and Soy
Before trying this one, the “we make our own Teriyaki sauce from scratch” caught my attention. Then the flavor didn't disappoint! I realized that the teriyaki I had tried with most other brands has a strange after-taste I can't quite put my finger on. A real scratch made teriyaki sauce flavor is something I was only able to create with making small batches jerky in my own kitchen. If you're a teriyaki lover, I recommend trying this one to taste the difference.
Our Honey Glazed Ahi Tuna Jerky is for lovers of moist, juicy jerky. Always soft! Always tasty! Don't let the honey turn you off. This is one of the softest jerkies you'll ever find.
Ahi (Tuna), Honey, Sugar, Salt, Soy Sauce (Water, Extract of Soy Bean, Wheat Flour and Salt), Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Black Pepper, Red Chili, Sesame Oil, Spices. Contains: Fish, Wheat, and Soy
Talk about sticky fingers! My children loved this one and it's their top request out of all 5 flavors. The surface of each piece is covered in a sticky honey glaze. Flavor is similar to teriyaki and chew is much softer than any of the others.
Over the past few years, bacon jerky has become more and more popular — for obvious reasons. You can imagine just why lovers of bacon probably love jerky, and lovers of jerky probably love bacon, so a combination of the two is something of a match made in heaven.
This jerky strikes you immediately with aromas of a bacon-laden breakfast, but with that unmistakeable smoky twinge of a jerky. If you're at all interested in jerky or bacon, you'll no doubt be hooked by the smell alone.
That being said, it's the taste the will keep you coming back for more. A crunchy texture gives way to the inherent sweetness of maple brown sugar, which has been carefully balanced with the meat so as not to be overpowering. Anyone who likes to mix sweet and savory by eating bacon with their pancakes will be right at home with the moreish flavors of this jerky.
In fact, that's what makes this snack such a boon to breakfast-lovers everywhere. Imagine having the great taste of bacon available to you whenever you want it. This long-life jerky is an instant hook-up when you need it the most; you can very well imagine taking it on a camping trip or similar to enjoy something of the comforts of home with a delicious jerky breakfast to start off your day.
And this isn't just a jerky for when you're out in the wilderness. You could use a rasher of two to add serious taste to a salad by crumbling it over the top. That being said, you'll be hard pushed not to simply finish the whole bag before you've time to even consider using it in a recipe.
Jeff's Famous Real Bacon Jerky is available in Honey Glazed Sriracha Black Pepper, Honey Jalapeno and Sweet Lemon Pepper varieties as well as Maple Brown Sugar — find them all on our web store here.
The family-run Carnivore Candy has been creating delicious beef jerky for over fifty years — and one taste of their delicious 'Honey Pepper' variety will tell you all you need to know about why.
As soon as you open the bag, you're greeted immediately by the sweet smell of outstanding beef jerky. Your first bite will definitely live up to the promise of that aroma, boasting bold flavors and a hugely satisfying texture.
The first thing that hits you upon tasting this jerky is a pleasant sweetness from the honey. Possessing something of a floral edge, you can tell that only the best quality of honey is good enough for Carnivore Candy. That sweetness then gives way to a bold, peppery warmth that really pairs well with the succulent texture of the meat.
To speak a bit more about that stand-out texture — this is the perfect antidote to anyone tired of dry, tough jerky. It's thick, chewable jerky that uses the texture of the meat itself to best deliver its potent flavors. Carnivore Candy like to include a Dr. Du-More flosser in every package of their jerky, a real testament to the quality of the meat you'll be enjoying.
If you're looking for a classic beef jerky with a well-executed flavor, then you can't go wrong with Carnivore Candy's Honey Pepper Beef Jerky. It's a traditional enough style to please all tastes, but there's enough going on with its balance of honey and pepper that you won't be able to resist another piece.
Honey Pepper is just one of many styles of Carnivore Candy jerky available from Jerky Spot — find it in our web store here.
Generally they are going to be happy to get anything that doesn't come out of the mess hall but you can imagine jerky can go pretty fast. You will hear it referred to as "Pogey Bait" or "Geedunk" because outside foods is banned on active missions and can anyone who has it can basically use it to bribe others and "Pogeys" (non infantry personal that are generally thought of as annoyances to general infantry) to do things for them. Of course the absolute cheapest option would be to get 50 sticks of 1 or 1.5oz jerky and send those, but giving a loved one on deployment a single stick of jerky is the worst tease in the world. A typically convenience store jerky bag is roughly 3oz. We typically recommend to send at least 3oz per soldier.
The best option to get the most bang for your buck is to opt for several of our 1lb (16oz) bags and have them share. Our cheapest 3oz bags start at around $6 a piece. To feed five soldiers a 3.2oz snack you are looking at $30. By going with 1lb bags instead you get more meat and less packaging for your money. This way you save a total of $5/1lb. Since you need about 51lb to give a 3oz snack to 50 people, you will need about 10lb's of jerky. By opting for 1lb bags you save $50 before we even apply any of the bulk discounts.
At the publishing time of this article are 1lb bags are $24.99. A 10lb order will also get you a 5% discount which would save you another $20+ for a total savings of $70. In my sample order The total cost including free shipping is $237.40
Even if you don't know what flavor your soldier loves its tough to go wrong when you are sending them meat. But these are some general guidelines that may help. 80% of jerky eaters prefer either an original/traditional style, teriyaki, or a peppered jerky. Other flavors like hot are good, but less commonly noted as a favorite by most. If you are sending 10lb's you have the option to send a variety of flavors . I would recommend that 90% of what you send be a mix of these three flavor profiles and you can be adventurous with the last bag (someone will always enjoy the hot). You can do both turke and beef if you want as well. There are no rules around that.
One thing to be aware. Our bacon jerky is a huge hit, but it's not supposed to be shipped to many of the country's in the middle east because of their views on pork. If your recipient is stationed in that area, I would recommend not sending bacon jerky because it may risk the packages safe delivery.
To make it easy we have put together a platoon package that makes ordering what you need extremely easy. If they fall in love with it, maybe next time they can request specific flavors (it's pretty common they will want you to reorder).
Jeff's sent us over some of their cranberry jalapeno beef jerky to sink our teeth into and this review is the results of that endeavor. If you have tried multiple flavors of Jeff Famous Jerky you would know that it's more than just flavor that changes from jerky to jerky. Consistency, texture, cut size, moisture content, heat, and flavor all play a role. If you couldn't see the packaging you would have no idea these different types of jerky are from the same maker.
Cranberry Jalapeno was definitely more subdued than we expected. It's not a flavor explosion of cranberry or jalapeno. The flavors are more subtle. To get a better idea of what to expect, think of the name "Hint of cranberry", as opposed to a sweet teriyaki flavor of jerky. This is one is closer to traditional, but you do get a hint of cranberry after you start salivating from chewing. We rate flavor on intensity, not quality, because most of the jerky's we review on this site are top notch. Cranberry Jalapeno gets 2 bull heads on flavor boldness, its definitely a subtle jerky, and may be great variation from traditional if that's your normal play.
This is extremely mild. Don't let the jalapeno in the name make you feel like you couldn't enjoy this jerky if you aren't a fan of hot jerky. You have to search for the jalapenos effect on this one, and when it appears after a good bit of chewing, it is extremely mild. From a heat standpoint, I would give this 1 bull head.
This blend seem to have a little thicker cut than some of the other Jeff's famous that we tried. Its interesting how they match piece size with vary flavor. Most of the pieces were in longer strips with about 1/3rd of the bag in the forming of what we call shavings (That's the little pieces you go for when the bag is almost empty and you tilt it upside down). It's not sheet jerky, buts it not all small pieces. This is a good back for when vultures are around (people that want some of your jerky), because you can choose to give them a smaller piece as opposed to having no option but giving them a huge piece of your precious procurement.
Jeffs Cranberry Jalapeno Beef Jerky comes in 3 ounce bags that normally sell for $7.50/bag which is $2.50 per ounce which is right on our benchmark for value/cost of this level of jerk. We weigh our samples upon review and Jeff's came out to 3.1 out of the bag so they aren't skimping on the jerky.
You can grab Jeff's Cranberry Jalapeno Beef Jerky Here
Jerky Nazi sampled Jerky Bills Kickass today and after filling our mouths with meat we are ready to deliver a report to our loyal clan of jerky enthusiasts as well as those who just are learning about us for the first time. Jerky Bills Kickass comes in 3 heat profiles and is described as a mesquite teriyaki fusion. Upon opening we liked that it uses big hearty pieces about 5 inch's long on average. You can see the entire contents of the mild bag laid out below next to a ruler.
from a flavor profile it was very subdued. The notes are very subtle. It isn't a jump out an kick you in the face with flavor type of jerky, but you do get a mesquite after taste as you begin to chew for a little while. I tend to eat jerky really fast so sometimes the afternotes get by me. JerkyNazi personally prefers flavor notes that are a little more in your face, but Harrison on our team preferred the more subtle flavors of Jerky Bill's over our benchmark Jeff's more intense flavors.
Love large piece jerky. It feels like your eating real meat. As you can see by our unscripted test bag these give you some big hearty pieces. Just make sure you tear one up before letting a friend grab a piece of jerky!
The mild bag is extremely mild, there is no heat at all to the bag. Sometimes I wish brands would just go with "no hot sauce" or something similar instead of mild. It just a personal preference, but JerkyNazi thinks "mild" imparts that there is at least a presence of heat. The medium bag still isn't very hot, and doesn't really hit you with any sort of heat until after the meat has been swallowed unless you are really taking your time. If you are the kind of person that like a hint of heat, medium is fine to drink without water near by. You can definitely taste the heat on your lips in the hot bag even while you are still chewing, but it is by no means a "I'm gonna show them what hot really is" type of jerky. Overall from a heat standpoint I would say 1,2,& 3 out of a scale of 5 from a heat standpoint. hot was Jerky Nazi's favorite.
We noticed a large difference in how dry the meat was in the 3 bags we tried of the mild, medium, and hot. Jerky Nazi spoke to Jerky Bill about this and he said it was due to drying process causing used which makes it difficult to get the exact same consistency for every bag. We rather like consistency so this wasn't the most exciting news, but he did offer a great tip. If you get a bag the you feel is too dry you can run a single piece under some water for a second, put it bag in the bag and leave it on the dashboard or somewhere that some heat can get to it and the humidity in the bag will be reabsorbed by the rest of the beat to soften it. Inconsistency in dryness is fairly normal with Jerky, but we don't want to be all praise. The size of the pieces of meat was very consistent bag to bag.
The pull test is a test to see what the fiber look like after we rip the jerky. Its a good way to show the dryness of the jerky and the type of meat used. Jerky Bills Kickass samples were on the dry side which means you have to put a little more effort into getting it softened up during the chewing process. A good thing for those that like to take their time with their jerky. If you like it to taste great as soon as its in your mouth, a less dry jerky is preferred.
Jerky Bills Kickass uses a 4oz bag so it's a little more expensive per bag, but it runs about approx. $2.50/ounce of Jerky which is about average from a cost standpoint for gourmet Jerky.
In a head to head match I prefer the forward flavors of Jeff's to Jerky Bills, but Harrision preferred Jerky Bills medium to Jeffs. That just goes to show you how important it is to try lots of different Jerkys as my flavor profile may not be the same as yours.
The picture below is a piece from the medium bag. Notice how it appears considerably drier than the darker piece above from the mild bag. This is not a characteristic of the medium jerky. It just happened to be that we got a drier batch.
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