I am a Jerky aficionado! I like it in all forms, and to say I was excited to have the opportunity to review some jerky from the Country Archer Jerky Company is an understatement. Country Archer Jerky Company is a small business that focuses on providing high quality artisanal jerky’s made in California. Read on for my initial impression.
Country Archer is a small batch jerky company based out of California. They began in 1977, a very good year if I do say so myself, and have grown from there. They make jerky and meat snacks with “healthful ingredients and protein options like grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free turkey, and pork.” Their website goes on to outline the benefits of their products, but what appeals to me is the following claims about their products: 100% grass feed beef; gluten free; no hormones, antibiotics, MSG, or nitrates; and that all their products are made in America.
Their website is a wealth of information both on their products and the company’s history. It is easy to navigate and I especially like the information under the “Range” tab. Here they feature stories on other American Made products, tips for following ones dreams, and even some do-it-yourself tips featuring articles like 20 knots everyone should know. Overall the layout is clean and easy to use.
Country Archer offers two main styles of products – traditional jerky and meat bar. The traditional jerky is what I normally expect jerky to be. Flavored meat pieces made from cuts of meat. Their traditional jerky comes in the following beef flavors: original, Sriracha, Teriyaki, Sweet Jalapeno, Mango Habanero, and Crushed Red Pepper. They also offer Hickory Smoke and Honey Dijon Turkey Jerky flavors. The meat bar or what Country Archer calls Frontier Bars are formed quarter inch thick bars. They offer three flavors: Cayenne Beef with Pork, Herb Citrus Turkey, and Sweet BBQ Pork.
I taste tested the Teriyaki Beef Jerky and the Sweet Pork BBQ Frontier Bar to get a feel for Country Archer’s products. The first thing I did with both products was read the ingredients label. As expected based on their claims, there were no weird ingredients and I understood all of the ingredients. The Teriyaki jerky had a nice sweet flavor, good texture and was moist. It was delicious. The Sweet BBQ Pork Frontier bar was like biting into a steak. It had a nice texture and was easy to chew. The Sweet BBQ flavor was very subtle. The flavor could use more pop. I look forward to trying more of the flavors.
This ends my initial thoughts, check back in about a month to see what I really think of the Country Archer Jerky Company products.
Final update April 10, 2017
I ran the gamut of emotions for this review: amazing, happy, satisfied, and sad. The beef jerky from Country Archer has been used backpacking in Mississippi, as a snack during Mardi Gras Parades, and as refueling after running a 50k race in Mississippi. The product is amazing and left me happy and satisfied, but sad when I went on my latest backpacking trip in the Black Creek Wilderness and realized all I had left was a couple of the Herb Citrus meat bars and had eaten the rest of the jerky.
Over the past couple months I have been camping at Fountainbleau State Park, LA; done two backpacking trips in the Black Creek Wilderness; took in several Mardi Gras Parades here in New Orleans; and ran the Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi 50 (50k), and the main stay of my diet at these events has been Country Archer beef jerky and meat sticks. Overall the quality and taste of each of their products is amazing. My favorite overall jerky snack has been the Teryaki flavor followed closely by the Original flavor. However, my daughter who accompanies me on most adventures really liked the Honey Dijon Turkey Jerky followed closely by the Mango Habanero jerky. The Teryaki and Original flavors really had a nice solid flavor that was not overwhelming, and the jerky itself was soft and chewy. The same for the Honey Dijon. The spicy flavors like the Mango Habanero, and Sweet Jalapeno were flavorful and spicy at the same time. I did not feel that the heat of the jerky overwhelmed the additional flavors. I was most interested in the Sriracha flavor, but to me I didn’t really taste anything but the heat. My daughter said she could taste the Sriracha flavor, but I never did. All of the jerky was tender and did not dry out, though to be truthful most of it barely made it to a second day after being opened.
The meat bars were a little bit of a different story. All three flavors were very subtle and overall did not really have much flavor. Of the three flavors the Cayenne flavor had the most flavor. However, the bars themselves were chewy and delicious and very satisfying. I did a 15 mile day in the Black Creek Wilderness and upon reaching camp realized I did not have access to any water to cook dinner. I had some water in my hydration bladder but wanted to save it for my hike out the next day. So I had two meat bars for dinner along with some other snacks, and they really stamped out my hunger pains.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Country Archer beef jerky and meat bars. They make a great product and have a good company story too. I will be on the lookout for Country Archer products in my local stores and highly encourage you to do the same!
Thanks to 4alloutdoors.org and to Country Archer Jerky Company for providing the product for this review.