Trader Joe’s has its own line of beef jerky in a few different varieties, including teriyaki and spicy, but for our taste test we decided to stick with the classic. It’s thick slices of organic beef, with cane juice, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, smoke flavoring, paprika, garlic and onion powders, and salt and pepper. Our taste test team thought that it was a bit too sweet but an overall very good jerky.
"It’s got food flavor, nice tender texture, and it’s not all dried out," one taster said. "You can definitely taste the soy sauce, but it’s a little too sweet and could use more smokiness," another added. "It’s almost like teriyaki."
These are big chunks of thick-sliced beef, and you can tell that the quality of the meat is high. Indeed, it’s made with organically raised beef, with no preservatives, nitrites, or MSG. It also has just 270 milligrams of sodium in each 1-ounce serving, which is lower than much of its competition. A 2-ounce pack sells for $5.49, which is also right on par with major competitors.
If you like your jerky hard as a rock and loaded with brown sugar and spiciness, this isn’t the jerky for you. But if you prefer it tender but chewy, sweet, and with a soy sauce kick, this is probably the best that you’ll find.