Jack Link’s Originsl Beef Sticks I noticed at the convenience store nearby years back, but generally avoided them because of how well I liked the Slim Jim beef sticks. But man, was I depriving myself of a wonderful-tasting snack by prejudging. Well, no more. I recently brought home a couple of the super size 1.5 ounce sticks for review. Wow, what I’ve been missing!
I didn’t notice the juice-ooze in these sticks that I experienced with Slim Jims. However, there’s still a fair amount of fat, which is part of what makes this snack so filling, and so good.
These taste very similar to Slim Jims original flavor beef sticks. Perhaps a bit saltier and somewhat less hot and less oily. That smokehouse flavor so common to beef snacks like this is well-ennunciated in this beef.
The skin (or casing) easily snaps so that you can enjoy a little piece from the big stick at a time. And, the outer coating is not too wrinkly either, From outside, the stick appears as a deep red or maroon. Break it open, and you get a first-hand view of the brighter red meat inside.
As mentioned, I bought the individual super sized beef stick, which is also individually wrapped. Some have complained that other packaging for this product is inadequate because each stick is not individually wrapped. While this particular stick is individually wrapped, I could still enjoy the bulk sticks as long as they came in a resealable contained. But one nice thing about each stick having its own separate wrapper, is that you can eat it without getting your fingers all greasy. You just peal back enough of the wrapper to expose the amount of beef stick that you want. Then, if you decide to put the rest away for another time, you can just fold the spent wrapper over the part that still contains some meat, and seal with a rubber band. Admittedly, saving half-portions is easier to accomplish with individual wrappers than when you have a bunch of unwrapped sticks in a bag. But still, next to the flavor, the absence of an individual wrapper would be a minor inconvenience to me, and would definitely not prevent me from buying these beef sticks again. They’re great.
Benefits, Pros, Advantages, and Features
- These beef snacks taste almost exactly like the Slim Jims I’ve loved for many years. So when you can’t buy a Slim Jim, try these. You may decide not to go back to Slim Jim if you do.
- They have a texture and flexibility similar to those famed Slim Jims original flavor snack sticks, but do not snap as loudly.
- Stringy bits of these original beef sticks from Jack Link get wedged in the teeth far less than beef jerky, but on a par with Slim Jims. However, keep your floss handy, as there still is some of that when munching this treat.
- This preserved beef requires no refrigeration; not even after opening. So it will keep many months in your food pantry. The best-if-used-by date falls roughly a half-year out from the purchase date. But they’ll stay fresh and pleasant-tasting for much longer if kept cool.
- I can’t imagine growing bored with this Jack Link original beefy flavor.
- Kids like these seasoned beef sticks; a godsend for parents since they have far less added sugar than candies, cakes, or other sweet treats.
- Not much spicy juice comes out when you bite into one of these. I kind of missed that, after eating Slim Jims. But there’s still plenty enough oil to completely satisfy that Slim Jim craving with one of these sticks from Jack Link.
- They stock this snack in about any store, service station, or other convenience center.
- I found no bone bits in this snack. Jack Link does an excellent job filtering out all that tooth-cracking debris from these snacks.
- This product has an inviting yet subtle aroma that mirrors exactly its actual taste. So smelling these sticks can get the mouth to watering, as the scent puts fuel on the anticipation of the magnificent experience to envelop the tongue.
- Not too spicy. Actually, these taste a bit less spicy than the original beef flavor Slim Jim product I’ve eaten. Yet they still look and taste very much like a Slim Jim. Quite slight indeed. Kick is by no means this snack’s claim to fame.
- These have a useful diameter for biting. It’s easy to bite off a good-sized morsel, and then, not too hard to chew it. Thicker sticks can be harder to access and chew. But not these.
- Only 7 grams of fat per serving, with 3 of those grams being saturated fat. While this probably does not qualify as a health food per se, its relatively low fat content makes it a now-and-then worthy snack for even the most cautious dieters.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns
- They refer you to the Jack Link web site for nutrition information instead of printing the data on the label. Inconvenient when comparing and making healthy food choices at the supermarket.
- Of course, the smaller the diameter of the beef stick, the more casing surrounding the meat you get, and less of the actual meat. But I did not find this objectionable, as the skin on these beef sticks was very thin. In fact, the casing provided a little extra chew-ability that aided in savoring the beefy taste a little longer.
- As noted, this is an exceedingly processed food with a generous list of undesirable food additives, including dextrose, corn syrup, BHA and BHT. It’s also a little high in sodium at 690 milligrams per serving. These numbers qualify this product as a once-in-a-while pleasure only, though its deliciously satisfying beef flavor might seduce you into eating it more frequently than is actually good for you.
- These don’t snap apart into smaller pieces as easily as Slim Jims. But they still snap.
Beef, salt, corn syrup, spices. Contains 2% or less of water, dextrose, sugar, flavorings, sodium erythorbate, lactic acid starter culture, sodium nitrite, BHA, BHT, citric acid. Treated with a solution of potassium sorbate to ensure freshness.
- Serving size: 1 stick, 1.5 ounces, 42 grams. Servings per container: 1.
- Amount per serving: Calories: 160. Calories from fat: 120.
- Total fat: 13 grams, 20% DV.
- Saturated fat: 6 grams, 30% DV.
- Trans fat: 0 grams.
- Cholesterol: 40 milligrams, 13% DV.
- Sodium: 690 milligrams, 29% DV.
- Total carbohydrate: 2 grams, 1% DV.
- Dietary fiber: 0 grams, 0% DV.
- Sugars: 1 grams.
- Protein: 9 grams.
- Vitamin A: 0% DV.
- Calcium: 0% DV.
- Vitamin C: 0% DV.
- Iron: 6% DV.
I’d highly recommend these Slim Jim-like beef sticks. In fact, unlike Slim Jims, which contain some chicken, the Jack Link sticks have beef only as the meat ingredient. I’d rate this snack product at 95 of 100. They’re quite tasty. So watch out at a movie should you take this snack into the theater with you, as once your companions realize you have them, they’ll be after you relentlessly for one, or two, or your entire supply.
Where To Buy Jack Link’s Original Beef Sticks
Look for these snacks at gas stations, 24-hour convenience stores, and in grocery shops large and little. They come in a red lwrapper with a white backing, and that displays white and black text. However, these often sell out. So if you’re addicted to them, you might consider ordering them on the Internet, well ahead of the time you’ll actually want them.
- : Moved this post to the Tom’s Diet Quest blog, added whitespace, adjusted ad placement, and tweaked the content.
- 2012-05-07: Originally published.