Review: Ball Park Flame Grilled Original Beef Jerky (New)

Ball Park is expanding its horizons in to jerky.  Yes, the famous hot dog brand is branching out.

Well, we may be a little late to the news here, people.  We stumbled across the new jerky when we browsed out to Ball Park’s site looking for something else.  We hadn’t heard about it yet.  Herman did some checking, and discovered that the jerky was introduced last September.  Nobody ever accused us of being ahead of the curve, people!

Either way, it is new to us.  So it probably will be new to others.  And the package still says ‘new,’ so good enough.  Have another beer, and stick with us here.

Interestingly, the new jerky is available as beef jerky and pork jerky.  The beef jerky has several varieties including Original, Bourbon BBQ, and Peppered.  The pork jerky flavors include Teriyaki and Barbecue.

An important twist to Ball Park’s jerky is that it is flame grilled.  This is different compared to other jerky.  It certainly fits with Ball Park’s grilled theme that it pushes with hot dogs and such.

Jerky is a Fewd Snob favorite.  We love Ball Park’s dogs.  So, it was only logical that we would review the jerky.

We sampled the Original Beef Jerky for our review.  We bought our test bag at Walmart.  We opened the bag, and this is what we saw…

IMG_20160225_150930139_HDRThe bag is 5.25 ounces.  It’s basically an empty bag, people.  The picture doesn’t even show just how little is in there.  Now, to be fair, this is a problem with all beef jerky.  So it isn’t exclusive to Ball Park.  Let’s move on.

IMG_20160225_151139086_HDRThe pieces are thick; in fact, they are much thicker than standard beef jerky.

IMG_20160225_151338202In this expertly shot photo (Herman is a photographer, after all!), you can see the texture of the meat (HO HO!).

IMG_20160225_151607212_HDRThe pic above shows the grill marks.  Again, this is what sets the Ball Park jerky apart from others.

OK.  Cute.  So, how is it you ask?

Put down your beer.  Get ready for it…

This stuff SUCKS.

First of all, as soon as we opened the bag we caught a whiff of the smell.  It was more of an odor.  It smelled NASTY.  Honestly, Denny thought it smelled like dog treats.  Seriously.  Not a good start.

The flavor is no damn good.  This is ORIGINAL jerky.  The flavor is sweet.  TOO sweet.  It almost has the taste of a sweet barbecue sauce.  This is original?  What the hell is the actual barbecue sauce flavor like?

We don’t taste any flame grilled flavor.  The jerky may have grilled marks, but that’s the only evidence of grilling as far as we can tell.

The package says “smoke flavor added.”  We don’t taste much.  Adding smoke flavor to trick people into thinking it is grilled, maybe?  We don’t know for sure.  But like we said, we don’t taste any kind of grilled flavor.  So what the hell is going on here?

Honestly, Denny ate a dog treat once (don’t ask).  The Ball Park jerky tasted just like the dog treat.  Yuck.  Gross.
In fact, Herman’s dog went batshit when we opened the bag.  She thought it was a dog treat too.  Blech.

The slices are too thick for beef jerky.  This is more like steak jerky.  Jerky should be thinner, unless it is being advertised as thick-cut.  This isn’t.  So again, WTF?

The one thing that doesn’t suck is the texture of the cuts.  It is chewy, but not too chewy.  It is about right.  That’s the only thing it has going for it.

That said, one of the pieces was inedible because it had a MASSIVE chunk of stringy gristle going through it.  This was so tough that we couldn’t even tear it apart.  We were afraid to feed it to the dog!  We didn’t want her to choke.

This small little bag ran us $6.98.  7 bucks.  For bad jerky.  Yes yes, we know…beef jerky is expensive.  It is true that this jerky is on par with the cost of the other national brands of jerky.  But there is one difference; the other brands don’t suck.

Overall, this stuff is shit.  There is nothing to recommed here, people.  Take a pass.  Stick with Jack Link’s.  Or hell, you’d probably be better off with the Walmart Great Value brand!

Swing and a miss, Ball Park.

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