5/27/09 | Beef Steak Nuggets
[ Currently Eating: Beans ]
Once upon a time, there was a group of people called the Denver Nuggets. They partook in a sporting activity where the objective was to repeatedly throw an air-filled rubber sphere into a peach basket with the bottom cut out. At the same time, another group of people called the Los Angeles Lakers would try and stop them from throwing the sphere into the peach basket. In fact, they would try and steal the sphere and then, bouncing it along the floor, would run toward their OWN personal peach basket. They would try and loft the sphere into that peach basket. This, of course, was a very exciting activity and billions of other people watched these groups of people try and throw the sphere into their peach baskets.
This is not their story.
However, these ARE Beef Steak NUGGETS that you see above.
I was originally trying to use a joke about Chicken McNuggets as a segue, but it just didn’t fly. Get it? Fly?
Yes, I am a very bad joke/review writer subsisting on dollar store food.
To tell you the truth, these Beef Steak Nuggets (and apparently they are “Original”, because no one has ever made dried cubes of beef jerky before) have caught my eye more than once in the dollar store. But I’ve always resisted the temptation to get them, because I have a sort of “non-dried meat” rule from these discount stores. The last time I was there, however, I accidentally knocked one of the packages off it’s clip in the aisle header.
I took it as a sign.
Note to dollar store owners: you should make sure all the clips fastening these packages to the hangers are loose beyond belief, because when people knock them off they usually pick them up and might possibly buy them.
This is a small flat 1.5 ounce package of dried beef jerky cubes. I have to admit I was a little confused at the product description on the back, which states they’re “smoked over mesquite wood”. However, the ingredients state “smoke flavor powder” and even the front of the package says “natural smoke flavor added”. I’m not sure how they can say they’re smoked over mesquite wood, unless maybe they light a little twig of mesquite kindling underneath just so that they can say it on the package. Or maybe I’m just crazy and reading too much conspiracy theory into it.
As with all dried meat products, the price per weight is tremendously expensive as is to be expected. Even with a dollar store item like this, there are exactly 10 cubes of beef in the 1.5 oz. foil pack. Interestingly, it’s claimed on the front that there is “50% more free”. I’m thinking, geez you mean to tell me that normally there are only FIVE nuggets in a pack?
It’s sorta weird how the package makes the beef cubes look “wet”, when in fact they’re dry like normal beef jerky. This is actually what gave me great hesitation in the first place – the beef in the picture looked like wet stew beef. Or Alpo. You take your pick.
I was also very interested to see a small note at the bottom which said “Attention: to enhance freshness and taste, this product is packed with an oxygen absorber packet inside. This packet contains harmless non-toxic minerals, but should not be eaten.”
There was no such absorber packet in mine.
Not that I was THAT disappointed. I wasn’t going to try eating the non-toxic minerals, but hey, you never know.
As for overall smell and taste – I was rather disappointed. The meat had an extremely processed smell to it, but if you’ve had mass produced beef jerky products before, you know what I’m talking about. The smoky smell was not strong at all – maybe they should put more of that powder in.
In my opinion, the spices were weak. They tended toward the very sweet. Now, I know America has this fascination with sweet food, but please, keep it out of my beef jerky. This almost tasted like teriyaki beef. If you’ve had asian beef jerky before, it tasted like that, but even sweeter in my opinion. Too much brown sugar here. Besides the horrible MSG aftertaste floating in my mouth, I did notice an afterglow of black pepper powder, which was more pleasant.
The texture of the beef nuggets was rather tender. I think they’re keeping in mind the toothless generations (older folks and babies) when they made these. It does say they’re “enjoyed by Moms, Dads, and Kids alike”. They’re equal opportunity beef steak nugget producers. Me, I like a beef jerky that’s so tough it threatens to rip your teeth out of your gums when you try and bite off a piece. I likes me a dried cow slab that fights back. The thicker pieces did have a bit more chew, but on the whole I was pretty disappointed.
In conclusion, I wouldn’t buy these again. I actually had to chuck about half of it into the can because I couldn’t stand the sweetness in them. But you’ll like these nuggets if you like sweet dried beef. Maybe you can take them to the next Nuggets peach basket game.
Price: $1.00 for 1.5 oz (10 pcs)
Found At: Dollar Store
Cheap Eats Score: 4/10