I ate a lot of meat this year and, regretfully, most of it was bad. I am decidedly not a fan of the weird packaged ham we tried, and most of the turkey jerky I gnawed on fell short of our standards, too. There were some outliers, of course—delightful frozen pepperoni pizzas, juicy chicken nuggets, meaty roast beef, and lots of amazing salami. There was also this wonderfully thorough hot dog ranking. When it comes to meat products, we’re looking for quality, flavor, and a pure meat taste. Meat should taste, well, meaty, and not overly processed. But what were the two best foods for meat-lovers we tried this year at Sporked? Check it out.
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- Old Trapper Old Fashioned Beef Jerky
This beef jerky did the impossible: It changed my dad’s opinion about beef jerky. He used to be a Jack Link’s guy, but since I introduced him to Old Trapper, he can’t get enough of the stuff. Old Trapper old fashioned beef jerky is deliciously savory, slightly sweet, salty, and meaty. The umami flavor wowed everybody at Sporked, and it was unanimously the best beef jerky we tried. It achieves the perfect tender yet chewy texture, and for our money, it’s the best meat product we tried this year.
Credit: Liv Averett/Walmart
- Good & Gather Crispy Chicken Breast Strips
This was a close runner up, but the only time Target’s Good & Gather brand took a top spot was during one of the most important taste tests of all—frozen chicken tenders. These tenders were far and away the crispiest, juiciest, and the most flavorful, too. They are seasoned perfectly and the crunch factor is also very high. These make a sound when you bite into them—not like most lame, limp, sad looking fast food chicken tenders. Good & Gather’s crispy chicken strips are a real achievement, and everybody should be buying them.
Credit: Liv Averett/Target