Snack Review: Jack Link’s Flamin’ Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
The United States Government has declared a war on sodium.
This is both good and bad news for me.
On one hand, I’m all for people not dying because of heart failure. On the other hand, it seriously puts my new-found love affair with Jack Link’s Flamin’ Buffalo Chicken Nuggets in jeopardy.
Being a beef jerky fanatic, I know good beef jerky. Technically this isn’t beef, and the small nugget shapes don’t exactly scream jerky. Still, if you’re looking for a noncaloric bomb to get your Buffalo wing snack fix on, these things are for you. Plus, they look like they came from McDonalds, while at the same time sparing me the sometimes frustrating endeavour of waiting in a long as heck line and dealing with some pimply faced kid at the counter for something as simple as four piece McNugget order.
No, they don’t taste exactly like Buffalo wings, and no, they aren’t anything close to “au natural”. Jack Link’s Buffalo Chicken Nuggets are more than remarkably tender for a packaged meat product, and retain a very good level of moisture. The seasoning mixture strikes a reasonable balance between taste and heat, and while they lack any kind of spiciness approaching “atomic” status, they do give off a strong flavor of cayenne pepper, as well as a sort of vinegar-based barbecue sweetness that you’d probably find on a Buffalo-style chicken pizza. The salty and moderately spicy cayenne flavor is the predominant flavor, although I do get a strong presence of an artificial butter flavor with each bite (and yes, I like that). Personally, I really dig this flavor, and for a spice wimp like me, the notes of sweetness and richness help to smooth the cayenne pepper element as well as the high level of saltiness. I’m not exactly sure if these live up to their “Flamin'” moniker, but there is mesquite smoke element to them. With a solid flavor and cheap price (I got my first two packs for $1.50 each at Walmart) these would be pretty good even if they were somewhat chewy and dry, but the relative lack of gristle and easy chewing lent by their superior texture vaults them to the top of my favorite jerky-product status list.
OK Uncle Sam, make-me-feel-bad-time. According to dietary guidelines, which I don’t believe in, these little munchers give me over 75% of my daily allotment of sodium. Since I’m not at risk for a heart attack and eat sensibly most of the time I really don’t mind that fact, except for the issue that at my size, downing a whole bag of these leads me to blow up faster than a nitwit chewing on blueberry pie. Again, I’m cool with that, except for the fact that I ate my first bag of these on a plane, and I probably don’t need to tell you that that led to a very uncomfortable situation. Don’t worry — I am fine — and have since returned to buy massive quantities of these nuggets in an effort to preempt the mass hysteria that is likely to ensue from this review. And they say I don’t think ahead…
Pros: All white meat. Great combination of heat and spice, with moderatly spiced Buffalo wing style flavor without the mess of eating actual chicken wings. Good balance with an element of an almost tangy sweetness, and even a welcomed hint of actual butter. Amazingly moist and tender. Only 200 calories a bag. Shades of civil disobedience in my ongoing rebellion against the war on sodium.
Cons: Probably too salty for most people with exceptionally bland tastes. Eventually, the heaping amount of sodium in the thousand or so bags I recently purchased will kill me ( That's ok, considering now just driving without sun screen will eventually kill me as well).
Price: 1.50 per 3.25 ounce package (on sale at Walmart)
Overall GrubGrade: 9.00 (Exceptional)
More Info: Jacklinks.com
Jack Link's Premium Cuts Flamin' Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
Serving Size: (1 oz)
Total Fat: 1g
Saturated Fat: 0.5g
Total Carbohydrates: 3g