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WhiteTrash BBQ -- Real Pit Barbecue from New York City. This is the story of a fire obsessed guy, living in Brooklyn, with a dream of producing award winning, competition busting, real Barbeque. Come live the dream as I compete around the country in the KCBS Championship Barbecue circuit.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Prepacked BBQ Review: Jack Daniel's Pulled Chicken

I'll admit it. Sometimes I'll buy pre-made barbecue meats. I've tried Lloyds. I've tried Curley's. I've tried Tony Roma's. All with mixed results Sometimes, even if it's not the real deal, the "smokey" flavor of these prepackaged meats can be enough to satisfy the itch. Ya know?

I was intrigued to see Jack Daniel's Pulled Chicken join my supermarket's offerings of "authentic" barbeque. I like the Jack Daniel's barbeque sauce that is sold next to the ketchup in the condiment aisle, so I was looking forward to this chicken. To add to its credibility, Jack Daniel's Distillery sponsors what is arguably the most prestigious barbecue contest in the world. Stamping a product with the Jack Daniel's imprimatur implies quality and value.

Jack Daniel's Pulled Chicken comes from the refrigerated section of the store in a plastic, not microwave safe tray and vacuum packed in a thick cryovac bag.

Why isn't the tray microwaveable? I would have been really pissed to discover this if I was making this for lunch at work. I'm all for reduced packaging, but the vacuum packing didn't make this stuff look very appetizing. Maybe ol' Gentleman Jack should consider packaging this in tubes like some of his competitors.

Taking the meat out of the bag didn't help much the appearance much either. My ever lovely, but never shy to offer an opinion, teen age daughter said, "That looks worse than the cat food." "Are you going to eat it?" "Throw it away." "It's disgusting."

Well, if you've ever stored pulled pork or other loose items like chili in vacuum sealed packaging, you know that the process is not kind to the products appearance outside the bag. The meat and sauces are compressed and deformed. Any item like that would need to be worked to be presentable. Dumping the meat into a bowl to be nuked certainly didn't help. I was beginning to wonder if my daughter was right.

A trip in the microwave and a quick stir helped thing immensely. Now this was beginning to look like some good edible "pulled chicken barbecue."

On a roll, it looked better. My appetite was returning. This was not a bad looking sandwich, even if the picture isn't so flattering.

I took my first bite. I was surprised to discover that they don't use the same sauce that is sold in the bottles.

Enough with the tease; how did it taste? Have you ever eaten hot rubber bands coated in a sickeningly sweet tomato based sauce? That pretty much sums it up.

As my daughter predicted, I did wind up throwing this out. I'm glad to report that this is no longer available in my local supermarket. You've been warned.

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At 1:12 PM, Blogger BlueMule said...

I vacuum seal and freeze my pulled pork and brisket in sauce quite regularly. It never gets particularly weird looking. And, of course, it still tastes darned good.

I wonder why this looked so bloody bad?

At 1:29 PM, Anonymous J. Micca said...

"Have you ever eaten hot rubber bands coated in a sickeningly sweet tomato based sauce?"

Now there is a question I have never been asked before, though I am glad you did ask.

Thanks for the heads up on this culinary crime.
The name Jack Daniels deserves better!

At 1:33 PM, Blogger Chris said...

That's disappointing considering the source. Like you, I would have expected something decent from the Jack! I wonder how it all went down. If they just licensed their name to a third party producer or if this was something they actually researched and developed.

At 5:42 AM, Blogger Backyard Chef said...

Not a very delectable product, huh? Like you I've been known to eat supermarket 'que in a pinch and it is like getting just a hint of the real thing.

Many of these commercial products are made by a commercial producer somewhere ((often steam cooked and then sauced) and then a particular brand name just stamped on it. Ick.

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Willkat98 said...

Say Faux Q, three times fast

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what retailers are carrying the Jack Daniels refridgerated meat products?

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite honestly, I like the pulled chicken and pork alot; but has anyone ever seen the inner package (the one holding the meat&sauce, not the black tray) expand while in their own fidge? The due date is still weeks away and yet the inner package expands which then expands the outer packaging. It is very odd, and somewhat troubling...any thoughts/warnings? I have always believed that if any package is expanding over time, that is not a package from which I want to eat. Thanks...

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work at the plant were Jack Daniels meat products are produced. Jack Daniels supplies the recipes and the whiskey. when the plant produces the product, a Chef from Jack Daniels monitors the process. This Chef is not an employee of the plant. He is there for the process. I have sampled all of the products produced and all are excellent.

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently had the Jack Daniels Pulled Pork. I've tried Lloyd's but dislike the large chunks of fat sometimes in the package. I loved Jack Daniels' pulled pork. The sauce was very good and the pork was tender and lean. I recommend this product!

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had the pulled pork and thought it was delish! Had a wonderful spicy kick and smokey flavor. I have the chick in my freezer to enjoy soon. If it is in the same sauce as the pork Im sure it will be satisfying as well....

At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Perry said...

I thought this was by far the best prepackaged BBQ I'd ever had, very tender and juicy. This is coming from a guy who generally hates having to microwave anything, too. I'd take it over Lloyd's or Curly's any day.

The one I tried gave specific instructions to leave it in the tray and the clear plastic (albeit with a hole punched in it), though.

At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Palmdale, CA said...

Sure, the sauce is a little sweet but it's not unbearably sweet. I enjoyed the chicken more than the pork.

Serve with a side of garlic taters and beans for a quick, cheap, and delicious meal.

At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should read the packaging again. I cook JD brisket and pulled pork a few time a month for my family. The package actually RECOMMENDS using the black tray for microwaving.

You dedicated a couple sentences to a fact that is completely inaccurate and quite foolish. Reading comprehension is fundamental!

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL I was sitting at here eating the JD pulled pork and wondering if i could find a reciepe for it and came across this site. LMAO wonder how it would taste as a sandwich? I have always just ate it from the tray oops lol. May try the chicken

At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We love the JD pulled Chicken!

At 10:36 PM, Anonymous John B said...

The JD pulled pork is great! Definitely recommend it.

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought this last week. I had the pulled chicken last night. we loved it. the portions are enough for three people.very tasty. one complaint is there is to much salt. other than that great!!


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