Chewy and deliciously salty, jerky is the perfect snack food – just ask Mike and Trish Male, owners of Bundaberg Jerky.
The business started out like most small start-ups – at the kitchen table. The family enjoyed eating jerky so much, they decided to try their hand at making it themselves.
“It was a few years later when I took some jerky to a barbecue and someone asked where they could buy it that we started toying with the idea of where to go from there,” Mike said.
Ready to leave behind a nine-to-five job working for someone else, Bundaberg Jerky was born. Mike and Trish refined their curing, seasoning and drying process and developed six flavours – Smokey Hickory, Smokey Mesquite, Pepper and Garlic, Mild or Hot Chilli and Teriyaki. And they’ve been a big hit.
“It’s really the taste and the drying process that makes it so nice. We use the right product, with the right spices, cut to the right thickness and dried to the right consistency,” Mike said.
It’s an involved process. The meat is trimmed of all fat before being sliced. The spice and cure mixture is added before it marinates overnight. Each piece is then individually laid out on trays to dry for a further five hours, before being cut into pieces and bagged.
Bundaberg Jerky is currently available locally at Nana’s Pantry, Liquor Stax bottleshops, Olsen’s Corner and Fresh Fields FoodWorks. It can also be found Queensland-wide at Cornett’s IGA stores.
“We know we have such a great product and have been grateful for the support we have received so far. Now we just need to get everyone in Australia to taste it,” Mike said.