Match-up: Primal Strips vs. Stonewall’s Vegan Jerky

I know what you’re thinking – there is more than one type of vegan “beef” jerky?  Yes.

And you’re actually recommending them as something I should eat?  Yes.  (If you are vegetarian, but still enjoy salty protein-filled meat-imitating snacks) 

But Anna, whatever jerky should I choose?  

No worries, I’m here to help.  DING DING DING – let the match up begin!

First up: Primal Strips

Texas BBQ and Hickory Smoked are Gluten Free - note the handy icon in the upper right of the package


Buy me. 

Primal Strips are truly amazing.  A feat of food engineering.  I don’t understand how those food scientists could make soy taste and feel so much like dehydrated meat. Seeing as I haven’t eaten meat in about four years, this is about as primal as my eating gets.  These strips are only 80-90 calories each, and pack about 10-12 grams of protein each.  They’re also almost fat free, and have no cholesterol.  They’re perfect for a mid-afternoon snack (and even give that guilty-pleasure salt satisfaction, without eating a bag of chips).  These are super chewy, fun to eat, and have a ton of meat-ish, BBQ flavor.  

I’ve been eating Primal Strips for a few months now, so when I saw that the store across from my office started carrying them I was super excited.  They also started carrying Stonewall’s Jerquee.  So I thought – what’s better than one kind of vegan gf jerky than TWO KINDS?  Pretty much nothing.  

So I picked up a package of Stonewall’s Jerquee and started snacking.  This jerky is in little nuggets rather than a strip.  



These, however, were not the primal experience I was seeking.  With such pleasant olde time wild west mascot, you’d think that the product would live up to the packaging.  (They also have about 12 different flavors, which was exciting to me).  However, the package of Teriyaki jerquee that I had tasted like dog food.  It had a grainy texture, unpleasant dog food/stale smell, and left my mouth drier than Cheetos and cardboard combined.  I forced myself to eat about half the package (it cost $2.99 so I couldn’t bring myself to just chuck it).  But then I had to give up, drink some water, and throw them out.  

*Sidenote – what’s with the spelling of jerquee?  Makes my skin crawl just typing it. 

Heavyweight Champion = PRIMAL STRIPS!

So, if the thought of vegan jerky doesn’t repulse you – go get some!  They’re available at Whole Foods (near the register at my store). 

Don’t get Stonewalls Jerquee.  Unless you run out of dog food.


13 responses to “Match-up: Primal Strips vs. Stonewall’s Vegan Jerky

  1. That jerky (not jerquee) sounds delish. I’ve tried the smoked salmon jerkey from whole foods- it’s actually great. not sure if it’s gluten free though.

  2. Hi, I did research online ahead of time to ensure that the new kind of primal strips jerky was gluten free. In the past when I was only a vegetarian they always had gluten in them. So online it says gluten free, and on the package it says gluten free. But in the ingredients it says the soy sauce contians wheat. WTF?! I am so upset after eating it and THEN seeing that it may contain gluten that I feel physically ill either way. I am really stressed out about this and left the company a nasty message, but in the meantime, do you have a reaction to them? I can’t believe how incredibly retarded and irresponsible it is to label a product in such a conflicting way. I feel like I have been tricked and they are playing with my health; I’m really furious.

  3. That is a great point! I actually never really looked into the ingredients until you commented, so thank you! There are two gluten-free Primal Strips – The Hickory Smoked, and the Texas BBQ. On their website they list the ingredients, and they contain: “NATURALLY BREWED SOY SAUCE (WATER, NON-GMO SOYBEANS, SEA SALT). So, it looks like they DO contain soy sauce, but it’s gluten free (if you look on the labels of non-gluten free soy sauce there is wheat explicitly stated in the sub-ingredients.

    I’ve never had a reaction to them, and I hope that they aren’t giving you a mental block now! As long as you stick to the two gluten-free flavors you should be safe. Enjoy!

  4. Hi Zloduska,
    No need to worry! Primal Strips are awesome! And, I have to ask: Why would you think something made from seitan (WHEAT GLUTEN) could be gluten free?

    And, the few Primal Strips made from soy: Just because it contains soy sauce does not mean it contains wheat. There’re many starches that can be used to produce the fermentation needed to make some soy-based sauces, and not all soy sauces are fermented. I think you made yourself sick over nothing.

  5. I can’t agree on the Jerquee, except with your spelling issue.
    I enjoy both.
    When I think of jerky I think of something that is chewy, dry and spicy and thats what Cornwall’s is.
    The Primal product is really good also but it doesn’t satisfy my need the chew on and savor something for a minute per bite.

  6. I LOVE stonewall’s jerquee “Wild”, BBQ, Teriyaki, why you put it down? At least it is not a dead animal! I also lke primal strips, but I am not trashing them like you are doing to stonewall’s.

    • Glad you like it! I really just couldn’t get over the dryness of the one that I tried. Maybe I’ll have to try another flavor if I see it in a store again, but for now I’ll stick with Primal Strips when I want my jerky fix. And agreed – so much better than eating the meat version any way you cut it!

  7. Susan, you don’t get it. At first the gluten free varieties of Primal Strips actually did NOT have wheat-free soy sauce. They were claiming that the gluten was removed in the processing or something, and therefore previously the flavors they were claiming as gf were NOT wheat-free. That is what Zloluska was talking about, she was not assuming all soy sauce has gluten, nor was she talking about the non-gluten-free flavors. Most celiacs in the US generally assume it’s safe to assume gluten free also means wheat free, and most of us don’t buy claims that all of the particles of gluten can be removed from wheat by processing, we rather prefer to play it safe. (I know in England celiacs are sold Codex wheat starch but most American celiacs think that’s scary!) Just because of claims that an ingredient meets some PPM standard doesn’t mean it’s REALLY gluten free, and furthermore many who also have a wheat allergy naturally assume gluten free includes wheat free. So Zloluska is right, it’s irresponsible of a company to market something as gluten free and not mention that, oh yeah, by the way, it’s not wheat-free, though. I think Primal Strips may have been educated on this by consumers, because they seem to have switched to a wheat-free soy sauce, though I would suggest contacting them to verify the accuracy of the new ingredients.

  8. Stonewall’s Jerquee OMG! I tried it years ago, after I called them. Some nasty guy said it was GF….but the ingredient list was vague. I was nervous. But I took a chance,and I bought it anyway, because I was dying for jerky after having lost all my veggie meat analogs going gluten free.

    It was all you described it tasted old…like the (liquid smokey flavor I expected) faded plus it had a sour after taste. Adding salt to the wounds, I also had a bad gut later. I freaked out, because I had been Gluten-free for several month’s, and feared I had gotten someon on the phone who had no idea what they were talkig about.

    I called the company to reconfirm and got the same guy who told me it was GF. I recognized his voice. I realized he must be the owner…what are the chances of getting the same exact a rude, nasty dismissive person on the phone a 2nd time when I told him my concerns.

    The only thing is stonewall gives you a hefty amount jerky, whereas primal gives you a chintzy sized strip (that is comparable to stretch islands fruit strips) that leaves you not satisfied and wanting more…much more.

    • Haha, glad that I have a partner in my disdain for Stonewall’s! I was chatting with a woman in a store recently who said that it is one of their best sellers! I don’t understand why, since Primal Strips taste so much better. But I agree, I could eat like 4 of them at once, so if you’re looking to really gnaw on something for awhile maybe Stonewalls works for some people.

      Poor customer service + tasting old/sour and not making you feel good = I think it gets the boot! 🙂

  9. I like the Stonewall, I foun this review while trying to find it online. As you mentioned, they do have several favors. I like some exceptionally well, and dislike others nearly as much. As much as I enjoy it, taste is just that, a matter of taste. Hopefully everyone here can see how subjective and personal that is.

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