It all started a little over 16 years ago when the owner of King Kalibur (Jason Parr) started making beef sticks in his parents back yard in Greenfield, Wisconsin. You see Jason was heavy into weight lifting in his younger days and was always looking for high protein foods to help build muscle mass. He would often consume 5 times the protein of an average person per day and without taking supplements which was very difficult. One day his mother was at the store and saw a bag of jerky on the shelf and after reading the protein content on the back of the bag she was convinced her son would approve so she bought it for him. What would we do without our moms? Well, when she got home she handed her son that bag of jerky not realizing then what that one bag of jerky would start. Jason quickly read the nutritional statement and was "blown away" by how much protein and how little fat was in this small bag of dried meat. He was excited to say the least until he found out that eating jerky was like eating shoe leather.
Jason moved furniture and appliances at the time and didn't have a lot of extra money. He figured he would have to eat 3 bags a day to supplement his protein intake and at $6 dollars a package that would end up costing Jason $540.00 per month. Between the cost and the fact that he didn't want to chew on shoe leather (jerky) he knew this wasn't going to work. So rather than give up on the idea he decided to produce his own. That wouldn't be the first or the last time he would have to make something because he couldn't afford it. Did we mention he made a lot of his own weight lifting equipment? Well that's another story.
Jason went to the store and bought a book on how to build your own smokehouse and found the cheapest way to do this was to use an old steel refrigerator with the freezer compartment on the bottom and turn it into a back yard smoke house, but where would he find one of those? The next day when he went to work the boss gave him the keys to the truck he would be using to deliver furniture for the day. Jason went to the back of the truck to make sure there was enough moving pads for his load and upon opening the door he had noticed the delivery crew that used the truck the night before never unloaded the old appliances they picked up. Boy was Jason mad, until lo and behold there it was...an old steel refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom. Smiling from ear to ear he went into the office and asked the boss if he could have it. The boss gave him a strange look and said yes. As Jason was walking out of the office his boss asked, "What do you want that for?" Jason replied, "For making beef sticks!" The boss then gave him an even stranger look and sent him on his way.
After work Jason took the old fridge to his mom's house (that's where he lived at the time) and set it up on the side of the garage. After various modifications it was ready. So Jason formulated his first recipe and put it into the smokehouse. With a hot plate in the freezer section of the fridge he started smoking wood chips he chopped from a log with an axe. About 10 hours later a neighbor called his mother and said your refrigerator is on fire. Lesson #1: if you are going to smoke in your refrigerator always tell your neighbors what you are doing. Jason's mom called upstairs and he went outside to check on his smoker. All was just fine as the wood chips were smoldering well, NO FIRE!!! About a day and a half later his first batch was done. After much trial and error Jason felt confident he could make the best tasting beef sticks around and as time went by he perfected his recipe and people he knew started asking him if they could buy some. Jason told them sure, but it would be $180.00 a pound. WHAT??? A two pound batch of beef sticks (this is all he could make in his home-made smokehouse) took 36 hours to make and Jason thought his time was worth $10.00 an hour, so you get the picture. So this prompted Jason to quit his job and start a meat snack business. Just about everyone who knew Jason thought he was nuts, but he had the support of good old mom, dad, wife Tammy and most importantly God. What more does a man need? Well the rest is history.
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