Arizona Jacks is a brand owned by PrimeSnax, Inc., based out of Salt Lake City, UT. PrimeSnax owns other brands of beef jerky too.
The ingredients list shows the following flavorings: tomato concentrate, sugar, vinegar, salt, citric acid, soy sauce, black pepper, garlic, and smoke flavoring.
What I taste mostly is soy sauce, salt, and black pepper. Being this is the peppered variety, I do taste a strong pepper flavor, which I enjoy a lot. This jerky is also a tad too salty. I can also sense a sweetness to it as well, but kept hidden in the background.
I can sense this meat has been soaking in its marinade, as I chew it, it continues to leach out more flavor.
I do taste some natural beef flavors, but the marinade and seasonings overpower them.
The company says it uses slices of real beef, and it's definitely so. My guess is that these pieces come from the left over trimmings of the Giga Bite Slabs they sell at the check out counter of convenience stores. Those slices come from the inside and outside flats of round steak.
Some pieces are sliced thin, but others are sliced thick. Some pieces have small chunks of fat, others are marbled, and others still are completely lean. You're getting a hodge podge of meat pieces.
These pieces are definitely soft as the package claims. I find them quite enjoyable to chew. But I did find a few harder pieces, but most pieces are soft. If you take your time on one piece, you can soften it up in your mouth, suck on it a bit, and get some really great taste out of it.
I paid $6.95 for a 4oz bag, at the Vegas 808 store located inside The California Hotel & Casino, in downtown Las Vegas, NV. That works out to $1.74 per ounce, which is borderline between average and high.
But this jerky is a great value. For one, if you like the peppered variety of beef jerky, this has plenty of black peppery taste. The pieces are for the most part, soft and moist, and easy to chew.
While the flavorings used in this jerky are not very creative, they're still delicious, and you get lots of taste out of each piece.
I'm giving this a "good" rating. I enjoyed this jerky a lot, and would buy it again. As a peppered variety, it scores points for having a strong peppery flavor, and it scores on being soft and moist, a particular favorite of mine. I also enjoy the subtle sweetness to it, and I find it very much snackable.
The fact that a highly enjoyable jerky like this was still priced below $2.00 per ounce also helped it score well with me.
What kept it from getting the "best" rating is that it was just a tad on the salty side, and the flavorings was rather ordinary. A lot of jerkies rely on soy sauce as a mainstay flavoring, perhaps adding one extra spice to set it apart from the others would have done it for me.
Still, this is the kind of jerky I can sit down with in my backyard patio, listen to the birds chirp, and savor the flavors.
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