Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wild Joe's Beef Jerky - Cajun

Wild Joe's Beef Jerky - CajunCajun flavored jerky is often difficult for me to review because it's not too well defined as to what cajun should taste like. I've had cajun style ribs, cajun style burger patties, cajun style chip dip, and even cajun style pizzas. They all have a spicy kick, but that's about where the similarities end. After that, the differences are many.

This package of cajun style jerky from Wild Joe's shows a cartoon character blowing flames out of his mouth, suggesting I'm going to get a severe burning from eating this. I can only hope! Wild Joe's is a brand of Wild Joe's, Inc., a family-run business out of Cincinnati, OH. They've been around since 1990. The brand focuses on thin sliced jerky, free of preservatives.

While cajun style flavoring is often associated with being hot, I don't necessarily see it as simply that. But I do look for something that's packed with flavor, and something with lots of individual flavor components that I can taste.


Beef, water, soy sauce, smoke flavoring, garlic powder, black pepper, coated with cajun seasonings, garlic, spices, "white pepper", salt, black pepper, onion, red pepper.


The tastes I get off the surface starts with a strong soy sauce taste, which migrates into a salt taste. I can pick up a garlic taste and an onion too. Moving into the chewing, I can find some natural meat flavors, and a stronger salt taste. I can also find a stronger garlic and onion taste.

In the back of my mouth I can also feel a slight spicy tingling brewing.

Right off the bat, this jerky is indeed packed with lots of flavor. Most of that is realized in soy sauce flavor, which tends to carry over into the chewing. There's also a strong salt flavor, which is not too bad in the first few pieces, but over the course of a couple ounces of this jerky, dominates the palate and makes you want to drink something.

In terms of being a cajun style of jerky, I largely see this as a garlic & onion variety instead. While I do get a slight spicy burn in the back of my mouth, I'd rate it as only mild-medium. Instead of blowing flames out of my mouth, you'd see the words, "Oh, you tease!" blowing out instead.

Interestingly, when I let a piece soften up in my mouth for several seconds, the taste I get is remarkably similar to the seasoning in a package of ramen: soy sauce, salt, garlic, and onion, except with a bit of spiciness added.

The natural meat flavors can be found in this jerky, but are not well defined. The best way to find it is to suck on a piece for several seconds, and then chew it.

Overall, it's a very tasty jerky, with a good deal flavor complexity. I can taste the soy sauce, salt, garlic, onion, natural meat flavors, and even feel a slight spicy bite. I'd say the dominant taste of this jerky is still the soy sauce-salt combo, followed by the garlic & onion combo, and the natural meat flavors.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced thin to average, and in small to average sized pieces.

It's dry jerky, very dry in fact. It's not necessarily brittle, it does have a bit of flexibility, but any decent amount of bending will cause it to crack and break. For that matter, it's very easy to tear off a bite-sized piece, and moderately easy to eat.

It provides a chewing experience that seems to resemble a real steak, once it hydrates in your mouth.

It's a very clean jerky, leaving no residue on my fingers and nothing falling onto my lap. It's also very lean, finding no sigificant pieces of fat, tendon, or gristle.

Product Value

Wild Joe's sells this cajun variety from its website at a price of $9.00 for a 3.5 ounce bag, which works out to a price of $2.57 per ounce, putting it in the expensive price range. You can also buy it in an 8 ounce bag for $1.88 per ounce, which gets it down into the average price range

For general jerky snacking purposes, it's a decent value if you consider the higher $2.57 per ounce price. But if you buy the larger quantity at $1.88 per ounce, it's a great buy. The intensity and complexity of flavor, the excellent meat consistency, makes this very snackable and hard to resist eating more.

As a cajun variety, it's got a weaker value, maybe fair at best. It's a got a mild spicy bite to it, but nothing that will have you blowing flames from your mouth. It does, however, have a lot of flavor complexity; I can taste a lot of components in there, but aside from the soy sauce, salt, and meat, what I taste is the garlic & onion. This might actually hold better value as a garlic & onion variety, or as a ramen-flavored jerky.


I'm giving this a good rating.

Despite my opinion that this doesn't hold up as a cajun variety that well, it still has an excellent flavor to it, and yes I'm someone who loves ramen! The flavor intensity and complexity is largely what pushes this jerky above average. The steak-like chewing experience also helps it along.

What primarily kept me from giving it a higher rating is that I found this too salty. I can accept a salty jerky if it has an exceptional taste. And while this jerky has a very good taste, there just wasn't enough there to make me overlook the saltiness.

I'm not totally sold on this jerky having a cajun style flavor. I'd say it does have some of the qualities, but still not quite there. I didn't ding this jerky for that reason, only because I think it sits on the border of cajun and not-cajun. I keep thinking of foods like jambalaya and andouille, and I can't seem to correlate those tastes with this jerky.

I think a fruity beer might actually be good with this, maybe a cherry lambic.

Rating: Good

Buy this online:


Post a Comment