Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wild Joe's Beef Jerky - Hot

Wild Joe's Beef Jerky - HotIf you've been following this blog over the past couple of weeks, you've seen the reviews I've done for Wild Joe's Beef Jerky. This "hot" variety is the last of their four varieties. The Wild Joe's brand seems to be associated with tons of flavor packed into each piece, but what I've found to be a strong soy sauce and salty flavor.

Wild Joe's Beef Jerky is produced by Wild Joe's Inc. at their own facility in Cincinnati, OH. It's a family run business that's been around since 1990 growing slowly but steadily.

This "hot" variety is one of two spicy varieties of theirs, with the "cajun" variety being the other. I didn't necessarily find the cajun variety to be all that hot, even though it did pack in a good deal flavor complexity. This "hot" variety also depicts a cartoon-like Wild Joe character blowing flames out of his mouth as if this stuff is a real mouth-burner. So, is this stuff actually hot?


Beef, water, soy sauce, smoke flavoring, garlic powder, black pepper, and coated with cayenne pepper.


The tastes I get from the surface is a strong soy sauce and salty flavor. A spicy tingle is brewing on my tongue right away. I can also taste the cayenne pepper. Moving into the chewing, I pick up stronger soy sauce, stronger saltiness, and some natural meat flavors. That cayenne burn continues to strengthen.

Like with the other varieties from Wild Joe's, this jerky is largely dominated by its soy sauce flavor. It's also a very salty jerky, which isn't too bad on a single piece, but after eating several pieces it starts wearing me down.

As for being advertised as a "hot" variety, I'd say this jerky does live up to that billing. On an individual piece basis, I'd say it rates as medium. But over several pieces, it builds up to a medium-hot. I think the saltiness of this jerky aggravates things to where it seems hotter than it actually is. It's hot enough to produce some moisture on my scalp, but not quite enough to make beads of sweat run down the back of my neck.

And like I said above, I can even taste the cayenne's unique flavor on this, and I'd rank the cayenne as providing the second most dominant flavor.

The natural meat flavors are there, but are light on taste. And for not having any added preservatives, aside from that found in the soy sauce, it still seems to have a fresh taste. I'll throw the natural meat flavors as the third most dominant taste.

The black pepper listed in the ingredients is not well identified, probably because it's masked by the cayenne. I can taste the garlic, however.

Meat Consistency

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

It's a dry jerky, but still retaining a fair amount of flexibility. It eventually cracks and breaks if bent far enough. It's also easy to tear a piece apart, and somewhat easy to chew.

It has a pretty good chewing texture, resembling like that of a steak once a piece hydrates in your mouth.

It's somewhat clean, leaving little residue on my fingers except for traces of cayenne pepper, and leaving tiny meat fibers on my lap as I tear the pieces apart.

There's a fair amount of fat marbilization on these pieces, but no tendon or gristle to be seen.

Snack Value

Wild Joe's sells this hot 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 has a fair value considering the higher price. If you can get this at the cheaper $1.88 price per ounce, it's great value. It's mostly the strong flavor of this jerky, it's steak-like chewing texture, and relative ease in eating that makes it work well as a snack.

For being a hot variety, it's the same thing. If you can get this at a cheaper price, it'd be a great value. I definitely got a good sense of "hot" in this jerky, along with a good deal of cayenne pepper flavor.


I'm giving this a good rating.

Overall, this has a great taste with its strong soy sauce flavor, strong cayenne pepper taste and hotness, natural meat flavors and the slight garlic notes. It also provides a great chewing texture and it's relatively easy to eat. I found it very snackable with its complexity of flavors and great meat consistency.

It's just too salty for my preference. If you're into salty jerky, then I think you'll see this as a "best" rated jerky.

Also, compared to other flavored varieties from Wild Joe's, this "hot" variety probably stands up to its advertised flavor the most. Not only does it provide a good deal of spicy hotness, but it also gives off a clear cayenne pepper taste.

I think a good beer to go with this is a creamy smooth stout to help sooth the spicy and salty burn.

Rating: Good

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