Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Walgreens Beef Jerky - Chile Limon

Walgreens Beef Jerky - Chile Limon"Steakhouse" is the store brand of jerky at Walgreens Drug Stores. I saw this particular variety of Chile Limon while perusing the meat snacks section at my local Walgreens the other day, and was intrigued.

First, the package is stamped "Limited Edition"; I don't know for how long Walgreens has been offering this Chile Limon variety.

Second, the meat consistency appears to be whole muscle instead of the chopped & formed that they use in their other varieties. I had previously reviewed Walgreens' Teriyaki and Black Peppered varieties, which both received "dog treats" ratings from me. But because this appears to be a whole-muscle jerky, I wondered if this stuff might be any better.

Mirab USA is the company that actually made this jerky, the same private labeler that made Walgreens' chopped & formed jerkies. When I pulled this package off the shelf, I noticed that Walgreens' teriyaki, black peppered, and original varieties are still chopped & formed. I thought it was interesting that this limited edition Chile Limon uses a different meat consistency.


Beef, water, brown sugar, salt, maltodextrin, red pepper, black pepper powder, citric acid, paprika, lime juice solids, monosodium glutamate, garlic powder, chile jalapeno flavor, sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.


The tastes I pick up from the surface of these pieces includes a moderate level sweetness, some chile pepper flavor, a slight lime flavor, some saltiness, and a slight spicy burn tingling in the back of my mouth. In the chewing, I taste a bit more saltiness, and a slight smoky flavor.

My initial thoughts as I continue to sample more pieces is that there seems to be more surface flavor than chewing flavor. If you start chewing these pieces immediately upon putting them into your mouth, the surface flavors are there throughout the chewing. But if you suck on each piece first, and then chew, you won't find much chewing flavor.

For being advertised as a "chile limon" variety, I do indeed pick up a chile pepper taste, though not a strong one. It's probably a moderate level taste. The spicy burn from the chile pepper is also noticeable, but one that I'd rate on my hot scale as a medium. It's probably more like medium-hot to those who don't tolerate spicy foods. Some pieces are more spicy than others. And I also do pick up a weaker, but still noticeable, lime flavor. I'd say it does it's job living up to its advertised flavor.

For a moment I thought I may have detected some natural meat flavors, but after focusing in on that notion, I lost the taste. And after haven eaten several pieces, I haven't really found any that gave off a natural meat flavor, even to a slight amount. I think you might find the smoky mesquite flavor in there, but don't confuse that for being a meat flavor.

There's also a strange, but still very light, aftertaste that I can't quite describe.

The level of saltiness in this is moderate.

Overall, the flavor that dominates this jerky is the chile pepper flavor with its chile pepper taste and burn together. The second-strongest flavor probably goes to the sweetness, while the saltiness takes third. The lime flavor, while noticeable, doesn't really have any kind of dominant presence, it's just there to help color the overall flavor.

Meat Consistency

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

It's largely a "soft and tender" style of jerky, with a slight bit of moisture noticeable in the touch. It's very easy to tear apart, and easy to chew.

The chewing texture has a definite mushiness to it, and not really all that steak-like. While a few pieces seemed to have a more fibrous character to it, even they were still noticeably mushy.

While these pieces didn't really leave any residue on my fingers, they seem to crumble apart fairly easily. Looking at my lap, I don't see any meat fragments however, but I found a couple of chile pepper seeds landing on my desk as I tore some pieces apart. There's also a lot crumbled pieces in the bottom of the bag.

A few pieces had some visible bits of fat, but overall it seems fairly lean. I did find some pieces to contain something chewy in the way of connective tissue, but I didn't necessarily see it, only felt it. I can't really tell you what it was.

Snack Value

I paid $2.99 for this 3 ounce bag at a Walgreens store in Menifee, CA. That works out to a price of $1.00 per ounce, putting this on the border between cheap and average. Walgreens will also discount this to $0.83 per ounce if you buy two packages.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at this price, it's a good value. I do pick up some good snackability in this with its good flavor intensity, moderate flavor complexity, and easy-to-eat consistency. The combination of chile peppers, sugar, salt, and lime flavors actually makes this taste good.

As a chile limon variety, it's a great value, because at this low of a price you're getting some good chile lime flavor. It's more weighted towards the chile pepper than the lime, but you'll still taste the lime. If that's the flavor combination you love in a meat snack, you'll get it here.


I'm giving this an average rating.

Even though I said I like the flavor of this jerky, I still had to ask myself if this is an above-average jerky compared to all the beef jerkies I've reviewed, and I kept coming back to "no". It's basically very snackable, and it does live up to its advertised flavor, but then again that's the basic standard I would expect any jerky to be.

In terms of going beyond that, I couldn't find anything. While it is easy to eat, which itself is a positive, I found the chewing texture to be largely mushy, and that cancels each other out.

And I couldn't really find any natural meat flavors either.

On the other hand, Walgreens is positioning this jerky on its low price. It's other jerky varieties really missed the mark on taste and consistency, but this Chile Limon variety is actually decent.

My recommended beer variety with this jerky is a hefeweizen or wheat beer.

Rating: Average

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  1. I just tried some of this jerky the other day and was pleasantly surprised. I actually thought it was quite good!

  2. I tried this & it didn't taste very good to me. I tasted the spices & a little bit of the Limon but it lacked flavor. Also, it was hard to chew.Overall I just didn't like it and I will not buy it again.

  3. I loved it!!! I hope this is still being made would highly recommend it and buy it again.

  4. I've tried this not to much flavor and tasted a little sour? Really didn't care for it much!