Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dad's Jerky - Ring of Fire

Dad's Jerky - Ring of FireContinuing on with the series on Dad's Jerky is this "Ring of Fire" variety of beef jerky. See my previous reviews of their Teriyaki, Original Steak, and Hot Turkey.

Dad's Jerky is a brand of Dad's Jerky, LLC, based out of Lake Isabella, CA. Several of their varieties are actually made by TM Jerky & Processing based out of Monrovia, CA, and this "Ring of Fire" variety is such.

If you recall, I had published a review for Papa Dan's - Ring of Fire, and as it turns out, that's exactly the same as this Ring of Fire from Dad's Jerky. Both were made by TM Jerky & Processing. So, I expect the exact same review, though certain factors like age, and differences from one batch to another, may cause subtle changes.

But it's not, however, the same as "Ring of Fire - Beef Jerky" from Mike & Diane's Gourmet Kitchen, Inc.


Beef steak, water, seasonings (salt, sugar, brown sugar, maple sugar, sodium nitrite), spices, teriyaki sauce, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, monosodium glutamate, salt.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a strong chile pepper flavor, followed quickly by a strong chile pepper burn. I get some saltiness from the surface also, and a tad bit of sweet. In the chewing, what I taste first is a stronger saltiness, a slight bit of meat flavor, and more chile pepper flavor and burn.

Right away, this jerky is very hot. On my hot scale, I'd rate it as "very hot". Immediately, sweat is percolating through my skin, my eyes are watering, and my rose is running. After the first bite, the burn has intensified, and I find myself inhaling lots of air to help sooth the feeling. About two minutes after swallowing that first bite, I can run my hand through my hair and it already feels wet. Hot, hot, hot!

Even before taking my first bite, the chile pepper smell coming off this jerky is so intense that my scalp was getting itchy just from that alone.

The overall flavor of this jerky, however, is not necessarily the chile pepper flavor. Just like I said with the Papa Dan's brand, there's an equal amount of salt flavor. And I'd have to say it again, that the primary flavor of this Dad's Jerky version is a combination of salt and chile pepper flavor.

And as for that salt intensity, I'd rate it around moderate.

There is indeeed some natural meat flavors in this, enough so that I could enjoy its taste, but not quite strong enough to be a dominant flavor.

I don't really pick up the teriyaki sauce or worcestershire sauce mentioned in the ingredients.

Overall, what you're going to get out of this jerky is a salty, and chile pepper flavor, with a lighter meat flavor. Then, you'll get tons of chile pepper heat, and a scalded tongue. Keep a plenty of water on hand.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be strips of whole meat, sliced thick, and in lengths of 1 to 3 inches.

It's a dry jerky, but despite it's thickness, it seems to bite off somewhat easily. You'll need to bite down and twist to chew a piece off. Chewing a piece seems somewhat easy.

The chewing texture seems very much like eating a piece of steak. I mean, once chewed down to a soft mass, it feels pretty much like a eating a piece of steak cooked medium-well. Initially, it's not really that hard, it's has a soft bite, and seems to chew down in about 15 seconds. Considering how darn hot this stuff is, you might find yourself chewing and swallowing quickly.

The pieces seems pretty lean in that I don't any visible signs of fat, and I found no tendon or gristle. However, these pieces are chock filled with chewy sinews. Every bite I took resulted in some strings that remained in my mouth as unchewable wads of tissue.

In terms of clean eating, my fingers tend to pick up chile pepper flakes, and some chile pepper powder. Biting off a piece will also drop some flakes.

Snack Value

I purchased this Ring of Fire variety from Dad's Jerky as part of their "Four Pack Special", where I got four varieties of their jerky, each in a 3.75oz bag, for $24.99. Add to that shipping fees of $6.93, that comes out to $31.92 for 15oz total, or what amounts to $2.13 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.13 price per ounce, it's a decent value. The pricing on this is still expensive compared to most jerky brands, but I am getting a good deal of snackability for its strong chile pepper flavor, light meat flavors, and relatively easy eating. But that snackability is compromised because it's so hot, I can't eat this straight through. I have to break in between bites.

As a hot jerky, also at the $2.13 price per ounce, it's a good value. If hot jerky is what you want, hot jerky is what you'll get. The pricing may still be high compared to most jerky brands, but you're going to get SO much heat out of this, you'll get a good deal of return for your buck.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Ring of Fire variety from Dad's Jerky provides a strong chile pepper flavor, perhaps the strongest of all jerky containing chile pepper, and on top of that, the most hottest jerky I've ever had. I was able to get some natural meat flavor, just enough to enjoy, but not quite enough to make it a primary flavor. It's also fairly easy to eat.

But because it's so hot, it's difficult to snack on this, and that's perhaps the biggest reason why I can't assign a "best" rating. I mean, this jerky does have some good snackability to it in that I want to taste that chile pepper flavor and light meat flavor, but I can't do it because the burn becomes so intense that I'm forced to take a 15 minute break in between bites.

But if you have the tolerance for something this hot, I think you'll really love this Ring of Fire variety with it's strong chile pepper flavor.

I'd recommend a sweet, creamy stout to go with this.

Rating: Good

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