Friday, May 15, 2009

Jersey Boyz Jerky - Habanero Dusted

Jersey Boyz Jerky - Habanero DustedJersey Boyz Jerky is a brand of beef jerky based out of Garfield, NJ.

They specialize in offering varieties of hot jerky. They take beef jerky, and coat it in a "dusting" of chile peppers. This one I have for review was coated in flakes of habanero chiles. They also have varieties dusted with jalapeno, scotch bonnet, serrano, chocolate habanero, thai, fatalii, and they're favorite, dorset naga.

Each package includes a flossy tooth pick.

It's the only jerky manufacturer I've seen thus far who specializes only in hot jerky. Their jerky won a scovie award at a past Fiery Foods Festival. Doug, the owner of Jersey Boyz Jerky also operates the "Peppers and More" web forum, where he has a section just for beef jerky.


Beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, potassium sorbate, sodium nitrite. Other ingredients: cider, vinegar, cayanne pepper, cajun seasoning, spanish paprika, red pepper, black pepper, fresh habanero peppers.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a strong soy sauce flavor, along with its associated saltiness, and a faint bit of worcestershire behind that soy sauce. About 15 seconds into sucking on a piece, I can barely feel a spicy tingle on my tongue. Overall, there's a good deal of surface flavor.

In the chewing, the first thing I taste is a stronger saltiness, and a more defined worcestershire flavor. I still taste the soy sauce.

For being labeled as a "Habanero Dusted" variety, I don't really taste any habanero chile pepper flavor. The word "habanero" itself always conjures up thoughts of something extremely hot, but yet after a few bites of this jerky, I don't really feel any heat. On my hot scale, I'd rate this as "mild". Those with tongues of lesser tolerance might see it as "mild-medium".

Otherwise, the primary flavor of this jerky goes to the soy sauce. There's a very strong soy saucy flavor to this, and as a result, the salt intensity is also high. I'd rate that intensity as being above my personal tolerance.

I can't really find a secondary flavor, at least nothing strong enough to be dominant. The worcestershire can be detected in the chewing flavor, but it's quite overshadowed by the soy sauce. In fact having eaten several pieces by now, the intense saltienss has blocked out that worcestershire flavor completely.

When I started chewing a piece, after several seconds of sucking the surface flavors, I could find some faint natural meat flavors. But again, the high salt intensity erases it completely away, and I left with just lots of soy sauce and saltiness.

Overall, what you're going to get out of this jerky is a lot of soy sauce flavor, a very high saltiness, and some brief worcestershire in the initial chewing. You won't taste any habanero flavor, but there will be some weak spicy heat.

Meat Consistency

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

This is a dry jerky, one that cracks open with just a little bit of bending. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems easy to do, with maybe just a bit of effort. Chewing seems slightly tough.

The chewing texture, once it's chewed down to a soft mass, feels just like eating a steak cooked medium, but maybe a bit more soft. Initially, when I put a piece into my mouth, it starts out feeling hard and brittle. I expected the brittleness to result in a crumbly texture, but after moistening up it all blends into a single piece of steak-like chew.

I don't find any visible signs of fat on these pieces, but I did find a couple of pieces with small streaks of gristle that created a bit of rubbery chew. I also found one piece that contained a good deal of stringy sinew that left behind a wad of unchewable tissue in my mouth. Overall however, these were minor in nature, and I got mostly a pure meat chew.

It's also pretty clean eating, leaving no residue on my fingers, and dropping very little meat fragments when tearing pieces apart.

Snack Value

Jersey Boyz Jerky sells each of their varieties from its website at a price $5.00 for a 2oz package. If you were to buy three packages (6oz total), and throw in $3.75 for shipping, it would come to $18.75 total. That works out to a per ounce price of $3.13.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.13 price per ounce, this jerky provides a poor value. I get only a little bit of snackability out of this, mainly because it's highly salty, and it's flavor is largely limited to just soy sauce. It has a good chewing texture, and good overall meat consistency, but that alone won't provide much value in return for the $3.13 per ounce price, which is very high compared to other jerky brands I've reviewed.

As a "Habanero Dusted" variety, at the $3.13 price per ounce, it's also a poor value. I just don't taste any chile pepper flavor, and I get very little heat out of this. For being priced at a very high $3.13 per ounce, I'm getting back very little, or almost no habanero value in return.


I'm giving this a fair rating.

This Habanero Dusted variety from Jersey Boyz Jerky provides a high flavor intensity, but I find it as just a lot of soy sauce flavor, which also results in a lot of saltiness. I'm not really picking up any other flavors, at least not significant enough to mention. For me, this is a one-dimensional flavored jerky, a very salty one at that, and doesn't beckon me to eat more.

It doesn't live up to my expectations as a "habanero dusted" jerky. I'm not tasting the unique flavor of habanero peppers, and getting very little heat as well. I'll condition that by saying that I've built up a tolerance for hot foods, however in comparing this to other brands of hot jerky, I've received a tongue burn from many others.

It's brightest point is its meat consistency, having a good chewing texture.

As a meat snack lover, I want to enjoy the natural meat flavors, but I don't really get any in this. I've awarded high ratings to other highly salted jerky, but it's because they either still offered a great meat flavor, or an excellent blend of seasonings. This didn't offer me either.

My recommended beer pairing for this, try a lightly flavored cream ale, or kolsch.

Rating: Fair

Buy this online:


  1. me and my couzn bought this jerky i half to say it was not enjoeable at al his lip swelled up from al the salt didint like it and to much whishtisire flaver.

  2. This "jerky" doesn't belong on a site called Best beef jerky. I agree with the person above, this was like licking a block of salt. I would give this jerky a Dog Treat rating but I wouldn't want to put my dog through the pain of eating it.

  3. I enjoy Jersey Boyz Jerky from time to time. I never really notice the soy sauce being as dominant as the review states and thought it has decent flavor. I do have a problem with the price for what you get and time it takes to get to you after you've ordered it.