Next in the series on Smoky Mountain Beef Jerky is this "Fire on the Mountain" variety. See my previous of their Original.
Smoky Mountain Beef Jerky is a brand of Magnolia Jerky, LLC, based out of Knoxville, TN. Magnolia Jerky, LLC is a subsidiary of Magnolia Provisions Company, Inc., based at the same address. Magnolia Provisions is a meat processor offering steaks, chops, burger, etc. The Smoky Mountain Brand originally started out as "Jay's Jerky", by a guy named Jay Thomas. Thomas ultimately approached Magnolia Provision to manufacture his jerky. Since then, the brand switched names to Smoky Mountain.
This Fire on the Mountain variety is described by the company as being made with their five-alarm blend of Habanero, Red Pepper, and Spices, and says it's not for timid tastebuds.
Beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, pepper, spices, red habanero, hot pepper extract, red chiles, tomato paste, salt, onions, cane vinegar, acetic acid, garlic, vegetable oil, xanathan gum, citric acid.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a chile pepper flavor, and a firey burn building up. I can pick up some saltiness, a garlic flavor, and a tangy flavor.
The chewing texture is largely a continuation of the above, but with some natural meat flavors, and some of the worcestershire sauce.
For being dubbed "Fire on the Mountain", this jerky certainly does provide a good deal of heat. But not only that, a good deal of chile pepper flavor too, giving me the best of both worlds. On my hot scale, I'd rate the burn at medium-hot. For those folks not accustomed to eating hot foods, this is hot.
There's a tangy flavor to this, which I believe comes from the cane vinegar and tomato paste. It actually mimics the flavor of hot sauce, when combined with the chile peppers.
There's also a well-noticed garlic flavor. Just like I noted in my review of Smoky Mountain's Original variety, this jerky is covered in tiny bits of roasted garlic, and gives off a nice garlicky taste.
The natural meat flavors are also noticeable to a light degree. I don't notice it much when I chew a piece immediately after putting it into my mouth, rather it's more noticeable sucking on a piece for 15-20 seconds, and then chewing.
I also mentioned tasting the worcestershire sauce. Actually, I think it's tastes more like a combination of the soy sauce and worcestershire. It too is a light flavor, noticeable only in the chewing, and only when sucking a piece first for 15-20 seconds, and then chewing.
The salt intensity seems moderate in this, though the nutrition facts label shows a higher sodium content. It actually feels like a higher intensity, but that's largely the chile pepper burn exacerbating the saltiness.
Overall, this jerky is largely dominated by the chile pepper flavor and burn, with that tangy combination of vinegar and tomato paste. The garlic flavor is well-noticed, but still sits behind the others. Finally, the natural meat flavors along with the soy sauce/worcestershire combo sit behind all that, but still just noticeable.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in medium sized pieces.
This is a dry jerky, with a semi-moist feel. These pieces don't seem to have much flexibility as they crack open easily with little bending. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems easy to do, while chewing seems somewhat easy.
The chewing texture starts out with a dry woody feel, but is still soft enough that it chews down to a soft mass fairly easily and quickly. Once down to a soft mass, it takes on a steak-like chewing texture, comparable to a medium-well cooked steak.
These pieces appear to have some fat marbilization, enough so that it contributes a little bit of that marbleized flavor. I also see some pieces with significant streaks of fat. And in the chewing, I found most pieces having some unchewable wads of tissue, and/or stringy sinews.
Handling these pieces also is a little messy, with my fingers picking up a good deal of chile pepper spices. Make sure not to rub your eyes after eating this. I also see some seasoning on my lap.
Magnolia Provisions sells this jerky from its website at a price of $5.75 for a 4oz package. There's no bulk discounts on their jerky, however if you purchase $100.00 or more, they give you free shipping. Otherwise, it's a flat rate shipping fee of $8.99. So, if you buy four packages of this stuff, the total will come to $31.99. That's a per ounce price of $2.00.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.00 price per ounce, this seems to provide a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for its great flavor, a somewhat easy chew, and a steak-like texture. Even though the $2.00 price per ounce is higher than the mass-market brands found in grocery stores, I think you'll be quite satisfied by how much snackability you get out of this.
As a hot jerky, at the same $2.00 price per ounce, it's also a good value. I'm getting a quite a bit of heat eating this stuff, along with a good deal of a chile pepper flavors. Even the addition of vinegar and tomato paste, gives this that hot sauce flavor. That $2.00 price per ounce is actually a good deal considering the great deal of "hot" experience I'm getting out of this.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This "Fire on the Mountain" variety from Smoky Mountain Beef Jerky really impressed me with this great flavor. It's giving me the flavor of chile peppers, in addition to a good deal of burn. I really like that addition of vinegar and tomato paste; it creates that hot sauce flavor when combined with the chile peppers.
And then there's that garlic, which is a roasted garlic flavor, coming from actual bits of garlic stuck to the surface, and not just garlic powder. Lastly, I can still taste a light bit of natural meat flavors, and a light bit of soy sauce & worcestershire. It's very flavorful.
The meat consistency is somewhat easy to eat, and provides a steak-like chewing texture. But like with the company's Original variety, I'm finding a few pieces with significant streaks of gristle, as well as quite a bit of unchewable wads of tissue, and stringy sinews.
But, I'm sticking to the "best" rating because I really like the flavor of this.
My recommended beer pairing for this, I'd go with a cherry flavored lambic.
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