Monday, February 8, 2010

Samak Smoke House - Spicy Chipotle Beef Jerky

samak smoke house jerkyNext in the series on Samak Smoke House is this Spicy Chipotle Beef Jerky. See my previous review of their All Natural Beef Jerky.

Samak Smoke House is a smoke house and country store located in Kamas, UT. It's a mom & pop business run by an actual mom and pop, Jen Hisey and David Witham. The couple makes jerky in their own USDA inspected facility, smoking them over cherry wood chips. They also smoke salmon, trout, buffalo, and deer.

Samak Smoke House offers two lines of jerky, this black package, which is their "all natural" line, and a tan package, which is their regular jerky.


Natural beef, water, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, pepper.

Note that the ingredients list is the same as their "All Natural Beef Jerky" I reviewed earlier, and doesn't mention anything about chipotle seasoning. They use the same package as the All Natural Beef Jerky, and put a "Spicy Chipotle" sticker on the bag.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light smoky flavor, and a faint pepper flavor, and a spicy tingle in the back of my mouth. There's also a natural meat flavor too.

The chewing flavor starts with an increased natural meat flavor, with a bit more smokiness. I can pick up light tangy flavor inside the meat. The spicy tingle increases to light burn.

As for being a "Spicy Chipotle" variety of beef jerky, this fits the bill for being "spicy", providing a light bit of heat. But it's difficult for me to identify the unique flavor of chipotle. In the photos below, you can see one piece that is covered in orange-colored seasoning, and in that piece specifically I can get a some sense of chipotle flavor. But overall, it's the spicy burn I pick up more than the taste chipotle itself.

Otherwise, the flavor that comes through in this jerky more than anything else is the natural meat flavor. Just as I reported in Samak's All Natural Beef Jerky, this has a flavor comparable to a grilled steak with a light bit of marinade. In fact, the marinade in this provides a light bit of tanginess.

As for being smoked over real cherry wood, I do pick up a light smokiness but just enough to be noticed, and not quite enough to enjoy on its own.

The teriyaki sauce and worcestershire listed in the ingredients is not well-identified, but is what perhaps provides that light tanginess inside the meat.

The amount of saltiness in this seems moderate.

Overall, what you're going to notice in this jerky is a well-noticed natural meat flavor, comparable to that of a lightly marinated grilled steak. You'll get a decent amount of chipotle heat, but very little chipotle flavor.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced thick into strips, and in small to medium sized pieces.

This is a dry jerky, but having a semi-moist feel on the surface due to a light bit of oiliness. The pieces have a fair amount of flexibility, but not rubbery by any means. Biting off a chunk seems easy to do, and chewing seems moderately easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling soft, and just a little bit chewy. But it quickly chews down to soft mass. And at that point, it feels like a real piece of steak, comparable to one cooked medium-well.

Most of these pieces appear to be very lean, but I found one with a significant streak of fat. While I don't see any gristle or tendon, these pieces leave my mouth with a fair amount of unchewable tissues, and I can feel a fair amount of stringiness.

As for clean eating, these pieces leave a fine film of oil residue on my fingers, with some chipotle seasoning mixed in. A little finger rubbing, or wiping on my jeans is needed before touching my keyboard.

chipotle beef jerky

chipotle beef jerky
Snack Value

Samak Smoke House sells this Spicy Chipotle variety of beef jerky from its website at a price of $7.00 per 2.5oz package. I bought six packages in all, a mixture of several varieties. When you add the $11.55 shipping fee, the total comes to $53.55. That works out to a price of $3.57 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.57 price per ounce, it's a weak value. I do get a lot of snackability for its good overall flavor, and great meat consistency and texture, but that price is pretty high compared to other gourmet jerky brands, and yet I've found others offering the same goodness at cheaper prices.

As a Spicy Chipotle beef jerky, at the same $3.57 price per ounce, it's also a weak value. I'm just not getting much chipotle flavor from this, though I do get a decent amount of chipotle heat. If I'm a chipotle fanatic, paying this high of a price for jerky, I'd feel disappointed.


beef jerky nutritionI'm giving this a good rating.

This Spicy Chipotle Beef Jerky from Samak Smoke House doesn't really provide much chipotle flavor, though it does give off a decent amount of chipotle heat. Even in the pieces smothered with seasoning, it's hard to pick up much of that unique flavor. Samak's website says this chipotle jerky provides a kick, and that's about right, but it's just a kick without the chipotle flavor to back it up.

Otherwise, it still provides the same natural meat flavor I reported in the company's All Natural Beef Jerky, tasting like a grilled steak, lightly smoky, with a light bit of tangy marinade. It has a great meat consistency, still a little chewy like you'd expect jerky to be, and chewing like a real piece of steak.

After giving their All Natural Beef Jerky a four-star rating, I had hoped this Spicy Chipotle variety would add enough punch to push it up to a five-star rating. But I just didn't taste much chipotle flavor. Ultimately, it still tasted similar to the All Natural Beef Jerky, but with some extra heat is all.

As for my recommened beer pairing, I'd still go with an imperial stout.

Rating: Good

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