Next in the series on Jerk My Beef is this Peppered Beef Jerky. See my previous review of their Original Beef Jerky.
Jerk My Beef is a brand of JMB Jerky, Inc. based in Austin, TX. It's owned and operated by Shaun P Kerns who's been making jerky for five years. The company has been selling it's jerky locally for the past couple years, but just this year launched a website to begin selling globally.
Based on the company's literature, the story behind Jerk My Beef seems like many others, where Shaun grew tired of all the other jerky brands tasting like shoe leather, and so set out to make his own.
Beef, sugar, water, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, salt, paprika, smoke flavoring, citric acid.
The first I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light sweetness with a trace of smokiness mixed in. With some sucking, I can get a faint saltiness, and I can pick up faint traces of pepper. Overall, a light surface flavor.
The chewing flavor starts with a bit more sweetness, and a bit more saltiness. The black pepper just starts to increase, but just a bit.
As for this jerky being advertised as "Peppered", it doesn't really have much black pepper flavor, not enough to warrant the labeling in my opinion. I can get some flavor, but in comparison to all the other peppered jerky brands I've had, the pepper flavor is light. There's a fair amount of black pepper bits to be seen on these pieces, and just by looking at them you might think you'll get a lot of peppery flavor, but looks can be deceiving.
It's only until you get towards the bottom of the bag, with the smaller pieces and bits that you find more pepper and more peppery flavor.
Otherwise, the flavor that seems to dominate this jerky is the sweetness. It's not heavily sweet, it's perhaps at a moderate level. Just like with Jerk My Beef's Original variety, the sweetness dissipates half-way into chewing, and allows the saltiness to show through better.
As for saltiness, it's tastes light, despite the nutrition facts label showing a higher sodium content.
The natural meat flavors are non-existent. However this review sample has a fair amount of fat on the pieces, and some of this fat has a "beefy" flavor, while others have a more spoiled flavor. It seems like the larger the fat, the more spoiled it tastes.
Overall, this is a light tasting jerky, offering a moderate sweetness, a light smokiness, light saltiness, and faint touches of black pepper.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced slab-style and sliced thin, in small to medium sized pieces.
It's a dry jerky, with a dry but slightly oily surface feel. The pieces have a lot of flexibility, and mimic something like soft plastic. Tearing pieces apart seems easy to do, while chewing seems "chewy", but overall easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and pliable, maybe just a bit waxy. They seem to chew down to a soft mass easily and quickly enough. At that point, it doesn't really feel like real meat, it's like chewing soft, thin sheets of rubber that break down into little bits, but never resembling anything steak-like.
As I reported above, some of the pieces have a fair amount of fat streaks on them. I didn't notice any gristle or tendon on this review sample. I didn't find anything stringy.
In terms of clean eating, my fingertips have a slight bix of oily/waxy film, but still dry enough to where I can type on my keyboard. Tearing pieces apart seems to drop some tiny meat fragments of beef and pepper on my lap.
Jerk My Beef sells this Peppered beef jerky from its website at a price of $6.00 for a 3.5oz package. If you bought eight packages they'd tack on shipping fees of $14.99, for a total price of $62.99. That works out to a price of $2.25 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.25 per ounce price, it seems to provide a fair value. I'm getting just enough snackability to keep me eating, but the flavor and meat consistency doesn't really inspire me. And that $2.25 price per ounce is a little higher than what you'd pay for national brands at the grocery store, yet I think you're getting the same quality.
As a Peppered beef jerky, at the same $2.25 price per ounce, it's a weak value. I'm not really getting enough peppery flavor. I can actually get more black pepper flavor from a Jack Link's or Oberto jerky, and considering this costs a little more than those brands, it's tough to justify.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Peppered Beef Jerky from Jerk My Beef just doesn't provide enough black pepper flavor to warrant the "Peppered" labeling on the package in my humble opinion. Though, it's technically the same jerky as the company's Original variety, which I gave a three-star rating to. It still seems to generate just enough snackability to keep me eating more, but it's not an inspiring flavor.
The smaller bits and pieces at the bottom of the bag actually end up with more peppery flavor perhaps because my fingers tend up pick up the loose pepper bits as I grab these pieces. But the larger pieces that I eat first just don't have much pepper flavor.
Overall, the jerky is much like the company's Original variety, which is still light in flavor, with no natural meat flavors. While this jerky is easy to eat and chew, the chewing texture is subpar, feeling more waxy and crumbly than like real meat.
For my recommended beer pairing, I'd just stick with an IPA as I recommended with Jerk My Beef's Original variety. Any brand of your favorite IPA ought to work well.
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