Next in the series on Montana Jerky Co. is this Hot variety. See my review of their Original beef jerky.
Montana Jerky Co. is a brand of Vandevanter Meats, Inc. based out of Columbia Falls, MT. Vandevanter Meats also does game and livestock meat processing. The company says they use beef from young steer (not cows or bulls), explaining that it provides a more tender and pleasing jerky. They also make heavy reference to their jerky as "Grand Champion" jerky, explaining that it wins awards every year.
They make five different flavors of beef jerky, including a sixth buffalo jerky.
Beef, salt, sugar, spices, monosodium glutamate, garlic powder, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a salty flavor, followed by a light smoky flavor.
The chewing flavor starts with a stronger saltiness, some natural meat flavors, and a touch of seasoning.
Well for being labeled as a "Hot" beef jerky, it's kinda hot. The first couple of pieces I ate seemed to be almost void of any heat at all. But as I continued eating more, I'm getting a moderate level of burn. I'd rank this as medium on my personal hot scale.
I can also pick up a faint bit of chile pepper flavor.
Otherwise, this jerky tastes almost the same as the company's Original beef jerky, which is basically just a high level of saltiness. But there's also some natural meat flavors in this, enough to make it enjoyable. This jerky has some oil on the surface that adds a touch of flavor as well.
In the Original variety I reported a light black pepper flavor, but in this Hot variety it seems to be replaced by, or hidden by the light chile pepper flavor.
That light touch of seasoning I mentioned is perhaps the garlic powder and spices, but I can't really identify the garlic on its own or any other spice I haven't mentioned already.
Overall, what you're going to taste in this is a high saltiness, some natural meat flavors, a touch of chile pepper flavor, and a moderate amount of heat.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips of about four to seven inches long, about half-inch wide, and sliced thin to medium.
This is a dry jerky, but with an oily surface feel. The strips are very flexible, bending all the way around without cracking. Biting chunks off requires a bit of effort, but still isn't laborious. Chewing seems a little more easy, but still chewy.
The chewing texture starts out with a fair amount of chewing resistance. About 10 seconds of biting and chewing and it starts to break down. Another 15 seconds of chewing and it chews down to a soft mass. At that point, it feels very much like a piece of steak, perhaps cooked medium-well.
Most of the strips appear to be very lean, but I found some with a fair amount of fat. I didn't find any with gristle or tendon, but I did encounter some stringiness in biting off chunks and in chewing. No unchewable wads of tissues found.
As for clean eating, there's a fair amount of oil on my fingertips everytime I handle a piece. I have to lick my fingers and wipe them on my jeans.
Montana Jerky Co. sells this Hot beef jerky from their website at a price of $10.00 per 8oz package. If you bought two packages, the shipping comes to $9.00, if shipped to Southern California. That works out to a price of $1.81 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.81 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting an average amount of snackability for a decent overall flavor, and maybe a little bit better meat consistency. That price is actually the same as what you'd pay for major brands of jerky at grocery stores, and this jerky seems to provide a similar snackability.
As a Hot beef jerky, at the same $1.81 price per ounce, it's also a decent value. I'm getting a moderate amount of heat, as well as light bit of chile pepper flavor. It has a little bit more heat than I would get from other hot offerings from Jack Link's or Oberto.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Hot beef jerky from Montana Jerky Co. starts out tasting rather mild in the first one or two strips, and then starts building up heat to a moderate level. I was also able to get a light bit of chile pepper flavor too. Otherwise, it's rather salty, just like with the company's Original variety. There's some light natural meat flavors, and it even has a light smokiness even though there's nothing on the package indicating this was smoked.
Overall, it has a good meat consistency, chewing like a real piece of steak, though it can be rather chewy and almost rubbery.
If it wasn't so salty, it would be more enjoyable for its natural meat flavor and that touch of chile pepper. As I start eating this it seems have a lot of snackability, and then that saltiness builds up to a scorching and then I don't want to eat anymore.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with something heavier on malt, try a brown ale, like a Lost Coast Downtown Brown, or a Newcastle Brown Ale.
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