Next in the series on Tony's Killer Beef Jerky is this Sweet 'N' Hot variety. See my review of their Smokehouse Original beef jerky.
Tony's Killer Beef Jerky is a brand of Beaver Mountain Distributors of Beaver, UT. Their jerky is actually made by Springville Meat & Cold Storage in Springville, UT.
I'm not sure what stores you can find this jerky in, and it doesn't appear they have a website where you can order it online. I found this brand at a roadside jerky stand on Highway 76 just outside of Pala, CA.
Beef, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, smoke flavoring, worcestershire sauce, spices, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a smoky flavor and a fair amount of sweetness mixed in. There's a nice bit of heat that comes on quickly. I can also pick a bit of black pepper, and a light bit of saltiness.
The chewing flavor starts with a touch more saltiness, and then some natural meat flavors, with a continuation of the surface flavors.
For being labeled "Sweet 'N' Hot", I think it does a good job of living up to that. There's a noticeable sweet on the surface of these pieces that extends into the chewing, but it's not a heavy sweet, perhaps at a moderate amount. But the "hot" part is perhaps stronger, giving off a well-noticeable burn that I'd rate at "medium hot" on my personal hot scale, enough to make my scalp itch.
And in addition to that heat, I can also taste the unique flavor of red chile pepper too. And boosting the spiciness on this jerky is some black pepper that I can definitely identify.
The natural meat flavors are light, but just enough noticeable to help add some extra flavor to this jerky.
The vinegar ingredient doesn't really show up as well in this Sweet 'N' Hot variety as it did in Tony's Smokehouse Original variety I reviewed last week. But I think that's because the this jerky has so much more flavor from the other ingredients.
And the addition of the worcestershire sauce is comparable, not really noticeable on its own, but it definitely seems to add a more "saucy" flavor to the chew.
The level of saltiness in this seems moderate.
Overall, this Sweet 'N' Hot variety is brimming with flavor, with a well noticeable sweetness and smokiness on the surface, a good deal of heat, some easily recognized chile pepper flavor, black pepper, and a light bit of natural meat flavors.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small to medium sized slabs.
This is a dry jerky with a slightly sticky/oily surface feel. These slabs are flexible, bending almost all the way around with little cracking. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers is requires a more effort than it did with Tony's Smokehouse Original variety, while chewing is comparable a little more chewy and tough.
The chewing texture starts out feeling chewy and rubbery. There's a fair amount of initial chewing resistance. After several chews, it starts breaking down and in about 15 seconds it renders into a soft mass. At that point, it feels just like a chunk of steak, one cooked medium-well.
I can see some bits of fat on some pieces, but nothing significant. There's a good deal of stringiness in the chewing which is also noticeable in trying to tear these pieces apart. I'm also getting a some unchewable wads of tissue in almost every bite. I don't see any gristle or tendon on these pieces.
As for clean eating, there are some small bits of pepper that fall off on to my lap as I tear pieces apart. My fingers also pick up a faint bit of stickiness.
I bought this Sweet 'N' Hot variety from a roadside jerky stand in Pala, CA at a price of $20.00 for three packages. Each package weighs 4oz. That works out to a price of $1.67 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.67 price per ounce, it's a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability from its excellent overall flavor, though tough meat consistency and chewing texture. That price is lower than you'd pay for major brands of jerky in grocery stores, but I think it offers better snackability.
As a "Sweet 'N' Hot" beef jerky, at the same $1.67 price per ounce, it's an excellent value. There's a well noticeable sweetness to this in the chewing, and a good deal of heat, including some chile pepper and black pepper flavor.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Sweet 'N' Hot variety from Tony's Killer Beef Jerky does a good job of living up to its flavor by providing an easily noticeable sweetness on the surface and in the chewing, but also mixing in a good deal of heat as well. And it's also "spicy" with a identifiable black pepper flavor, a red chile pepper flavor, and a saucy chewing flavor from the worcestershire.
However I found this review sample somewhat tough to eat, making my jaws tired after eating half the package. It's not at all like Tony's Smokehouse Original variety I reviewed earlier, which I found easy to tear apart and chew. I'm sure it's the same meat used in all of Tony's beef jerky varieties, but nonetheless that's what I encountered here. I also found a lot of stringiness and unchewable wads of tissue.
But overall it's clearly better than the average lot of jerky out there, brimming with flavor and a high flavor complexity. In addition to being sweet and hot, it has a strong smoky flavor, and a light amount natural meat flavors, with a moderate amount of saltiness. If it were easier to tear apart and chew, I'd give it a best rating.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a russian imperial stout for a total taste bud attack, the creamy smooth body should help sooth the heat. Try the Alesmith Speedway Stout or the North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin.
Where to buy:
- Call Beaver Mountain Distributors at (435) 438-5720