Next in the series on Mr. Steak's Beef Jerky is this Habanero variety. Read last week's review of their Original beef jerky.
Mr. Steak's Beef Jerky is a brand that just started up this year, operated by Eric and Kelly Gregg of North Las Vegas, NV. Their website only went online a few months ago.
The brand offers five flavors, this Habanero variety, along with an Original, a Jalapeno, a Garlic, and a Peppered. Apparently a teriyaki variety is in the works, along with a turkey jerky.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light habanero chile flavor while the habanero heat starts up right away. I can pick up a light saltiness with some sucking.
The chewing flavor starts with some worcestershire, but is quickly taken over by the habanero chile, and then a lightly noticeable natural meat flavor comes in. I can also detect a bit of the seasoning, particularly a burst of coriander seed where my teeth bite into one.
For being labeled "Habanero" this jerky seems to hold up well. I can taste the unique flavor of habanero chiles as well as feel a good deal of heat almost as soon as I put a piece into my mouth. On my personal hot scale, this feels "hot" (level 5 out of 5).
But the flavor I seem to notice the most throughout the chewing is the natural meat flavor. It's not a strong flavor at all, it's still light, but that's what seems to be most noticeable. It's more noticeable in the latter half of chewing once the other flavors wear off. Oddly enough, when I reviewed the company's Original flavor last week, I said that I could hardly taste the natural meat flavors. Yet in this Habanero variety, I'm getting more of that flavor.
The habanero chile flavor seems to have a dominant role in this too, but more so in the initial chewing.
The worcestershire still seems to be there as in the Original, but it's just not as easily noticeable. I only seem to pick it up in the first few chews.
This jerky also has the tangy chew as in the Original.
These strips appear to have the same volume of seasoning as the Original variety, but it's not as noticeable. I think the Habanero flavor overpowers much of the seasoning.
The level of saltiness also feels about the same, somewhere between medium and high.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this Habanero variety is an easily noticeable habanero chile flavor and a lot of heat that comes on early. But as you go through the chewing the natural meat flavor seems to come out more. You'll also find a tangy chewing, a touch of worcestershire initially, some seasoning particularly coriander seed, and a moderately high saltiness.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips of about three to four inches long, and at a medium thickness.
It's a semi-moist jerky with a semi-moist surface feel. They're flexible but bending them causes the grains crack apart. Biting a chunk off of these strips seems moderately easy, though some seem to require some gnawing and pulling. Chewing is somewhat easy.
The chewing texture starts out with a fair amount of chewing resistance, but still feeling pliable. Once the grains break apart, it seems to get easy from there. By the time it chews down to a soft mass it feels rather steak-like.
I didn't find as much streaks of fat as I did with the Original variety, but I'm guessing that's just a variance in the batches. I didn't find any gristle in this review sample, but I still found a fair amount of unchewable wads of tissue.
As for clean eating, I'm not getting much residue on my fingers except for a fine bit of seasoning. Biting off chunks tends to result in some meat fragments and coriander seed falling on my lap.
Mr. Steak's Beef Jerky sells this Habanero variety from its website at a price of $7.00 for a 4oz package. I bought one package along with another package of their Original flavor. The shipping came to $3.46, for a total cost of $17.46. That works out to $2.18 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.18 per ounce price, it seems to provide a good value. I'm getting a good deal of snackability for a good overall flavor, good meat consistency and good chewing texture. That price is slightly more than what you'd pay at the grocery store for a major brand of jerky, and yet it seems to provide better snackability.
As a Habanero beef jerky, at the same $2.18 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting plenty of habanero chile flavor along with a lot of habanero heat.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Habanero variety from Mr. Steak's Beef Jerky packs in a lot of habanero chile flavor and heat, delivering exactly what habanero jerky lovers want. But unlike with the company's Original variety, I seem to get a little more natural meat flavor in this. It's still not a lot of flavor, only light overall, but just enough noticeable to enjoy.
It seems like the marinade and the seasonings are not as strong as in the Original either, allowing me to taste more of the habanero. But that worcestershire and garlic is still noticeable. I also get the same tangy chewing quality as in the Original. There's also that occasional burst of coriander seed which seems to awaken my taste buds.
And the meat consistency and chewing texture are overall good, being somewhat easy to eat and chewing like a real piece of steak.
In general I think this Habanero variety is better than the company's Original just because it emphasizes the advertised flavor of habanero chiles and seems to let me taste a little more of the natural meat flavors. But it's still not enough natural meat flavor. Basically it's great on habanero chile flavor and heat, and then I'm left waiting for some other quality to knock me out.
My recommended beer pairing for this, stick with the porter. The darker roasted malt should go well with the marinade, but I think the smokiness of that malt will help emphasize the habanero. Try the Stone Smoked Porter or the Anchor Porter.
Buy this online: