Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wayne's Jerky - Extra Hot

wayne's jerkyLast in this series on Wayne's Jerky is their "Extra Hot" variety. Read my reviews of their other flavors.

Wayne's Jerky is a brand of Wayne's Jerky, LLC based out of Sobieski, WI. The company has been in business since 2006, available in stores throughout north-east Wisconsin.

All of their jerky all of their jerky comes in the form of "bites", bite-sized pieces, and in a chopped and formed product. Only recently did the company get a website going with online purchasing. The company claims all their jerky is "made fresh to order".


Beef, dextrose, salt, spices, sugar, butter flavoring, natural hickory smoke flavor, onion, garlic, monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed soy protein, celery seed, caramel color, onion powder, garlic powder, cilantro, sodium nitrite.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light saltiness, which progresses into a garlic & onion seasoning. I can pick up a wee bit of sweet, and then a light bit of heat starts to build.

The chewing flavor starts with an increased saltiness and more definition from the garlic & onion seasoning. I also get a fair amount of meat flavor, and a much stronger dose of heat.

For being labeled as "Extra Hot", this jerky is in fact more hot than Wayne's "Hot" variety, and in that regards it does hold up to such a description. On my personal hot scale I'd rank this at medium-hot (level 4 out of 5).

But in comparison with other jerky brands that make claims of being hotter than hot, this isn't really that hot. The words "extra hot" implies that I'm going to get a scalding that I'll regret. Perhaps if I wasn't used to eating hot foods, I might get one. But I think the only people who would buy something labeled "Extra Hot" are folks who've built up a love for the burn, and I don't think they'll see this as being that hot.

But does being more hot also mean that it has more flavor? In comparing this to Wayne's Mild, Medium and Hot varieties, it doesn't seem so. I'm not tasting any more flavor, or any different flavor, just more burn on the tongue. If anything, the higher degree of heat may make the saltiness feel more salty, or it might obscure some of the finer touches of flavorings, but overall it still tastes like Wayne's other jerky varieties, with the exception of their Teriyaki.

Otherwise the flavor that seems to define this Extra Hot variety is a garlic & onion seasoning with a good deal of saltiness. There's a noticeable meat flavor in there too, resembling more like cured meat, similar to a beef stick or summer sausage.

There's also that same buttery characteristic mixed into the meat flavor that seems to give it a more savory quality.

Meat Consistency

This is a chopped & formed jerky, cut up into small, thin, bite sized pieces. These pieces are small enough that I find myself eating two or three at a time.

The pieces are mostly stiff, with just a bit of flexibility. It seems best described as a dry jerky, but with a semi-moist feel, or perhaps a light oily feel. Overall, ease of chewing seems moderate, requiring some effort if you're going through two to three pieces at a time like I'm doing.

The chewing texture feels quite typical of a chopped & formed jerky, starting out with a fair amount of rubbery chewing resistance, and then chewing down to a crumbly feel. I can pick up some sense of this being meat, but largely it feels rubbery and crumbly.

But as a chopped & formed jerky, it seems void of any hard bits of material and I didn't see any chunks of gristle or cartilage. It seems to be mostly all meat, except for visible bits of seasoning mixed in.

As for clean eating, there's only a thin oily-sticky film on my fingertips, but still dry enough to type on my keyboard without licking or wiping. It's nowhere near as oily as other chopped & formed jerky brands.

extra hot beef jerky

chopped and formed beef jerky
Snack Value

Wayne's Jerky sells this Extra Hot variety from its website at a price of $6.95 for a 4oz package. According to their website, if you bought four packages the shipping comes out to $10.70 for a total of $38.50. That works out to $2.41 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.41 per ounce price, it seems to provide a fair value. I'm getting a good snackability for its overall great flavor, though with a rubbery/crumbly chewing texture. That price is considerably higher than what you'd pay for major brands of jerky in grocery stores, but I think you only get a little bit better snackability.

As an Extra Hot beef jerky, at the same $2.41 price per ounce, it's a fair value. I'm getting a well noticeable heat from this, but not an intense degree of heat as the name might suggest. If anything, it's just more hot than Wayne's other varieties.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Extra Hot variety from Wayne's Jerky dishes a higher level of heat than the company's other flavors for those folks who need more. Overall, it seems to be the same flavor as their Mild, Medium, and Hot varieties, just a different level of heat. I wondered if by adding more heat it would change the flavor any, but it didn't seem to.

Still, it's a flavorful jerky with a garlic & onion seasoning and a buttery meat flavor that creates a very savory and snackable flavor, with a high level of saltiness.

In today's meat-snacking world where whole muscle jerky is the now standard, Wayne's Jerky seems to have raised the bar on the chopped & formed variety by offering a "made fresh to order" product that packs a lot of flavor and doesn't have any of the greasy, gristly, tendon-laden bits that competing products have.

Rating: Good

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