Last August and September I posted a couple reviews for Lando's Jerky, their Hickory and Garlic Pepper varieties. Recently they sent me samples of this Inferno and Sweet & Spicy.
Lando's Jerky is run by Alex Landers of Chicago, IL. He says he's been making jerky for years and started selling it to his co-workers. Since then he's set up an eBay store to sell his jerky to the public, and now has launched his own website.
All of his jerky is made fresh to order using USDA choice grade angus from his local meat market, marinates for 24 hours, and then finally slow-cooks and smokes it for 6 hours.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a meaty flavor, followed quickly by light chile pepper flavor, a touch of garlic, and some saltiness. There's a light amount of heat building, and a light touch of sweet noticeable.
The chewing flavor starts with a light bit of natural meat flavor and a slightly stronger saltiness, and more of a vinegar flavor. The chile pepper flavor and garlic seems to continue on in the same strength. The level of heat seems to increase a little.
For being labeled "Inferno" one would expect this to be extremely hot, but instead it's more like a moderate amount. There's enough heat in this to give hot food lovers a mild rush, but it's not anything that's going to satisfy a hot food lover.
Otherwise, the primary flavor of this jerky seems to be an even mixture of the natural meat flavors, the vinegar flavor, and the chile pepper flavor. The natural meat flavors are still light overall, but still quite noticeable. It has a flavor very much like a grilled, seasoned porterhouse cooked well. That vinegar flavor reminds me of Tabasco Sauce, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's what's in here. Perhaps that's where that light chile pepper flavor comes from along with the moderate level of heat.
Despite Alex saying that he slow cooks and smokes the jerky for six hours, I don't really taste any smokiness in this.
But there is a light touch of sweetness to this, mostly noticeable on the surface.
The level of saltiness in this feels to be at a medium level, though it might seem higher due to the heat.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this is a light natural meat flavor, along with a flavor similar to Tabasco Sauce, having a similar vinegary, garlicky, chile pepper flavor, and moderate level of heat.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips ranging from two to eight inches in length, and sliced medium thickness.
This is a dry jerky, but having a semi-moist surface feel. The strips have a lot of flexibility, being able to bend all the way back on themselves without cracking. Biting chunks off these strips seems easy to do, while chewing is "chewy" but overall still fairly easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff, with a fair amount chewing resistance. The first several chews are chewy, but the meat breaks down without any laborious effort. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it feels very much like a piece of steak, cooked well.
I see small bits of fat, but only on a few of the strips, other it appears very meaty. I don't see any gristle or tendon, encountered only a minimal stringiness, and no unchewable tissues.
In terms of clean eating, it seems pretty clean. Only faint traces of oil on my fingertips, but still clean enough to type on my keyboard, and very minimal fragments falling off to my lap.
Lando's Jerky sells this Inferno variety at a price of $13.95 for an 8oz package, and comes with free shipping. That works out to a price of $1.74 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.74 price per ounce, it seems to provide a good value. I'm getting a good snackability for an overall good flavor, good meat consistency and great chewing texture. Considering that price is about the same as what you'd pay for the major brands of jerky at a grocery store, I think you're getting more snackability out of this.
But for being labeled as "Inferno", at the same $1.74 price per ounce, it's a decent value. I'm getting a moderate amount of heat, which seems less than I would expect for something described as "Inferno", but yet still generates some heat and a light amount of chile pepper flavor.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Inferno variety from Lando's Jerky provides a moderate level of heat, not quite as hot as the name would suggest, but still provides an overall good flavor anchored by a combination of light natural meat flavor, and a vinegar and chile pepper flavor similar to Tasbasco Sauce, with a touch of sweet.
The meat consistency seems excellent, being mostly lean with little stringiness and presenting no unchewable tissues. It's easy to eat, handles clean, and chews like piece of steak.
If anything, that's this jerky's best quality, it's good meat consistency, good chewing texture, and being fairly easy to eat. The flavor is good, but still not out of this world. I still see it as a combination of light natural meat flavor and something along the lines of Tabasco Sauce. But I'm looking for that extra flavor dimension, maybe more of the natural wood smoke, or bursts of some kind of seasoning, maybe coriander seed, or chopped bits of garlic.
But on its own merits, this is still an above average jerky that I think most jerky snackers will enjoy, mostly for the meat. It's also priced the same as the major brands, but you'll get a much better jerky.
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