Real Steak Jerky is a brand of RSJ Ventures, LLC based out of Naples, FL. It was launched in 2009 by a couple of golf buddies, Dennis Riedel and Blair Swiler. The company says their jerky is hand cut from USDA Choice flank steak, and made with premium ingredients like raw cane sugar, naturally brewed soy sauce, and 100% raw horseradish root.
This Chipotle Cracked Pepper is the company's only other variety, aside from the Original Recipe I reviewed last week.
Beef flank steak, soy sauce, sugar, horseradish, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, chipotle paste, black pepper, red pepper, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a sweetness and smokiness, following by a light saltiness. There's a faint bit of black pepper noticeable, and a light bit of heat building.
The chewing flavor starts with a natural meat flavor, followed by a light saucy flavor, identified mostly as a worcestershire sauce. The black pepper gains just a tad more strength, while the heat builds up a little more.
For being marketed as "Chipotle Cracked Pepper", it seems to hold up somewhat. I don't really taste the chipotle flavor that much, but I do notice a light to moderate level of heat. The black pepper is noticeable, mostly as it builds up strength eating piece after piece.
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky are much the same as they are in the company's Original Recipe, mostly the sweet & smoky flavor. The natural meat flavors are also there as well, followed by the light saucy flavor. If there's a difference, it's that the black pepper is more strong, and the spicy heat is turned up a little more.
As for that spicy heat, it seems to register on my personal heat scale as "medium" (level 3 out of 5). It's largely a combination of the chipotle paste and the black pepper.
Overall, what you're going to taste in this is pretty much the same as the company's Original Recipe, but with more black pepper, and a little more heat. I don't really taste the chipotle in this.
These are cuts of whole meat, sliced into a strips of two to five inches in length.
This is a semi-moist jerky with a semi-moist surface feel. It's considerably soft and tender, and very easy to chew.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and tender, offering no chewing resistance. It chews down quickly, and immediately feels like eating chunks of tender, roasted beef, very much feeling like real meat.
I don't see any visible streaks or spots of fat, nor any gristle or tendon. I did not encounter any stringiness or unchewable tissues. It's seems to be all meat.
In terms of clean eating, it's quite clean, leaving very little, or almost no residue on my fingers.
Real Steak Jerky sells this Chipotle Crack Pepper variety from its website at a price of $54.00 for ten 1.5oz packages. Shipping is $7.00 flat rate. That works out to $4.07 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $4.07 per ounce price, it's a fair value. I'm getting a good overall flavor with an excellent meat consistency and excellent chewing texture. That price is still double what you'd pay for major brands of jerky sold in stores, though offers a better flavor and much better meat consistency.
As a Chipotle Cracked Pepper variety, it's a weak value. I don't really taste the chipotle flavor, though I do get a moderate level of heat. However, there's a fair amount of black pepper flavor due to the generous sprinkling of cracked black pepper.
This Chipotle Cracked Pepper beef jerky from Real Steak Jerky offers a sweet & smoky flavor with a noticeable natural meat flavor, backed up by light saucy flavor and a fair amount of black pepper. I don't really taste the chipotle flavor, though I do get a moderate level of heat.
Otherwise, as with the company's Original Recipe, the real winner in this jerky is the meat consistency. It's very soft and tender, chewing easily, and feeling just like real chunks of tender steak. And it seems to be all meat, with no fat, gristle, stringiness or unchewable tissues. The tenderness of these pieces seems to create the feeling of juiciness.
If you like black peppered beef jerky, you'll want to try this variety over the Original Recipe, provided you can handle the medium level of heat. Between the company's two flavors, I tend to prefer this one because of the heat. If I could taste more of the chipotle paste ingredient, I could see myself awarding this a five-star rating.
My recommended beer pairing, go with a lighter pale ale, such as the Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer, or the Firerock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing.
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