Monday, November 5, 2012

Slim Jim Dare Beef Jerky

slim jim dare beef jerky
Slim Jim's "Dare" line of meat snacks was launched in June 2011, designed to fulfill a growing demographic of male snackers tired of eating bland food in a world becoming increasingly conscious of health, food allergies, and weight gain. With flavors like "Kinda Hot Chili Pepper", "Freakin' Hot Jalapeno", and "Really Freakin' Hot Habanero", and emblazoned with colorful, eye-catching graphics, it's part of a new marketing campaign called, "Male Spice Loss", positioning Slim Jim our last hope against a trend of palate-pansies.

I only wanted to find out exactly how hot these three bold flavors names are in comparison with gourmet brands like Ed's Roadhouse, The Jerky Connection, and others, and not really intending to do my usual detailed review.

For those of you who've followed us over the past four years, you'll recall my previous review of Slim Jim's Jalapeno Jerky I did in April 2008.


Kinda Hot Chili Pepper: Beef, water, corn syrup, contains less than 2% of salt, flavorings, maltodextrin, sugar, hydrolyzed soy protein, extractives of paprika, soy lecithin, sodium nitrite, natural hickory smoke flavor.

Freakin' Hot Jalapeno: Beef, water, corn syrup, contains less than 2% of salt, flavorings, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed soy protein, extractives of paprika, jalapeno pepper powder, soy lecithin, sodium nitrite, natural hickory smoke flavor.

Really Freakin' Hot Habanero: Beef, water, corn syrup, contains less than 2% of salt, maltodextrin, flavorings, hydrolyzed soy protein, extractives of paprika, habanero chili pepper, soy lecithin, sodium nitrite, natural hickory smoke flavor.


Kinda Hot Chili Pepper: There's not much flavor off the surface of these pieces other than a faint smokiness and light saltiness. Moving into the chewing, I get a little bit more saltiness, a faint sweetness, and hints of natural meat flavor. I also get a light bit of a strange, soapy flavor.

The chili pepper flavor is non-existent. There's a little bit of heat in the back of my mouth, but nothing on my tongue. I'd rate this as mild-medium on my personal heat scale (level 2 out of 5).

Freakin' Hot Jalapeno: There's a faint jalapeno flavor on the surface of these pieces, and a little bit more burn, otherwise, it's a very comparable flavor to the Kinda Hot Chili Pepper. Moving into the chewing, it's pretty much the same, just a little bit increased saltiness, hints of natural meat flavor, and a faint sweetness.

The burn does indeed seem stepped-up from the Kinda Hot Chili Pepper. I'd rate this as medium on my personal heat scale (level 3 out of 5). The touch of jalapeno flavor is nice.

Really Freakin' Hot Habanero: Very similiar initial flavor as with the Kinda Hot Chili Pepper, but without the light soapy flavor. There's a slightly more stepped up heat from the Jalapeno variety, but not necessarily any noticeable habanero flavor. This has largely the same flavor as the Kinda Hot Chili Pepper, but just more heat.

On my personal heat scale, I'd rate this as medium-hot (level 4 out of 5), and it seems to produce a fair amount of sweat beading on my scalp.

Overall, all three flavors tend to have low amounts of flavor, still very comparable to Slim Jim's Jalapeno variety I reviewed four years ago. Only the Freakin' Hot Jalapeno and Really Freakin' Hot Habanero have decent levels of burn, though still rather weak on flavor.

Meat Consistency

Compared to the original Slim Jim Jalapeno jerky I reviewed four years ago, this is a little more moist, a little more tender and easier to chew. It seems more geared to appeal to general audiences than what I found with the original Slim Jim jerky.

The chewing texture feels stiff and slightly rubbery at first, but chews down into a more meaty texture, and once chewed down to a soft mass, has a meaty feel but not exactly steak-like. It tends to retain that chewy, jerky feel.

This jerky appears to be very lean, with no signs of fat, tendon, or gristle. I encounter very little stringiness, and no unchewable tissues.

It's also very clean handling, leaving no residue on my fingers, perfect for video gaming.

Really Freakin' Hot Habanero beef jerky

Snack Value

I bought these packages of Slim Jim Dare at a Target Store in San Diego, paying $3.99 each, with each package at 2.9oz. There was no sales tax. That works out to a price of $1.38 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.38 per ounce price, it's a decent value. That's a low price compared to other major brands of jerky, yet it offers a comparable flavor and meat consistency. Compared to gourmet brands, this won't offer much flavor or chewing, just low price.

As a line of spicy and/or hot beef jerky, also at the $1.38 per ounce price, it's a good value, but only because of the low price. Only the Freakin' Hot Jalapeno and Really Freakin' Hot Habanero offer any decent level of heat, however you won't get much spicy flavor.


I'm giving this an average rating.

These three varieties from the Slim Jim Dare line seem to provide enough snackability through a basic flavor with soft, tender chewing. At first I didn't feel there was enough flavor to warrant a 3-star rating, however, I still found myself interested in eating more, which is my criteria for a 3-star rated jerky.

The Kinda Hot Chili Pepper, the mildest of the three varieties, didn't seem to create any interest for me, considering it has little flavor and no heat. The Freakin' Hot Jalapeno has a little bit of jalapeno flavor, and medium level of heat, while the Really Freakin' Hot Habanero offers no habanero flavor but a good dose of burn.

I have to be somewhat impressed that there's decent levels of heat in the latter two flavors from a national brand. You usually don't get this much burn from a brand that tries to target as many people as possible. On the other hand, the low levels of flavor still put this into the category of "yawn".

Rating: Average

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1 comment:

  1. Steve,

    We would like to Thank You for mentioning
    Ed's RoadHousE Jerky as a Top Gourmet Product. We take take pride in all our Beef Jerky products. This is what makes ours stand out above the rest.
    Nothing But Premium Ingredient's, always have and always will!

    Ed & Mary Herman

    Ed's RoadHousE Jerky,Inc.
    " Nobody Beats My Meat "