Mike's Jerky is based out of Albuquerque, NM, owned and operated by Mike Grier. It's a New Mexico Style of jerky where its sliced thin, dried crisp, and crunches when you bite into it, yet still chewing like real meat.
This Mesquite beef jerky is described by the company as, "A nice smokey BBQ flavor - Yum!"
Beef, sea salt, black pepper, chile pepper, red pepper, oregano, dehydrated vegetables (onion, garlic, red bell pepper), demerara sugar, natural mesquite smoke flavor, citric acid, silicon dioxide.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light smokiness and a light chile pepper flavor. Some saltiness comes in.
The chewing brings in some of the natural meat flavors while the smokiness ramps up just a bit. I can also get a little of the oregano.
For being marketed as "Mesquite", it seems to hold up well. I do notice a defined smoky flavor on the surface of these pieces as well as in the chewing.
But to describe this simply as "Mesquite" is to ignore all the other seasonings that went into this. I get a nice chile pepper flavor, along the garlic and onion. Even the oregano is noticeable. I can also pick up light touches of the sugar, along with the spiciness of black pepper. It's actually quite bold and holds up to the company's description of "smokey BBQ flavor".
I can even pick up a faint tanginess in the chewing.
The natural meat flavors come through in smaller amounts compared to the company's other flavors, perhaps due to the heavier seasoning blend. But there's enough there to let you know you're eating beef.
In terms of spiciness, it's still mild, there's no heat to this.
The level of saltiness feels moderate.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced very thin, and in small to medium sized slabs.
This is a dry jerky, with a dry surface feel. It's mostly brittle, though it still has some small degree of flexibility. But for the most part, it's crunchy. It's very easy to break pieces off, and very easy to chew.
The chewing texture starts out feeling dry and brittle with no chewing resistance. I get a good deal of crunch chewing a piece down, and its chews down to a soft mass very quickly with little effort. At that point it feels very much like a piece of roast beef deli cut, but a little more dry.
I can see several spots of fat on these slabs, but they offer no additional flavor and no additional chewing texture. I see no streaks of gristle or tendon, encountered no stringiness, and no unchewable tissues.
In terms of clean eating, these seem very clean. My fingers picked up no residue, though snapping off pieces dropped just minimal amounts of meat fragments and seasoning.
Mike's Jerky sells this Mesquite variety from its website at a price of $15.00 for a 6oz package. If you bought 4 packages, the shipping works out to $6.95 if sent to Southern California. That comes to $2.79 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.79 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for an overall great flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to other brands of jerky, the price is slightly higher, yet it offers better flavor and a better overall chewing experience.
As a Mequite beef jerky, at the same $2.79 per ounce price, it's a good value. I can pick up a good mesquite flavor both on the surface of these pieces and in the chewing.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Mesquite beef jerky from Mike's Jerky not only offers a noticeable smokiness, but dumps a complex blend of seasonings anchored by chile peppers, black pepper, garlic, oregano, and a touch of sweet. There's even a light tanginess in the chewing to mimic something like BBQ. Even the natural meat flavors come through in a light amount.
And true to New Mexico style beef jerky, it's sliced thin and dried crisp to give you a snackable little crunch, yet chews like real meat.
If you're looking for a dry, thin style jerky, with a smoky, BBQ flavor, this one from Mike's Jerky is one of the better ones I've had.
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