Monday, June 3, 2013

Mike's Jerky - Pineapple Habanero

mikes jerky
A couple of weeks ago I was in Albuquerque, NM and I looked up Mike Grier, the owner of Mike's Jerky. We hung out and he supplied me with several samples of jerky, including some new flavors and some old flavors I hadn't yet reviewed.

Today, I have his Pineapple Habanero. A couple of years ago I reviewed his "Special Pineapple", and I wasn't all that inspired by it. But when I saw that he added habanero chiles into it, I thought, "Hmmmm..."

Mike describes it as, "Crused pineapples with sweet seasonings straight from the Hawaiian Islands. Oh, and a bunch of heat."


Beef, pineapple, habanero, LiHing Powder.


The first I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light sweetness, followed immediately by a high degree of heat.

The chewing flavor brings in a little more sweet and a lot more heat. I can also pick up a noticeable habanero flavor. There's a touch of natural meat flavors.

For being marketed as "Pineapple Habanero", it holds up somewhat. I don't really taste any pineapple, only a sweetness and something of a fruity flavor. But the habanero holds up very well. In fact, it has the same level of heat as eating raw habaneros, making it one of the most hottest jerky brands I've had. It also has a light but noticeable flavor of habanero chiles.

Otherwise, the flavors that define this jerky is the sweet & fruity flavor. The habanero flavor has the next most noticeable contribution, while the natural meat flavors pull up the rear.

The level of heat in this incredible, perhaps hotter than many of the Naga Jolokia (Ghost Pepper) jerky brands I've had. I've eaten raw habaneros before, and I'd say this is equally as hot. This ranks on my personal heat scale as "hot" (level 5 out of 5).

Unlike with the previous varieties I reviewed for Mike's Jerky, the natural meat flavor in this is much less noticeable, perhaps due to the stronger sweet and fruity flavor. But it still has that same flavor, tasting like fresh roast beef deli slices.

The level of saltiness in this feels very light, almost not noticeable at all.

Meat Consistency

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 has no flexibility, being quite brittle, and will snap apart with a little bit of bending. It's very easy to tear pieces apart, 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. This batch contained no gristle that I could see.

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 pepper.

pineapple habanero beef jerky

pineapple habanero beef jerky

Snack Value

Mike's Jerky sells this Pineapple Habanero 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 decent value. I'm getting a fair amount of snackability for an overall satisfying flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to other brands of jerky, the price is slightly higher, and it seems to offer a comparable flavor, but a better overall chewing experience.

As a Pineapple Habanero beef jerky, at the same $2.79 per ounce price, it's a fair value. I can pick up the Habanero chile flavor and heat, but I don't identify a pineapple flavor, only a sweet and fruity flavor.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Pineapple Habanero beef jerky from Mike's Jerky blasts out some really good habanero chile flavor and loads of searing habanero heat. It doesn't, however, offer much pineapple, though it does have a sweetness and fruity character. If you never mind the pineapple part, and only look at it as a sweetened Habanero beef jerky, it's actually good.

It has a nice meat consistency, chewing down to feel like real meat and even having a bit of a crunch to it, true to the New Mexico style of beef jerky.

But the real spotlight is on the Habanero chiles. This is REALLY hot, but offers a good dose of Habanero chile flavor.

Rating: Good

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