Monday, September 26, 2022

Grill Your Ass Off - Original

grill your ass off jerky
Grill Your Ass Off is a line of jerky and seasonings that launched in 2016 by Army Veterans, Jason Murff, based out of Hutto, TX. Murff had actually started with a line of seasonings and just now expanded into jerky.

The idea for his brand stems back into his Army days when he developed seasonings for his brothers in arms. After the service, he went into college to sharpen his business skills and went on to launch his new brand. Murff donates a portion of his proceeds to charities that benefit military and first responders.

This Original style jerky is described by Murff as, "a taste everyone can enjoy", going on to say that it's for those who want to, "keep it simple.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Chef Craig's Beef Jerky - Original

chef craigs jerky
One the newest jerky brands on the market is Chef Craig's Beef Jerky. A product of CJM Products, it's based out of West Kingston, RI.

It's the idea of Craig Mitchell, who a few years ago, had sent me samples of his own homemade jerky, with the intent of launching a business someday. Mitchell received his Culinary Arts degree from Johnson & Wales University, and has been cooking professionally since 1978.

As of this review, the only flavor Chef Craig's offers is this Original.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Biltong USA - Traditional Sliced Biltong

biltong usa
Biltong USA was among the earliest brands of American-made biltong, dating back to 1996. South African immigrants, Dawid Joubert and Salome Joubert founded the company in Stallings, NC based on the same family recipe that dated back into the 1600s. Over the years, their biltong products helped launched a new meat snack category in the States.

In January 2018, Biltong USA was acquired by a rival biltong brand, Stryve Foods. However, Biltong USA continues on under its own brand, and is still manufactured at its original USDA inspected facility in Stallings.

This Traditional Sliced Biltong differs from the Original Sliced Biltong we reviewed last week in that it has some fat whereas the Original is lean. The package is also marked "Gluten Free".

Friday, September 16, 2022

Bakke Brothers Brand - Honey Glazed Beef Jerky

Bakke Brothers Brand
Bakke Brothers Brand is owned by Whiskey Hill Smokehouse, LLC based out of Hubbard, OR. Whiskey Hill also owns The Jerky Hut, as well as its own house brand, Whiskey Hill Smokehouse.

Bakke Brothers was started by Phil Bakke, one of Whiskey Hill'founders. The brand differs from The Jerky Hut in that it's free of preservatives such as sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate, et al, and it's also gluten-free.

This "Honey Glazed" is described by the brand as, "...flavored by Honey, Smoke, Brown & Maple sugars", going on to say that it's made with, "slices of premium, tender, juicy beef".

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Biltong USA - Original Sliced Biltong

biltong usa
Biltong USA was among the earliest brands of American-made biltong, dating back to 1996. South African immigrants, Dawid Joubert and Salome Joubert founded the company in Stallings, NC based on the same family recipe that dated back into the 1600s. Over the years, their biltong products helped launched a new meat snack category in the States.

In January 2018, Biltong USA was acquired by a rival biltong brand, Stryve Foods. However, Biltong USA continues on under its own brand, and is still manufactured at its original USDA inspected facility in Stallings.

This Original Sliced Biltong is the brand's most popular product, it's their lean variety, whereas their "Traditional Sliced" is the fatty variety. The package is also marked "Gluten Free".

Monday, September 12, 2022

Grandpa's Beef Jerky - Sweet Teriyaki

grandpas beef jerky
Grandpa's Beef Jerky is a brand started by Jacob Piercy, based out of Fishers, Indiana. Piercy remembers being a kid and watching his grandfather hanging deer meat for jerky. Eventually, his grandfather handed down the recipe and process.

Today, Piercy sells packages of Grandpa's Beef Jerky at farmers markets across Indiana and online too, allowing jerky fans across the USA to enjoy a family legacy.

This "Sweet Teriyaki" is described as, "...smoky, salty and sweet in the best way", and is marked as, "Mild".

Friday, September 9, 2022

Jerky's Gourmet - Habanero Sculpin

jerkys gourmet
Jerky's Gourmet is a new brand of jerky, founded by Tim Gerstman and Andria Taylor, based out of San Diego, CA. Gerstman, who transplated to San Diego from the East Coast 8 years ago, met Andria who also happened to love beef jerky. The two joined forces and launched Jerky's Gourmet.

Their jerky is sold at various shops, bars, and venues across the San Diego area. However the two can be found at the Little Italy Farmers Market on Saturdays, doling out samples of their jerky.

Habanero Sculpin also happens to be the name of a craft beer made by Ballast Point Brewing, another San Diego business. This jerky is marinated for 24 hours in this brew, creating a one-two punch of habanero spices and "subtle hoppy notes" on the tongue.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Grandpa's Beef Jerky - Original Hickory

grandpas beef jerky
Grandpa's Beef Jerky is a brand started by Jacob Piercy, based out of Fishers, Indiana. Piercy remembers being a kid and watching his grandfather hanging deer meat for jerky. Eventually, his grandfather handed down the recipe and process.

Today, Piercy sells packages of Grandpa's Beef Jerky at farmers markets across Indiana and online too, allowing jerky fans across the USA to enjoy a family legacy.

This "Original Hickory" is said to be Grandpa's most requested variety, and is made from top-round-steak. It's marked with a heat-rating of "Medium".

Friday, September 2, 2022

Whiskey Hill Smokehouse - Saki Teri-Yaki

Whiskey Hill Smokehouse is a brand owned and operated by Whiskey Hill Smokehouse, LLC, based out of Hubbard, OR. The company also owns The Jerky Hut brand of jerky, along with Bakke Brothers Brand.

According to the company, the Whiskey Hill Smokehouse brand focuses on exotic meats and more exotic recipes than The Jerky Hut and the Bakke Brothers lines. It also focuses on all natural ingredients and its jerky varieties are all marked as "Gluten Free".

This "Saki Teri-Yaki" is said to be a throwback to the days when teriyaki was made with real sake. These days, most other companies make teriyaki with mirin wine, or rice wine vinegar.

Monday, August 29, 2022

J&K Jerky - Ghost Pepper

j & k jerky
J&K Beef Jerky is a brand owned by J&K Distributors based out of Huntington Beach, CA. J&K Distributors is an actual distributing company that stocks convenience stores throughout Southern California. J&K has been around since 1980.

Like most distributing companies, J&K offers several brands of jerky for its store clients, but also offers its own house brand. According to the company, they've offered this jerky over the past 20 years.

This Ghost Pepper beef jerky is simply described by the company as, "scary hot", and "muy caliente" with photos of flames and caution tape.

Ingredients

Beef, soy sauce, brown sugar, spice, ghost pepper, vinegar, crushed red chilies, liquid smoke, sodium nitrite.

Review

The first flavors that hit my palate is sweet, followed by the flavor of red chiles. There's a light garlic. The level of heat starts out light. The chewing brings on a bit more red chile pepper flavor, along with a light natural meat flavor towards the end. The heat seems to pick up a bit.

For being named, "Ghost Pepper" with the warning of "scary hot", it doesn't quite get that hot. I mean, it's still a significant heat, but doesn't really reach the intense heat one expects from Ghost Peppers. This might be more along the levels of a habanero jerky, but even then it's still somewhat toned down for habanero. On our heat scale, this rates a "medium hot", level 4/5. Moreover, the flavor of Ghost Pepper is not there. I'm not getting that pungent, earthy, floral palate that Ghost Peppers are known for. It's really the crushed red chile flavor that comes through.

Otherwise, the primary taste profile is a well-sweetened soy sauce, with a noticeable crushed red chile pepper flavor, and touches of garlic. There's a light natural meat flavors that comes on at the end.

These slices of meat are chewy, but not tough. They have a faint bit of stickiness on the surface, but not enough to gunk up your fingers. There's light levels of stringiness in the chewing, but otherwise this jerky has a meaty chew that takes on a steak-like texture. I do see some streaks of gristle in the larger slices.

Verdict

This Ghost Pepper beef jerky from J&K does ramp up the heat for those looking for a fiery chew, but manages to stay toned down for increased snacking enjoyment. While it's not really of the intense burn that one comes to expect with Ghost Peppers, it still seems to satisfy the urge for punishment without causing you to stop and douse your mouth with dairy-based extinguishers. But while it's a good alternative for sweat-breaking snacking, it doesn't provide any Ghost Pepper flavor. There's none of the pungent, earthy palate that Bhut Jolokia fans crave. Instead, it's mostly the flavor of crushed red chile flakes that dominate. Otherwise, you still get the same great steak-like chewing that J&K is known for, and it's still a tender, yet chewy, consistency.

Rating: Average (3/5)


ghost pepper jerky

ghost pepper jerky