Sunday, April 13, 2008

Slim Jim Beef Jerky - Jalapeno

Slim Jim Beef JerkySlim Jim is a well known brand of meat snack, made by a well known producer of foods, Con Agra Foods of Omaha, NE.

I've never been a big fan of Con Agra's brands of beef jerky, including their flagship Pemmican brand. But being that I'm here to review beef jerky, I figured I gotta give each brand an honest review.

I'm particularly intrigued with any variety of beef jerky that claims to have been spiced up with some kind of pepper or chile, in this case, jalapeno. So it was a pretty easy decision for me to buy up a bag.


The ingredients list shows the following: beef, water, less than 2% of salt, sugar, maltodextrin, jalapeno powder, MSG, flavorings, dehydrated garlic, artificial flavorings, dehydrated onion, citric acid, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, hydrolized soy and wheat proteins, soy lecithin.

Of course, "maltodextrin" is a sweetener, the same stuff that Splenda is made out of. The nutrition label shows that there is a just a scant 1gm of carbohydrates in a 1oz serving, which is very low for beef jerky. Unfortunately, it also lists 2gm of fat per 1oz serving, which is on the high end for beef jerky.

What I mostly taste is the jalapeno flavoring, and a bit of salt. The natural beef flavors are not very evident at all, maybe only slightly.

The jalapeno flavoring is not that hot. I'd classify it as mild. Since my taste buds are used to spicy foods, others might consider this to be hot. This jerky doesn't really have me reaching for a beverage to quench the fire. However, after eating several pieces, I do feel a slight burn on the back of my tongue.

There is also another taste which hits me after I've sucked on a piece for awhile that I cannot recognize. It has a resemblance to that taste you get in your mouth after you've just barfed. Kinda like stomach acid. I'm not sure if this is just poor quality beef, the jalapeno powder, or a product of the other ingredients. It gives me a sense that there is a chemical "staleness" to this product, and distracts from my chewing pleasure.

Meat Consistency

The pieces appear to be real cuts of beef, and are sliced to an average thickness. But they are on the small size. Some pieces are still still big enough that you'd want to tear it in half, but none of the pieces I'd consider to be big.

They are mostly dry, though still flexible to a degree.

This jerky can be torn apart with moderate ease, and is somewhat chewy but not terribly. It's pretty much what I'd expect a big name brand to be.

Some of the pieces are marbelized with fat, and I can see bits of gristle and tendon on others. I found one piece with some beautiful marblization, and enjoyed a somewhat more beefy flavor and experience.

Product Value

I paid $2.70 for a 2.9 ounce bag at a Big Lots store in Murrieta, CA. That works out to $0.93 per ounce, which is in the cheap price ballpark. The bag is actually imprinted with "$3.99" at the top, and if you take that price instead, then it works out to $1.38 per ounce, which puts it in the average price scale, but at the lower end.

If you like jalapeno flavored jerky, this does have some good jalapeno flavor. For that reason, you might consider this a good buy, considering the lower price point. However, that "stale" flavor I also mentioned above, that which resembles something like stomach acid, really distracts from my enjoyment, and make this less of a value.

Slim Jim Beef Jerky - Jalapeno

Slim Jim Beef Jerky - Jalapeno


I'm giving this a "fair" rating.

The fact that the pieces are somewhat small and dry shows how much this is just a typical big brand jerky. What kept this from becoming, "dog treats" is that it does give out a good jalapeno taste. As a general beef jerky, it's actually not that bad, but then it's not really that good.

However, the lingering "stomach acid" aftertaste prevents this from reaching an "average" rating. That foul taste perhaps even prevents this from general snacking fun.

Rating: Fair

Buy this online...

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