Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Port City Smokehouse - Chipotle Turkey Jerky

Port City Smokehouse Turkey JerkyNext in the series on Port City Smokehouse is this Chipotle Turkey Jerky. See my previous review of their Cherry Turkey Jerky.

Port City Smokehouse is a smokehouse located in Frankfort, MI. It's situated by Betsie Bay, on the northern portion of Lake Michigan. Port City Smokehouse is known more for their smoked fish, but they also do smoked meats and jerky, along with jams, jellies, salsas, and dried fruit.

They make their own jerky in house.


None provided.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a strong smoky flavor, followed very quickly by some spicy heat, and also by a strong smoky chipotle flavor. With some sucking, a saltiness comes in. Overall, a strong surface flavor intensity.

The chewing flavor starts with a stronger smoky flavor, along with some natural turkey meat flavor.

For being advertised as a chipotle flavored turkey jerky, this indeed has a lot of chipotle flavor and heat. Chipotle is not a type of chile pepper, rather it's any kind of chile pepper that's been smoked and dried, often times jalapeno is used. I'm not sure what was used in this jerky. Either way, I can taste the chipotle flavoring very easily, almost immediately after putting a piece into my mouth.

There's also a lot of heat in this. On my hot scale, I'd rate this as "hot", with some pieces having more seasoning, and rating as "very hot". It's enough to make my eyes water, my blood warm up, my nose run, and is making my scalp sweat. In fact, I'm having to take a break in between pieces just to let the burn settle down.

But even though there is an easily noticed chipotle flavor, I still think the smoky turkey meat flavor has the primary flavor of this jerky. Or maybe it's actually the smokiness itself that's stronger. Either way, it's that smoky meat flavor that sits in the center of my palate. It tastes more like the leg meat, than the breast meat.

The saltiness in this seems moderate, though I found one aberrant piece that was very salty.

Overall, you're going to get a lot of flavor out of this, mostly a lot of smokiness, and a well-noticed turkey meat flavor, and a well-noticed chipotle flavor, along with a lot of chile pepper heat.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced thick, and in strips of about 2 to 5 inches in length. These also appear to be slices of turkey leg meat, based on the flavor and consistency.

This is a moist jerky overall, though some pieces seem to be semi-moist. They have a moist to semi-moist feel on the surface. The pieces feel soft, but just a little amount of bending will cause it break apart. Biting off chunks is easy to do, and chewing seems easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and tender, and chews down pretty easily with only a slight bit of resistance. Once down to a soft mass, it feels very much like chewing a piece of turkey leg meat, albeit a little more dry than roasted turkey.

I do see some chunks of fat on some pieces, and even some small pieces of gristle. Overall, I didn't find this to create much chewiness, or leave any unchewable wads of tissue in my mouth. For the most part it's very meaty.

However, I did notice some pieces containing very tiny bits of crunchiness. I think these are tiny pieces of charcoal stuck to the grill lines.

As for clean eating, handling these pieces leaves a slight bit of moisture on my fingertips, and that also picks up some chipotle seasoning. I made the mistake of rubbing my nose and getting a burn just inside my nostrils.

turkey jerky

turkey jerky
Snack Value

Port City Smokehouse sells this Chipotle Turkey Jerky at a price of $8.49 for a half-pound package. I bought two packages, including this, and a package of their Cherry Turkey. Add to that shipping costs of $38.80, and it brings up a total of $55.78. That works out to a price of $3.47 per ounce.

Note, this shipping is expensive because it's sent in a styrofoam box with freezer packs, and sent 2nd Day Air.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.47 price per ounce, it's a decent value. I'm getting a lot of snackability from this, for it's great overall flavor, excellent meat consistency, and good chewing texture. That $3.47 per ounce price is very expensive, but then again I think this jerky is very good.

As a Chipotle Turkey Jerky, also at the same $3.47 price per ounce, it's a decent value again. I'm getting a lot of chipotle flavor and chile pepper heat, and I'm getting a lot of turkey meat flavor, and a chewing texture much like turkey leg meat.

If you can buy this at Port City Smokehouse's store, and not have to pay for shipping, this is an excellent value all the way around.


I'm giving this a best rating.

This Chipotle Turkey Jerky from Port City Smokehouse packs in some great flavor, starting with a strong real wood smoked flavor, and lot of natural turkey meat flavor comparable to turkey leg meat. And then there's a well-noticed chipotle flavor that hits you almost immediately after putting a piece into your mouth.

On top of that, you'll get a lot of chile pepper heat, in fact very hot.

All that flavor is packed into an excellent meat consistency, moist, tender, and easy to eat, and mostly all meat except for some small chunks of fat and gristle. And it chews just like real turkey leg meat, albeit a little more dry than roasted turkey.

It's hard to find a negative in this, if anything it'd be great to get one more taste dimension, maybe some garlic. But it's pretty enjoyable as it is.

For my recommended beer pairing, I'd go with a porter.

Rating: Best

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