Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sograte Beef Jerky - Texas Heat

Sograte Beef JerkyNext in the series on Sograte BBQ & Beef Jerky is this Texas Heat variety. See my earlier reviews of their Black Pepper and Original varieties.

Sograte is based out of Lubbock, TX. The company was founded by Cary Franklin. The business originally started out with Cary and his brother-in-law entering a BBQ competition in 2005, where they took four of the top ten positions in five different categories on their first try. Today, they run a BBQ catering service. The beef jerky is their primary retail product.

The beef jerky is not marinated but just salt cured, then smoked over a live hickory fire, and then seasoned.


Beef, red pepper sauce (cayenne peppers, vinegar, water, salt), salt, sugar, paprika, spices, garlic, MSG, sprayed with potassium sorbate for mold prevention.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light chile pepper flavor, and a light amount of heat. There's also a significant smokiness. With some sucking I get some saltiness.

The chewing flavor starts with an increased smokiness, followed by some natural meat flavors. The saltiness is increased.

For being dubbed "Texas Heat", this jerky does have some heat, but not a lot. If you're not used to eating hot foods, perhaps you'll think it's hot. But I'm assuming anyone who buys something labeled "Texas Heat" likes to eat spicy hot food. You'll get some heat in this, but what I'd rate as medium on my hot scale.

Otherwise I'd say the flavor that seems to dominate the others is the smokey natural meat flavor. Like what I found in the Original variety, the smokiness seems to be more significant than the natural meat flavor itself, but the two go together so well that it's hard to separate them.

The red pepper sauce listed in the ingredients seems to have the second-most strongest flavor, and is mostly identified on the surface flavors before chewing. Once I get into the chewing, the red pepper sauce is largely coloring the smokey meat flavor.

I can taste a bit of the vinegar in the red pepper sauce which I think creates a nice little tanginess.

The level of saltiness seems to be at a moderate level on a single piece, but after eating several pieces, it gets stronger and starts to compete with the other flavors as the dominant flavor.

Overall, what you're going to notice in this jerky is that red pepper sauce initially, and then into the chewing the smoky natural meat flavor will take over. You'll also notice a medium to strong saltiness.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a thick thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. The pieces easily crack open with a bit of bending, but still require some effort to tear apart with my fingers. It's quite chewy as well, and will give my jaws a decent work out. However, I found a few pieces that seemed to be easier to chew.

The chewing texture starts out feeling hard and woody. After 10 seconds of sucking the surface flavors, I'll start chewing lightly until it breaks apart. Then with several seconds of labored chewing it'll get down to a soft mass in about 15-20 seconds. At that point, it feels just like a piece of steak, cooked well-done.

I encountered some small bits of fat on some pieces, which contributed some additional flavor. I also encountered a hardened chunk of tendon on one piece that I had to pull out of my mouth. Some bites also resulted in some unchewable wads of tissue left behind in the chewing.

As for clean eating, there's a light amount of red powdery residue on my fingertips, and just a little bit of seasoning falling on to my lap.

beef jerky

beef jerky
Snack Value

Sograte sells this Texas Heat beef jerky from its website at a price of $5.00 for a 3oz bag. You can get 6 bags for $28.00. Shipping fees work out to $4.95 flat rate, or free shipping if you spend over $50.00. So if you bought the 6 bags, it would end up at $32.95 total. That works out to a per ounce price of $1.83.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.83 price per ounce, this seems to provide a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for its good overall flavor, and decent meat consistency and chewing texture. That $1.83 price per ounce is about the same as what you'd spend on a mass-market jerky brand at the grocery store, but yet this stuff has better flavor and meat consistency.

As a "Texas Heat" variety, at the $1.83 price per ounce, this seems to provide a decent value. I'm getting some heat from this, but not a lot. I think the flavor of the red pepper sauce is stronger than the heat itself. Regardless, I think it still lives up to the "Heat" claim. But if you subscribe to the idea that everything is bigger in "Texas", then perhaps this jerky doesn't totally deliver. Yet, the price is still at a low enough level that I think you'll get a decent value from it.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Texas Heat variety from Sograte Beef Jerky has a nice smoky natural meat flavor that's boosted by a tangy, slightly hot, red pepper sauce. The red pepper sauce seems to dominate early on the surface flavors, but in the chewing it was that smoky natural meat flavor that took over. Overall, I found a lot of snackability in this jerky.

It also has a good meat consistency for a dry jerky, and chews just like a real piece of steak, more close to well-done. Some pieces tended to be quite chewy, but others are not bad at all. There's enough surface flavor in this jerky to let you suck on a piece for several seconds before chewing, to help soften it up.

I found the saltiness to be at a moderate level on an individual piece basis, but it became quite high after eating several pieces, and by that time, I started to wonder if the saltiness was actually the dominant flavor. But when I weigh the good with the bad, this is still a very enjoyable jerky for folks who like that red pepper flavor.

I think a good beer pairing for this is something lighter on flavor, perhaps a cream ale, or pale ale.

Rating: Good

Buy this online:


  1. This jerky is virtually inedible. The overwhelming saltiness of the product gets to you after about two bites. And that's assuming you can actually bite into it. A lot of the pieces are so tough they cannot be consumed by a human.

    I would recommend that if you choose to order product by Sograte, that you choose the non-flavored, traditional jerkies. The spices on this jerky are just over the top. You can see that by viewing the picture. The jerky looks kind of cool with that yellow crust, but it does not taste good.

  2. Sograte Beef Jerky is one of the most true to taste Smoked Beef Jerky I have ever had the pleasure of eatting.. From the very first time I purchased the Texas heat I was hooked.. I have bought it for friends across the United States and they are now loyal Sograte customers as well.. If you are looking for the taste of real wood smoked jerky this is it.. A real treat.

  3. Indelible? I am sorry to hear you were not happy with your purchase. I strive to make the best quality product possible, but that does not always suit all tastes. You are welcome to return the unused portions for exchange or even refund. The returns policy can be found here. I don't see that I had an order for Bob Halford, so I am not sure how to contact you directly to handle this matter. Feel free to contact me using the Contact" form with your order information for further instructions on your return. Texas Heat is easily my best seller and a very unique product on the beef jerky market therefore it is understandably not for everyone.

    Thank you for your patronage Katie.. I know there are many choices available to you in the L.A. market so your business is much appreciated!

  4. I think Texas Heat is a great contribution to the jerky industry; not just from the natural smoke flavoring and aroma, but with having such a unique flavor to it.

    I've been purchasing this jerky for a year now and have a half dozen co-workers salivating over it each time I bring it in. I just ordered 4 pounds of it and each piece was consistently tender and moist with great flavoring.

  5. Anthony,

    You may not be purchasing Sograte jerky, because "tender and moist" are not words to describe this jerky.

    That is certainly not a bad thing. There are a couple brands of dry jerky that I enjoy, like Fatman's for instance.

    The batch of Texas Heat that I received was so hard that I could not bite into several of the pieces.

    But even if it were true that I received a bad batch (which I don't believe), this jerky is certainly not "tender and moist" (not that there's anything wrong with that!).

    So Anthony, either you are a shill for the company, or you've got the wrong brand.

    And Cary, I apologize for perhaps being so harsh in my review. But I call em as I see em. You could work on a little QC with the leathery pieces, as well as tone down the amount of spice and salt added to the jerky and I'm sure you will have a better product. I appreciate your return policy, but unfortunately it all went in the bin.

  6. bobhalford,

    I assure you, I am not a shill for the company nor do I have the wrong product.

    Though to be fair, I did try a couple of other flavors and yes, the meat was much more dry and tougher than the Texas Heat. As I said, the Texas Heat has ALWAYS been moist and that was something I had requested to be carried over to the other flavors in a review I did below:

  7. I have to agree with Bob Halford, Cary. Way too hard to bite off. And even the pics of Best Beef Jerky site show a moist center, that sure isnt the case with my order. Not interested in return (nor would I ever toss $95 worth of Jerky). The taste is great, no real problem there. I just cant tear it or bite thru. I'm thinking get some scissors handy to cut down to bite sise nuggets. I also recommend switching to Eye Of Round. I just got this today a tried a few pieces, and had 2-3 things of grissle type stuff I had to take out of mouth and discard. And maybe smoke an hour less .... Will increase weight and profits if yuo do.

    Bill Jefferson
    Nederland TX
    Order 900

  8. I want to revise my ealier post. After the first cpl pcs, it got much easier to chew, guess I got a few close to fire box, or something. I went thru the next 6 Lbs like chocolate!!!!! Lasted almost a week. 18 bags!!! You may not want to, but you MUST be a conisuer like Steve, and suck on it afer a few chews, and savor the flavor!!! It's hard to do, cause ya wanna chew it and swallow *If you are hungry"

    Anyway, just wanted to set the record strait, I'll be frank, I LOVE my own marinated Jerky, but I've gotten pretty lazy in my old age, so with Cary's flat rate shipping, this is the blast of dry true smokes beef jerky!!!! I can't recommend it more. Order many at once to save on shipping. Guarentee you, one bag will be gone same day and leave you wanting more.

    I added Chili-Lime to this 6 lb box, and talked to this man about things (awesome dude, if ya have facebook ADD him) I'll let ya know how the new flavor is, too scared to try Habenero yet, but will soon. I see a long history of orders to come.

    My son (in law kinda) is gonna get some from Smoky's in centerville tx soon when he vacations and I will finnaly get to try it. I refuse to pay his shipping, Cary and Ed caqn do it for 5 bucks flat,,,, 27.00 is ridiculous!! GAT SOME NOW, address in rewiew.

    New order #914