Friday, May 27, 2011

Tomahawk Jerky - Spicy Turkey

tomahawk jerkyTomahawk Jerky is a brand of turkey jerky produced by Big West Foods in Eagle, ID.

The company was started by Steve Swift who was introduced to jerky as a kid in the late 1960s. He and his dad used to make sun dried venison by hanging them on racks and setting them on the roof of their house.

Today, he uses a dehydrator, and chose to focus on turkey jerky because he likes the flavor and texture. Tomahawk Jerky is sold at shows and expos around the Boise, ID area, and online through its website. I have the Spicy and the Pepper Cured varieties to review.


All natural 100% solid turkey breast, low sodium (45% less sodium) soy sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt) honey, chili, garlic, distilled vinegar, potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfate, xantham.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light saltiness followed by a very light smokiness. There's also a touch of sweetness.

The chewing flavor starts with an increased saltiness, while a soy sauce flavor comes in. There's a light bit of spiciness building in the background, along with a light chile pepper flavor. There's maybe just a tad more sweet, and some light natural turkey meat flavors noticeable.

For being labeled as a Spicy turkey jerky, this seems to hold up well. I don't find this hot, or heavily spicy, just light bit by my palate, and maybe moderately hot to some others. On my personal heat scale, I'd rank this as mild-medium (level 2 out of 5). Others might see at another notch higher.

Otherwise, the primary flavor that seems to come out of this jerky is a combination of soy sauce and a light chile pepper flavor. There's a touch of sweet mixed into the chewing, and some pieces seem to have a noticeable garlic flavor.

There's also a light bit of natural turkey meat flavor in this, along with a faint touch of smokiness.

The level of saltiness in this feels to be somewhere between moderate and high.

Overall, what you're going to notice in this is largely a soy sauce flavor, with a noticeable chile pepper flavor, and a moderate amount of heat. You'll pick up faint touches of sweet and garlic, and a light natural turkey meat flavor.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole turkey meat, cut into medium to thick slices, and in small to medium sized pieces.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. The pieces feel stiff with little flexibility. Tearing pieces apart seems very easy with the grain, while chewing seems moderately easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff, with just a little chewing resistance. I don't find these pieces to be at all laborious to chew; a few concerted chews and it breaks down and becomes quite easy. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it doesn't much feel like turkey meat at all, more crumbly, and slightly rubbery.

These pieces all appear to be meaty, with no signs of fat, tendon or gristle. I didn't find any stringiness or encountered any unchewable tissues.

In terms of clean eating, it's very clean. I found no residue on my fingertips, and very little fragments falling off on my lap.

spicy turkey jerky

spicy turkey jerky
Snack Value

Tomahawk Jerky sells this Spicy Turkey from its website at a price of $17.00 for an 8oz package. Shipping is flat rate at $4.95 per order. If you bought two packages it would work out to a price of $2.43 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.43 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting a good overall flavor, good meat consistency, and decent chewing texture. That price is considerably higher than what you'd pay for major brands of turkey jerky at the grocery store, but I think offers better overall snackability.

As a spicy turkey jerky, at the same $2.43 per ounce price, it's a fair value. I do pick up a moderate amount of heat, along with a light chile pepper flavor, but considering the higher price per ounce, compared to major brands of spicy turkey jerky, the level of spiciness is about the same.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Spicy turkey jerky from Tomahawk Jerky offers a moderate level of heat and a light chile pepper flavor on top of a dominant soy sauce marinade with touches of sweet and garlic. You'll get a light bit of natural turkey meat flavor and touches of smokiness.

Compared to other brands of turkey jerky I've had, this particular brand and variety offers up a good snackability that kept me reaching for more, while also pleasing my taste for spicy food. I like the light bit of sweet, but found the saltiness to feel somewhat high.

But fans of turkey jerky should be pleased with the meat consistency, being pretty much all meat with no connective tissues or fat, and meat snackers should be pleased with clean handling.

My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a German-style wheat (weiss bier), such as the Hoegaarden, or the Franziskaner.

Rating: Good

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