Monday, November 19, 2012

The Jerky Connection - Spicy Southwest BBQ

the jerky connection
Next in the series on The Jerky Connection is this Spicy Southwest BBQ. See our reviews of their other flavors here.

Run by Tom Greineder, The Jerky Connection is a new business that launched last June, based out of Wrightsville, PA, boasting several flavors ranging from mild to insanely hot, including a line of jerky dubbed, "7 Gates of Hell".

This Spicy Southwest BBQ beef jekry is described by the company as "A sweet tangy treat with a pinch of habanero", claiming to put a little spice in your BBQ.


None provided.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light oily flavor mixed with a light sweet. There's a light burn already coming in, and a touch of tanginess.

The chewing flavor starts with an increased sweet and tangy, almost like citrus, perhaps that of orange, pineapple, and lime. The spicy heat picks up a little more.

For being named, "Spicy Southwest BBQ", it holds up somewhat. There's a good deal of spicy heat in this, what I would rate as "medium hot" on my personal heat scale (level 4 out of 5). But for the "Southwest BBQ" part of the name, it's kinda iffy. When I think of Southwest style cuisine, I think of lots of other seasonings, like garlic, onion, black pepper, or whatever else you want to throw in, and I'm not tasting a lot else. As for the BBQ, this doesn't have a well-defined BBQ flavor nor smokiness. There's a certainly a lot of sweetness to this, and tanginess, but not the bold, rich flavor of BBQ sauce that I think of when I think of Southwest style BBQ.

Otherwise, the flavors that define this jerky is primarily the fruity, citrus flavor. It's a very dominant mixture of sweet, tangy, fruit flavors, perhaps that of oranges, pineapples, and limes. It actually creates a lot of interest when chewing, enough to make me think, "Ooooh". After that, I get a good dose of habanero heat, and a very light saltiness.

The natural meat flavors are hard to identify in this jerky.

Overall, this comes off as strong on the sweet, tangy, and citrus flavor, with a good deal of heat, but lacking somewhat as a Southwest style BBQ jerky.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced medium thickness, and sliced into small strips large enough to accommodate one or two bites.

This is a dry jerky with a slightly oily & sticky surface feel. The strips are flexible but still somewhat stiff. Chewing is a little labored, but overall tolerable.

The chewing texture starts out dry and chewy, and offers some initial chewing resistance that can exercise the jaw muscles somewhat. It takes on a meaty, steak-like feel as the chewing goes on, and by the time it's rendered into a soft mass, it feels just like eating a piece of steak.

I don't see any bits or streaks of fat on these pieces, it all looks to be quite lean. I don't really encounter any stringiness nor any unchewable tissues.

As for clean eating, my fingers pick up a light amount of oiliness, enough to require a little bit of licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.

spicy southwest bbq jerky

southwest bbq beef jerky

Snack Value

The Jerky Connection sells this Spicy Southwest BBQ jerky at a price of $27.00 for a one pound bag. Add to that shipping of $6.30 out to Southern California, and it works out to a price of $2.08 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.08 price per ounce, it's a decent value. I'm getting an overall satisfying flavor, a great meat consistency and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, this offers a substantially better value at a comparable price.

As a Spicy Southwest BBQ jerky, at the same $2.08 price per ounce, it's a fair value. It's certainly spicy, and has the tanginess of BBQ, but it seems to lack the bold, rich blend of seasonings that I'm accustomed to finding in Southwest style BBQ.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Spicy Southwest BBQ variety from The Jerky Connection seems noted for its abundance of sweet, tangy, and citrus flavors, similar to a blend of orange, pineapple, and lime. And it seems to generate a respectable amount of habanero pepper heat, despite the company claiming there's only a "pinch" of habanero in this.

But it seems rather weak in representing the bold, rich seasonings of Southwest style BBQ. I'm looking for a little more tomato, a little more garlic and onion and black pepper, and some smoke flavor too. I also had difficultly in picking up the natural meat flavors.

I did, however, feel the meat consistency was excellent, and the chewing texture was good too, feeling like chewing a real piece of steak.

If you like tangy, citrus flavors in beef jerky, this is one to try. But if also like a good deal of habanero heat thrown in, this is definitely one to try.

Rating: Good

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