Saturday, January 6, 2018

Uncle Bo's Beef Jerky - "Meat" The Reaper

uncle bo's beef jerky
Uncle Bo's Beef Jerky is a brand started by Tim Benton (AKA Uncle Bo), based out of Winter Springs, FL. Benton describes himself as a "native (hillbilly) from West Virginia and a pioneer at heart".

He started making jerky in 1998 after a friend bought him a dehydrator as a gift. After six months of experimenting, he came up with the recipe for his business. Since then, he's made jerky for friends and sold it locally. Last October, Benton launched a Kickstarter campaign to go USDA approved.

This "Meat" The Reaper is described by Uncle Bo as being the same as his "Holy Hot Habanero", but with Carolina Reaper chiles, currently the hottest chiles in the world. "This one walks a very tight line between flavor and heat" says Bo.


Beef, water, sugar, salt, lemon juice, sesame oil, oyster extract, concentrated smoke, ginger, garlic, habanero pepper and Carolina Reaper pepper.


The first thing I taste is salt. The heat comes in right away and builds immediately. I can taste a light flavor of chiles, along with Uncle Bo's signature seafood-base marinade. The chewing brings on some of the natural meat flavors.

For being marketed as a Carolina Reaper-based beef jerky, and also as "walking a very tight line between flavor and heat", it actually does a great job. For one, it's hot, ranking on our heat scale as "hot" (level 5 out of 5), though not as hot as you would expect from a Carolina Reaper chile. However, it does offer a light flavor of chile peppers too. So thus, it also holds up to Uncle Bo's claims that it balances out the heat with the flavor.

Otherwise, the primary taste profile is that of Uncle Bo's base marinade of salt, seasonings and seafood, but with a high level of heat and a lightly noticeable habanero and Carolina Reaper chile flavor.

The meat consistency is excellent. These are thin-sliced strips cut against the grain, still chewy enough to be jerky, but yet easy enough to snack on without tiring the jaws. They start out chewy, but chew down to something more steak-like. It's a dry jerky, but doesn't chew tough nor crispy. I do see bits of fat here and there, but not too much, encountered only light stringiness.


This "Meat the Reaper" from Uncle Bo's Beef Jerky seems to be one of their better varieties, doing a great job of delivering on both the heat and flavor Carolina Reaper, chiles across an excellent meat consistency and chewing texture. The seafood-base marinade seems to work well with intensely hot peppers, though I feel the salt interferes and exacerbates the heat. I also think a higher level of sweet would pair perfectly too. It's certainly not as hot as Carolina Reaper peppers themselves, and in fact, this jerky doesn't come close to delivering the same tongue-welting fire one would expect from such a deathly capiscum. However, for jerky snacking purposes, it's perhaps hot enough.

Rating: Good (4/5)

carolina reaper beef jerky

carolina reaper beef jerky


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