Monday, August 29, 2022

J&K Jerky - Ghost Pepper

j & k jerky
J&K Beef Jerky is a brand owned by J&K Distributors based out of Huntington Beach, CA. J&K Distributors is an actual distributing company that stocks convenience stores throughout Southern California. J&K has been around since 1980.

Like most distributing companies, J&K offers several brands of jerky for its store clients, but also offers its own house brand. According to the company, they've offered this jerky over the past 20 years.

This Ghost Pepper beef jerky is simply described by the company as, "scary hot", and "muy caliente" with photos of flames and caution tape.


Beef, soy sauce, brown sugar, spice, ghost pepper, vinegar, crushed red chilies, liquid smoke, sodium nitrite.


The first flavors that hit my palate is sweet, followed by the flavor of red chiles. There's a light garlic. The level of heat starts out light. The chewing brings on a bit more red chile pepper flavor, along with a light natural meat flavor towards the end. The heat seems to pick up a bit.

For being named, "Ghost Pepper" with the warning of "scary hot", it doesn't quite get that hot. I mean, it's still a significant heat, but doesn't really reach the intense heat one expects from Ghost Peppers. This might be more along the levels of a habanero jerky, but even then it's still somewhat toned down for habanero. On our heat scale, this rates a "medium hot", level 4/5. Moreover, the flavor of Ghost Pepper is not there. I'm not getting that pungent, earthy, floral palate that Ghost Peppers are known for. It's really the crushed red chile flavor that comes through.

Otherwise, the primary taste profile is a well-sweetened soy sauce, with a noticeable crushed red chile pepper flavor, and touches of garlic. There's a light natural meat flavors that comes on at the end.

These slices of meat are chewy, but not tough. They have a faint bit of stickiness on the surface, but not enough to gunk up your fingers. There's light levels of stringiness in the chewing, but otherwise this jerky has a meaty chew that takes on a steak-like texture. I do see some streaks of gristle in the larger slices.


This Ghost Pepper beef jerky from J&K does ramp up the heat for those looking for a fiery chew, but manages to stay toned down for increased snacking enjoyment. While it's not really of the intense burn that one comes to expect with Ghost Peppers, it still seems to satisfy the urge for punishment without causing you to stop and douse your mouth with dairy-based extinguishers. But while it's a good alternative for sweat-breaking snacking, it doesn't provide any Ghost Pepper flavor. There's none of the pungent, earthy palate that Bhut Jolokia fans crave. Instead, it's mostly the flavor of crushed red chile flakes that dominate. Otherwise, you still get the same great steak-like chewing that J&K is known for, and it's still a tender, yet chewy, consistency.

Rating: Average (3/5)

ghost pepper jerky

ghost pepper jerky


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