Monday, November 29, 2021

Smoke Shack Jerky - Safari Jerky

smoke shack jerky
Smoke Shack Jerky describes itself as a "small Upstate NY kitchen" that launched in 2017 by Jonathan Brown of Rochester, NY. Their unique angle is smoking jerky over real wood, and using thicker cuts of meat for a beefier chew. They don't use any smoke flavoring, and no preservatives. The company also has a line of smoked nuts.

Brown also chose to develop jerky recipes based on cultures found around the world as opposed to the more common profiles found with mass-produced brands.

This Safari Jerky is described by the company as a, "spicy African-style beauty featuring ginger, cayenne pepper, and cumin", going on to say that it's spicy hot.


Beef, tamari, worcestershire, brown sugar, black pepper, red pepper, ginger, garlic, cumin, celery seed


The first taste I pick up is the cumin, followed by a light salt, and some natural meat flavors. There's a light spicy heat building. The chewing brings on a bit more salt, along with a touch of garlic, and black pepper. The red pepper flavor slowly comes on while the heat seems to crest at this point. The natural meat flavors become more steak-like towards the end.

For being marketed as, "spicy African-style" and "ginger, cayenne pepper and cumin", there's indeed a moderate cayenne spiciness to this. I don't necessarily see this as, "African-style" though. There are so many difficult cultures and cuisines to Africa that stretch from the muslim regions of the north, the indigenous tribes of the mid-section, and the British areas of the south, it's difficult to identify what Smoke Shack Jerky had in mind. But the smokey cumin in this definitely gives this is a more earthy, dusty character and maybe that's what makes this African. I don't, however, pick up any ginger. Moreover, I don't taste the "Hardwood Smoked" that is printed on the label.

Otherwise, the primary taste profile is a cumin-forward seasoning laced with a bit of salt, cayenne pepper, and hints of soy sauce, over a steak-like natural meat flavor. The level of heat in this is low, ranking no higher than "mild medium" on our heat scale (level 2/5).

The meat consistency looks great in terms of little to no signs of fat or stringiness. It is a thicker sliced meat, generally easy to bite off and chew, but rather dry. The chewing texture feels very meaty, and almost a steak-like feel. Most of the pieces, however, are cut into small chunks and bits, which may necessitate having to grab 2 or 3 at a time to get a decent mouthful.


This Safari Jerky from Smoke Shack Jerky is layered with a fair amount of cumin to create an earthy, dusty flavor perhaps reminiscent of a long day's trek over the African Savannah. There's a light bit of cayenne pepper heat to remind you of the famed Peri-Peri spice of South Africa, along with thick slices of dry, easy chew one might keep handy in their safari bag. Otherwise, this is a jerky that beckons a cold Tusker or Castle lager, or as a pairing with a plate of hummus and brie cheese. We like the meaty, steak-like chewing in these slices, and we like the natural meat flavors that come out. On its own, however, it tends to feel dry, and really does need to be paired with something.

Rating: Good (4/5)

Buy this online:

safari style jerky

safari style jerky


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