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

Monday, August 22, 2022

Legacy Meats Jerky - Black Pepper & Garlic

legacy meats jerky
Legacy Meats is a family-run meat-distribution business located in Kersey, Colorado. Ben Elliott, who built a career raising cattle, launched this business in 2012 when the trend for buying locally-sourced foods gained traction. Last year, Ben and wife opened up a store in Kersey.

Legacy Meats supplies grass-fed steaks and chops to local customers, but has built a following across the world. Recently, they added beef jerky to their product line up. You can purchase jerky packages individually, or through their own Jerky subscription program.

This Black Pepper & Garlic variety is described by them as delivering, "bold in flavor with a savory finish".

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Jerky Hut - Teriyaki Beef Sticks

the jerky hut
The Jerky Hut is a brand of Whiskey Hill Smokehouse, LLC based out of Hubbard, OR. The brand which is often seen at boat shows, gun shows, car shows, and trade shows of every kind, was started over 30 years ago.

Much of its jerky is sold through independent "retail licensees", who are the folks running the booths at the shows. It's parent company, Whiskey Hill Smokehouse, runs its own USDA inspected facility.

These Teriyaki Beef Sticks are described by The Jerky Hut as, "Polynesian/Hawaiian style Teriyaki Flavor! MILD".

Monday, August 15, 2022

Painted Hills Natural Beef - Sizzling Sriracha Beef Jerky

painted hills natural beef jerky
Painted Hills Natural Beef got its start in 1997 when seven ranchers in the Wheeler County area of Oregon got together to form a new cattle venture that would protect their top quality animals from being blended with cattle of lower quality. The company is now a wholesaler of boxed primal cuts of steaks, and just recently added deli meats and jerky to their line up.

The cattle they raise receive a 100% vegetarian diet throughout their lives, grazing the pastures of 80 family farms. The animals never receive added hormones or antibiotics. The resulting jerky is 100% gluten free and made with no MSG or preservatives.

This Sizzling Sriracha variety comes with no additional description or claims other than, "Gluten Free" and "No MSG", however the company claims to make their own in-house sriracha sauce.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Biltong USA - Original Droëwors

biltong usa
Biltong USA was among the earliest brands of American-made biltong, dating back to 1996. South African immigrants, Dawid Joubert and Salome Joubert founded the company in Stallings, NC based on the same family recipe that dated back into the 1600s. Over the years, their biltong products helped launched a new meat snack category in the States.

In January 2018, Biltong USA was acquired by a rival biltong brand, Stryve Foods. However, Biltong USA continues on under its own brand, and is still manufactured at its original USDA inspected facility in Stallings.

This Original Droëwors, according to the company, these sticks come from their large, fresh pieces of solid beef muscle, and is then ground coarse, seasoned, stuffed into lamb casing, and finally cured. Droëwors is a South African-style meat stick. These are the company's normal sized stick, they also make a thicker variety.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Dahlonega Jerky Co - Cracked Pepper Beef Brisket Jerky

Dahlonega Jerky Co. is a new brand launched in 2018 by Steve and Laurie Hallock out of Dahlonega, GA. The couple owns Outlaw Jerky & Trail Grub, a jerky and snack store based in the same town.

Their "Taste Local" jerky line was inspired by the farm-to-table culinary experience using locally sourced ingredients. The Dahlonega Jerky label pays tribute to the town's gold rush history. It is the location of the first U.S. Gold Rush in 1828. The label is based on an 1800's Gold Mining Stock certificate.

This Cracked Pepper Beef Brisket jerky variety is described as having a "savory hickory flavored beef, followed by salt and cracked black pepper...", along with "...a medium chew that chews down to a steak chew texture."