It’s been quite a number of months since I’ve done a formal review of a beef jerky, so this one is long overdue. My latest examination will cover three of Indiana-based House of Jerky‘s offerings: Black Pepper Beef Jerky, Hot Beef Jerky and Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky.
Black Pepper Beef Jerky
Beef (top round), Soy Sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), water, Pineapple Juice, Liquid Smoke, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder
House of Jerky’s Black Pepper is most apt to appeal to the widest array of jerky fans. As I’ll mention more below, all of House of Jerky’s regular jerky lineup contain some of the largest pieces of meat I’ve ever seen sold commercially as jerky. The cuts are simply huge! The beef was sliced pretty thin as well. Appearance-wise, there’s a decent coating of black pepper on the surface of the meat. The meat is very dry and the texture is very chewy; in fact, it was a little too tough for me. Just so you know where I’m coming from, I like the consistency of jerky to hover somewhere around the medium range – not too weak and not too leathery.
The flavor is fairly standard for a regular, all-purpose beef jerky. It boasts a good, basic beef taste, has hints of soy sauce, and possesses a minor tinge of sweetness. This jerky contains no chile peppers, yet seemingly has the slightest of spiciness to it thanks to the presence of black pepper. On a heat scale of 1 to 5, this might rate a 0.5.
Overall, this would make an so-so snack. It’s nothing I would go out of my way for, though. 3 out of 5.
Hot Beef Jerky
Beef (top round), Soy Sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), Brown Sugar, Honey, Pineapple Juice, Water, Tabasco Sauce (Vinegar, Red Pepper, Salt), Habanero Pepper, Red Crushed Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Liquid Smoke, Black Pepper, White Pepper, Ginger
Right after opening the package I noticed a huge difference between this and the regular Black Pepper Beef Jerky. The Hot Beef Jerky was significantly moister and even a bit sticky. There was no dry seasoning or pepper covering the slices of jerky but instead had somewhat of a…well for lack of a better term…a very light “glaze”. While this in no way compares to eating ribs or buffalo wings in terms of messiness, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a wet nap on hand while consuming (there’s a little exaggeration in that statement but not much).
The sticky coating also included many pepper seeds, flakes of black pepper and even a red flake of crushed chile hanging on to the meat here and there.
The jerky seemed easier to tear and less laborious to chew. In addition to a wonderful flavor and a medium sweetness, there’s the underlying heat which starts as a warm and cozy burn but then creepily builds to a 2.5 on a 1 to 5 scale heat scale.
The taste is one of the better I’ve encountered for a spicy beef jerky. I’d rate this at 4 out of 5 overall.
Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky
Beef (top round), Brown Sugar, Honey, Seasonings (salt, sugar, garlic, black pepper), Soy Sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), Pineapple Juice, Tabasco Sauce (Vinegar, Red Pepper, Salt), Cayenne Pepper, Liquid Smoke, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, White Pepper
While this wasn’t as viscid as the Hot Beef Jerky variety, Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky’s texture did have a similar slick quality about it. Sweet & Spicy’s flavor was expectantly sweet with more of a honey and brown sugar taste that combined well with the soy sauce and spices. If you are hankering something on the fiery side, you’ll be disappointed as this jerky contains very little burn. To me it doesn’t matter as the overall flavor more than makes up for it.
Bottom line? Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky would be a snack item I would go back to time and time again. You could plow through a bag of this jerky in no time flat. 4.5 out of 5.
Labeling and Packaging
A black and white illustration of a hillbilly ringing a triangle sits atop a foil label. Simple and to the point, these would be easy to tell apart at a retail location because each flavor has it’s own color on the label.
Interested in trying these for yourself? You can get the goods at http://www.houseofjerky.net.