It’s always a pleasure to do reviews on spicy snack fare, and beef jerky is no exception. Jerky itself, I’m told, is fairly easy to make. That said, few jerky makers seem to make jerky fairly well. Too dry. Too touch. Too bland. The list goes on and on. I give credit to those, however, who at least pay enough homage to the chileheads of the world by making some spicy jerky to try to please their palates.
In that same vein, we were delighted to receive an email from Amy Williams from Williams and Conner, who are Texan purveyors of some quality beef and deer jerky. They offer five distinct varieties of beef jerky, of which the Pepper Trio Beef Jerky appears to be their spiciest one. Quite honestly, all their varieties look as though they would be quite good, but I was saving my opinion for their spicy version to see how it stacks up against some others that I’ve tasted.
Ingredients: beef whole muscle, soy sauce (water, wheat, soy beans, salt, sodium benzoate), water, hickory smoke flavor, worcestershire sauce (distilled white vinegar, water, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, salt, soy sauce, natural flavoring, caramel coloring, anchovies, polysorbate 80, soy flour, garlic extract), garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper
An extraordinary blend of cayenne pepper, black pepper, and crushed red pepper brings the bold taste of the southwest to you.
Taste: The aroma from this jerky is pure pepper, and very distinctly of black pepper. However, you can see some of the crushed red pepper on the dried jerky, so it’s safe to say this is definitely a “peppered” jerky. It’s a drier jerky, and crisply tears into bite-sized pieces. Slightly tougher than most mass-produced jerky, it has a delightful taste…both from the dried jerky itself and from the pepper mix it’s coated with. I didn’t really taste the soy sauce, but there is a strong hint of the Worcestershire that is part of the flavoring. While having good flavor, it doesn’t deliver a big punch in regards to heat. Peppery but mildly spicy, this jerky clocked in at about 3/10 on my own heat scale. Not spicy for most chileheads, but with enough heat that most non-heat eaters will find it a bit spicy.
Overall recommendation: This is a good foundation for a spicy jerky, but it is fairly mild for the chilehead world. It’s a good jerky to be sure, but I’d love to see them ratchet the heat up with some dried cayenne or habanero pepper in place of the black and red pepper they used with this jerky. It is a tasty beef jerky snack, and I’d love to someday try some of their other varieties to see how well they taste compared to this one. Try some for yourself and see what you think.