The next review on Damn Good Jerky will focus on a 1.6 ounce/45 gram bag of their sweet & spicy flavored beef jerky. This is the third review on this sweet & spicy flavor, where the bag design has since been tweaked, and the jerky weight has been reduced. We reached out to Damn Good Jerky on several occasions with no response each time, where customer service is obviously not their strong point. This bag was purchased at an Indian reserve store in Lewiston, New York.
Seeing how that we were repeatedly ignored by Damn Good Jerky, we do not have all that many details about this jerky maker. This is how Damn Good Jerky describes themselves in their words: “None of us had any experience in the food industry. Our backgrounds include construction, sales, and every facet of floor care. We view our lack of knowledge as an asset. Since we don’t subscribe to the traditional ways of producing products, we have taken great steps to find out how to get the best results. If you dislike the way something is being done, change the rules and do it your way. The outcome can always be better.” Damn Good Jerky is located in Stillwater, New York, and it is distributed under the name of Damn Good Foods.
Ingredients: Top Round Beef, Teriyaki Sauce (Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Water, Vinegar, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Ginger Powder), Brown Sugar (Sugar, Molasses), Honey, Pineapple Juice, Natural Hickory Liquid Smoke, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, Black Pepper), Cayenne Pepper, White Pepper, Tabasco Sauce (Distilled Vinegar, Red Pepper, Salt), Ginger Powder Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
The beef used is not guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. Also, the beef is not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to graze on grass. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
There are some healthy ingredients added such as granulated garlic, granulated onion, black pepper, and ginger powder. The spiciness is achieved from the Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper, and white pepper.
The sugar level is sky high at around a whopping 11.8 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky to lose two ratings. In over 600 jerky reviews published to date, this is the highest sugar level reviewed to date. For a sweet based flavor as we have here with this sweet & spicy flavor, our preference is 5 grams of sugar or less per 28 grams of jerky.
The salt level is somewhat high at around 442mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky to lose another rating. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does qualify to be sodium nitrite free, and does not use any other similar unhealthy preservative. Instead, salt is the main preservative used. Admirably, this jerky also qualifies to have no MSG added.
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
The Damn Good Jerky Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky has a significantly sweet and strong Teriyaki flavor. The sweetness hits all taste buds and it is quickly followed with a gentle spicy kick.
After chewing a few strips, some inconsistencies in flavors between strips become more evident. Some strips are sweeter than others while some strips are spicier than others. These variations range from slightly spicy to some strips having stronger levels of garlic and onion. The garlic and onion do nicely enhance the flavor profile. Although the spiciness varies, it does not exceed 2 out of 5 on the heat scale.
These strips are exceptionally thin and as such the natural beef flavor yields to other more robust flavors. The marinade and sweetness are the main attraction while the flavor of the beef takes a back seat. The sweetness may initially be a turn off to some who may quickly warm up to it as the honey flavor appears to be slightly dominating and Martha would say: It’s a good thing!
These strips of jerky vary from small to medium in size and the texture is dry and soft. These strips require a reasonable amount of effort to chew. There is a slight sticky and oily residue left on the fingers while handling these jerky strips. These strips are sliced very thinly and one would probably be hard pressed to find another jerky sliced as thin as this one.
Mark said: “A benefit of having such thin strips is that you get the optical illusion that you are getting more jerky than there actually is.”
This Damn Good Jerky Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky kind of grew on us. We’ve chewed more strips and we had to agree, this flavor delivers on both the sweetness and spiciness as stated on the bag.
The only issues are the wide flavor inconsistencies between strips. After chewing several strips consecutively we do get a better overall understanding and this jerky becomes more enjoyable in terms of flavor after the first few strips.
In any case, this is a ‘Damn Good’ tasting jerky and while there are some technical issues, inconsistencies and lack of natural meat flavor, we’ve still awarded a Good (8/10) taste rating with Paul being more receptive to this jerky.
This plastic non-resealable bag has everything imprinted directly on to the front of the bag, and nothing on the back other than the best before date. The Damn Good Jerky logo is a fierce looking bull blowing smoke out of its nostrils with smoke rings around it.
There are no slogans printed on this bag. Some facts printed on this bag are “Made in the USA”, “Low Fat!”, “Natural Smoke Flavoring Added”, “19g Protein”, “High Protein”, “No Nitrites”, and “No MSG Added”.
The only bag categories missing is a blurb printed about this sweet & spicy flavor or Damn Good Jerky, and the jerky distributor name. To the credit of Damn Good Jerky, a phone number is printed for customer inquiries.