The next review on Blackbeard’s will be on a 1.4 ounce/40 gram bag of their hot & spicy beef jerky. This bag was purchased at a convenience store in late December 2014, while visiting East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Blackbeard’s beef jerky is located in Northampton, Pennsylvania, and is distributed by T & L Distributing. The company was founded in 1990, and also sells meat snack sticks. The jerky is advertised as using select cuts of meat, slowly marinated with distinctive spices, and then smokehouse cured.
Ingredients: Beef, Brown Sugar, Water, Salt, Spice, Worcestershire Sauce (Distilled White Vinegar, Molasses, Water, Sugar, Onions, Anchovies, Salt, Garlic, Cloves, Tamarind Extract, Natural Flavorings, Chili Pepper Extract), Monosodium Glutamate, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Sodium Nitrite. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat, Anchovies
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.
The sugar level is high at 7 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. Three grams of sugar or less per 28 grams of jerky is preferred. The salt level is alarmingly high at 640mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference would be 350mg of salt or less.
Unfortunately, this jerky uses the unhealthy preservative sodium nitrite. Citric acid to a lesser degree acts at a preservative also, where the quality of citric acid can vary on how it is manufactured. Also not good, this jerky uses the unhealthy flavor enhancer MSG.
These strips are mainly small in size, and sliced to a medium thickness. Despite the bag stating a “Moist & Tender” texture, there is a dry texture that gives your teeth a workout to chew. There are no visible signs of fat, and handling this jerky leaves no residue on your fingers.
The first taste detected is a Worcestershire flavor. It does not take long for the heat to kick in. For a hot based flavor, there is enough spiciness to warrant it being a hot flavor. The heat grows to about a moderate level, depending on your tolerance of spicy foods.
This flavor is moderately sweet, which mutes the natural beef flavor to a certain extent. The salt is at a moderate level also, and there is a faint garlic taste. All along, in the background, there is a nice smoked taste. Overall, this is an enjoyable tasting jerky flavor that does not disappoint with the heat level.
This bag has a mixture of affixed labels, and more information imprinted directly on the bag. Blackbeard’s can use the same bag for all their flavors, and use custom labels on the back and front for each particular flavor, where this is a stock bag. These labels are professionally affixed to the bag.
The logo looks like a pirate with a black beard. There are no clearly defined slogans, where perhaps it is “Traditional Style”. Other facts printed on this bag are “Natural Wood Smoked”, “Made in USA”, “Moist & Tender”, and “Solid Strips of Tender Beef”.
The hot & spicy beef jerky bag listed at the bottom was purchased at a convenience store in Scranton, Pennsylvania, back in 2012. The ingredient list has since been tweaked. A healthier Worcestershire sauce is used now, and an average soy sauce has been added, and some ingredients removed. Other differences is that the jerky weight has been reduced from 1.5 ounces to 1.4 ounces, an all too common practice in the jerky industry. Also, the price was slightly cheaper at $2.59, instead of $2.79 for a lower weight of jerky.