The next review on Indiana Craft Jerky will be on a 2.5 ounce/71 gram bag of their Carolina Reaper beef jerky flavor. This jerky was graciously submitted for review by the president of Indiana Craft Jerky, Michelle Twaddell.
This Indiana Craft Jerky brand name is distributed by Indiana Craft Jerky LLC., located in Avon, Indiana. Michelle and her husband Ron launched their jerky brand in April 2015. In Michelle’s words, they have been growing by leaps and bounds. Indiana Craft Jerky formed a relationship with Tyler Pond Farm, where a 100% grass-fed beef jerky line is sold at their farm. Also, a relationship was formed with Empirical Brewery, where a new Smoked Paprika Porter beef jerky flavor was created. Recently, they have been using a custom built dehydrator by Ron.
Ingredients: Lean Beef, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt, Sodium Benzoate), Worcestershire Sauce (Water, Salt, Vinegar, Caramel Color, Citric Acid, Proplyene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Artificial Color), Chopped Apples, Chopped Carolina Reapers, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
The beef is sourced from a local butcher named Moody Meats, which is a 5th generation family run business. They source beef from local farms, and their own farm. The cattle do have some free range access to graze on grass. There are no guarantees that the cattle are not administered growth hormones.
The liquid marinade is comprised of an alright soy sauce, and a poor Worcestershire sauce. Note: the highly respected Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce is now being used in all of their jerky flavors, doing away with unhealthy artificial color and propylene glycol.
The heat in this flavor is achieved from only chopped Carolina reaper hot peppers, which currently holds the record as the hottest hot pepper in the world. In terms of Scoville heat units, they can achieve 600,000 – 2.2 million scovilles. In comparison, habanero and scotch bonnet peppers are about 100,000 – 300,000 scovilles. Hot peppers are healthy if eaten in moderation, which flush toxins out of the body.
There is no nutrition facts table provided. As a result, the exact sugar and salt levels are unknown.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservatives. Instead, the main preservative used is salt. Admirably, there is no MSG added.
Decent (7/10) – Ingredient Rating
These strips of jerky are mainly medium in size, and sliced thin. They have a somewhat dry texture that is relatively easy to chew because the strips are sliced thin. There are some signs of fat that add to the overall natural beef flavor. Handling this jerky leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
The first tastes detected are light levels of apple and cinnamon, with a mild sweetness. Then a moderate to strong combination of soy and Worcestershire sauce starts to kick in. It does not take long before the heat ramps up. If fire had a taste, then Carolina reaper hot peppers fits that bill. This flavor is advertised to be 5 out of 5 on the heat scale, which is accurate without going overboard on the insane spiciness of Carolina reaper peppers.
There is a moderate level of saltiness. While not consistent, the apple flavor is a curious and interesting flavor to help offset the heat to a small degree. All along, there is a good deal of natural beef flavor. Overall, a very tasty flavor that delivers with the heat.
This 2.5 ounce/71 gram bag sells online for $15.00. That works out to $6.00 an ounce, which rates as very expensive price. While quite pricey, where Carolina reapers are generally seasonal, this flavor is certainly worth it to try if you are looking for the extreme heat from Carolina reaper hot peppers.
Very Good (9/10) – Taste Rating
This resealable plastic bag has a label affixed to both the front and back. Their logo is a circle with M&R in the middle, which stands for husband and wife Michelle and Ron.
Their slogan is “Hand Made”. Each flavor has a drawing to the left of the flavor name, where for this Carolina reaper flavor has a drawing of a Carolina reaper hot pepper, below the Grim Reaper’s scythe. There is a small blurb printed about this flavor: “Starts out sweet, then kicks out the heat”. Something appreciated is that the bag displays the heat and sweetness levels, where this heat level is judged a 5 out of 5, and 2 out of 3 on the sweetness scale.
The majority of bag categories are covered here. Some missing categories are a nutrition facts table, USDA inspected logo, and the jerky weight is not stated in grams. To the credit of Indiana Craft Jerky, a phone number is provided for customer inquiries.
Order their jerky online: www.indianacraftjerky.com
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