The Duke’s brand of beef jerky is distributed by Duke’s Meats. The Duke’s jerky brand name was started in 2004 by Justin Havlick, aka “Duke”. Their jerky is advertised to be made in small batches, and is smoked using real hardwoods, not “liquid lumber” in their words. In March 2017, Conagra based out of Nebraska started the process of acquiring Duke’s Meats from Thansi Foods, LLC. Note that this roasted cayenne beef jerky bag was purchased before Conagra acquired Duke’s Meats.
Ingredients: Beef, Franks RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce (Aged Cayenne Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Salt, Garlic Powder), Brown Sugar, Water, Contains 2% or Less of Sugar, Salt, Natural Flavors, Torula Yeast, Spices, Dried Onion, Dried Garlic, Paprika, Soybean Oil. Allergen Warnings: Soy
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.
This liquid marinade consists of respected Franks RedHot cayenne pepper sauce, water, and a little bit of soybean oil. The Franks RedHot cayenne pepper sauce uses healthy distilled vinegar, and there are no untoward preservatives used.
The sugar level is respectable at 2 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is quite respectable at only 220mg of salt per 28 grams jerky.
This jerky does not qualify to be MSG free, because the flavor enhancer torula yeast is used. Not everybody would agree that torula yeast qualifies as a form of MSG, but it is considered to be MSG here.
These strips of jerky are mainly large in size, and sliced to a medium, almost thin thickness. The texture is fairly dry, which requires some work to chew. There are no visible signs of fat, and handling this jerky leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
It does not take long for the great taste of cayenne pepper to take notice. There is not a great deal of spiciness here. On a heat scale, the spiciness would rate a 2 out of 5.
Other flavors that blend in well are light levels of black pepper, salt, and garlic. With little sweetness present, there is a decent level of natural beef flavor. A subtle level of paprika complements the flavor nicely. Overall, this flavor delivers with the taste of cayenne pepper.
This 3.15 ounce/89 gram bag of jerky cost $5.99, which works out to $1.90 an ounce, which rates as a cheap price. This roasted cayenne flavor is recommended as worth your money, especially considering the cheap price.
This bag is unusual in that it is square shaped, as opposed to traditionally being in a rectangular shape. Everything is imprinted directly on the front and back, and there are no labels affixed.
The Duke’s logo has a high resolution quality picture of Justin “Duke” Havlick. A high resolution picture of Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce bottle is displayed.
Their slogans are “Small Batch Smoked Meats”, and “In Life, The Simplest Things are Often the Best Things.
Some facts printed on this bag are “All Natural”, “No Artificial Ingredients”, “Minimally Processed”, “Recipe No. 04”, “No MSG”, “No Preservatives Added”, “Classic Style”, “Sliced Thin”, “Made in the USA”, “Dipped in Frank’s for Flavor”, “For The Love of Jerky”, and “There are no secrets among friends in our kitchen. So when people ask us for our ‘secret’ recipe. We are happy to share.”
All bag categories are covered. There is a good blurb about Duke’s Meats written on the back. There is also instructions on the back of how to make your own jerky, part of Duke’s Meats sharing no secrets among friends.