It all started in the 70’s when Jeff Richards purchased a dehydrator from a county fair. Jeff’s mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were all gourmet cooks. Many of the jerky recipes used today were refined for three decades. With more than 20 years of experience in the food industry, Jeff was ready to launch his jerky brand but wanted a reliable business partner. Through social media, Jeff reconnected with an old trusted friend Mike Aggarwal who himself had more than 25 years of experience in the food industry. In 2010, at the ages of 55 and 62, this Jeff’s Famous Jerky brand was launched with an old-fashioned handshake. Impressively, to date, over 1,000,000 bags of jerky have been sold. Jeff’s Famous Jerky brand is distributed under the name of Jeff’s Famous Foods, Inc., and they are located in Mission Veijo, California.
The next review on Jeff’s Famous Jerky will focus on a 2.75 ounce/78 gram bag of their Cranberry Jalapeno flavored beef jerky. This flavor is described as being mildly spicy and sweet with a well-balanced flavor fusion of cranberries and jalapenos. The bag was submitted for review by co-owner Jeff Richards.
Ingredients: Beef, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Sugar, Pineapple Juice, Jalapenos (Jalapeno Peppers, Water, Vinegar, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Garlic), Jellied Cranberry Sauce (Cranberries, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Corn Syrup), Cranberry Sauce Concentrate (Sugar Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Concentrated Cranberry Juice, Concentrated Pear Juice, Concentrated Apple Juice, Citric Acid, Concentrated Grape Juice, Concentrated Elderberry Juice, Grape Skin Extract, Concentrated Lemon Juice, Natural Flavors, Ascorbic Acid), Seasoned Rice Vinegar (Rice Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Salt, Brown Sugar), Spices. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
The beef used here is guaranteed to be ethically raised 98% of the time, meaning free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. There is not a 100% guarantee offered because sometimes the beef used cannot keep up with the demand. These cattle are not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to roam about. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Very Good (9/10) rating.
This interesting liquid marinade is comprised of a decent soy sauce, healthy pineapple juice, a decent type of pickled jalapenos, a respected brand of cranberry sauce concentrate, and healthy seasoned rice vinegar. Unfortunately, some of these concentrate sauces use unhealthy high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to lose a rating.
Jalapeno peppers are healthy if eaten in moderation, which flushes toxins out of the body.
While we debate this claim, the sugar level is only 1 gram of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is a little high at 370mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky to lose a rating. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite used, or any other similar unhealthy preservatives. Instead, salt is the main preservative used. Admirably, this jerky qualifies to have no MSG added.
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
Where to start? …How about right here! This Jeff’s Famous Jerky Cranberry Jalapeño Beef Jerky is pleasantly fragrant and its fruity flavor is equally appealing. Alas! The cranberry flavor is not as well defined as it could be and the sour or acidic and tart taste of cranberries is lost within the sweetness. The flavor resembles more of a generic tasting berry like or fruity flavor. It is however still a very favorable and really enjoyable flavor.
The flavors in the background are also very enjoyable and as Paul stated: “There is not much spiciness present at all from the Jalapeno peppers, which is disappointing to a certain degree. There is just a tiny kick of natural jalapeno pepper flavor. The heat level would perhaps register at 1 out of 4 on the heat scale”.
Some of the other flavors do blend well and they favorably accentuate this flavor profile, these seasonings such as a mild soy, garlic and onion with a slight splash of vinegar yield a richer and fuller flavor. The sweetness to a certain extent masked and distract from the natural flavor of beef. The sweetness may be a bit high or arguably too sweet tasting to some people but I wouldn’t change a thing, it tastes great as it is.
These strips of jerky are mainly medium in size and they are sliced to a medium thickness. The texture is soft, chewy and tender. It requires just the right amount of effort to chew and it delivers a lot of flavor in spades. This quality cut of beef is sliced against the grain. There is a slightly sticky residue left on the fingers after handling these strips.
The overall blend of flavors meshes really well together and are well balanced. Again, some may argue this jerky might be too sweet or not spicy enough, I objectively find it delivers exactly what is stated on the bag i.e. Sweet and Mildly Spicy.
We found this jerky very flavorful and really addictive. I personally couldn’t put the bag down and I actually went through my few little pieces faster than Roseanne Barr can get herself in trouble.
We’ve all enjoyed this Jeff’s Famous Jerky Cranberry Jalapeño Beef Jerky and it could easily be served to anyone. It is a fun and interesting jerky and it would certainly be a hit at a party or a get together with a few friends on poker night or the like. We’ve rated this jerky Very Good with a 9/10 taste rating.
This white resealable plastic bag has a label affixed to the front, and nothing on the back. There is a stamp displayed stating that this flavor is Sweet & Mildly Spicy. Five stars are also displayed meaning that Jeff’s Famous Jerky has received 5 star taste ratings in the past.
There are no slogans printed. Some facts displayed on the bag are “Award Winning” and “Super Premium”.
The only bag category missing is a blurb printed about Jeff’s Famous Jerky, and this Cranberry Jalapeno flavor. To the credit of Jeff’s Famous Jerky, there is a toll free phone number provided for customer inquiries.
The bag listed at the bottom was part of an online purchase made back in 2010. The ingredient list may or may not have been tweaked as the ingredient list is not provided, and the bag design has obviously been changed.
Order their jerky online: www.jeffsfamousjerky.com