The Smokehouse Jerky Co. brand name was launched in 2008. On January 2/2017, Franco and his wife Patti Fonseca acquired Smokehouse Jerky Co. from Trent Levinson and his wife Barbie. Franco has since added some new flavors, and they have a new web site design. All Smokehouse Jerky Co. jerky is made in small batches. Tender Heifer Snack Co. are always looking for new distributors across the United States, and they offer private label services, most notably for Knott’s Berry Farm. This jerky is manufactured and distributed by Tender Heifer Snack Co., and they are based out of Beaumont, California.
The next review on Smokehouse Jerky Co. will focus on a 3 ounce/84 gram bag of their Carne Asada flavored beef brisket jerky for a second time. The ingredients used have not changed, just the quantity of each ingredient. This flavor is described as using fresh cilantro and lime to create an authentic blend of flavors that bring back memories of your favorite Hispanic inspired Latin American dish. This jerky was kindly submitted for review by one of the owners, Patti Fonseca.
Ingredients: Beef, Brown Sugar, Orange Juice, Lime Juice, Sea Salt, Minced Garlic, Fresh Jalapenos, Gluten Free Soy Sauce (Water, Sugar, Soybeans, Salt), Tomato Sauce, Granulated Onions, Fresh Cilantro, Cumin, Ground Pepper, Cayenne, Cilantro Flakes, Water, Paprika. Allergen Warnings: Soy
This brisket cut of beef used is from cattle raised in California. Brisket is considered to be one of the best cuts of beef to use for jerky. 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.
We have an interesting liquid marinade here comprised of healthy orange juice, healthy lime juice, a respectable brand of gluten free tamari soy sauce, water, and tomato sauce. Citrus juices are high on vitamin C.
There are multiple healthy ingredients used such as garlic, fresh Jalapenos, granulated onions, cilantro, cumin, paprika, and black pepper. Cilantro is strong scented leaves from the herb coriander, and it offers multiple health benefits.
The sugar level is on the high side at 5 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky to lose a rating. Our preference is 3 grams of sugar or under per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is respectable at 240mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
As advertised, there are no unhealthy preservatives used, where this jerky is confirmed as having no sodium nitrite. Instead, minimally processed sea salt is the main preservative used. Admirably, this jerky has no MSG added.
Decent (7/10) – Ingredient Rating
These strips of jerky are mainly small to medium in size, and they are sliced to a medium thickness. The brisket texture is in between dry and moist, requiring a reasonable amount of effort to chew. These strips are sliced against the grain, and there are generous amounts of dried green cilantro flakes sprinkled on these strips. The aroma of this jerky is downright tantalizing and inviting, where fruit is the strongest smelling fragrance.
Right away you are bombarded with numerous flavors. Some of these flavors being sweetness, saltiness, garlic, cilantro, cumin, black pepper, soy, and a very noticeable delicious blend of juices. With Carne Asada being such a complicated recipe to begin with, Smokehouse Jerky Co. nails the Carne Asada flavor here. Even a slight fan of Carne Asada would be challenged not to devour this entire bag in one sitting, I personally cannot get enough of this flavor.
With such a strong, bold tasting flavor, the natural beef flavor is drowned out to a certain extent. There is a slight kick to this flavor, but it does not exceed a 1 out of 4 on the heat scale. Carne Asada by definition is the opposite of bland tasting. Sign me up to the Carne Asada club if there were one.
Paul was equally enthusiastic about this Carne Asada flavor with this to say: “The first flavors I encounter are salt, pepper, sweet (but not too sweet), chili, curry (which is actually likely the cumin), and natural beef. I also taste a juice, but I’m not sure which juice. There is a myriad of succulent flavors jumping out of this jerky, it is quite appealing from a taste perspective. I blew through my bag in no time, maybe even record time, basking in the cavalcade of delectable flavors oozing out of these decadent morsels of heaven, okay, enough with the articulate platitudes, this jerky is frickin’ awesome, a definite 10/10.”
In regards to Stéphane, we learned something new with this review. Most people have a certain or several food sensitivities, what could also be called a food intolerance. Paul for example is sensitive towards peanut butter, where he can hardly be in the same room with somebody eating peanut butter, let alone Paul ingesting peanut butter. In Paul’s words: “I would tap out of the review if it were a peanut butter flavor”. For me it is eggs and seafood crustaceans/shellfish. Add a little egg to a certain food such as soup, and I get overwhelmed by the taste of egg. For Stéphane we already knew that his food sensitivity was curry, but we can now narrow that down to cumin. In this Carne Asada review, Stéphane found the cumin taste to dominate, which is simply not the case, but his body tells him. It is interesting how our bodies develop a defense mechanism to amplify the taste of our food sensitivity as a warning to stay away from this food. That is pretty cool.
Paul and I can find no fault whatsoever here on this jerky. This Carne Asada flavor is plenty satisfying, and leaves me wanting more, way more. I too award this flavor an enthusiastic two thumbs up, and an Excellent (10/10) taste rating. Take a bow Smokehouse Jerky Co., and a tip of the hat to the creative Hispanics who created this wonderful Carne Asada recipe.
This 3 ounce/84 gram bag of jerky sells online for 7.99. That works out to $2.67 an ounce, which rates as an average price. Commendably, free shipping is offered on all orders over $25.
Excellent (10/10) – Taste Rating
This resealable plastic bag has a label affixed on the front, and nothing on the back. The label has a fairly detailed picture of a wooden shack with a “Jerky Co.” sign.
Some facts printed on this bags are “Old Fashion Recipe”, “No Added MSG”, “No Added Preservatives”, “Made in U.S.A.”, “Old Fashion”, and “Brisket”.
All bag categories are covered but one. There is no blurb printed about Smokehouse Jerky Co. or Tender Heifer Snack Co.
Order their jerky online: www.smokehousejerkyco.com
Franco Fonseca says
Thank you Paul, Stephane and Mark! You guys are always dialed into every aspect of what makes a great review.
Love your honesty most of all.
Jerky Ingredients says
Thank you for the kind words Franco. You and your wife Patti deserve a ton of credit on the many changes accomplished with Smokehouse Jerky Co. since you took over in January 2017, including pulling this jerky brand into the 21st century with your new web site and social media platforms. A warranted mention also to the founders Trent and his wife Barbie who started this special brand of jerky back in 2008.