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 Tropical Fusion flavored beef brisket jerky for a second time. The ingredient list has since been tweaked, the bag design tweaked, and this flavor used to be named Tropic Fusion. This flavor is described as providing a great taste of the tropics with flavors of pineapple, mango, and teriyaki for a sweet, citrus flavor. The jerky was graciously submitted for review by one of the owners, Patti Fonseca.
Ingredients: Beef, Sugar, Mango, Pineapple, Teriyaki Sauce (Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Wine, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Vinegar, Salt, Spices, Onion Powder, Succinic Acid, Garlic Powder, Sodium Benzoate: Less Than 1/10 of 1% As A Preservative.), Worcestershire Sauce (Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce Base (Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Spices, Tamarind, Natural Flavor, Sulfiting Agent), Salt, Citric Acid), Lemon Juice, Granulated Garlic, Ground Pepper, Ginger, Sesame Seeds. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat, Sesame
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.
The liquid marinade used here is comprised of an average brand of teriyaki sauce, an average brand of Worcestershire sauce, and healthy lemon juice. It is disappointing to see that both the teriyaki sauce and Worcestershire sauce use the cheap highly processed sweetener high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to lose a rating.
Healthy fruits fresh mango and fresh pineapple are used to attain the tropical fruit flavor. Pineapples contain an enzyme named bromelain that acts as a natural meat tenderizer in the food industry. Some other healthy ingredients added are granulated garlic, black pepper, ginger, and sesame seeds.
The sugar level is decent for a sweet based flavor as we have here at 3 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is extremely low at only 65mg 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, salt is the main preservative used. Admirably, this jerky has no MSG added.
Decent (7/10) – Ingredient Rating
These strips of jerky are mainly medium in size, and sliced to a medium thickness. The brisket texture is more on the soft side and slightly moist, requiring a reasonable amount of effort to chew. These strips are sliced against the grain, and the aroma is exactly what you would expect, the fragrance of tropical fruits.
It does not take long for the taste of fruit to develop, and challenging to distinguish the individual type of fruits that you are tasting. As advertised, this jerky comes across as a tropical fruit flavor. With that comes some sweetness, but the sweetness is well-balanced between the sugar and fruits. There is an interesting tropical fruit flavor aftertaste.
The teriyaki flavor is not as well-defined, but a pleasant addition to the tropical fruit flavor. At lighter levels are the salt, garlic, and black pepper flavors.
For a sweet based flavor as we have here, as expected, the natural beef flavor is masked to a certain extent by the sweetness, but still at a passable level.
Here is what Paul had to say about this Tropical Fusion flavor who, as always, bravely does these jerky taste reviews blindly not knowing any of the individual jerky ingredients used: “The first flavors I encounter are salt, pepper, sweet (almost borderline too sweet), and a juice for sure, just not sure which one (pineapple?). I also taste the natural beef. Smokehouse Jerky Co. has yet to disappoint us I believe, and once again they’ve come through with flying colors on this flavor. While I prefer my beef jerky to be a little drier and harder, I am hard pressed to find anything wrong with this flavor, outside of the fact that the sweet is beginning to wear on me a bit. For that reason, I will award this flavor a 9/10.”
Stéphane Leclerc was even more enthusiastic with this Tropical Fusion flavor: “I like the beautiful tropical fruitiness, the aroma and taste bring me right back to the beautiful sandy beaches of a remote Caribbean island. There are a lot of great and rich flavors here and the ones that captivates and mesmerizes me the most are the onion and garlic along with the great flavors of mangoes and pineapple. The more strips I chew and more addicted I am getting. This is a tasty and a great jerky on many levels in my own opinion, and it also brings back some awesome memories. This jerky easily deserves an Excellent 10/10 taste rating.”
I too am hard pressed to find anything technically wrong with this flavor, which does get better as you consume more strips. This jerky delivers with the tropical flavor, and more. Any fan of tropical fruits would be hard pressed not to fall in love with this flavor.
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
Once again, all of us at Smokehouse Jerky Co. appreciate your positive recognition of what we’ve produced