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 Mango Habanero flavored beef brisket jerky. This flavor is described as featuring juicy mangoes paired with some hot habanero peppers for an extra kick – the primary combination is then blended with other choice ingredients, and is perfected with their old fashion recipe. The jerky was kindly submitted for review by one of the owners, Patti Fonseca.
Ingredients: Beef, Mango, Brown Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, Fresh Habaneros, Minced Garlic, Seasoned Salt (Chili Peppers, Salt, Dehydrated Lime Juice, Salt, And Silicon Dioxide (Used For Anti-Caking)), Ginger, Sea Salt, Granulated Onion, Habanero Powder, Coriander, Turmeric, Cumin.
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 is comprised of only super healthy apple cider vinegar, and healthy honey.
There are many healthy ingredients added such as mango, fresh habanero peppers, minced garlic, chili peppers, lime juice powder, ginger, granulated onion, habanero pepper powder, coriander, turmeric, and cumin. Habanero peppers are healthy if eaten in moderation, which flushes toxins out of the body. Some people call mango the King Of Fruits, which offers a wide range of health benefits.
The sugar level is respectable at 3 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is very low at only 75 grams of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky qualifies to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservative. Instead, sea salt is the main preservative used. With more kudos to Smokehouse Jerky Co., this jerky has no MSG added.
Good (8/10) – Ingredient Rating
These strips of jerky are mainly medium in size, and sliced to a medium thickness. This texture is somewhat between dry and soft, and requires a reasonable amount of effort to chew. The fragrance is overwhelmingly fruity smelling.
By far and away the first taste detected is a strong level of mango. Chewing more brings on a complex taste profile. Some of the individual tastes detected are a mild level of sweetness, and light to faint levels of garlic, onion, saltiness, and turmeric/cumin. The turmeric and cumin are not quite evenly distributed between these strips of jerky.
The spiciness is not immediately noticed, but more so finishes off when you are chewing a strip. On a heat scale, the spiciness never exceeds a 2 out of 5 on the heat scale. While the mango flavor is at a terrific level, the habanero heat level could stand to be a tad higher in our humble opinion. Habanero peppers are known to be extremely hot, and we understand the need for jerky makers on reducing the heat level appealing more to the masses. We just find that the ratio of mango to habanero favors mango a bit too much here, where mangoes happen to do a wonderful job of masking spiciness.
The sweetness is primarily from the mango. For a sweet based flavor as we have here, there is still plenty of natural beef flavor present. Rounding off the flavor is a good level of acidity from the apple cider vinegar.
Paul was equally impressed with flavor, and after some discussion back and forth, also conceded later that the heat level could stand to be higher for a habanero pepper based flavor: “The first flavors I detect are the salt, juice (pineapple?), garlic, and I do definitely pick up on the mango flavor. Also coming across nicely is the habanero kick, it is severely enhancing the flavor of the jerky. This jerky is coming across exactly as advertised, both on the mango, as well as the habanero. An all around spectacular flavor, a definite 10/10 gentlemen.”
This mango habanero flavor is beyond a doubt fantastic and downright delicious tasting. It is always a pleasure to review jerky that uses the brisket cut of beef, which deeply absorbs the marinade, resulting in an intense flavor that is anything but boring tasting. We unequivocally hands down recommend this mango habanero flavor to fans of the fruit mango, and fans wanting only a mild level of spiciness.
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.
Very Good (9/10) – 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, along with drawings of a mango and habanero pepper.
Some facts printed on this bags are “Old Fashion Recipe”, “No Added MSG”, “No Added Preservatives”, “Made in U.S.A.”, “Old Fashion”, “Gluten Free”, “Natural Smoke Flavoring Added”, 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
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