Dustyn Dahn’s love of his life purchased him a dehydrator as a gift, and then she demanded he make her beef jerky. Little did she know when Dustyn was under 4 feet tall (6’6” now!) used to help his grandfather in the kitchen, measuring out ingredients, and combining their secret family recipe with meat to create delectable jerky. When Dustyn was in high school, he wanted to be a chef, and attended an accelerated summer program at the CIA, Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York. So, unbeknownst to his wife, Dustyn marinated a batch to perfection, and being the Tetris master that he is, Dustyn did not waste a square inch of space in the new dehydrator.
After what seemed like days, the first jerky batch was finally finished. Dustyn pulled off the lid and savored that first bite. It was better than he could have imagined! Dustyn passed around the jerky to his wife and to his (then only) daughter. Both of them devoured it!
Not long after this, Dustyn started bringing his scrumptious snack into work. Co-workers began to take notice and would ask for some to try. Eventually Dustyn realized that there was a demand for what he could supply. Empire Jerky was born in 2019, and now shipping all across the U.S. Empire Jerky is distributed under the same name of Empire Jerky, and they are located in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The first review on Empire Jerky will focus on a 3 ounce/85 gram bag of their Mango Habanero flavored beef jerky. This flavor is described as “you don’t need an afternoon coffee or energy drink, a few pieces of Mango Habanero will wake you up and help you finish out your day!” The jerky was kindly submitted for review by the founder, Dustyn Dahn.
Beef, Mango, Brown Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, Fresh Habaneros, Minced Garlic, Seasoned Salt (Chili Peppers, Sea Salt, Dehydrated Lime Juice, and Silicon Dioxide (Used For Anti-Caking)), Ginger, Sea Salt, Granulated Onion, Habanero Powder, Coriander, Turmeric, Cumin.
The beef used is guaranteed to have been raised ethically, meaning not administered growth hormones or additional antibiotics. As a result, the highest ingredient rating possible is Very Good (9/10).
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, minimally processed sea salt is used as the main preservative. With more kudos to Empire Jerky, this jerky has no MSG added.
EMPIRE JERKY – MANGO HABANERO BEEF JERKY
Written by guest jerky reviewer Paul Rekker
When I open the bag I smell a juice, possibly the mango. The pieces are small in size, and they are sliced to a medium thickness. The jerky is soft and dry, and it leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
The first flavors I encounter are salt, at a very light level, I would prefer a little more salt, adequate levels of sweet, and a little bit of a kick in the background, maybe it’ll step up in heat as I consume more. I am also very much detecting the mango flavor, it is noticeable enough, without becoming too fruity. Their is enough of a natural beef flavor detected. While the heat level is picking up slightly, it is nowhere near the intense heat of most habanero products I have tried.
Along with the fact that this flavor is tasty, it is by no means blowing me away. It is lacking in the ‘wow’ factor.
Therefore, I am inclined to rate it at a high 8, or a low 9/10. Gentlemen?
Here is what Mark had to say about this mango habanero beef jerky flavor from Empire Jerky: “Unbelievable, Paul and I are at almost a total disagreement here. This mango habanero has a fantastic ‘WOW’ factor, and then some. The mango flavor is at a spectacular level. So is the heat from the chili peppers, and then the after burn from the habanero peppers. I would rate the heat level at a 3 out of 5, or likely a 4 out of 5 on the heat scale. Paul states ‘this is nowhere near the intense heat of most habanero products we have tried’, and I say the opposite, this habanero flavor is easily one of hotter mango habanero flavors that we have reviewed to date.”
“This mango habanero flavor is a slam dunk 10/10 rating, and it’s not even close. Yes, there is not much saltiness present, a bias from Paul, but it’s a welcome change to eat jerky without soy sauce, usually the main culprit of salt. I am absolutely convinced that Paul let this flavor dissipate after three days, and why therefore Paul is not picking up much of the heat from the fresh habanero peppers.”
“This mango habanero flavor was shared between nine people. Apart from Paul and Ava complaining about the texture (she has no argument), everybody was at 9 or 10 taste rating. Nobody save for Paul complained that this flavor not being hot enough, and in many cases, it was too hot for people. I will grudgingly only award a 9/10 taste rating.”
This black resealable plastic bag has a label attached to the front, and nothing on the back. There are several pictures depicted of various sports and activities that go along with refueling your body with jerky.
There are no slogans printed on this bag. Some facts printed on this bag are “Made in the USA”, and “Handcrafted”.
Order their jerky online: www.empirejerky.com