Beef jerky has come a long way, from being the snack of choice (and necessity) for pioneers and cowboys to now being flavored like a gosh darn corn chip. Yes, Jack Link’s, which already makes pickle-flavored pork jerky and something called Beef Jerky Chew (which I assume is a meaty take on the tobacco product) recently expanded its meaty empire to include two new flavors inspired by other popular snack foods. Behold: Spicy Sweet Chili Beef Jerky (flavored like one of the best Doritos flavors) and Flamin’ Hot Beef Jerky (because if it’s edible, it can be Flamin’ Hot).
Jack Link’s took a top five spot in our best beef jerky ranking, so if any beef jerky brand is capable of making a tasting chip-flavored meat product, it’s them and their weird sasquatch mascot. We grabbed a bag of each of the new flavors and got our jaws ready for some serious chewing. How well did these beefy dupes do? Let’s find out.
- Jack Link’s Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili Beef Jerky
Well, they definitely got the “sweet” part of Spicy Sweet Chili right. This is sweet meat. It does have some decent heat on the finish and a touch of fish saucy funkiness. But mostly it’s sweet. And it’s soft, too. Some people like really tender, soft jerky. Personally, I like my dried meat to have the texture of dried meat—tough. But, knowing soft jerky has its fans, I won’t hold that against it. Instead, I’ll judge by flavor alone. And, once again, that flavor is…say it with me…sweet. I adore Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili chips and, sadly, this just wasn’t the Doritos beef jerky I was promised.
- Jack Link’s Flamin’ Hot Beef Jerky
Weirdly, the Flamin’ Hot jerky was much, much tougher than the Doritos beef jerky. So, it already wins points with me there. But, again, I won’t judge based on texture. So, let’s talk flavor. It is HOT. It is SPICY. And the heat lasts and lasts. That said, it does not taste like Flamin’ Hot. It lacks the citric tang of Flamin’ Hot products. It is a very good spicy beef jerky, if you’re looking for real, serious spice. But it is not Flamin’ Hot.
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