If you’re after something a bit different from your typical supermarket beef jerky, Savage Jerky might be the brand for you. This modern brand offers a mix of traditional flavors, Cuban-inspired citrus flavors, buffalo flavors, and even incredibly hot jerkies. Here’s a look at some of Savage beef jerky’s more popular flavors.
Ghost Pepper Beef Jerky
The most talked-about flavors from Savage are definitely their excruciatingly hot Ghost Pepper Buffalo and Reaper jerkies. To be clear, both of these options are ludicrously hot. If you’re not a pepper-head or trying to film a YouTube video of you crying, you may want to steer towards less spicy options.
The Ghost Pepper Buffalo jerky is the milder of the two, although it’s still very, very. hot. I suggest having a glass of milk and some ice cream handy for dealing with the aftereffects of this spicy snack. Still, it’s somewhat manageable as far as excruciatingly spicy foods go. There’s enough space before the spice kicks in for the buffalo flavors to come through.
Neither ghost peppers nor Carolina Reapers are particularly tasty. Both peppers are valued for their extreme heat, not their good taste. This means that there’s a bit of an off flavor to this jerky, although the buffalo sauce and ample beefy taste manage to mask it somewhat. Still, this isn’t necessarily a jerky that you’ll love to snack on. It’s more something that you’ll share as an experience with your friends.
Carolina Reaper Beef Jerky
Savage’s hottest offering utilizes the Carolina Reaper, the world’s hottest pepper, to provide an experience you won’t soon forget. They claim that you can feel the burn of the pepper for as long as 20 minutes after eating a piece of this jerky.
Their claim is frighteningly accurate. This jerky is definitely well beyond normal spice levels and into pepper-nut territory. I personally can’t imagine eating more than a few pieces of this. Luckily, this isn’t too big of a problem, since Savage Jerky sells it in 2 oz bags.
Like the Ghost Pepper Buffalo jerky above, you’re not really in this for the taste. Instead, you’re after the extreme heat with this flavor. There’s a more distinctive bad taste with this Reaper flavor than with the Ghost Pepper Buffalo flavor. You’ll forget all about that pretty quickly once the extreme heat kicks in. Even with a healthy supply of dairy products and bread, expect sharp mouth pain, difficulty speaking, and an extraordinarily unpleasant experience with your next bowel movement.
Sriracha Bacon Savage Jerky
While the two flavors above should probably be reserved for pepperheads and people filming YouTube videos, Savage’s Sriracha Bacon is quite accessible and delicious for just about everybody. It’s made from bacon and dried to just the right amount of crispiness, with just a hint of chewy texture remaining. The bacon starts off fairly sweet and finishes with a mild sriracha heat. This jerky is not something that you should consider spicy. Instead, the kick serves to accent the flavor and gives you an excuse to stretch out the deliciousness of each bag so it lasts a little bit longer.
Being a bacon jerky, there’s a notable lack of beefy notes in this jerky. Instead, it tastes like bacon, which is delicious in its own right. The jerky tastes full, complex, and meaty, while the moist, crispy texture leaves nothing to be desired.
Sriracha bacon is a fan favorite, with many Savage enthusiasts saying it’s the flavor they like the most. Personally, however, I prefer the Mojo flavors by a small margin. Be sure to also check out Sweet Sriracha for something a bit beefier.
Mojo Jerky Review
Savage’s signature flavor blend is called Mojo. It’s a mix of lime, garlic, cilantro, and cumin. This particular product was developed specifically to give a lasting burst of flavor throughout the entire jerky experience. This means that it’ll taste great when you throw it in your mouth and continue to release flavor as you chew and even swallow.
Mojo is currently available in three varieties: traditional Mojo, Mojo Jalapeno, and Mojo Habanero. The level of spiciness increases down the list, with Mojo Jalapeno being fairly accessible with a bit of kick and Mojo Habanero being quite spicy. For me, Mojo Jalapeno offers the best blend of spice and flavor, although Habanero is delicious as well. My problem with traditional Mojo is that it’s too darn delicious: without a spicy finish at the end, I can eat a bag in a matter of seconds.
The biggest thing to be aware of when buying Mojo is the cilantro. Cilantro is a delicious spice for many people, but there’s a genetic marker that makes some people’s taste buds react differently. If you’re one of the people who thinks cilantro tastes like soap, you should definitely avoid the Mojo jerkies. They don’t make an especially heavy use of the herb, but there are some pretty pronounced cilantro notes in the finish that will probably ruin the experience for you.
Of course, the best thing about most kinds of Savage jerky is the texture, and Mojo is no exception. All three Mojo flavors manage to feel moist and chewy. Savage has done an excellent job of mastering the dehydration process and ensuring that their jerky gets to customers with just the right texture profile.
I honestly can’t recommend the Mojo flavors enough. If you’re one of the lucky people who’s able to enjoy cilantro, I strongly suggest that you pick up a combination of Mojo flavors for your personal enjoyment. The Mojo Jalapeno line offers a perfect blend of spice and taste, while Mojo Habanero appeals to people who like things hot. If you’re spice averse entirely, try the regular Mojo flavor. It’s definitely delicious.
For those of us who prefer beef to bacon, this sriracha jerky offers a wonderful flavor profile and is possibly preferable over the sriracha bacon product reviewed above. Savage again displays their mastery over dryness and texture, delivering a chewable, moist jerky with lots of flavors. This particular jerky has a lot of pleasant sweetness as it opens and a mild sriracha kick in the finish. For me, it’s at just the right spice level: it’s spicy enough to get me to savor the flavor of each piece instead of finishing a bag outright.
While sriracha is delicious on its own, this jerky also has a complex BBQ taste provided by Savage’s homemade barbecue blend. This mix of tomatoes, vinegar, and sweeteners blends very well with the sriracha spice and gives this jerky a fairly nuanced taste. It’s definitely not subtle, but there are lots of small details in the flavor profile for you to enjoy.
This is definitely one of my favorite flavors of jerky, although I think I still prefer Mojo. If you’re a lover of BBQ sauce or a big fan of sriracha, give this jerky a try! You’ll undoubtedly love the whole experience.
Maple Buffalo Bacon Jerky
Savage offers more than one bacon jerky. This masterfully dried product has a pleasant maple flavor as you bite into it. It finishes with an accessible Buffalo kick that tastes just like a bottle of Frank’s hot sauce. In other words, it does a wonderful job exemplifying the three flavors in its name.
Like the bacon jerky above, this product is definitely NOT beef jerky. Instead, it’s a delicious bacon-y experience, with a well-chosen array of flavors that make it incredibly enjoyable. The bacon is again fairly crisp and dry with just a hint of moist chewiness. It’s a cut above the dry jerky you tend to find at supermarkets and gas stations.
While the distinctive taste of Frank’s hot sauce isn’t necessarily unique, it’s definitely tasty. The complex sweetness of maple syrup sets your mouth up for the gentle heat in the buffalo finish in a way that’s difficult to describe.
I personally prefer this product to virtually every kind of jerky I’ve bought from my local stores as well as Savage’s more basic offerings. If you’re a fan of maple, Buffalo, or bacon jerky, you ought to give it a try. Even if you’re not, the accessible flavor profile makes it a good choice to tack on to another order.
Savage Jerky Original
Beef jerky doesn’t always have to involve a crazy mix of over-the-top flavors. Savage’s original blend uses a more subdued marinade that includes jerky staples like soy, Worcestershire, and garlic to create a product that masterfully showcases the innate flavors of the dried beef. Like their other products, the drying process is carefully controlled to give you jerky that’s neither tough nor dry. Instead, it’s delicious, moist, and chewy.
One of the things I like the most about Savage Jerky is their dedication to natural products. As a smaller business, they simply make as much jerky as we order and leave it at that. This means that they can eschew the use of nitrates, preservatives, and gluten. In other words, you get a safer, healthier product that’s more delicious than mass-produced stuff.
Savave Jerky isn’t cheap, but I think that on a cost-per-taste ratio it’s a league above the stuff you get at the store. Their original blend is incredible and delivers a wonderful experience in terms of texture and taste. While it’s not as bold or exotic as some of their other flavors, it’s definitely worth trying.
While this jerky says “teriyaki” on the package, the sweetness is definitely somewhat subdued. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, however. Instead, there’s plenty of complex umami from the less-sweet teriyaki that helps give the sriracha a base to work from.
Of course, there’s still a noticeable hint of sweetness as you bite into a tender strip of this Savage Jerky. The body of the flavor has quite a lot of savory teriyaki goodness, while the finish gives you a nice sriracha kick that’s quite accessible for people who might not normally like spicy foods.
While I enjoy this jerky a lot, the overall experience isn’t quite unique. I’d describe it more like a refreshing splash than a full-body dunk into a vibrant flavor. It’s a remarkable improvement over store-bought teriyaki jerky for sure, but the taste isn’t a different beast entirely. It’s just enhanced.
As far as texture, of course, I cannot recommend Savage enough. The jerky you’ll get in each bag of this flavor is incredibly tender when compared to supermarket stuff. You’ll skip the stringy, dry, tough to chew nature of cheaper, poorly made jerkies.
Overall, this is one of my favorite Savage Jerky flavors. It improves on a classic rather than reinventing it, adding a pleasant kick that helps me to enjoy a bag over a longer period of time. I think you should definitely tack a bag of this stuff onto your savage jerky order.
Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt
With this line, Savage has added some simple condiments to their original jerky recipe to give you a bit more flavors to chew on. The addition of cracked pepper and salt to their Worchestershire and garlic blend definitely adds a bit of taste. Just like with other flavors, this jerky manages to be quite tender and moist for a dried meat.
Savage says that this flavor is a local favorite among their employees, and there’s definitely a reason for this. Given an infinite budget, I’d probably buy a bag of this stuff at least once a day. It’s a high-protien low-calorie snack that’s very pleasant to chew and almost indescribably delicious.
Unfortunately, Savage Jerky is pretty expensive. This means that I’ll probably limit my snacking to the more exotic flavors for now. While they might not do the same job of showcasing the innate beefy flavors of jerky, they provide a more unique and memorable experience that I’m more comfortable spending money on. Plus, the hotter jerkies have the added benefit of forcing me to slow down and enjoy each bag slowly.
Savage Jerky: A Kickstarted Success
Founded on the dollars of many internet hopefuls, Savage Jerky has grown into a small company that’s focused on delivering high-quality jerky to buyers all around the world. Their mastery of the dehydration process, creative flavors, and high-quality ingredients make Savage products a must buy for jerky enthusiasts all over the globe. Whether you enjoy mild jerky, innovative flavors like Mojo, or incredibly hot foods, take a look at Savage Jerky and try a few flavors that look interesting to you. You’ll love the results!
Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.