Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Smoky Chipotle

Fatman's Beef Jerky is a product of Red Meat Foods, LLC of Roswell, NM. The company was founded by Rick and Ellen Robey in May 2006.

Prior to launching Fatman's, Rick Robey owned and operated a holstein calf raising business for 30 years as well as a USDA inspected packing plant. Robey says that his experience in in the beef industry told him that all of the commercial jerkies on the market lack a "good true beef flavor", which lead him to start Fatman's.

All of their jerky is made from inside rounds of American-raised beef, marinated for 24 hours in Robey's own homemade recipes. It's processed and packed in the company's own facility. Robey goes on to say that their state-of-the-art smokehouses record the internal temperature of the meat to ensure critical control temperature is reached prior to drying the meat. He runs water activity tests to ensure the jerky will be shelf-stable for one year.

Fatman's uses no additional preservatives, aside from what's already in the seasonings.

This Smoky Chipotle variety is actually a test variety. The company is still working on perfecting it. It's not yet available for sale from Fatman's website.


Beef, water, soy sauce, liquid smoke, chipotle seasoning, black pepper, salt.


There's a smoky taste and aroma that hits me as soon as I put a piece into my mouth, and that's followed by a soy sauce taste. The natural meat flavors start to come through, and soon after that I can feel the chipotle seasoning tingling the back of my tongue. Going into the chew, the soy sauce remains only as a salty taste, and more of the natural meat flavors come through.

Being that this Smoky Chipotle variety is still in the perfecting stage, I'd say that Fatman's still has some work to do, because I can't really taste much in the way of Chipotle flavor. What I get instead is a slight burn in the back of my mouth. I'd rate this as mild-medium on my hot scale. Chipotle has a really nice flavor, one that's rather hard to describe unless you've tasted it. Once they've settled on the final recipe, I hope to re-review it.

In the introduction above, I said that Robey wanted to launch a jerky that emphasizes the "good true beef flavor". I can certainly taste the natural meat flavors in this. Perhaps with Robey's 30 years in the beef industry he's more qualified to decide if this is indeed a "true beef flavor" than I. If I can describe it, it's more like the beef flavor you get from a steak cooked well-done.

In fact, I think its the natural meat flavors that dominates this Smoky Chipotle variety, along with a combination of salty. Basically, this jerky offers a meaty, salty, flavor with a spicy tingle on the back of my tongue. The other flavors, primarily the smoky, and soy sauce, are noticeable in the first several seconds, but wane away once I get into the chewing.

This jerky is also somewhat simple in tastes, in that it doesn't offer a lot of taste variety, mostly just meat and salt. For myself, it loses snackability. I really love a jerky that offers some extra flavor dimension that lasts throughout the chew. Other folks might appreciate the simple nature of this jerky. It's worth noting that this variety contains no sugar, which perhaps adds to that simple taste.

Overall, it's an enjoyable jerky, one that belts out the natural meat flavors, and it's a simple jerky in terms of taste. I can't really taste the chipotle in this, though I can feel its slight burn in my mouth.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of whole meat, cut into thin slices, and in medium sized pieces.

This is a dry jerky, being a little brittle. People who love thin sliced, dry jerky will want to take note of this variety. It's actually very easy to tear apart, and easy to chew.

I couldn't find anything chewy in the way of tendon or gristle, and only a few small bits of fat on some pieces.

Overall, this has an excellent meat consistency, easy to eat, and nothing that gets in my way from enjoying the flavors.

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Smoky Chipotle

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Smoky Chipotle
Product Value

Fatman's sells all of their jerky varieties at a price of $7.99 for a four ounce package. That works out to $2.00 per ounce, putting this into the expensive price range.

For general jerky snacking purposes, it has a weak value mainly because for me, the simple taste loses some snackability. If it were priced much lower, it becomes a better buy.

As a Smoky Chipotle variety, it a poor value because I can't taste any chipotle flavor in this.

If you love thin sliced dry jerky, then Fatman's is your thing, and you may see this as being a good value. There isn't a lot of thin sliced dry jerky on the market that retains a lot of natural meat flavors.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Smoky Chipotle variety from Fatman's is a thin sliced dry jerky that belts out a lot of natural meat flavors, with just a tingle of spiciness. It's adds enough flavor from the smoke and soy sauce to give you some good taste in the first several seconds, and then steps away to let you enjoy the taste of beef. The easy-to-eat consistency also wins points.

But it doesn't stand up to its advertised flavor of chipotle.

I also prefer a jerky that provides more flavor complexity than this. Thus for being simple in taste this jerky loses some snackability with me. But that was offset because this jerky does retain a lot of its natural meat flavors. A lot of people will love this jerky for that reason alone. It just needs more chipotle flavor.

For my beer recommendation, I always like something sweet to go with a jerky that doesn't have any added sugar. I think a Blue Moon Apricot Ale would go well with this.

Rating: Good

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1 comment:

  1. I purchased this beef jerky last month from "the fatman" and I gotta tell you it is the best. After learning it is made in small batches, no preservatives, and has a great taste to boot, I will be ordering more online. The red and green chile were my favorite, and the texture is I believe what beef jerky is supposed to be, not plastic like the "big guys" Fatman is the bomb!