Next in the series on Woody's Smokehouse is this Smoked Hickory Peppered Beef Jerky, Thick Cut. See my previous review of the Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky.
Woody's Smokehouse is a store located in Centerville, TX along Interstate 45 between Dallas and Houston and is a popular stop for travellers for a variety of road goodies ranging from jerky to nuts to candies to cheeses to pickles, and what not.
They also serve up BBQ where you grab a tray and start loading up on stuff like ribs, sausage, brisket, tri-tip, and even bacon-wrapped quail. But Woody's is often known for its jerky.
This "Thick Cut" variety of beef jerky is VERY thick. These are more like tree branches of meat, comparable to eating a thick dill pickle, but pure beef.
Cured with water, salt, sugar, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a smoky flavor, and then with some sucking, a light saltiness comes in. The black pepper is not well tasted on the surface. Overall, a very light surface flavor intensity.
The chewing flavor starts with a bit more smokiness, but more saltiness, and some natural meat flavors. I can start tasting faint bit of black pepper.
Overall, the flavor component that seems to represent this jerky the most is that smoky, natural meat flavor. The flavor is very much like eating a rib eye steak that's been slow cooking on a smoker, except a little more salty than just plain steak.
That saltiness is actually not strong, I'd probably rate it between light and moderate.
The black pepper is not well tasted on this, despite the easily visible bits on the surface. Much of this jerky is just thick chunks of meat, while the pepper is only on the surface, and much of it falls off while handling these chunks.
In short, it's a simple tasting jerky, mostly just a smoky, natural meat flavor, with a fair amount of saltiness, and just a hint of black pepper.
These are very thick slices of whole meat, measuring about 4 to 10 inches in length, about 1 inch thick and 1 inch wide.
This is a semi-moist jerky, with a semi-moist feel on the surface. These chunks are sliced with the grain, and are pretty flexible. Biting off smaller pieces from these chunks can be tricky, and will require some gnawing and biting. Once you get a piece into your mouth however, it chews easily.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and tender, and easily breaks down to a soft mass. Once chewed down to that point, it feels very comparable to filet mignon, smooth, heavenly, albeit a little more dry.
I don't really see any chunks or streaks of fat on this jerky, but each stick of meat contains some stringy sinews, but that's probably expected due to how thick these pieces are. Some mouthfuls of meat left behind some unchewable wads of tissue. But I didn't see any gristle or tendon inspecting this jerky.
In terms of clean eating, it's seem ok. It's mostly these bits of black pepper that fall off on my lap and desk. Because biting off a piece of meat requires some effort, it forces me to hold this jerky tightly, and that's what's making the pepper fall off.
Woody's Smokehouse sells this Thick Cut Hickory Smoked Peppered beef jerky from their website at a price of $27.95 for a one pound package. I bought two packages, including a pound of this, and a pound of the Sweet & Spicy. Add to that shipping costs of $26.46, and the total came to $82.36. That works out to a price of $2.57 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.57 price per ounce, this provides a good value. I'm getting a good deal of snackability, mostly for this jerky's impressive size, semi-moist chew, and excellent chewing texture. The flavor is good, but nothing impressive. That $2.57 price per ounce is considerably more expensive than the mass-market brands of jerky you find at the grocery store, but I think you'll feel as if you're getting your money's worth.
As a Hickory Smoked Peppered Thick Cut beef jerky, it's a good value again, but not for the peppered aspect. While there's plenty of pepper visible, there's just only a light taste. However, there's plenty of hickory smoke flavor, and this is definitely thick cut, it's more like monster cut.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Hickory Smoked Peppered Thick Cut beef jerky from Woody's Smokehouse is quite impressive for it's huge size. This is like picking up a 8oz filet mignon steak with your bare hand, eating it like a neanderthal. This kind of illustrates the old saying that everything is bigger in Texas.
Usually flavor accounts for the larger portion of my ratings, but in this case I feel as if I'm getting most of the snackability from the meat consistency. When I see these huge chunks of soft tender meat, I just can't wait to sink my teeth into this stuff. And it does seem to reward with a very smoky, natural meat flavor, and a smooth steak-like chewing texture.
If there's any negative in this it's that the chewing texture also includes some stringiness here and there, but I think that's only natural when you have chunks of Round steak this thick. Another negative is that I can't taste much black pepper, even though this jerky is labeled as "Peppered". I would normally take points away due to that reason, but I'm just finding so much snackability in the meat consistency and chewing texture that I feel compelled to give this a best rating.
My choice for a beer pairing with this is an IPA.
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