Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Spencer's Jerky - Black Cobra Pepper

Spencer's JerkySpencer's Jerky is a brand of Spencer's Jerky, LLC based in Orlando, FL. The company started out in early 2009 with Spencer Freiman buying a dehydrator and making jerky for himself.

After his friends tried out his jerky, and offered to buy some from him, he decided try his luck selling it on eBay. Soon he was shipping jerky all over the world until eventually he was contacted by someone wanting to sell his jerky at local farmers market throughout Tampa. That caused Freiman to seek out a meat processor to make the jerky in larger quantities for him.

According to Freiman, the name "Black Cobra" comes from the sting you get after eating this jerky.


Beef, marinade sauce (soy sauce, water, dehydrated garlic, spice, modified corn starch, sunflower oil), soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, flavorings.


The first thing I taste when I put a piece into my mouth is a light saltiness, and a light a sweet. I also feel a slight burn building. I can taste a light bit of soy sauce, some garlic, and some spiciness. Overall, a moderate flavor intensity.

The chewing flavor starts with a stronger garlic, and a more defined teriyaki sauce flavor. The heat is a little bit more intense, and I can taste some black pepper. There's also a noticeable tanginess.

As for being a "Pepper" jerky it does give off a well-noticed peppery flavor, though the package doesn't specify black pepper, or red pepper, or chile pepper. Either way, I can taste a little bit of all. As for feeling the sting of a Black Cobra, I'm still waiting. It's not that hot, at least not based on my personal hot scale. I'd rate it a "medium". Folks with lesser tolerance for hot foods might find it hot.

And that's the flavor that seems to dominate this jerky over the others, that spiciness. I can feel the capsaicin from the chile pepper seasoning heating up my blood, but not enough to make me sweat or make my eyes water. And I can also taste a bit of the chile pepper flavor too. The black pepper is also noticeable. And mixed into that is a noticeable garlic flavor.

Supporting that is a saucy flavor, perhaps most recognizable as a teriyaki sauce flavor. But I can sense a light bit of worcestershire. There's a noticeable sweetness there too.

The saltiness seems moderate overall.

I can't taste any of the natural meat flavors.

Overall, it's a very tasty jerky that starts out light in flavor but increases when I start chewing. After several pieces, the burn builds up some more, but doesn't really get above a medium level.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium to thick thickness, and in small pieces.

Most of these pieces are dry, but with a semi-moist surface. But some pieces feel semi-moist inside. The thicker pieces are more stiff, and somewhat brittle in that they break apart with the grain easily enough. The smaller pieces are flexible and soft.

The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff and hard, but eventually softens up and becomes easily chewable. Once it's chewed down to a soft mass, it tends to take on a crumbly texture, with a bit of mushiness to it. It doesn't really have a steak-like chew to it.

The jerky appears to be very lean, I don't find any visible pieces of fat, no tendon and no gristle, and no stringy sinews.

For the most part it's clean eating. There's a slight bit of residue that I can feel on my fingertips, but it's dry enough that I can type on keyboard without getting the keys dirty.

beef jerky

beef jerky
Snack Value

Spencer's Jerky sells this Black Cobra Pepper variety from its website at a price of $3.50 for 1.75oz bag. Shipping is flat rate at $4.95 per order. So if you were to order four bags, it would work out to a price of $2.71 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.71 per ounce price, this jerky seems to provide a decent value. I do get a lot of snackability from its great overall flavor, though the chewing texture doesn't give me the steak-like chewing that I like. That price is well higher than the mass-market brands you'd find in the grocery stores, but I think the flavor alone is far better to make this worth trying.

As a "Black Cobra Pepper" variety of beef jerky, at the same $2.71 price per ounce, I think it's a decent value as well. I do taste a dominant peppery flavor, largely a combination of chile pepper and black pepper. And I also get some heat too, not anything that would make me writhe in agony like getting bit by a Black Cobra snake, but enough to make it quaint.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Black Cobra Pepper variety from Spencer's Jerky offers a complex flavor of chile pepper, black pepper, garlic, sweet teriyaki, and a bit of worcestershire, all of which are noticeable to a lesser or greater degree. It's actually quite good, enough to make me nod my head in approval. On top of that, it'll even throw some spicy heat at you.

In fact, I could entertain a discussion on giving this a Best rating. But what I look for in a Best rated jerky is the "wow factor", just some kind of quality that makes me open my eyes and think, "Oh my God who makes this stuff?" I'm almost at that point with this jerky.

Had the chewing texture been more steak-like, I would have given it that Best rating. As it is, the thicker pieces feel crumbly, and the smaller pieces feel mushy, and not much at all like a real piece of meat. But if a very tasty, highly snackable flavor is what you're looking for, I'd recommend this.

My recommended beer pairing for this, try a smoky porter.

Rating: Good

Buy this online:


  1. I have tasted the sweet orange and teriyaki flavors. Both have good flavors and make a great snack. The chewiness helps curb my appetite spikes. Love both.

  2. I bought this flavor at a farmers market in St. Petersburg, FL. No offense to the taste tester for this website- but he's crazy! I FEEL THE STING!!! and it is HOT! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND purchasing this flavor for an explosion of fire in your mouth!!

  3. Hot is a relative term. I eat a lot of hot foods, so I may have developed a tolerance for it. But if you think this is HOT, I've tasted others much hotter than this, and would melt the head off of your neck.

  4. I bought this jerky on spencer's website and was not disappointed. The taste was great, it was hot enough to satisfy those with a liking for hot foods and great taste in jerky. You won't be disappointed with this purchase!!!! Go ahead and try it....