Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Papa Jay's Jerky - Original

papa jays jerkyPapa Jay's Jerky is run by the couple of Mary and Richard Penrod based out of Clifton, ID. The brand was originally started in 1996 by Mary's father Jay Moyle after he retired from selling dairy equipment.

Jay was big into hunting and smoking meats and bought several smokers, and finally bought a little country store in Clifton and converted the garage into a jerky production facility. When Jay passed away in 2004, Mary and her husband took over.

Papa Jay's Jerky offers four flavors, this Original, as well as Teriyaki, Peppered, and Honey. I'll be reviewing all four over the next several weeks.


Beef, brown sugar or honey, salt, garlic salt, worcestershire sauce or teriyaki sauce, sodium nitrite, MSG, parsley or herbs.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light smokiness, followed by a light saltiness, and a light oily flavor.

The chewing flavor starts with a stronger saltiness, a natural meat flavor, and a fair amount of sweet.

Meaty and lightly smoky is perhaps the best way to describe the primary flavor of this jerky. The natural meat flavor seems to be the most prominent flavor overall, mixed with a light-to-moderate saltiness and a moderate sweetness. The smokiness feels mostly on the surface but mixes into the chewing.

There's a light sprinkling of black pepper on these strips, and I do pick up faint traces of their flavor.

The garlic, worcestershire or teriyaki sauce is not very identifiable, or rather is masked well by the light sweet.

The saltiness in this feels to be at a light or perhaps moderate level.

Overall, what you're going to taste in this is a natural meat flavor, with a little bit of an oily flavor, a light smokiness, and a moderate sweetness.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into thick cut strips ranging from two to six inches in length.

This is a dry jerky, with an oily surface feel. These strips are sliced with grain and as such are able to bend all the way back on themselves with minimal cracking. Biting off chunks requires a light degree of biting/gnawing, while chewing seems somewhat easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling dry and slightly woody. There's a fair amount of initial chewing resistance, and it seems to require a little bit of laborious chewing to get down to a soft mass. At that point, it has a meaty, fibrous, steak-like feel, but a little more dry.

These strips appear to be very lean and meaty, seeing no bits or streaks of fat. I found no gristle or tendon, no stringiness, and encountered no unchewable tissues.

In terms of clean eating, my fingers pick up a fair amount of oiliness requiring a licking and wiping before touching my keyboard. I found no fragments of meat or seasonings falling off.

papa jays jerky

papa jays beef jerky
Snack Value

Papa Jay's Jerky sells this Original variety from its website at a price of $7.00 for a 4oz package. If you bought four packages sent to Southern California the shipping comes to $9.90, for a total of $37.90. That works out to a price of $2.37 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.37 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting a good overall snackability for a pleasing flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky you might buy at grocery stores, this is a little bit more expensive, but offers a lot more snackability.


papa jays jerky nutritionI'm giving this a good rating.

This Original variety from Papa Jay's Jerky offers a moderate flavor intensity overall anchored by a natural meat flavor with a light smokiness and moderate sweetness, light-to-moderate saltiness, and touches of black pepper.

The flavor itself is pleasing, satisfying, but not anything that's going to open your eyes with wonder, and is actually quite mild and easy on the palate. But I think the meat consistency is great; I can tell Papa Jay's takes great care to trim off the fat and chewy parts to leave the jerky snacker with nothing but pure meat. And it chews pretty well too, somewhat easy to eat, perhaps a bit laborious here and there, but you end up with a jerky that chews like a strip of meat.

My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a lighter bodied IPA, the light malt flavor should contrast well with the sweetness, while the strong hops should bring out the natural meat and smoke flavors. Try New Belgium's Ranger IPA or the Stone IPA.

Rating: Good

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