I reviewed Pap's a couple of months ago, giving them a four-star rating for their great consistency, meaty but tender chew, and their mild, clean flavor. Read the full review here.
Pap's Genuine Beef Sticks was started by Rick Waldon, based out of Junction City, KY. His philosophy with beef sticks was to make them out of beef, and not "mechanically separated chicken", without using any soy and wheat fillers. They are currently stocked in convenience stores throughout Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana. You can also buy them from their website.
Smokin' Hot: Beef, water, salt, corn syrup, spices, monosodium glutamate, dextrose, citric acid, garlic powder, natural hickory smoke flavoring, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
Smokehouse Hickory: Beef, water, salt, corn syrup, spices, monosodium glutamate, dextrose, citric acid, garlic powder, natural hickory smoke flavoring, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
Grippo's Bar-B-Q: Beef, water, salt, corn syrup, spices, sugar, Torula yeast, corn flour, onion powder, carmel flavor, paprika extract, silicone dioxide, monosodium glutamate, dextrose, citric acid, garlic powder, natural hickory smoke flavoring, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite. Contains: Sulfites.
Smokin' Hot: It takes a few seconds to assault your taste buds with a firestorm of heat, but once it kicks in it warms up the bloodstream with copious amounts of temperature of the triple-digit kind. Much hotter than the company's Spicy variety, it rivals the likes of Tijuana Mama, Firecracker, and Red Hots, with a touch of chile pepper flavor, but without the heavy vinegar sour.
Smokehouse Hickory: There's definitely a smoky flavor in this one, reminiscent of real wood smoke, and creating visions of a cinder-block smokehouse with thick grey smoke bellowing from a pipe at the top. It's a nice mild variety comparable to the company's Mild Smokey, but with more smokiness for those who need a fix of the sooty, earthy flavors that come from the smoker.
Grippo's Bar-B-Q: Made with the same barbecue sauce of the famous Grippo's brand, I found a slightly sweet, slightly tangy, tomatoey flavor to compliment the already, mild, meaty taste of Pap's Genuine Beef Sticks. There's just enough of the barbecue flavor in these to notice, but not too much so that the goodness of Pap's is still front and center on the tongue.
Overall, all three flavors still manage to do a good job of maintaining that meaty, beefy flavor that Pap's is known for, but each is able to color that flavor with its own seasonings.
Tender and most as with the three previous flavors I reviewed back in April, these new flavors still have a nice weighty, meaty feel. They're not greasy like with many of the national brands, and they have a nice crunch when I bite into them.
Each bite of a stick felt soft and very easy to chew. I wasn't left with anything tough or unchewable.
The Smokin' Hot and Smokehouse Hickory handled very well, leaving my fingers relatively clean. Only the Grippo's Bar-B-Q left some sticky barbecue sauce on my fingers.
Pap's Genuine Beef Sticks can be purchased from its website at a price of $27.00 for an 18-count box, with each stick weighing in at 1.25oz. Shipping to Southern California comes to $9.00, for a total cost of $36.00. That works out to a price of $2.00 per stick, or $1.60 per ounce.
For general meat stick snacking purposes, at the $1.60 per ounce price, it's seems to be a good value. I get a decent level of snackability for its satisfying flavor, but more so for its soft, tender chew, nice snap of the casing, and clean eating. Considering it's all beef without any fillers perhaps makes it more valuable as a protein snack. Compared to other meat sticks sold in convenience stores, it's similarly priced, yet it provides a better meat stick experience.
I'm giving these new flavors a best rating.
I found them offer a little more treat to the palate by offering more taste than the three original flavors that Pap's started out with. I really loved the Smokin' Hot with its touch of chile pepper flavors and its burst of heat. I also loved the rich smoky flavor of the Smokehouse Hickory.
The Grippo's Bar-B-Q was also more flavorful than the original flavors, though perhaps the least flavorful of these three.
But just as with the company's original flavors, Pap's Genuine Beef Sticks seems to have its strength in its meat consistency, having a soft, tender chew, with a good "snap" of the casing, and leaving my fingers clean and dry. I found mostly all meat inside with very little crunchy, stringy, tissues, and these sticks seemed to have a weighty feel.
If you're a meat stick lover, give Pap's a try, I think you'll find them better than the usual assortment of brands at the gas station.
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