Monday, November 25, 2013

Thompson's Smokehouse - Natural Style

thompsons smokehouse jerky
Thompson's Smokehouse is run by Robbie Thompson, based out of Erda, UT. It was started by Bill Soffel in 1978 in Stokton, UT, then in the early 1980s is taken over by Robbie's parents. After they retired, Robbie took over the operations in 2006.

The business thrives on wild game processing, making jerky, and smoking turkeys. Recently, they opened up a new smokehouse in West Haven, UT.

The company offers five flavors of jerky, Original, Pepper, Teriyaki, BBQ, and Jalapeno. They do beef, turkey, and buffalo jerky.


Beef, salt, spices, sugar, garlic, sodium nitrate. Dipped in potassium sorbate.


The first thing I taste from the surface of this jerky is a light sweetness, followed by a faint smokiness. A light saltiness comes in.

The chewing brings in more saltiness along with a cured meat flavor and a touch of garlic.

For being marketed as "natural style", it doesn't quite live up to my expectations. For one, when I see the word, "natural style" I think of natural ingredients, and this has a preservatives in it. It also has a cured meat flavor, comparable to ham, summer sausage. I also don't get much smokiness from this considering the business has the word "smokehouse" in it.

Otherwise, the flavor that defines this jerky overall is the cured meat flavor. Again, think of ham or summer sausage, and there's a similar flavor to this. It has a similar aroma as well, but more like deviled ham. The saltiness is also well pronounced, considering there isn't much else to compete for my attention. There's faint touches of sweet and garlic as well.

It's very mild in terms of heat or spiciness, suitable for all tolerances.

Meat Consistency

This is a slice of a whole meat, cut into a very thick, large slab.

This is a dry jerky with a slightly oily surface feel. It has some flexibility but easily cracks apart with the grain. Biting off chunks is easy and chewing is easy.

The chewing texture starts out with a stiff, rubbery feel, but easily breaks apart with the grain. It quickly takes on a meaty feel, and by the time it chews down to a soft mass it's somewhat steak-like but still retaining a little rubbery character.

I see one small streak of fat on one side of the slab, but otherwise it appears to be all meat. I don't encounter any stringiness or other unchewable tissues.

As for clean eating, there's a light film of oil on my fingertips, sometimes I need to wipe them off before touching the keyboard.

beef jerky

beef jerky

Snack Value

Thompson's Smokehouse sells this Natural Style beef jerky from it's website at a price of $23.95 for a 1 pound package. That works out to $1.50 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.50 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting a satisfactory flavor with a good meat consistency and decent chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, it offers a comparable flavor in terms of snackability, but a better meat consistency and chewing, while at a lower price.


I'm giving this an average rating.

This Natural Style beef jerky from Thompson's Smokehouse has a plain, unremarkable flavor, offering mostly a cured meat flavor, similar to ham or summer sausage, with a salty, slightly seasoned taste.

If anything makes this jerky impressive is its extra thick cut illustrating the meat grains and fibers. It chews well, mostly like real steak aside for being slightly rubbery, but offers a pure meat chewing experience with no stringiness or unchewable tissues.

Considering this company has the word, "smokehouse" in its name, I was expecting a rich smoky flavor, but found none at all. Instead, this jerky comes off with a bare bones flavor, mostly like cured meat with a saltiness.

Rating: Average

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