Monday, December 9, 2013

Thompson's Smokehouse - Pepper

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, black pepper, 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. There's a moderate level of black pepper taste.

For being marketed as "Pepper", it seems to hold up well. I do get a moderate amount of black pepper flavor, which tends to increase as I take more bites, and it does produce a black pepper aftertaste in the back of my mouth. The black pepper itself tends to have a sharp, pungent flavor, much like something freshly ground.

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. The black pepper tends to add some spiciness to the overall flavor, but doesn't really define this jerky.

In terms of spiciness, I still tend to see this jerky as mild (level 1 out of 5), but perhaps folks with mild palates could find the extra black pepper to generate a light to moderate burn.

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 don't find any streaks or bits of fat on this slab. I didn't encounter any stringiness, unchewable tissues, or gristle. It's very meaty.

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.

thompsons smokehouse beef jerky

pepper beef jerky

Snack Value

Thompson's Smokehouse sells this Pepper 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 Pepper beef jerky from Thompson's Smokehouse has largely a plain, unremarkable flavor, offering mostly a cured meat flavor, similar to ham or summer sausage, with a salty, black pepper seasoned taste.

If anything makes this jerky impressive is its extra thick cut illustrating the meat grains and fibers. The thickness and meaty appearance really builds up a mouth-watering anticipation, yet the flavor didn't really meet that expectation. I had hoped for something more smoky, with a natural meat flavor than a cured meat flavor.

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.

Rating: Average

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