Monday, August 25, 2008

Ray's Own Brand - Original

ray's own brand beef jerky
Ray's Own Brand is a brand of beef jerky produced by a business of the same name, located in San Luis Obispo, CA. It was started by Raymond Cattaneo and wife Nina Marie in 2003.

The Cattaneo's beef jerky business follows their successful barbecue service, Cattaneo BBQ Service, which they've been doing since 1971 across the central coast of California. Ray's grandfather was William Cattaneo who started Cattaneo Bros. Beef Jerky, and since the age of 9 has been working in the meat smoking trade.

Ray's Own Brand is a husband & wife operation with Ray overseeing the individual batch processing, with Nina Marie directing all business operations. They make their own beef jerky at their own facility.

The valleys around the California central coast have long been known for its cattle ranches and vineyards, but only recently began seeing an interest for its artisan jerky.


Beef, water, cider vinegar, salt, black pepper, garlic, celery powder.


The first taste I get is the natural meat flavors, followed by a light saltiness. With some chewing, I can pick up traces of garlic. I can also detect a bit of the tangy cider vinegar. There's hints of black pepper.

For being marketed as the company's Original flavor, this has a very simple, light, and mild taste. It emphasizes the natural meat flavors with a steak-like palate, and just touches of vinegar and seasonings.

Otherwise, the primary taste profile is the natural flavor of beef, in a steak-like character, with only trace amounts of salt, vinegar, and black pepper.

The meat consistency is excellent, slices of seemingly pure meat, cut into thick strips with the grain. The meat pulls apart easily enough, and chews with a fair amount of chewiness, yet still easy and lightly moist. Once chewed down soft, it feels just like eating chunks of real steak, not crumbly, not mushy, but like pure beef.


This Original beef jerky from Ray's Own Brand is about as close as one can get to pure beef jerky that emphasizes the richness of beef meat flavor, with only a trace amount of seasonings. It's very light on the salt, light on the vinegar, and light on the pepper. It's otherwise, gobs of steak-like chewing in a lightly moist, lightly chewy texture. It's also sugar free, perfect for Keto diets and other low-carb diets. This is also an excellent example of artisan-style jerky from California's Central Coast, and is perfect for pairing with red wines.

Rating: Best (5/5)

Buy this online:

rays own brand beef jerky

rays own brand beef jerky


  1. This is the best beef jerky I have ever had. It is so filling that I use it as my lunch on the run. I love that there are no preservatives and almost not fat. Great job Ray!

  2. Steve I am glad they sent you samples after I recommended it to you! This stuff is so good - it is by far the best jerky I have ever tasted. I bought a home dehydrator (excalibur) and use a hanging method just to try and imitate these guys. I am still working on the recipe but when I get it down in a few years :) I will send you some.