Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Lemon Pepper

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Lemon PepperLemon pepper is a flavor combination that seemed to hit a high point in popularity in the 1990's starting with chicken and then bleeding over into other meats. My curiosity was picqued when Fatman's sent me their lemon pepper variety of beef jerky because I hadn't yet tried this type of seasoning on jerky.

Fatman's Beef Jerky is a brand produced by Red Meat Foods, LLC, based in Roswell, NM. The same town that earned a reputation for little green men may very well earn a reputation for its beef jerky someday. The Fatman's brand seems to be building up a following because I see it mentioned on several websites across the Internet.

The company was started by the husband and wife team of Rick and Ellen Robey. For 30 years, Rick owned and operated a holstein calf raising business and a USDA inspected packing plant, which perhaps gave him a good head start into the jerky biz. All of their jerky is made from inside rounds of American-raised beef, marinated for 24 hours in Robey's own homemade recipes. It's processed and packed in their own facility.


Beef, water, soy sauce, lemon juice, lemon pepper, black pepper, salt.


I get a good dose of the natural meat flavors immediately from the surface of these pieces. With some time, the black pepper starts making a showing. Moving into the chew, the black pepper comes out more, followed by some salt, and more of the natural meat flavors.

For being advertised as a lemon pepper variety, I'm having trouble identifying the lemon. I tried several pieces to see if some had more lemon flavor, but it just wasn't there. If I analyze closely what I'm tasting, I can sense a tangy, or citrus taste, but it's faint.

If you were to put a piece into your mouth without carefully analyzing what you're tasting, what you'll taste is a dominant meat flavor, plus pepper and salt, but no lemon.

That dominant meat flavor has a fresh taste, a very lean taste, similar to that of the center portion of prime rib. From what I've found from the Fatman's brand, it's the meat flavors that get highlighted in much of their varieties.

In terms of the salt and pepper, I don't really find this to be "too salty" at all, it's probably just right for my liking. The pepper does make a good showing in this. I can taste its presence on each piece, and I'm getting a good black pepper aftertaste in the back of my mouth.

Overall, this lemon pepper variety has a great taste that emphasizes the natural meat flavors, decorated with some pepper and salt. But I don't find much lemon flavor in this.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and in small to medium sized pieces.

This is a thin dry jerky that easily cracks and breaks with some bending. There's even some crunchiness in this. It's very easy to bite a piece off, and moderately easy to chew. The chewing is like what you'd get with steak cooked well done.

There's also a great deal of "cleanliness" to this jerky in that it doesn't leave your fingers with any sticky, oily, or powdery residue.

I found no pieces of fat, tendon, gristle, or other chewy tissue.

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Lemon Pepper

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Lemon Pepper
Product Value

Fatman's sells all of their jerky varieties at a price of $7.99 for a four ounce package. That works out to $2.00 per ounce, putting this into the expensive price range.

For general jerky snacking purposes, it's a decent value. You'll get a great taste of real meat, highlighted with some pepper and salt, and a great consistency with a bit of crunchiness to boot. It costs a lot more than what you'll find in the grocery stores, but you are definitely getting a better jerky.

As a lemon pepper variety, it's a poor value because I can't seem to identify any of the lemon. I keep wanting to find that lemony flavor, or even a citrus or tangy flavor, and it isn't there. It might be worth taking a spray bottle, filling it with lemon juice, and dousing it before eating.


I'm giving this a good rating.

While the lemon taste is absent in this lemon pepper variety, it's still a pretty good jerky on its own merits. You're getting a great natural meat flavor, with some pepper and salt seasoning, along with an easy-to-eat consistency. Even the bit of crunchiness adds to the overall snacking fun.

In fact, it's that strong meat flavor that gets this jerky up to a "good" rating. For being free of preservatives, it has a fresh taste, and gave me the sense that I was eating "minimally processed" meat. The fact that it's free of added sugar will please a lot of die-hard jerky eaters as well.

I just would like to get good dose of lemon taste to back up the lemon pepper advertisement.

I think an IPA would make a great companion beer for this.

Rating: Good

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