Monday, September 15, 2008

Ray's Own Brand - Peppered

rays own brand beef jerky
Ray's Own Brand is a line of beef jerky produced by the husband and wife team of Raymond Cattaneo and Nina Marie. The business has been around since 2003, based out of San Luis Obispo, CA.

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 makes their own beef jerky at their facility in SLO. Ray oversees the individual batch processing, while Nina Marie directs all business operations.

The Cattaneo's jerky business benefits from a growing interest in "artisan jerky" across the central coast of California, an area long known for its wines and cattle ranches.


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


The first taste that hits my tongue is a light black pepper and the natural flavor of beef. The chewing increases the black pepper, while the a light tangy vinegar becomes noticeable. The salt is very light. Towards the end of chewing, the natural meat flavors take over while the black pepper becomes more sharp.

For being sold as, "Peppered", you get a lot of black pepper flavor from this, along with a lot of granulated black pepper visible on these slices. The heat generated rates a, "mild medium" on our heat scale (2/5), and is actually a good balance between flavor and spice. It doesn't quite have that fresh-cracked character, but there's enough black pepper flavor coming out of this that you may not notice.

Otherwise, the primary taste profile is a rich natural meat flavor, well seasoned with black pepper, and touches of salt and vinegar. It has a steak-like flavor, almost a balance between a grilled steak and a prime rib.

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 Peppered beef jerky from Ray's Own Brand just can't be denied for its rich natural meat flavor and it's lightly moist, steak-like chewing texture. The thick slices of pure meat are a total bliss for flesh-eating fanatics because it feels and chews so much like real, unadulterated meat. It's not tough, nor mushy, but just the right amount of chewiness for jerky, while preserving that steak house texture. Even though the black pepper seasoning is dominant, the salt, garlic, and vinegar are kept toned down, offering just light bits of flavor and letting the natural goodness of beef show through.

Rating: Best (5/5)

Buy this online:

peppered beef jerky

black peppered beef jerky


  1. I am a student at Cal Poly and I just bought your jerky from the Market and it really is the best! The jerky is super thick and the taste is amazing! I can't wait to try the other flavors.

  2. Rays is my favorite beef jerky ever!!! I love how flavorful it is and how fresh it is too!