Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Salt & Pepper

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Salt & PepperI've seen some varieties of jerky advertised as a "salt and pepper" variety, and always wondered if the "salt" part was an oxymoron since jerky always has a saltiness to it. It'd be like "salt flavored" bacon. But then again, maybe this particular variety has a stronger salt flavor than others, just for folks who really love the salt?

Fatman's Beef Jerky is a brand produced by Red Meat Foods, LLC, based in Roswell, NM. People driving into town might see a roadside sign reminding them to stop in at the company's store. And since I already brought up an oxymoron, how does one get fat eating beef jerky anyways?

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, salt, pepper.


Right off the surface I get a strong taste of black pepper, followed by a good dose of salt flavor. I can also pick up the aroma of natural meat flavors. Moving into the chew, that natural meat flavors gets stronger, while the salt and pepper continue their onslaught.

Of all the varieties of beef jerky I've reviewed for Fatman's, this one punches out its advertised flavor the most. I get a strong taste of black pepper in each and every bite, and a strong taste of salt as well. Considering there's a lot of black pepper here, I do get a moderate tongue burning. I'd rate this as medium on my hot scale. Comparing the sodium content in the nutrition facts for this variety and others, it's higher than others in the Fatman's line, but still not the highest.

The natural meat flavors are also very strong. I get a taste of meat that's very easy to notice, despite the strong seasonings, and lasts all throughout the chewing. It has a taste similar to that of the center portion of prime rib.

I'd say the predominant taste in this jerky is the salt, followed closely by the pepper, and then then meat taste. However, I found a couple of pieces where the pepper concentration was so thick, the pepper became the dominant taste.

Overall, it's a very simple flavor combo of salt, pepper, and beef, but each of those flavors have a strong presence.

Meat Consistency

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

This is a thin dry jerky that is somewhat brittle to a degree. It provides some crunchiness that quickly eats like a real steak once it hydrates in my mouth. It's very easy to tear (or break) off a piece, and easy to chew.

While this jerky didn't leave any residue on my fingers, it does leave quite a bit of pepper on my desk and in my lap.

One piece actually has some light streaks of fat, and a result has a darker, oiler, color than the others. I think it actually provided a more satisfying taste and experience; I like to get a little bit of fat in jerky for that reason. Otherwise, I found no chewy pieces of tendon or gristle.

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 presents a good value because I'm getting a lot of flavor, including the natural meat flavors, it's easy to eat, and leaves your fingers clean (though the pepper might get all over you). Even the slight bit of crunchiness adds to the snacking enjoyment.

As salt & pepper variety, it has a great value because you're getting a lot of salt and pepper taste. It's holds nothing back, and adds no other ingredient (aside from beef) to get in your way. It's almost like sprinkling some salt and pepper directly to your tongue.


I'm giving this a best rating.

This salt & pepper variety from Fatman's delivers exactly what you'd hope to expect from a salt & pepper variety of beef jerky, plenty of salt, plenty of pepper, and a strong, wonderful meat taste. Add to that its great meat consistency, and you've got an excellent meat snack.

For having a high salt flavor, I didn't necessarily find it wearing me out. I happen to love peppered jerky, spicy jerky, and jerky with lots of natural meat flavors, and those characteristics are well represented in this jerky. That was enough to keep me reaching for more despite the saltiness.

As for all those loose pieces of black pepper sitting in the bottom of the package, it might be worth keeping for some scrambled eggs. It's not just pepper, but beef jerky flavored pepper!

For a good companion beer, I'd recommend a creamy stout to counter the salty-spicy.

Rating: Best

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1 comment:

  1. I tried this one and thought it was absolutely horrible. Probably the worst one out of their 13 flavor variety pack. Yes, there was lots of pepper and salt but all that did was bring out the cardboard flavor of the meat itself. Overall, it smelled like animal feed & tasted like cardboard with pepper on it. I'd have to say their Cowboy Style is their best product & I agree with your review on that one.