Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Old Trapper Beef Jerky - Old Fashioned

old trapper beef jerkyOld Trapper is a brand of Old Trapper Smoked Products, Inc., based out of Forest Grove, OR. The company has been making beef jerky since 1969.

I found this particular brand at the The Beef Jerky Store in Las Vegas, NV, otherwise I haven't run across it here in Southern California. Old Trapper makes jerky in their own USDA inspected facility.

In addition to this Old Fashioned variety, I also have a bag of their Chipotle Carne Seca beef jerky which I'll be reviewing later.


Beef, brown sugar, water, salt, hydrolyzed corn protein, vinegar, spices, sodium nitrite.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light sweet flavor, followed by a smoky flavor, with a moderate saltiness coming in later.

The chewing flavor starts with some meat flavors, and then an increased saltiness and smokiness.

The package claims that this is naturally smoked over hardwood, and in fact I do get an easily noticed smoky flavor, and I notice a smoky smell remaining on my fingers.

But I'm also getting a good deal of saltiness, and it seems like that's the dominant flavor of this jerky, salty. Interestingly, the nutrition facts label shows a somewhat low sodium content 213mg per 1oz serving. But for whatever reason, it tastes higher than it is.

The meat flavor is noticeable, but I don't want to call it a "natural" meat flavor. It has more of a cured meat flavor, similar to what you'd find in a meat stick.

The sweetness also has a dominant flavor in this, mostly upon first putting a piece into your mouth and lasting through the first several chews. After that, the saltiness picks up strength and takes over.

There's a good deal of black pepper noticeable on the surface of these pieces, but this jerky doesn't really have a strong black pepper flavor. If anything, it only adds a touch of spice.

Finally, the vinegar listed in the ingredients is lightly noticeable as a tanginess.

Overall, it's the smokiness and saltiness that I notice the most, with some meat flavors and sweetness.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small to medium sized slabs.

This is a semi-moist jerky with a semi-moist surface feel. These pieces are very flexible, bending all the way around with cracking open. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers requires some effort due to some stringiness and rubbery consistency. Chewing effort seems the same, moderate but with some resistance.

The chewing texture starts out feeling soft, moist, but with a good deal of rubbery chewing resistance. This jerky seems to chew down to a soft mass fairly easily once you get past that initial rubbery chew. And by that time, it has a steak-like feel, but very mushy and chewy, like a steak cooked rare.

I don't necessarily see any fat in this jerky, and nor do I see any gristle or tendon, but I can certainly feel a lot of stringiness and I get a lot of unchewable wads of tissue when I eat.

In terms of clean eating, it's seems mostly clean. I do get a light bit of oil and smoky scent on my fingers, but very little fragments of meat or pepper falling off.

old fashioned beef jerky

old fashioned style jerky
Snack Value

Old Trapper sells this Old Fashioned beef jerky from their website at a price of $6.00 for a 3.65oz package. If you bought four packages, they'll tack on shipping of $7.00 (if shipped to Southern California). That works out to a price of $2.12 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.12 price per ounce, it seems to provide a fair value. I'm getting a low level of snackability for an overall satisfactory flavor, and rubbery meat consistency and chewing texture. That price is a little higher than the major brands found in grocery stores, and it seems to have a comparable snackability.


old fashioned beef jerky nutrition labelI'm giving this a fair rating.

This Old Fashioned variety from Old Trapper Beef Jerky provides a mostly a smoky and salty flavor, with just a little bit of meat flavor and sweet. You'll also pick up touches of black pepper and touches of tangy vinegar chewing.

Otherwise, the flavor can be rather dull being mostly smoky and salty. At least it has a real wood smoked flavor, however. Even though the nutrition facts label shows a lighter sodium content, it feels higher than it is.

And the meat consistency feels and chews like soft rubber. Once you a chew a piece down to a soft mass, it's like eating a piece of steak cooked rare, rather mushy, stringy, and chewy.

My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a simple IPA, like the Stone IPA or the Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA. The lighter body will match up with the sweetness, and the hops will help accentuate the flavors in this jerky.

Rating: Fair

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  1. This is my favorite jerky! It deserves more than a fair rating. It is moist and flavorful, something I can't say about any other beef jerky that's not homemade. If you want the kind of jerky that is crafted by hand, rich and not dry as a bone, this is for you.

    1. Totally agree with you. My favorite jerky. Natural smoke flavor almost no one else has. I have been getting it a Winco foods in Northern CA, but they are discontinuing it soon and that's to bad Plus I totally disagree with this review.

  2. I love Old Trapper. It is the only jerky I buy!

  3. Old Trapper is my favorite! Best flavor and best value for the amount in package.

  4. With every other brand of herky I've tried i get a minimum of 1 piece of inedible gristle.

    I've never had a bag of old trapper that was anything less than outstanding. Their consistency is unmatched. Never had any inedible pieces in any of the bags I've eaten.

  5. I would give them ZERO rating from my experience. 5/23/16: 3.25 oz. Old Fashioned Beef Jerky dated 09/20. When I went to have a snack, I found white mold in the sealed package. I have had a very difficult time trying to contact Old Trapper about this. There is never a live person on the 800 number, emails get bounced back, and they just don't seem to care. There seems to be too much moisture in this jerky , leading to the mold problem. I guess overly moist product increases the profit margin by selling more water. I finally decided to leave a review on their Facebook page including a disgusting photo of this package, which brought some response but nothing meaningful. I replied instantly to their emails but no response or offer to replace the product. They tried to tell me the bag must have been damaged after it left their facility, but there is not even a pinhole that would have caused this mold to occur in the way they wanted me to believe. Even a microscopic hole would mean I could express air out of the package with pressure. This is not the case. Old Trapper's Facebook review communication has been condescending and trite "I hope you enjoy your replacement jerky." I was never directly contacted although I left a voicemail when this whole thing started, so they have my contact information. How can I enjoy my replacement jerky when no one from Old Trapper will speak to me to find out where to send a replacement? BAD BUSINESS.

    1. Jesus, just get another bag and get over it.
      don't understand how people care this much about nothing

  6. Best jerky ever. I get the hot and spicy flavor. Always eat the whole bag. Never any inedible pieces.

  7. Old Trapper is a good man! He puts out a dank product. Always dark, moist and meaty- just the way I like it.

  8. Ya know, I notice a good many reviewers like to put Oberto jerky as a favored snack, which sucks about as hard as anything can in the flavor department over this. I cannot understand it. This reminds me of Pemmican, which was amazing. Such good beefy flavor. Savory,even, while not being to hard as to seem dry.