Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Luther's Smokehouse - Cowboy Pocket Food

luther's smokehouseNext in the series on Luther's Smokehouse is this "Cowboy Pocket Food". See my previous reviews of Luther's other jerky varieties.

Cowboy Pocket Food is a chopped & formed pork jerky made from smoked pork shoulder. Last week I reviewed a similar jerky, "Midnight Special", also from Luther's Smokehouse. But this Cowboy Pocket Food includes dried cranberries.

Luther's Smokehouse is a smokehouse located in LeRoy, KS, owned and operated by Martin Luther. Luther started out running a slaughterhouse, but in 1974 he added beef jerky to his list of products and today it's his primary business.


Pork, dried cranberries, salt, spices, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a smokiness, quickly followed by a light saltiness. I can also pick up a faint sweetness.

The chewing flavor starts with a bit more smokiness, a bit more saltiness, and then a noticeable natural meat flavor.

For being labeled as being made with dried cranberries, I don't really taste any cranberries. I do pick up just a faint touch of fruitiness, but it's so faint that I have to analyze carefully what I'm tasting to notice it.

But as a pork jerky, there is an easily noticeable natural meat flavor that comes in the chewing. It's much like the Midnight Special I reviewed last week, having more like a ham flavor. Except here, I don't get any of that light clove flavor, and less of the black pepper.

In fact, these strips don't have the light oily consistency that the Midnight Special had, being more dry, and as a result I don't get that light oily flavor.

The sweetness is very light. The saltiness feels to be at a medium level.

Overall what you're going to taste in this is a smoky, natural meat flavor, comparable to ham, with just a touch of sweet, and a very faint fruitiness.

Meat Consistency

This is chopped & formed jerky, formed into strips of a medium thickness and in lengths of ranging from 2 to 6 inches.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. These strips have some flexibility, but will crack open and break apart before bending a full 180 degrees. Biting off chunks is easy to do, and chewing is also easy.

The chewing texture feels very much like Luther's Pemmican Style Beef Jerky, soft, lightly chewy, more like biting off a corn tortilla that was rolled up. It quickly breaks apart with little chewing resistance. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it feels like chewing a slightly dry meat loaf.

I didn't encounter any hard bits or crunchy bits of material that I often find in cheaper grades of chopped & formed jerky. It seems very meaty.

It's also very clean eating. My fingers are totally dry and not sticky or oily in any amount.

cowboy pocket food

pork jerky
Snack Value

Luther's Smokehouse sells this Cowboy Pocket Food from its website at a price of $7.00 for an 8oz package. If you bought two packages, to be sent to Southern California, the shipping comes out to $8.95, for a total of $22.95. That works out to $1.43 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.43 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting an average snackability for an overall satisfactory flavor, easy eating, but dry chewing. It's considerably cheaper than the major brands of jerky you find in the grocery store, but flavor and meat consistency is not any better.

As a pork jerky mixed with cranberries, at the same $1.43 per ounce price, it's a fair value. It does offer a well-noticed, smoky ham flavor, but I don't taste any of the cranberries and very little of a fruity flavor.


luther's smokehouse nutritionI'm giving this an average rating.

This Cowboy Pocket Food from Luther's Smokehouse offers up a good smoky natural meat flavor that resembles something like ham, but not quite as ham-like as their Midnight Special. This also doesn't have as much of the black pepper and none of that light clove that the Midnight Special has.

It's made with cranberries, except I don't taste any of the cranberries, with just a smidgeon of fruitiness that shows up when I analyze the flavors carefully. It's also a different consistency, being more dry and less chewy. Whereas the Midnight Special chewing more like sausage, this stuff chews like dry meat loaf.

This is actually very comparable to Luther's Pemmican Style Beef Jerky, having the same consistency and chewing, but with a little bit better flavor due to the stronger smokiness and meat flavor. But overall, it's still somewhat bland having little other seasoning.

Between this and the Midnight Special, I like the Midnight Special better. Both are chopped & formed smoked pork shoulder, but the Midnight Special has a better chewing, and more seasoning.

I think a good beer pairing for this is a double IPA. It'll give you the fruity, floral notes from a intense hopping, and a light sweetness from a heavier malt. Try the Russian River Pliny the Elder or the Grand Teton Lost Continent.

Rating: Average

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