Friday, December 14, 2012

Jimmy's Sticky Jerky - Black Pepper

jimmys sticky jerky
Next in the series on Jimmy's Sticky Jerky is this Black Pepper variety. See my previous review of their Sticky Sweet beef jerky.

Jimmy's Sticky Jerky is a new jerky brand launched in September 2012. It's the creation of Jim Nielsen, based out of Hermosa Beach, CA. The concept of "sticky jerky" is based on the stickiness of the marinade Nielsen uses. He makes all the jerky himself, trimming, slicing, and packaging the stuff. He currently sells it at farmers markets and a handful of local stores around Hermosa Beach.

This Black Pepper variety is said to be made with fresh-cracked pepper, claiming to be full of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors.


Beef (top round), soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic, liquid smoke, seasonings and spices.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a black pepper flavor mixed with a light bit of sweet. Some saltiness comes in later, and a touch of ginger.

The chewing starts with a bit more saltiness and an increased ginger flavor. The natural meat flavors come in later, and there's a light bit of tanginess.

For being marketed as a Black Pepper beef jerky, it certainly fits the bill. I get a lot of black pepper flavor, and it does seem to have a fresh flavor in that it's sharp and crisp. The pepper is finely ground, and there's plenty on the surface to be seen. It seems to generate a considerable amount of burn. On my personal heat scale, I'd rank this as medium (level 3 out of 5).

Otherwise, the flavors that define this jerky is primarily the black pepper. The sweetness adds a secondary component, and the natural meat flavor rounds out the last. The ginger and the tangy vinegar chewing add highlights to the flavor.

In comparison to the company's Sticky Sweet variety I reviewed earlier, it's largely the same jerky but with a lot more black pepper. As a result, the stronger ginger that I liked in the Sticky Sweet gets lost in this Black Pepper variety, and it even feels to be less sweet.

After eating several pieces, my tongue gets scorched by the strong black pepper and makes it difficult to taste much of anything else aside from the sweet.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into chunks and strips, some of which are bite-sized, and others enough for two bites. These are all sliced thick.

This is a semi-moist jerky with a semi-moist, slightly moist, surface feel. These pieces are quite tender and flexible. Chewing is largely easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling quite tender, offering little resistance. They break apart with the first chew and take on a soft, meaty feel. It takes little time to chew down to a soft mass, and by that time it feels meaty, some of which is steak-like, but others more mushy.

I do see some small pieces of fat on a few pieces, but no visible signs of tendon or gristle. I feel some stringiness here and there, and I did encounter a few chunks of unchewable tissue.

As for clean eating, my fingertips pick up a thin sticky residue, but still dry enough to touch my keyboard without gunking it up. It seems the heavy coating of black pepper buffers my fingers from the stickiness.

black pepper beef jerky

black pepper beef jerky

Snack Value

Jimmy's Sticky Jerky sells this Black Pepper variety from its website at a price of $17.99 for 3-pack of 2.2oz packages. If you bought 3 of those of 3-packs, shipping comes out to just $5.00. That works out to a price of $2.98 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.98 per ounce price, it's a weak value. I'm getting a good overall flavor, a good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to other gourmet brands, it's considerably more costly, but not necessarily better in flavor.

As a Black Pepper beef jerky, at the same $2.98 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting a lot of black pepper flavor, and a fresh flavor at that, as well as plenty of black pepper bits on the surface. Black Pepper jerky addicts should appreciate this.


I'm giving this an average rating.

This Black Pepper variety from Jimmy's Sticky Jerky dishes out plenty of fresh tasting, black pepper flavor, enough to generate a medium level of spice burn. There's a moderate amount of sweetness to back it up and a light natural meat flavor.

But unlike the company's Sticky Sweet variety I reviewed earlier, this doesn't have much of the ginger and tangy chewing that I really liked. The stronger black pepper seemed to have blotted it out. I think it would be better to just add lighter amounts of black pepper, enough to add that spicy dimension without taking away from the other flavors.

The heavy black pepper also scorched my tongue after eating several pieces, making it difficult to taste anything else but the sweet. The result is that I lost much of the subtle flavors that goes into this.

Otherwise, the meat consistency seems good, with its thick chunks and strips of beef, feeling soft, moist and tender. The chewing texture overall feels meaty, sometimes steak-like, but other times rather mushy. I found encountered significant wads of unchewable tissues in some pieces.

Rating: Average

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1 comment:

  1. My favorite kind of Jimmy's Sticky Jerky! I got hooked last Labor Day during Fiesta Hermosa, now I have to have it shipped to me in Chicago to get my fix.