Monday, September 9, 2013

Appalachian Jerky Co. - Primal Smoke

appalachian jerky co
This Primal Smoke beef jerky is among the newest flavors from Appalachian Jerky Co. See our reviews of other flavors from Appalachian Jerky Co.

Appalachian Jerky Company is a relatively new player in the meat snacks industry based out of Brighton, MA. The creation of two college buddies, Ron Myrick and Doug Labb, the boys had been making their own jerky for camping trips and parties. When they decided to take their seasoned meat delicacies to market, they tweaked their original recipe and developed a few more.

This Primal Smoke variety is gluten-free, and is described by the company as, "...embraces the food of our sugar, soy, or presevatives. Just lean steak, chilis, vinegar, salt, garlic, onion pepper, red pepper and real hickory smoke."


Beef, water, hot sauce, salt, garlic, onion, pepper, red pepper


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light smokiness and a light saltiness. I can also pick up some garlic.

The chewing brings in an increased saltiness, along with a defined garlic and onion flavor. I can pick up some black pepper, and a touch of tanginess.

For being marketed as "Primal Smoke", perhaps as being a smoky compliment to the paleo-diet, it seems to hold up well. I do taste a smokiness in this, and it does tend to have more of a real-wood smoked flavor.

Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky perhaps starts with the garlic and onion seasoning. The hickory smoke flavor colors it, while a light black pepper adds a bit of spice. I can also pick up light swashes of tanginess in the chewing, more like the vinegar found in hot sauces.

The ingredients all seem to combine well to create mostly a garlic & onion flavored jerky with a noticeable smokiness. There isn't really any heat to this, considering the addition of hot sauce, though it still has a light spiciness along with the black pepper. But, the vinegar from the hot sauce does show up in light amounts, just enough to give this jerky tangy chewing.

I don't really pick up any of the natural meat flavors, perhaps only faint touches.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and in small bite sized pieces, as well as a good deal small bits.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. They have a pliable, soft plastic-like flexibility. Chewing seems to be chewy, but not tough, still somewhat easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling like soft, pliable plastic with a fair amount of chewing resistance. A few chews into it, and it just starts to break down, and takes on a more meaty resemblance. Once it chews down to a soft mass, it feel much more like a piece of steak cooked well-done.

I don't find any bits or streaks of fat on this jerky, not did I find any gristle or tendon. Because these pieces are cut into small and very small pieces, I don't really pick up any stringiness and found no unchewable wads of tissue.

In terms of clean eating, it's mostly clean with a light bit sticky-oily residue on my fingertips, not enough to require a licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.

primal smoke beef jerky

primal smoke beef jerky

Snack Value

Appalachian Jerky sells this Primal Smoke variety at a price of $3.50 for a 1.75oz package. Shipping is free if you spend $45.00 or more. So, if you bought 13 packages, the total would come to $45.50. That works out to $2.00 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.00 per ounce price, this jerky offers a good value. I'm getting a good deal of snackability from a satisfactory flavor with a good meat consistency and decent chewing texture. That price is comparable to what you'd pay for major brands of jerky at the grocery store, and seems to offer similar snackability.

As a hickory smoked beef jerky, targeted to the Paleo Diet market, it also seems like a good value. I do get a easily noticeable smoky flavor, and it seems to be free of preservatives and other unnatural ingredients, just like a caveman might eat.


I'm giving this an average rating.

This Primal Smoke beef jerky from Appalachian Jerky Co. dishes out a nice level of hickory wood smokiness over a jerky that's largely based on a garlic & onion seasoning. There's a bit of black pepper spice going on, and a light tanginess coming from vinegar in the hot sauce. Overall, it creates a snackable flavor that seems to satisfy the meat snacking urge.

In comparison to other brands of jerky I've reviewed, the flavor, meat consistency, and chewing doesn't seem to rise much above the average lot. It doesn't seem to have any characteristics that wowed me or piqued my interest. I couldn't pick up much of the natural meat flavors either.

But as far marketing this jerky towards the Paleo Diet sector, I think it does well. It's gluten-free, preservative free, and seems to be made from all natural ingredients. I'd much rather snack on this after a workout than gulp down a powdery protein drink.

Rating: Average (3/5)

1 comment:

  1. Average rating by an insane person who is talking about mouth feel as if this was a nice bordeaux.. I buy this stuff daily.. flavor is off the charts, and they do not use brown sugar, or any sweetener for that matter, which makes it one of the healthiest jerky's on the market.. without sacrificing flavor. A+ stuff.