Friday, September 13, 2013

Stu Beef Jerky - Black Pepper

stu beef jerky
Stu Beef Jerky is a new brand of jerky that launched in July 2013, based out of Belize City, Belize.

Stuart Doley grew up in Virginia making venison jerky as far back as he could remember. A few years ago he moved to the country of Belize in South America, and discovered an absence of jerky. He managed to build a relationship with a meat producer and began the process of starting his own beef jerky brand.

According to Doley, beef in Belize largely comes from Brahman cattle, which leads to a more flavorful and lean beef jerky. Because Belizean beef products cannot be exported to the United States, folks in the USA cannot get this jerky, though thankfully Stu was able to deliver us a couple of packages for review. It's only available for sale in Belize.


Lean beef, soy sauce, sugar, Stu's secret blend of spices.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a lightly smoky, light black peppery, seasoning. There's a little sweetness coming in aftwards.

The chewing brings in the soy sauce along with the natural meat flavors. There's also a more defined seasoning blend, mostly black pepper, a little chile pepper, and some garlic.

For being marketed as, "Black Pepper", it does fit the billing. I get a lot of black pepper flavor out of this, and a freshly cracked flavor at that. There's plenty of black pepper visible on the surface, some of which is ground small, and other cracked into larger bits.

Otherwise, the flavors that define this jerky starts mainly with the soy sauce base, but mixed with a light to moderate level of sweet. The complex blend of seasonings soon takes over, marked by a strong, spicy black pepper. After that, it's the natural flavor of beef that shows up.

As for the spiciness, there's enough in here to generate a decent amount of heat. On my personal heat scale, I'd rank this as "Medium" (level 3 out of 5), but mostly a black pepper type of heat as opposed to chile pepper.

The natural meat flavors are noticeably different than the Angus beef we see in the USA. This Brahman beef is probably a little more sweet, maybe a little more rich, than what I'm used to getting from American jerky brands.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into slabs of medium sizes, and sliced thin to medium thickness.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. They have some flexibility. Biting off pieces can require a bit of effort, and chewing ranges from moderate to tough.

The chewing texture starts out feeling feeling stiff and dry, with a fair amount of stiff, rubbery chewing resistance. After several chews, it takes on a meaty feel. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it has a steak-like feel, though still a little rubbery.

I don't see any fat on these slabs, nor any gristle or tendon. I do encounter a fair amount of stringiness, some of which mats down to unchewable wads.

As for clean eating, I don't get any residue on my fingers, but I do see a some black pepper bits falling off on to my lap and table.

black pepper beef jerky

black pepper beef jerky

Snack Value

I don't have any pricing info on this.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Black Pepper beef jerky from Stu Beef Jerky offers up lots of freshly cracked black pepper flavor, enough to generate a fair amount of spicy heat. The blend of seasonings mixed with the soy sauce base creates a very savory, sweet, spicy chewing to create a lot of snackability. Thus far, Stu Beef Jerky is the best jerky brand we've reviewed coming from south of the US border.

The natural meat flavors show up pretty well in this, and offer a taste that's a little more sweet and rich than the Angus-based jerky brands we see so much of in the United States. However, I found these slabs on the tough side, and after eating a few pieces, could feel my jaw muscles wanting a rest.  Biting and tearing off pieces was labored, while the chewing texture was a little on the rubbery side.

Overall, I still found this Black Pepper variety from Stu Beef Jerky to be better than than average lot of jerky brands, which is saying a lot for a non USA-based brand. Stu does a great job of creating an addicting marinade and seasoning blend. The use of Brahman beef makes for a fresh alternative in meat snacking. I'm sure if and when the USA allows for meat exports from Belize, Stu Beef Jerky will find a lot of success in the States.

Rating: Good

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