Update December 2014: Open this link for a more recent jerky review on Old Trapper Peppered Beef Jerky (Recipe #3).
Old Trapper jerky is made by Old Trapper Smoked Products, Inc., based out of Forest Grove, Oregon. Old Trapper jerky products are a fairly common sight in Florida, from some of the cities that I have visited. They appear to have a reasonably good distribution network. This review will focus on a 1 ounce/28 gram of their peppered flavor, which I purchased in 2010, at a convenience store in St. Augustine, Florida.
On the back of their jerky bag they describe how they have over 30 years experience making jerky. They go on to describe how the finest ingredients are used, and then smoked with natural hardwood. At first glance it appears to be a high quality jerky product.
The beef used is not guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. Also, the beef is not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to graze on grass. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
The liquid marinade is just water and healthy vinegar. Spices is listed as one ingredient, and in general very healthy. It is common for jerky makers to list the vague term spices, where that way they don’t have to disclose what actual spices are used to their competitors. With this being a peppered flavor, black pepper should be for sure one spice.
The sugar level is 3.5 grams per 28 grams of jerky, which is acceptable. The salt level is also acceptable at 213mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
Unhealthy sodium nitrite is the main preservative used, apart from salt. The flavor enhancer hydrolyzed corn protein is a particularly bad ingredient, which is highly processed, and believed to be a form of MSG. Hydrolyzed Corn Protein is listed higher on the ingredient list than even vinegar.
Update December 2014: Click this link for a more recent jerky review on Old Trapper Peppered Beef Jerky (Recipe #3).
The texture of this jerky is fairly dry, with solid strips of beef that are medium in thickness. It is not overly chewy, pretty much the perfect dryness for my liking.
The taste itself is nothing overly special. Being a peppered flavor, you would expect a peppery flavor, but the black pepper taste itself is mild. There is some saltiness, sweetness, and a smoky flavor, but nothing overbearing.
This bag is impressive, packing so much for its small size. Everything is imprinted directly on the bag, and there are no labels affixed. The logo is of a man who appears to be wearing a beaver cap.
There are no slogans unless you include “Since 1969”. Some facts printed on this bag are “Made From Solid Strips of Beef”, “97% Fat Free”, and “Naturally Smoked”.
All bag categories are covered. There is a good blurb printed on the back of this bag about Old Trapper. As an added bonus there are USA flags on the front and back to signify made in the USA, or at least packaged in the USA.