The first review for BJO Smoky Mountain will focus on a 4 ounce/113 gram bag of their cracked black pepper flavored beef jerky. It is described as a good traditional flavor, where the pepper comes to the front, but still allows the true beef flavor to come through. The bag was purchased in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, at the Crossings Premium Outlets, where there is a Pocono Mountain Beef Jerky Outlet store.
This BJO Smoky Mountain brand is distributed under the name of The Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise, Inc., who are located in Seymour, Tennessee, near the Smoky Mountains. The owner, Todd Logan, established this Pocono Mountain BJO store in October 2015. There are currently around 75 Beef Jerky Outlet stores located across the USA. That number is expected to be over 100 in 2017. The Beef Jerky Outlet opened up their first store in 2010. A wide variety of jerky is available for sale, and a 100% grass-fed beef jerky line is expected to be launched in about three months, including a few new flavors.
Ingredients: Beef, Soy Sauce (Water, Salt, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate), Water, Brown Sugar, Vinegar, Natural Liquid Smoke, Hot Sauce (Chili Pepper, Vinegar, Salt), Pineapple Juice (Pineapple Juice, Ascorbic Acid), Garlic Powder, Black Pepper. Allergen Warnings: Soy
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 consists of a poor soy sauce, natural liquid smoke, a good hot sauce, water, healthy vinegar, and a decent pineapple juice. It is disappointing to see that the soy sauce uses the highly processed cheap flavor enhancer hydrolyzed soy protein. Also not good is that cheap, processed corn syrup is used in the soy sauce.
The sugar level is great at less than 1 gram of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is very high at 600mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less per 28 grams of jerky. Keep in mind that this nutrition facts table is not trustworthy, as the nutrition facts table does not appear to change for each flavor.
This jerky does not qualify to be MSG free because the unhealthy flavor enhancer hydrolyzed soy protein is used.
These strips of jerky are mostly large in shape, and sliced borderline thin. There is a relatively dry texture, and chewing these jerky strips are within reason. There are very little signs of fat, and handling this jerky leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
The first taste detected is a moderately strong soy flavor. It does not take long for the peppered flavor to develop, which also remains at a great reasonably strong level. A mild garlic flavor permeates throughout. At a light level is the pineapple juice, which blends in well with this flavor.
There is little to no sweetness, which gives it a decent level of natural beef flavor. The saltiness is at a mild level, and there is a light smoked flavor. As a bonus, there is a slight kick to this flavor. Overall, this flavor achieves its claim as being a good traditional flavor, where this jerky is addictive.
A 4 ounce/113 gram bag sells online for $9.99. That works out to $2.50 an ounce, which rates as a slightly expensive price. If you purchase three bags in their store, the price is reduced to $25. While it’s not the best ingredient list around, this cracked black pepper flavor is certainly recommended from a taste perspective.
This resealable, clear plastic bag has a label affixed to the front, and nothing on the back. The Beef Jerky Outlet logo has bull horns above their name.
Their slogan is “Made in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee”. Facts printed on this bag are “Made in USA”, and “Smoke Flavor Added”.
The only bag categories missing are a soy allergen alert, and no blurb is printed about the jerky or flavor.