The next review on Freedom Jerky will be on a 2.5 ounce/70.9 gram bag of their Payload Pepper flavored beef jerky. This flavor is described as a true steakhouse flavor, with just the right balance of cracked pepper with their award winning marinade. The jerky bag was kindly submitted for review by lead role, and former combat veteran, Jonathan Chia.
Freedom Jerky is distributed by Freedom Jerky, LLC, and they are located in Stilwell, Kansas, who launched on Veterans Day November 11/2017. Every bag of jerky sold supports the nonprofit, War Horses for Veterans, a powerful equestrian healing experience for combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) adjusting back to civilian life. At no cost, combat veterans go to their farm for three days in Stilwell, Kansas, and experience horsemanship. The lasting effects of the connection and trust built between the horse and veteran is like no other. Former combat veteran and lead actor of the upcoming Sons of Anarchy spinoff Mayans Vincent “Rocco” Vargas partnered with Freedom Jerky, and also to promote the benefits of War Horses for Veterans.
Ingredients: Beef, Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Worcestershire Sauce (Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce Base (Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Tamarind, Natural Flavor), Salt, Citric Acid), Chili Sauce (Sugar, Water, Corn Syrup Powder, Garlic, Salted Chili Peppers, Rice Vinegar, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Concentrated Pineapple Juice, Shallot, Garlic Powder, Acetic Acid, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Paprika Oleorskin), Balsamic Vinegar, Seasoned Rice Vinegar (Rice Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Salt, Brown Sugar), Liquid Smoke, Spices. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
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.
This busy liquid marinade used here is comprised of a decent soy sauce, an average Worcestershire sauce, a decent chili sauce, healthy balsamic vinegar, an alright seasoned rice vinegar, and liquid smoke. It is disappointing to see that the highly processed cheap sweetener high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used in the Worcestershire sauce.
Unfortunately, corn syrup is listed three times in the ingredient list, which deducts an ingredient rating.
Black pepper would be one of the spices used here. Some people refer to black pepper as the King of Spices, which offers multiple health benefits.
The sugar level is great at only 1 gram of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is quite high at 560mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky qualifies to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservative. Instead, salt is the main preservative used, and the various vinegars to a lesser degree. With more kudos to Freedom Jerky, this jerky has no MSG added.
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
Upon smelling this Freedom Jerky – Payload Pepper Beef Jerky, I’ve picked up a pleasant and interesting aroma of soy, balsamic vinegar and the fruity fragrance of pineapple.
The first flavors encountered were of a light sweetness, soy and saltiness with arguably a light taste of Fresh Cracked Black Pepper. This is a complex blend of flavors and the taste remains consistent throughout the entire experience.
We’ve also noted a disappointing and almost heartbreaking situation where most of the coarse black pepper had fallen off the strips. The bottom of the bag was basically littered with black pepper. It is certainly a challenging feat to retain as much seasoning as possible on the jerky strips. It is especially true when the seasoning tends to be coarser, as in this case with black pepper.
The Freedom Jerky award winning marinade is an important and a delicious corner stone in their seasonings. Their awesome marinade is concocted from a blend of sauces and tasty ingredients and together, they are giving birth to a harmonious and beautiful flavor profile.
There is a decent amount of natural beef flavor and it is well complimented with a light level of acidity/tanginess. This union brings forth fun and interesting flavors while brightening up the overall flavor profile. It should also be said Balsamic vinegar is certainly an uncommon and interesting choice and it bears richer and deeper layers of flavor.
These strips mostly vary in size between small to medium and they are sliced to a medium thickness. This jerky has a pleasantly soft and somewhat dry texture; it is relatively easy to chew and leaves no oily residue on the fingers. These meat strips have a coarse grain and appears to be a quality cut of beef similar in appearance to a beef brisket.
I would surely recommend this flavor to any fan of black pepper and Original flavor. This flavor is really addictive and it was a beautiful treat. I personally really enjoyed Freedom Jerky – Payload Pepper Beef Jerky. I tasted the beautiful taste of fresh cracked black pepper right off the bat. Although, I was satisfied with the level of black pepper at the time, I could have used a few more turns of the ol’ black pepper mill.
On the other hand both my partners Paul and Mark also really enjoyed this great meat snack. However, they felt too much black pepper had fallen off the strips and the black pepper flavor wasn’t accentuated enough for their liking.
Unfortunately, short of applying the black pepper with a shotgun, stapling it or else crazy glue every little speck to each strip, there is not much most can do. Freedom Jerky will likely have to come up with a better method of getting the black pepper to stay on each strip.
As such, our taste rating now stands at 9/10.
This white plastic resealable bag has a label affixed to the front, and nothing on the back. The Freedom Jerky logo has a cool, interesting looking bull’s head in the middle.
While maybe not official, the slogan printed on this bag is “Each Bag Helps War Horses For Veterans”. Some facts printed are “Award Winning”, “American Made”, and “Natural Smoke Flavoring Added”.
Order their jerky online: www.freedomjerky.com