A couple of years ago, Michael Knotek made beef jerky as a hobby and sold it to family, friends, and co-workers. His first and favorite flavor, Black Pepper, could not be kept in stock for more than just a few days. At the end of 2020, Michael decided to quit his full-time job and start The Jerky Workshop in early 2021 with his wife, Jill, and they have enjoyed every minute of it!
Their business model is a mobile beef jerky business. They attend every local farmer’s market and event they can find in the Omaha/Metro area (Nebraska/Iowa) to sell their current flavors of beef jerky accompanied by a floss pick. Jill has started referring to Michael as the ‘Meat Gypsy”. The Jerky Workshop does not have a storefront; instead, they are renovating a trailer that they hope to take to events within the following year. The Jerky Workshop is distributed under the name of The Jerky Workshop LLC, and it is located in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The first review on The Jerky Workshop will focus on a 3 ounce/85 gram bag of their Sweet & Smoky flavored beef jerky. This flavor is described to spend time in the smoker before being slow-dehydrated, having a lightly sweet and smoky flavor. This jerky was kindly submitted for review by owner Michael Knotek.
Beef, Soy Sauce (Water, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate), Sugar, Natural Smoke Flavor, Lime Juice, Dehydrated Garlic, Pepper Sauce (Distilled Vinegar, Red Pepper, Salt), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Spices, Brown Sugar, Chili Pepper, Salt, Silicon Dioxide. Allergen Warnings: Soy
The high-quality Nebraska beef used is ethically raised, meaning it is guaranteed to be free of growth hormones and additional antibiotics. The cattle are also guaranteed to have some free range access to roam about and graze on grass the way nature intended. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Very Good (9/10) rating.
The sugar level is respectable at 2 grams per 28g of jerky. The salt level is somewhat low at 220mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky qualifies to have no sodium nitrite or any other similar unhealthy preservative. This jerky does not qualify to have no MSG added as the cheap flavor enhancer hydrolyzed soy protein is used in the soy sauce to lose a rating.
THE JERKY WORKSHOP – SWEET & SMOKY BEEF JERKY
Written by guest jerky reviewer Paul Rekker
When I open the bag I smell both smoke and soy. The pieces are medium in size, and they are sliced to a medium thickness. The jerky is rigid (not quite hard, but certainly not soft), however, it breaks off nicely when you bite it. The jerky has a darker than average hue, which I construe to mean it has a plethora of flavor, it must have been well marinated. The jerky is also dry, meaning it leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
The first flavors I encounter are salt, pepper, both at very tasty levels, garlic and onion, also at decent levels. I taste soy and smoke, again at premium levels. The sweet flavor is present but not overpowering, another plus. I don’t detect any kick, but it is not advertised as so, so no deductions. I also pick up a solid level of natural beef.
This jerky review appears to be writing itself. I have no qualms whatsoever about this jerky. It is a delectable and tasty treat, the kind of jerky that most absolutely tastes like “more”. With a clear conscience, I can’t award this flavor any less than a “very emphatic” 10/10, ridiculously high on the “Wow!!” factor.
I challenge anyone to have just one piece. The Jerky Workshop, take a very well-deserved bow, this snack is “da bomb”. Two very emphatic thumbs up. 😋👍👍
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
The Jerky Workshop – Sweet & Smoky Beef Jerky is simple and delicious. This jerky has a beautiful and well balanced flavor profile. A delectable smokiness nicely compliments the sweet and savory flavor.
The aroma and texture keep adding to this incredible meaty treat. I enjoyed this fantastic jerky; it is beefy and tasty, the marinade and seasoning do not overwhelm me in any way. The flavor profile is tucked in the background while complimenting the tasty beef.
The Jerky Workshop – Sweet & Smoky Beef Jerky should come with its own warning, as it is dangerously addictive and genuinely deserves a 10/10 Taste Rating.
Here is what Mark had to say about this Sweet & Smoky beef jerky flavor from The Jerky Workshop: “Thanks Paul and Stéphane for the great taste review. I could not agree more. Having sweet in the flavor name had me leery, but the sweetness is not a distraction. The smoked flavor blends in well. No single flavor stands out that culminates in a delicious taste profile, leaving you wanting ‘more’. The rigid texture used here is top-notch being easy to chew and flush with natural beef flavor. Michael earns his title of being the ‘Meat Gypsy’. Take a well-deserved bow, a unanimous Excellent (10/10) taste rating it most certainly is.”
This clear resealable plastic bag has a label affixed to the front and nothing on the back. The word ‘T’ from the word ‘The’ in The Jerky Workshop logo has horns.
There are no slogans printed on this bag. The only fact printed is that a dental flosser is included in the bag.
Order their jerky online: http://thejerkyworkshop.com