The next review on Wild Sky will be on a 2.25 ounce/64 gram bag of their barbecue flavored 100% grass-fed beef jerky. This jerky bag was graciously submitted for review by their Inside Sales representative, Ian Damon.
Wild Sky beef jerky is distributed by Montana Prairie Holdings, and is located in Bozeman, Montana. Wild Sky is an innovate company launched in 2014, and created by American Prairie Reserve. Their mission is to support wildlife-friendly ranching through the sale of premium beef. This business model conserves wildlife, and contributes to economic activity in Montana’s rural Northern Great Plains. The overarching goal of American Prairie Reserve is to restore and conserve an abundance of extraordinary diverse wildlife to Montana’s Northern Great Plains, which the region once hosted.
Ingredients: Grass-Fed Beef, Sugar, Water, Organic Ketchup (Organic Tomato Concentrate Made From Red Ripe Organic Tomatoes, Organic Distilled Vinegar, Organic Sugar, Salt, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Spice, Natural Flavorings), Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt, Natural Smoke Flavoring, Natural Flavorings, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika.
The 100% grass-fed beef used is sourced from the U.S., with profits flowing back to Wild Sky Ranchers in Montana who practice wildlife-friendly ranching. These ranchers practice something known as a Freese Scale, which measures nine different ecological processes, each of which is given a 1-7 rating. Annually these Freese Scale ratings are studied, reviewed by a third-party entity and management identifies what areas of each ranch needs attention.
The jerky qualifies to be ethically raised, meaning no growth hormones or additional antibiotics are given. Also, the cattle used in this jerky qualifies to have free range access to roam about and graze on grass, the way nature intended.
The sugar level is high at 7 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference for a sweet based flavor as we have here is 5 grams of sugar or less per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is very low at only 80mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky qualifies to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservative. Instead, organic salt is the main preservative used, and apple cider vinegar to a lesser degree. With more kudos to Wild Sky, this jerky has no MSG added.
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
The aroma of this jerky is primarily tomato ketchup and some smokiness.
I taste a moderately strong sweetness and tomatoes from the ketchup. A light level of acidity blends in well with the flavor and it could certainly be more accentuated.
There is some natural beef flavor, although it is being somewhat overwhelmed by the sweetness. This could be attributed to the barbecue nature of this jerky, which is typically sweet tasting.
The saltiness is at a very light level and while the paprika and smokiness are also faint tasting, they are subtle and still noticeable. There is a slight kick of spiciness from the cayenne and again at a very light level.
These strips of jerky are small to medium in size and they are sliced thick. The texture is fairly soft and tender and the strips are rather easy to chew. I really enjoy this texture, as it is nice and fresh and generally works very well with such high quality beef. There are some visible signs of fat, it does accentuate the natural beef flavor and handling this jerky does leave a slight oily residue on your fingers.
While this jerky tastes good and it is enjoyable, I do not find anything that really grabs my attention, let alone keeps it. The flavor profile is largely tomato ketchup and sweetness. I find something such as a little sprinkle of sea salt, a few turn of the ol’ freshly cracked black pepper mill and the acidity of good vinegar or citrus would have gone a long way. In turn, this would make the flavors “POP” while brightening, livening up and making this flavor profile much more interesting.
This Wild Sky 100% Grass-Fed Beef Barbecue Jerky has a pleasant flavor but unfortunately is a little on the boring side. This jerky has a lot of potential and I rate this flavor 8/10 at this time.
This plastic resealable bag has everything imprinted on the bag itself, both on the front and back, with no labels affixed. There is a high resolution picture displayed of a fowl in the wild on the front. The Wild Sky logo has the word Wild in the backdrop of a cloud.
The only slogan printed on this bag is “Supporting Wildlife-Friendly Ranching”. Some of the many facts printed on this bag are “Meet a Wild Sky Rancher”, “Read Their Story on the Back”, “All-Natural”, “Made in the USA”, “Gluten-Free”, “No Nitrates or Nitrites”, “No Artificial Ingredients”, “Minimally Processed”, Natural Smoke Flavoring Added”, “Grass-Fed Beef Jerky”, and “Beef Used is Pasture Raised & Never Given Antibiotics or Hormones”.
For this barbecue flavor, Mike McCabe and his grandkids from the McCabe Ranch are featured on this bag with their story.
Order their jerky online: www.wildskybeef.org