Back in 2010, I bought a 3.25 ounce/92 gram bag of Uncle Buck’s Maple Brown Sugar ham jerky at a convenience store in Jacksonville, Florida. The Uncle Buck’s brand of jerky is a fairly common sight among the various states that I have visited, where they seem to have a solid distribution network in the large store chains.
Uncle Buck’s is the brand name of jerky for Bass Pro Shops located in Springfield, Missouri, the large store chain that sells fishing accessories among many other things. This jerky is actually made by the very large and successful private labeler company Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC, based out of Memphis, Tennessee, making this a stock recipe.
Ingredients: Ham, Brown Sugar, Water, Contains 2% or less of Sugar, Salt, Natural and Artificial Maple Flavor (Propylene Glycol, Corn Syrup, Water, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sugar, Molasses, Salt, Maple Syrup), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Sodium Nitrite, Flavorings and Extractives of Paprika Allergen Warnings: Soy
There is not much to like in this ingredient list. 98% of the ingredients are comprised of just ham, brown sugar and water. There is a tiny bit of healthy maple syrup used, but for the most part, very unhealthy artificial flavors were used to achieve this maple brown sugar flavor. Artificial flavors are notoriously unhealthy, and high quality maple syrup is generally quite expensive.
One of the most disappointing ingredients used is propylene glycol, which is a derivative of oil. It has many industrial uses. In the food industry, it is used as a emulsifier, and considered to be safe by some organizations, but not me.
The sugar level is high at 7 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. For a sweet based flavor, 5 grams of sugar or under is preferred. The salt level is also somewhat high at 370mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 350mg of salt or under.
This jerky does use unhealthy sodium nitrite as the main preservative, apart from salt. The highly processed flavor enhancer hydrolyzed soy protein is used, which is considered to be a form of MSG. Even worse, being hydrolyzed, it is a form of trans fats.
I paid $5.99 for this 3.25 ounce/92 gram bag of jerky, which works out to $1.84 an ounce. That would rate as an average price. Given that an unhealthy ingredient list is used, and tastes processed, this jerky is not recommended as worth your money.
This is a professional looking bag. Everything is imprinted directly on the bag, both on the front and back. There are no labels affixed to this bag. The bass fish depicted in the Bass Pro Shops logo is well done. On the back of the bag is a high resolution picture of Uncle Buck, although the convenience store carelessly affixed the price sticker right on Uncle Buck’s face.
The Bass Pro Shops slogan is “Your Adventure Starts Here…” The only other fact printed is “Premium”. Apart from some per servings information, there are no facts printed on this bag.
Almost all bag categories are covered here. Just one minor complaint, where the weight is only stated in ounces and not grams. There is a personal message from Uncle Buck about this jerky printed on the back. To the credit of Bass Pro Shops, they display a toll free number for customer inquiries.