This will be the second review for Wild Bill’s hickory smoked beef jerky, which includes a live taste review. This 3 ounce/85 gram bag was purchased at a Wawa gas station in Kearny, New Jersey, in December 2014.
The Wild Bill’s brand name is owned by the very large and successful Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC., located in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to being acquired by Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC. in 2009, the Wild Bill’s brand name originated in 1955 within Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
Ingredients: Beef, Soy Sauce (Water, Salt, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate), Seasoning (Garlic, Pepper, Red Pepper). (Sprayed with Potassium Sorbate Solution to Help Protect Quality). 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 only consists of soy sauce. While there are many different soy sauce recipes to choose from, the recipe used here is on the very bad side. On the good side, healthy garlic, black pepper, and red peppers are used.
Admirably, there is no sugar used in this jerky. The salt level is extremely high at 580mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less.
It is disappointing to see that potassium sorbate is listed twice in the ingredient list. Potassium sorbate acts as a preservative, and is similar to sodium nitrite.
This jerky does use MSG in the form of hydrolyzed soy protein, which is a flavor enhancer. It is considered to be both a type of MSG, and an unhealthy trans fat.
Fair (4/10) – Ingredient Rating
These strips of jerky are mostly medium in size, sliced to a medium thickness. The texture is quite dry, which gives your teeth a work out to chew, but within reason. There are no visible signs of fat, and handling this jerky leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
Without question the first flavor detected is the hickory taste. The soy flavor is moderate, and this jerky is quite salty tasting, too salty actually. There is no sweet flavor at all, which is a great contrast to the hickory smoke, and natural beef flavors. While not entirely consistent, at times this jerky takes on a peppery flavor from the black pepper.
This 3 ounce/85 gram bag of jerky cost $7.25. That equates to $2.42 an ounce, which rates as an expensive price. There are healthier and cheaper alternatives out there.
Everything is imprinted directly on the bag, both on the front and back. This resealable bag uses something called ZIP-PAK technology. There is one sticker affixed on the front stating “HEY! We Make BACON JERKY 2!”.
The most striking thing about this bag is the actual Wild Bill’s logo, which is a registered trademark. It’s an old, short man with a beard and moustache wielding two long guns, dressed in old style clothes, kind of like a pirate.
There are no slogans printed on the bag, but it has some facts displayed such as “0g Trans Fat”, “Made in the U.S.A.”, and “97% Fat Free”.
All bag categories are covered here, except there are no clever slogans. The back of the bag has a decent blurb printed about Wild Bill’s. To the credit of Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC., there is a toll free phone number provided for customer inquiries.
Paige Smith says
I love the fact that there are so many different ways to enjoy beef jerky. I think that beef jerky is a great thing. I would love to learn more about what makes one beef jerky higher quality higher then the other.
Jerky Ingredients says
Hi Pagie, our criteria page gives an idea on how the jerky is judged: jerky criteria
Daniel Trickey says
I love wild bills beef jerky and I’ve been purchasing wild bills hickory smoked 30 pack of beef jerky from the jar for the past decade.. and for the past few months every package the taste has been off. It doesn’t taste like the hickory smoked salty goodness I’ve always had and love. Now it tastes more like the original bland flavor that doesn’t taste salty or hickory smoked. I was wondering if the recipe has changed. Or is it a faulty batch?
I would say a bad batch. I have recently received a really dry batch but the the next one was one of the best
PA Jerky Guy says
I completely agree. I have been eating Wild Bills for 25 years now, and within the past 2-3 years the flavor has changed, and this change has been consistent across bags, even acquired in different states, and with months in between. The only explanation is a change in their manufacturing process and it is wholly disappointing as the new flavor is not nearly as enjoyable as the flavor I have known my whole life.
For years I bought and loved beef jerky from Lone Starr….they went out of business and the closest to the taste was Wild Bills.over the past several years I have been buying WIld Bills the price has continually gone up…..it’s now 44.00 for a 30 count bag….that’s beyond expensive to me and it makes me sad that I can no longer afford it.
Jerky Ingredients says
Hi Kay, today I published a 2022 beef jerky price update. See if you can find cheaper prices from this list of 300 jerky brands. http://jerkyingredients.com/2022/07/02/beef-jerky-price-range-july-2022/
If you enjoy Wild Bill’s Beef Jerky, then Bronco Billy’s Beef Jerky is a better alternative. https://www.broncobillybeefjerkys.com/shop/