This will be the second review for Wild Bill’s hickory smoked Jerky From The Jar style of beef jerky, which refers to a mason jar. The jerky weight has since been reduced, the price increased, the bag design has been tweaked, and the ingredient list may have changed. This 2 ounce/57 gram bag was purchased at a gas bar convenience store in Sayre, Pennsylvania.
The Wild Bill’s brand name is owned by the very large company 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. This ‘Jerky From The Jar’ style of jerky is advertised to be made in small batches, strung by hand, and smoked in a real smokehouse.
Ingredients: Beef, Soy Sauce (Water, Salt, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate), Natural Flavors. 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 a poor quality soy sauce.
The annoying and vague ingredient natural flavors is listed, which can consist of both healthy and non-healthy ingredients.
Admirably, there is no sugar used in this jerky. The salt level is quite high at around 580mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does qualify to be sodium nitrite free, or have any other similar unhealthy preservatives to the best of our knowledge. Instead, salt is the main preservative used here.
This jerky does not qualify to have no MSG added. The cheap, highly processed flavor enhancer hydrolyzed soy protein is used here.
Average (5/10) – Ingredient Rating
2009 was the first time that I tried this hickory smoked beef jerky from Wild Bill’s. Immediately, Wild Bill’s became the best jerky brand tried to date. At that time, this jerky was still manufactured by Wild Bill’s Foods, Inc. Today, while this flavor is still enjoyable, it tasted better in 2009.
For the record, Wild Bill’s is the most popular jerky maker on this jerky review web site by pageviews.
These strips of jerky are traditionally narrow sized, and sliced borderline thin. Each of these mostly uniform sized strips has a hole from where the jerky was hung from a hook by hand while drying in a smokehouse. These strips of jerky are sliced with the grain. The texture is dry, which does give your teeth a work out. Some of the strips have a considerable amount of visible white spots from the excessive amount of salt.
We have a pretty basic taste profile here. Primarily this flavor is overwhelmingly saturated with very strong soy, smoked, and salt levels. A mild level of black pepper blends in nicely.
There is no sweetness present, which amplifies the hickory smoked flavor that much more. While there is some natural beef flavor present, it tends to get drowned out by the strong levels of soy, salt, and smokiness.
We had mixed reactions with this flavor over here, where this is a polarizing flavor. People either tend to absolutely love this flavor, or not care much for it. You pretty much need to be a salt fiend to truly appreciate this flavor. One of the last adjectives to describe this flavor would be boring tasting.
This 2 ounce/57 gram bag of jerky cost $8.49. That equates to $4.25 an ounce, which rates as a very expensive price.
This resealable plastic bag has everything imprinted directly on the bag, both on the front and back. The Wild Bill’s logo is an old, short man with a beard and moustache wielding two long guns, dressed in old style clothes, similar to a pirate.
Some slogans printed on this bag are “Jerky From The Jar” and “We’re Old School Jerky, Made For A New Generation”. Some facts displayed on this bag are “Hand Crafted”, “Slow Hickory Smoked”, and “Proudly Made In U.S.A.”.
All bag categories are covered here. A good blurb is printed on the back about Wild Bill’s jerky. To the credit of Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC., there is a toll free phone number provided for customer inquiries.
Try Pony Express bud, I was a big Wild Bills fan myself for years but Monograms slowly degraded the product and the taste. Not only that they have quality control issues and mold reported on in date bags often enough that you can’t go to their facebook page without seeing it.
Pony Express is run by the people who originally owned Wild Bills, Just found them myself and they still know how to make good jerky.
Jerky Ingredients says
Thanks for the advice Mike. Very true that this is now an inferior product on what it used to be. Even more so with their peppered flavor. Pony Express is definitely on our radar.
Here in 2023 I think it’s been improved. I really like it. I make jerky myself, and yes I’m a salt fiend and prefer my jerky dry and tough. And the pieces I’ve gotten were large and on the thick side without a trace of fat. Fat kills jerky for me. This is the closest widely available jerky that I’ve had, and I’ve had many, to tasting homemade for me. I don’t like all the flashy “extra” flavors that much.
(With one exception.. Jack Links Sweet & Hot is a guilty pleasure, but I know it’s horrible jerky) . That’s just my humble opinion.