Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauces were first introduced in 1985. Their philosophy and slogan are “The Sauce is the Boss”. Bridgford Foods Corp. started its business in 1932, specializing in multiple food products, not just meat snacks, and currently has about 500 employees. They have a deep distribution network and are likely in the top five for jerky sales in North America while still being a family run business. The Sweet Baby Ray’s jerky brand name is manufactured and distributed by Bridgford Foods Corp. and they are located in Chicago, Illinois.
Ingredients: Beef, Water, Seasoning Blend (Salt, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Mustard, Monosodium Glutamate, Dehydrated Garlic, Red Pepper, Sodium Erythorbate, Onion Powder, Spice Extractive), Brown Sugar, Sweet Baby Ray’s Jerky Base (Vinegar Powder [Dextrin, Modified Food Starch, Vinegar Solids], Tomato Powder, Pineapple Juice Powder [Maltodextrin, Pineapple Juice], Worcestershire Sauce Powder [Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Tamarind, Natural Flavor and Sulfiting Agents], Maltodextrin], Natural Smoke Flavor, Spices, and not more than 2% Silicon Dioxide added to prevent caking), Black Pepper, Sodium Nitrite. Allergen Warnings: May Contain Soy and Wheat
This 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 consists of just plain old water. Every other liquid listed is in powdered form.
The sugar level is somewhat high at 6 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky to lose a rating. Our preference is 3 grams of sugar or less per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is high at 480mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky to lose another rating. Our preference is 350mg of salt or under per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does not qualify to be sodium nitrite free, as sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite are used as preservatives to lose a rating. The flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used to lose another rating.
BRIDGFORD – SWEET BABY RAY’S PEPPERED BEEF JERKY
Written by guest jerky reviewer Paul Rekker
When I open the bag I smell only soy. The pieces are generally small in size and are sliced to a medium thickness. The jerky is hard and dry, and it is easy to chew.
When I bite into the jerky I encounter salt, pepper, light sweetness (a good thing), along with slight garlic and beef. Not sure if it’s natural or processed.
As I consume more, I am picking up on some spice, something similar to Frank’s Red Hot, but it does not advertise as so. I also pick up on the pepper flavor, but it seems that the “spice” is overtaking the pepper.
While I am enjoying this flavor, it is by no means blowing me away. I feel like this review is writing as an 8/10, and so it shall be. Gentlemen?
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
The Bridgford Sweet Baby Ray’s Peppered Beef Jerky has great flavors, and this jerky opens with a “ketchupy\Black Pepper” flavor. There is a sweet fruity undertone, and it pairs well with the taste of Black Pepper. The jerky is sweet (Ding, ding, ding! …it’s in the title), and it doesn’t go overboard. The smokiness is light, delicious, and has tons of umami flavors.
The texture is nice and dry without being leathery. The flavor profile is bold, well balanced, and very tasty. This jerky does feel a bit stale, but I can’t fault the jerky maker for it. This is still a pleasant jerky, and I can imagine what this gem would be if it had been consumed earlier. These jerky strips hit all the boxes, as can be expected with another great jerky product by Bridgeford.
I’ve never been disappointed with Bridgeford Sweet Baby Ray’s thus far, and this Peppered Beef Jerky is simply another testament to their fantastic jerky making skills. I rate this jerky 10\10 Taste Rating. Godspeed!
Here is what Mark had to say about this Sweet Baby Ray’s Peppered beef jerky flavor from Bridgford: “Thanks Stéphane and Paul for the candid taste reviews. I am somewhere in between both of you. The Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce tastes great as always. Although I cannot entirely agree with Paul that spiciness is present, I find the flavor is not focused enough on the black pepper. Other flavors in the taste profile tend to override the peppered flavor, but overall, the black pepper is at a decent level.”
“I agree that the texture is dry and somewhat tough, a personal bias that we enjoy. The natural beef flavor comes across well, with little to no processed beef flavor present. Unfortunately, this flavor does taste stale to a certain degree. That is no fault of Bridgford, and now it explains why this flavor was sold so cheap, being near its expiry date. With Paul at an 8 rating, Stéphane at a 10 rating, and myself at a 9 rating, a Very Good (9/10) taste rating will be awarded.”
This resealable plastic bag has everything imprinted directly onto the bag itself, both on the front and back. There is a high resolution picture displayed on the front of a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. Oddly on the front, there is something that is covered in white that resembles mold.
The slogan for Bridgford Foods is “The Premium Brand”. Some facts displayed on this bag are “High in Protein”, “0g Trans Fat”, “100% American Beef”, “Gourmet Sauces”, “80 Calories”, “0g Sat Fat”, “11g Protein”, and “Made in the USA”.
All bag categories are covered with this bag. There is a good blurb printed on the back describing Bridgford Foods. Admirably, a toll free phone number is provided for customer inquiries. You are encouraged to follow Bridgford Foods on Facebook and Twitter. A QR code is displayed linking back to the Bridgford Foods website.