In 1955, a small meat shop called Balwell’s in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, laid the foundation for a beloved national treasure among beef jerky enthusiasts – Wild Bill’s beef jerky. By 1983, Balwell’s had embarked on a journey to craft premium beef jerky and meat snacks, setting the gold standard for jerky quality. Wild Bill’s claim to fame lies in its offering of long, delectable strips of premium beef jerky, a product that became iconic, famously sold in Mason jars throughout the northeastern United States. In the heart of Dutch Country, Balwell’s Butcher Shop remains a revered purveyor of the freshest and finest meats, and their dedication to outstanding products and friendly service has built them a sterling reputation over several decades in the local market.
In 1998, Balwell’s transformed, adopting the name Wild Bill’s Foods, Inc. What began as a local gem had now evolved into a name recognized and respected in the meat snack industry. Wild Bill’s Foods became synonymous with creating meat snacks that even the most discerning connoisseurs would savor and appreciate.
In 2009, Wild Bill’s Foods found a new home under the wing of Monogram Foods Solutions, a prominent player in the U.S.A. meat industry known for manufacturing branded, licensed, and co-packed meat snacks. Monogram Foods remains steadfast in preserving the authenticity of the original Wild Bill’s jerky brand. With pride, every Wild Bill’s product continues to be crafted in the U.S.A., upholding the tradition of exceptional quality that has made this brand an enduring favorite. This Wild Bill’s jerky brand name is distributed under the name of Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC, and is based out of Martinsville, Virginia.
This next review for Wild Bill’s will focus on a 3 ounce/85 gram bag of their original flavor of beef jerky. This flavor is described as tasting their original beef jerky with bold jalapeño pepper to bring the heat.
The flavor is described as using whole muscle jerky made from slices of USDA top round, marinated in soy sauce and seasonings; then hand hung on rods and hickory smoked to perfection in a real smokehouse. This 3 ounce/85 gram bag was purchased at a 7-Eleven store in North Tonawanda, New York.
Ingredients: Beef, Blended Soy Sauce (Water, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Corn Syrup, Salt, Caramel Color, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate), Contains 2% of Less of Natural Flavors, Salt, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Molasses, Lactic Acid, Smoke Flavor. 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 vague ingredient natural flavors is listed, which can consist of both healthy and non-healthy ingredients.
Admirably, there is less than 1 gram of sugar used in this jerky. The salt level is quite high at around 600mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky to lose a rating. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does not qualify to have no MSG added. The cheap, highly processed flavor enhancer hydrolyzed soy protein is used to lose another rating.
WILD BILL’S – ORIGINAL BEEF JERKY
Written by guest jerky reviewer Paul Rekker
When I open the bag I smell pepper and natural beef. The pieces are medium in size, and they are sliced thin to medium in thickness. The jerky is rigid, just like our forefathers intended, and it leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
When I bite into the jerky I taste salt and pepper, both at excellent levels. I also taste garlic, onion, and natural beef. The sweetness is at a mild level, which is good. This jerky flavor is quite busy for an original flavor.
As I consume more strips I am increasingly enjoying this flavor.
Wild Bill’s has outdone itself this time with this particular flavor. I am thoroughly enjoying it. A well deserved 10/10, I find nothing wrong with this flavor. Gentlemen?
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
The Wild Bill’s Original Premium Beef Jerky is tasty. I’ve enjoyed its bold, beefy flavor. The saltiness is reasonable, the soy sauce taste is strong, and the smokiness is subtle. The flavor enhancers are up there too, and it always concerns me a bit, as I prefer the unadulterated sweet natural taste of beef. The aroma and texture are also pleasant.
I find Wild Bill’s Original Premium Beef Jerky does taste good, and it is in line with an Original flavor. The “Doritos Generation” will undoubtedly enjoy the boldness of this jerky. And it may give their taste buds a break from the pizza pockets and other tongue numbing processed foods. I’d rate this jerky between an 8-9/10 Taste Rating.
Here is what Mark had to say about this hot beef jerky flavor from Wild Bill’s: “Thanks Stéphane and Paul for the candid taste reviews. It was not until 2007 that I first got into beef jerky, buying jerky from somebody who had a beef jerky business on the side. By 2008, Paul and I started making homemade jerky. In 2009, I tasted my first bag of Wild Bill’s beef jerky and was hooked immediately, being my favorite jerky brand at the time, not including my own homemade jerky. This was still when the jerky was manufactured by Wild Bill’s Foods, where Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC acquired Wild Bill’s Foods in 2009.”
“By far and away, Wild Bill’s beef jerky has the most popular taste reviews published. I noticed that after Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC acquired Wild Bill’s, the beef had a very specific processed tasting beef flavor, which I found gross tasting. The bold soy, saltiness, and black pepper flavors remained the same, but the distinct processed beef flavor was hard to ignore.”
“Earlier this year, a follower told me that the Wild Bill’s beef jerky had improved substantially. I kept an open mind, and we finally got around to reviewing Wild Bill’s again. I 100% agree with this follower. The beef now tastes normal with no trace of a processed beef flavor. A big thumbs up to Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC for heeding our call and changing how beef jerky is prepared or sourced.”
“I can see why not everybody would enjoy this flavor. Not everybody enjoys bold, almost overwhelming levels of soy, salt, and pepper, along with flavor enhancers. Those who do enjoy this taste profile, myself included, will love this flavor. My portion was devoured in no time, a tell-tale sign that this jerky is addictive. With Paul and I at a 10 rating and Stéphane at a 9 rating, an Excellent (10/10) will be awarded. A very enthusiastic two thumbs up!!👍👍”
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.
A slogan printed on this bag is “Hand Crafted in Small Batches”. Some facts displayed on this bag are “Hand Crafted”, “Smoke Flavor Added”, “Authentic Craft Jerky”, “97% Fat Free”, “14g Protein”, “Excellent Source of Protein”, “Slow Smoked”, “Specially Seasoned”, “Gluten Free”, “Premium Cuts of Beef”, “It Started in a Bucher Shop”, “Made in U.S.A.”, “Rich & Robust”, “For Over 60 Years”, and “Made and Packed in the USA”.
All bag categories are covered here. A small, 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.