Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wild Ride Cowboy Strips - Pepper

Wild Ride Cowboy Strips - PepperWild Ride Jerky is a brand of beef jerky owned by Distinctive Brands, Inc. of Boulder, CO. The brand has been around since 2001.

The company was launched by Jim Davis, a fourth generation cattle rancher from Texas. He's been quoted as saying that he couldn't find a jerky that was as soft and tender as the jerky he remembers his family having made. So he decided to make it himself and sell it.

By the time he launched Wild Ride, the world was abuzz with the low-carb-high-protein craze, and his quest to introduce a really soft and tender jerky seemed poised to benefit. He drew upon his nutrition degree from Colorado State University to help devise a recipe that would strike it rich with this unique demographic of dieters. He developed what he calls is a proprietary and patented tenderization process using papain, an enzyme found in papayas.

Wild Ride also offers a Zero Carb variety and a Hormone Free/Antibiotic Free variety.

The subject of this review, however, is their "Cowboy Strips" variety, which is more like the standard jerky, filled with artificial preservatives, nitrites, and MSG. That's contrasted by the company's flagship jerky, described in the paragraphs above, meant to appeal to the female dieters, being free of preservatives, nitrites, and MSG.


Beef, water, corn syrup, salt, black pepper, sugar, dehydrated garlic, hydrolyzed soya protein, paprika, monosodium glutamate, spices, sodium erythorbate, spice extractives, sodium nitrite.


The first taste I pick up upon a putting piece into my mouth is a peppery taste, combined with a smokiness. The saltiness comes on next. I can detect some of the garlic.

For being a black peppered variety, this certainly fits the bill. First, I can see a lot of pepper sprinkled upon these pieces, and its unique taste is rather strong as well. I'd say it's predominant taste in this jerky, with salt being the next strongest taste.

Folks might see this as a salty jerky, but it's not that bad in the first several pieces. Once I get half-way through the bag, the salt starts to wear me down.

In terms of natural meat flavors, I taste only a little, and only when I chew a piece up. It's there, but not much. If anything, what I get is the smoky flavor. The smokiness is quite noticeable and could be a pleasant alternative to the natural meat flavors. The package says its naturally wood smoked.

For the most part this is a good tasting jerky that emphasizes the black pepper, with a hint of garlic back there and plenty of smoky taste. It would be nice to get some more of the natural meat flavors, but I'm still tasting enough flavors in this to keep me entertained. The salt is somewhat strong in this, though not bad at start, but could wear you down later on.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be cuts of whole meat, sliced medium to thick, and in small to medium sized pieces.

This is a dry jerky, though more close to being semi-moist. It's actually quite easy to eat. The pieces tear apart with some effort, but still fall into the category of being easy. I could almost consider this as "soft and tender", though not quite.

Many of the pieces are bite sized, which perhaps makes it for easier eating. I can pop a piece into my mouth, soften it up for awhile, and enjoy the flavors. At that point, the jerky falls apart like pot roast and makes for some good eating.

This line of Cowboy Strips is much different than the company's flagship line of jerky, which is softened using papain. The Cowboy Strips have a consistency that feels more like traditional jerky, whereas the papain softened jerky is rather mushy.

I didn't find anything chewy in the way of tendon or gristle. I did find one piece with a decent sized piece of fat. Otherwise, it's very lean.

Overall, this jerky has a great meat consistency, being easy to eat and offering nothing to get in the way.

Wild Ride Cowboy Strips - Pepper

Wild Ride Cowboy Strips - Pepper
Product Value

I paid $3.50 for this 3.65oz bag at a Big Lots store in Murrieta, CA. That works out to a price of $0.96 per ounce, putting this in the cheap price range. Note, if you were to buy this online directly from Wild Ride, you'd end up paying $5.49 for the same sized bag, working out to $1.50 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, this provides an excellent value. The great taste, and great meat consistency makes this very snackable, and at the lower price I paid it becomes a very compelling buy.

For being a black pepper variety, it's also an excellent value. You're getting lots of black pepper taste.


I'm giving this a good rating.

These peppered Cowboy Strips variety from Wild Ride offers plenty of black pepper bite combined with a smoky taste in a soft and tender chew, that will have you reaching for more and more.

I also found it rather salty, to the point where it wears down on me requiring a swig of drink every couple of bites. It's also rather weak in terms of offering natural meat flavors.

But the other flavors, namely the black pepper, the smokiness, and that hint of garlic, makes this a very tasty snack. I'd go with a creamy dark stout beer to help sooth the bite from the black pepper.

Rating: Good

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1 comment:

  1. Yeah right up the street from my house they were selling 3.65 oz bags for $2.50 and the big thing was, they were buy one get one free!!! I had to stock up on them!