Wilderness Jerky Outlet is a brand of Wilderness Jerky Outlet, Inc. of St. Johns, MI. It's an actual store where you walk in and buy a variety of smoked meats including jerky, meat sticks, sausages, smoked salmon, and a few other things.
But they also have a website where you can buy their products online.
Many of their jerky products were actually manufactured by Michigan Brands, Inc., a company that seems to make jerky for a lot of other Michigan-based jerky companies. You can read my prior reviews of Bulk Beef Jerky and Bruce's Jerky, both of which were made by them.
This particular Smoked Beef is also marketed as "No Sugar Added".
Beef, salt, spices, garlic, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a saltiness, and maybe just a touch of smokiness.
The chewing flavor starts with a strong natural meat flavor, with a bit more smokiness, and an increased saltiness.
For being labeled "Smoked Beef", there is a smokiness to this but it's light overall. It's not that rich smoky flavor that I've found in some other brands, it only seems to add a touch of color to the natural meat flavors.
It's actually the natural meat flavors that define this jerky. Compared to Bruce's Jerky "Smoked Colorado Beef", which was also made by Michigan Brands, and what I think is most comparable to this, this seems to have more natural meat flavor.
But it also seems to have the same level of saltiness, which I would place at a high level, though still not too high and within my tolerance range.
Having eating a few pieces of this jerky, the black pepper has built enough to where I can notice it at a light degree. I can also notice a wee bit of garlic happening as well.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this jerky is a strong natural meat flavor with a light smokiness, a heavy saltiness, and touches of black pepper and garlic.
These are strips of whole meat, sliced thick and in small to medium sizes.
This is a moist jerky with a wet surface feel. There's a lot of flexibility to these strips, bending almost all the way around with little cracking. It's easy to bite off chunks and chewing seems easy too.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and tender offering up little to no chewing resistance. It chews down to a soft mass very quickly and at that point it feels just like eating a steak cooked medium, but perhaps more soft.
I don't see any signs of fat on these strips, and found no gristle or tendon. I didn't really encounter much stringiness at all, and found no unchewable wads of tissue.
As for clean eating, handling these strips leave a good deal of moisture on my fingers which require a licking and wiping, and after awhile that residue feels a touch sticky.
Wilderness Jerky Outlet sells this Smoked Beef at a price of $6.25 for a 4oz package. I bought several other of their flavors and sizes for a total of 32oz at $62.00. They waive the shipping if you buy over $50.00. That worked out to $1.94 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes at the $1.94 per ounce price, this Smoked Beef seems to provide a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for a good overall flavor, a great meat consistency and great chewing texture. That price is in the ballpark of what you'd pay for the major brands of jerky at grocery stores, but this by far has better snackability.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Smoked Beef from Wilderness Jerky Outlet offers up a strong natural meat flavor with a touch of smokiness that kept me reaching for more and more. But don't discount the great meat consistency and chewing texture of this. It's not only easy to eat but chews like a real steak and provides mostly just pure meat.
I found the saltiness in this to be at a high level, though still tolerable for my preferences, yet I think that higher saltiness really only obscures the natural meat flavors. And instead of higher salt it would have been nicer to get more of the black pepper and garlic, as it is those spices are not really adding the extra flavor dimension that they should with jerky.
And while I do get a light smokiness, I'd like to have gotten more considering this is labeled "Smoked Beef". But as it is, it's still a joy to chomp on these chunks of soft moist meat and get that rich natural meat flavor.
I think a good beer pairing for this is the roasted malt of a simple brown ale, which should compliment that meat flavor. Try the Lost Coast Downtown Brown or the Moose Drool Brown Ale.
Buy this online:
- Update: Dec 19, 2012, this company appears to be out of business now.