Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wild Bill's Beef Jerky - Teriyaki (Revised Recipe)

wild bills beef jerky
Wild Bill's Beef Jerky recently revised their Teriyaki variety, again. Last November, I wrote a review of their Teriyaki beef jerky which was stamped, "More Teriyaki Taste".

The folks at Monogram Food Solutions, the parent company of Wild Bill's, tells us that they changed the recipe again, and asked that we do another review. This new recipe has a completely changed list of ingredients, removing much of the preservatives. This new recipe hasn't quite reached stores yet, but should be reaching you by the time you read this.

The Wild Bill's brand remains one of the world's oldest operating beef jerky brands, going back to 1955 when it was part of Balwell's Butcher Shop, up in Lancaster County, PA. Today, it's one of the top selling brands in the eastern United States. It's still made the same old way after all these years, sliced from whole muscle, hung on racks by hand, and dehydrated in smokers.


Beef, soy sauce, brown sugar, seasonings (garlic, black pepper, red pepper), sprayed with potassium sorbate.

(previous ingredients for comparison purposes: Beef, seasoning (sugar, tapioca maltodextrin, soy sauce, fructose, salt, yeast extract, hydrolyzed corn gluten, onion powder, garlic powder, sodium erythorbate, spice extractives, extractives of paprika), brown sugar, sodium nitrite. Sprayed with potassium sorbate.)


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a heavy sweetness, followed by a light saltiness, and faint bit of spice. The teriyaki flavor comes in afterwards.

The chewing brings in a more defined teriyaki sauce flavor, while a light natural meat flavor makes its appearance. I can also pick up some black pepper, while a wee bit of heat turns on.

For starters, being advertised as a Teriyaki beef jerky, it fits the bill. I get a flavor that tastes much like teriyaki sauce, with the heavy sweetness, the soy sauce flavor, and a fermented character that separates teriyaki from sweetened soy sauce. I can even pick up a light pungent spice, coming from the garlic, or perhaps touches of ginger, which I tend to define as true teriyaki.

But in comparison with Wild Bill's previous Teriyaki beef jerky, this is much better. The flavor coming out of this new recipe has more "pop", due to the better teriyaki sauce, as well as the introduction of black pepper and red pepper. There's even a tangy character, which comes from the mirin wine/sake component that goes into teriyaki sauce.

Overall, the flavors that define this jerky starts with the teriyaki sauce with all of the taste complexities you expect from real teriyaki sauce. There's a spiciness from the black pepper and red pepper that's very noticeable, and then the lighter touch of garlic. The natural meat flavor rounds out the rest in a light amount.

As for that spiciness, I'd rate this on my personal heat scale as "mild-medium" (level 2 out of 5).

The level of saltiness seems a little less than before.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips of two to three inches in length, and sliced medium thickness.

This is a dry jerky with a slightly moist, lightly sticky, surface feel. The strips are rather stiff. Chewing seems average to easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling tender, whereas the previous recipe was more stiff, almost tough. It takes on a meaty feel as I chew through this, and once it's chewed down to a soft mass, it feels meaty, somewhat steak-like, but still a little on the crumbly side.

I don't see any bits of fat on these strips, and no gristle or tendon. I did not encounter any stringiness or unchewable wads.

As for clean eating, it's mostly clean. My fingers do pick up a fine stickiness, but not enough to require a licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.

Snack Value

Wild Bill's sells this Teriyaki beef jerky from its website at a price of $5.25 for a 3oz package. No shipping fees were noted. If you bought six packages, it would work out to a price of $1.75 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.75 per ounce price, it's a great value. I'm getting a good flavor, a good meat consistency, and decent chewing texture. Compared to other major brands of jerky sold in stores, it has a better flavor, better chewing and meat consistency, but at comparable to lower price.

As a teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $1.75 per ounce price, it's a great value again. It tastes like real Teriyaki, and seems to offer a better teriyaki flavor than many other brands I've reviewed, yet at a price that's comparable or lower than what you'd find elsewhere.


wild bills beef jerky nutrition
I'm giving this a good rating.

This Teriyaki beef jerky from Wild Bill's offers the classic, authentic Teriyaki flavor you'd expect to get from a Japanese restaurant, offering the heavy sweetness, the soy sauce flavor, the fermented character, and the pungent garlic and/or ginger spice. I can even taste a bit of tanginess in the chewing, which is what real teriyaki is supposed to give you.

But I also like the addition of black pepper and red pepper, boosting the spiciness and making this more of a spicy Teriyaki. It's not really hot at all, just a small touch of heat, but enough to give this jerky some extra "pop".

Compared to Wild Bill's previous Teriyaki recipe, this is much better. It even has a more fresh quality. The revised recipe also seems to make this a little more tender. Kudos to Wild Bill for making a more authentic tasting teriyaki jerky.  In fact, he might want to consider donning a samurai outfit, just for this flavor.

Rating: Good

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