Friday, November 3, 2017

Pony Express Jerky - Original Hickory Smoked Strips

pony express jerky
Pony Express Jerky is a brand owned by Pony Express Enterprises based out of New Holland, PA. The brand was started in 2009 by Ted Cundiff, a veteran of the meat snack industry. Cundiff originally launched Wild Bill's Beef Jerky in 1983, a brand that was bought up by Monogram Foods in 2009.

Pony Express is manufactured in its own USDA inspected facility in New Holland, right in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. The company offers a retail location in Blue Ball, PA.

This "Original Hickory Smoked" is different than the flavor we reviewed last week in that this is packaged in full length strips, and more importantly, is vacuum-sealed, which tends to hold its flavor and moisture better. It's only sold in one-pound (16 oz) packages. For comparison purposes, see last week's review here. Pony Express recommends you purchase a "Jerky Jar" designed to hold your remaining jerky strips and keep them air sealed.

Ingredients

Beef, soy sauce, water, garlic powder, black pepper, potassium sorbate, cayenne pepper

Review

The first flavors I pick up are a light salt, a faint soy sauce, and a touch of garlic. The chewing brings on an increased soy sauce definition along with a more noticeable garlic. There's a black pepper that comes in too. The hickory smoke is also noticeable. A light spicy heat starts to build.

For being marketed as, "Hickory Smoked", there is indeed a light smokiness mixed into the marinade, more so than the smaller sized chunks that I reviewed last week.

Otherwise, the primary taste profile is that of a smoky, soy sauce, boosted with a noticeable garlic, and a light black pepper. There's a light bit of spiciness in this, measuring as "mild medium" on our heat scale. Also, there's a light oily flavor unlike that found in the smaller-sized packages.

The meat consistency is excellent. It's chewy right off the bat, and perhaps lightly tough, but chews down quickly enough without overworking your jaws. Most pieces seem free of fat, stringiness, or other tissues. It's oily to touch, and you might want to keep a paper towel handy to wipe your fingers before touching a keyboard or remote control.

Verdict

These Original Hickory Smoked Strips jerky from Pony Express is actually a much better jerky than the same flavor sold in smaller, bite-sized pieces. Perhaps the biggest reason why is that its sold in a vacuum-sealed package, which tends to keep jerky more moist and keep flavors locked in effectively. As a result, these are more smoky and more flavorful, and a little more moist, and a little less chewy. The meat consistency looks impressive, presenting long strips of pure meat, with little to no fat. All in all, it's still same old fashioned jerky that we reviewed last week, but more close to something fresh out of the smoker, with fuller flavor and a little more tender chew.

Rating: Best

pony express jerky

pony express jerky


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