Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Pony Express Beef Jerky - Sweet Heat

pony express beef 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 "Sweet Heat" is described by the company as, "A true American favorite; a perfect blend of sweet and spicy. For those who can’t just pick one."


Beef, soy sauce, brown sugar, water, italian black pepper, potassium sorbate, garlic


The first flavor I pick up is a light sweet with a touch of soy sauce. The black pepper comes in right away and presents just a bit of heat. The chewing rushes in a natural meat flavor, while the black pepper increases a bit more.

As for being named, "Sweet Heat" and for its claims of being a "perfect blend of sweet and spicy", it certainly does offer a sweetness, but on a light level. It's probably not anymore sweet than your typical garden-variety beef jerky sold in major outlets. The "heat" or "spicy" is also there, a little more strong than the sweet. It's strictly a black pepper heat, not a chile pepper heat. It'd rate it as "medium" on our heat scale (level 3 out of 5).

Otherwise, the primary taste profile is that of a lightly sweetened, soy sauce flavor, with a significant black pepper piquancy. The soy sauce is not strong, but more mild and watered down. It actually has more soy sauce aroma than taste. The saltiness is moderate.

The meat consistency is pretty good. It's definitely chewy, somewhat tough to get started on, and requires some jaw work to soften down. You might want to just suck on a piece first. It's very lean, with no noticeable fat. I felt no stringiness. Eventually, it takes on a steak-like chewing texture.


This Sweet Heat Beef Jerky from Pony Express delivers a light sweet with a moderate black pepper bite, enough to warrant its flavor-name. But it's not anything goes beyond the other brands of competing sweet-and-spicy varieties. It is, however, a more simple interpretation on the age old jerky style, relying on black pepper instead of chile pepper, and using a light and simple base marinade. It ends up taking on a more old-fashioned style peppered jerky with maybe a touch more sweet than usual. Though it's more tough to chew than Pony Express' other flavors, it still takes on a steak-like texture, and perhaps that only strengthens it's old-fashioned appeal. Regardless, it's a simple jerky, well done, but not anything that goes above and beyond.

Rating: Good

sweet heat beef jerky

sweet spicy beef jerky

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