Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Phil's Beef Jerky - Hickory

phils beef jerky
Next in the series on Phil's Beef Jerky is this Hickory variety. See my previous reviews of their Mild beef jerky and Teriyaki beef jerky.

Phil's Beef Jerky is based out of Tye, TX, having been in operation the past four years. It was started by Phillip Morgan, who like many others in the jerky business, started out small but began to grow. He soon expanded into a larger facility, gained USDA inspection approval, and now supplies jerky to hundreds of service men and women at nearby Dyess AFB.

This Hickory variety is described by Phil as having a, "great taste and a smooth flavor for folks who do not like it spicy, but a great hickory flavor that you will enjoy snacking on."


Beef, marinade (water, natural hickory wood smoke, vinegar, salt, onion, garlic, black pepper, dark red chili, hydrolyzed soy and corn protein, sugar, caramel color molasses, papain, citric acid).


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a hickory smoke flavor, followed by a light oily flavor. There's a light bit of saltiness noticeable.

The chewing brings in the natural meat flavors along with an increased saltiness.

For being labeled, "Hickory", it certainly fits the bill. I do get a noticeable hickory smoke flavor right away.

Otherwise, the flavor that seems to define this jerky is the natural meat flavor. It has a hickory smokiness mixed in along with a moderate saltiness.

It's difficult to pick out the other ingredients, such as the garlic, onion, black pepper, dark red chili, etc. However, I do pick a very light sweetness.

For the most part, this comes off as a mild flavored jerky, very simple tasting, emphasizing the natural meat flavor, having a well-done, cooked steak flavor, a light fatty flavor, with a hickory smokiness and moderate saltiness.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into slabs of medium to large sizes, and sliced thick.

This is a dry jerky with a semi-moist, very oily surface feel. The slabs have some flexibility, but feels very steak-like, not at all rubbery or plastic. Chewing moderately easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling meaty, with a little initial resistance, but just a few chews in, and it already feels just chewing a piece of grilled steak, more like flank steak cooked medium well.

I do see some small bits and streaks of fat on these slabs, but nothing chewy or rubbery. I don't see any gristle or tendon. I do encounter a fair amount of stringiness, some of which remains in mouth as unchewable wads.

In terms of clean eating, it's not. There's a good deal of oily residue on my fingers from touching these slabs.

Snack Value

Phil's Beef Jerky sells this Hickory variety from its website at a price of $8.75 for a 4oz package. Shipping is free. If you bought four of these packages, it works out to $2.19 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.19 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting good flavor, good meat consistency, and excellent chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, this is priced a little higher, but is a far better buy.

As a hickory smoke flavored beef jerky, also at the $2.19 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a lot of hickory smoke flavor, even a good deal of hickory smoke aroma.


I'm giving this an average rating.

This Hickory variety from Phil's Beef Jerky offers a well-noticed hickory smoke flavor mixed into a easily identifiable natural meat flavor. But other than a moderate saltiness, and a light oily flavor, there doesn't seem to be much else to taste.

Considering the long list of ingredients, much of it is hard to discern and identify. For the most part, this jerky has a well-done, cooked steak flavor, with some smokiness and saltiness and not much else. Even the black pepper ingredient is hard to identify.

Much like with Phil's other beef jerky varieties, this has a good meat consistency and chewing texture. I could entertain a four-star rating if there was just some other flavor dimension to make it more interesting.

Rating: Average

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