Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Pony Express Jerky - Original Hickory Smoked

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 the brand's flagship flavor, and is offered in two meat styles, this smaller cut style reviewed here, and a longer strip style sold in one-pound packages (which we will review later).


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


The first flavors I pick up are a light salt and a faint soy sauce. The chewing increases the soy sauce definition, and introduces a light garlic and a light spicy heat. Several chews later, the black pepper makes its way into the picture.

For being marketed as, "Hickory Smoked", there is indeed a light smokiness mixed into the marinade, but nothing that takes over the palate. There's also a faint smoky aroma that exited the package when I opened it.

Otherwise, the primary taste profile is that of soy sauce, boosted with a bit of garlic, a touch of smoke, and a light black pepper. There's a light bit of spiciness in this, measuring as "mild medium" on our heat scale.

The meat consistency seems 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, though one particular piece has a pretty sizable chunk of fat. Once chewed down soft, it takes on a steak-like texture.


This Original Hickory Smoked beef jerky from Pony Express offers up a savory, lightly smoky, flavor that's both simple and addicting. The soy sauce-forward marinade is actually very similar to Wild Bill's Beef Jerky, the same brand that preceded Pony Express. The steak-like chewing texture creates a more authentic jerky experience, though the initial chewy toughness might seem uninviting. In and of itself, this is an old fashioned style jerky designed to offer a traditional meat snacking experience rather than something complex and creative that many brands today try to achieve. By that measure, it does an excellent job of being classic, American jerky, something an actual Pony Express rider might have taken along for the journey.

Rating: Good (4/5)

pony express beef jerky

pony express jerky

1 comment:

  1. Relieves hunger on the go
    Better than snacking on chips