Uncle Buck’s is the brand name of jerky for Bass Pro Shops, whose headquarters is located in Springfield, Missouri, the large chain store that sells fishing accessories among many other things. This jerky is manufactured and distributed by the very large private labeler company Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC, based out of Memphis, Tennessee, where this a stock recipe.
This 3 ounce/85 gram bag of Uncle Buck’s original flavored beef jerky was purchased at an Ollie’s discount store located in Niagara Falls, New York. This Uncle Buck’s brand of jerky is a fairly common sight across the USA, where they have a solid distribution network in the large store chains.
Ingredients: Beef, Water, Brown Sugar. Contains Less Than 2% Of Salt, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Dextrose, Soy Sauce (Water, Salt, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate), Natural Smoke Flavor, Flavorings, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite. Allergen Warnings: Soy
The beef used is not guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. Also, the beef is not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to graze on grass. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
While this jerky claims to use ‘Solid Slices of Beef’, we are not so convinced. The texture more resembles chopped and formed, where there is barely any natural tear to these jerky strips. This texture is not natural whatsoever, both appearance and tastewise. Normally, we would deduct two ratings for a chopped and formed texture. We will give Uncle Buck’s the benefit of the doubt, and only deduct one rating.
There is not one single healthy ingredient listed. The vague, annoying term flavorings is used, which may or may not contain healthy spices.
The sugar level is acceptable at 3 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is off the charts high at at 750mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky to lose two ratings. Our preference is 350mg of salt or under per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does not qualify to be sodium nitrite free, as sodium nitrite is used outright, along with sodium erythorbate as the main preservatives apart from salt to lose a rating. The jerky does not qualify to have no MSG added, as the highly processed cheap flavor enhancer hydrolyzed soy protein is used to lose another rating.
These strips of jerky are small to medium in size, and sliced thick. The texture is closer to soft and tender, and requires a normal amount of chewing. This texture more resembles plastic as opposed to a normal beef jerky texture. There are visible amounts of fat present, but the fat does not contribute much to the natural taste of beef. There is an ever so slight oily residue handling these strips, which leaves a tiny shine on your fingers. The aroma is smokiness and a processed type smell of beef.
The first taste detected is a strong level of salt, and a processed, unnatural tasting beef flavor that is borderline offensive. Mixed in is a mild level of soy, and faint levels of black pepper, garlic, onion, and perhaps paprika.
The sweetness is at a mild level. Each bite finishes off with an omnipresent mild level of smokiness in the background. This natural beef flavor has an off-putting greasiness and oiliness aspect to it, which leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth that is unique to Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC.
Here is Paul’s take on this flavor: “The first flavors that I detect are salt, pepper, garlic, soy, and a processed type of beef flavor. It’s not overpowering, but it is apparent. This original flavor tastes alright, maybe a bit better than alright. Maybe a 7/10, but I would be okay with a 6/10 as well.”
This flavor was shared between five people, where the taste ratings were all over the charts. Mark was at a 9, Nolan at an 8, Paul a 6, Stephane a 4, and myself at a 3. There is kind of a pattern here, where the more experience with jerky tasting, the lower rating. We will settle on an Average (5/10) taste rating.
This resealable bag has everything printed directly on the bag itself on both the front and back. The Uncle Buck’s logo is a bass fish for Bass Pro Shops. On the back of the bag is a fairly high resolution picture of Uncle Buck.
There are no slogans printed on this bag. Some facts printed on the bag are “High In Protein”, “Made with Solid Slices of Beef”, Made in the USA”, “Re-sealable”, “Original”, “Premium”, “Favorite Take-along Snack”, “Meaty Goodness”, and “Seasoned & Smoked to Perfection”.
The only minor bag category missing is the jerky weight is only stated in ounces and not grams. There is a personal message from Uncle Buck about this jerky printed on the back. To the credit of Uncle Buck’s, they provide a toll free phone number for customer inquiries.
The bag listed at the bottom is a 3 ounce/85 gram bag of Uncle Buck’s original flavored beef jerky purchased at a convenience store in Jacksonville, Florida back in 2011 for $5.99. Remarkably little has changed, where the only differences are it states “Made with Solid Slices of Beef” instead of “Made with Lean Slices of Beef”, and some of the nutrition facts in the nutrition facts table have changed.