Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Beef Jerky I found while writing reviews for similar products. I’ve since tested a 4-ounce bag, and think this beef jerky is okay. Not overly impressed however. While there’s nothing truly detestable about it, this beef jerky is a bit sweet for my taste. However, I wouldn’t turn it down if hungry. The sugary taste, while a little irritating, does not mask the undeniable smoked beef flavor, which is among my main reasons for liking beef jerky to begin with.
Benefits, Pros, Advantages, and Features
- Smaller pieces. The Jack Link’s jerky that I’ve also sampled, has much longer and somewhat thicker beef strips which can complicate chewing or getting a right-sized piece out of the bag. However, in Sweet Baby Ray’s beef jerky, they cut the dried and smoked beef into smaller pieces, which simplifies getting the right amount to eat.
- Less “rubbery” to chew. The smaller beef pieces make this snack much easier to get down. While some actually prefer their jerky to be very chewy, it’s nice that a product like this duplicates the flavor of decent beef jerky without all that chewing effort required.
- This beef jerky is mildly spiced and smoked, which makes its flavor closely resemble beef sticks, as they are processed in largely the same fashion.
- Pieces of this snack from Bridgeford Foods Corporation, because they’re cut so much smaller than is typical, get stuck in the teeth far less often than some other beef jerky brands.
- This form of preserved beef never requires refrigeration; not even after opening. So it will keep at least a couple years in your pantry prior to the first opening. The best-if-used-by date falls roughly a year and a half out from the purchase date. But this dried meat will stay fresh and pleasant-tasting for much longer than that if stored in a cool and dark place.
- Beef jerky is well-known for its longevity under unusually hot conditions, as military soldiers routinely make jerky part of their back pack food rations when heading into battle.
- This snack is very easy to find in just about any store, service station, or other convenience center.
- No bone fragments in this snack to crack your teeth. They do a second-to-none job of filtering out all that refuse from the beef.
- This beef snack product has a pleasant, subtle aroma that mirrors the actual taste closely. So smelling these small beef pieces can definitely make the mouth water, as the scent portends of the wonderful experience to come to the mouth.
- Beef jerky is a low-fat food with just 1 gram of fat per serving, and zero of those grams is saturated fat.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns
- After opening, this stays fresh for only a week or so.
- Part of the resealable “zipper strip” tore from the bag after just a few openings and closings, creating a big hole that I had to use a bag clip afterwards to reseal, until the bag was empty. I’ve noticed that many manufacturers that employ these resealable bags underestimate the required strength of the plastic, glue, or other fastening agents when affixing the zipper strips to the bags. Sweet Baby Ray failed in this way as well.
- This beef jerky has a decidedly sweet taste that while not overly offensive to me, conveys the impression of candy rather than a hearty beef snack. They should consider toning down the sweetness a bit. There’s simply too much sugar in foods these days.
- People typically do not include beef jerky at party buffets, perhaps because it’s so much harder to chew than other more popular foods.
- Store-brand Beef jerky is a highly processed food source with a large list of undesirable food additives, including sugar, salt, brown sugar, and monosodium glutamate.
- It’s also somewhat high in total sodium at 480 milligrams per serving. This sodium amount qualifies this product as an occasional-only treat, though its deliciously satisfying beef and spice flavors might entice you to eat it with greater frequency. But if you’re working in hot environments, eating this a few times throughout the day would help replenish your body salt and satisfy your appetite simultaneously.
Beef, water, seasoning blend (salt, brown sugar, sugar, mustard, monosodium glutamate, dehydrated garlic, red pepper, sodium erythorbate, onion powder, spice extractive), brown sugar, Sweet Baby Ray’s jerky base (vinegar powder, dextrin, modified food starch, vinegar solids), tomato powder, pineapple juice powder (maltodextrin, pineapple juice), Worcestershire sauce powder (distilled vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, salt, caramel color, garlic powder, sugar, spices, tamarind, natural flavor, and sulfting agents), maltodextrin, natural smoke flavor, spices, and not more than 2% silicone dioxide to prevent caking, and sodium nitrite.
- Serving size: 1 ounce, 28 grams. Servings per container: 4.
- Amount per serving: Calories: 90. Calories from fat: 10.
- Total fat: 1 gram, 2% DV.
- Saturated fat: 0 grams, 0% DV.
- Trans fat: 0 grams.
- Cholesterol: 25 milligrams, 8% DV.
- Sodium: 480 milligrams, 20% DV.
- Total carbohydrate: 6 grams, 2% DV.
- Dietary fiber: 0 grams, 0% DV.
- Sugars: 6 grams.
- Protein: 11 grams.
- Vitamin A: 0% DV.
- Calcium: 0% DV.
- Folate: 0% DV.
- Vitamin C: 0% DV.
- Iron: 6% DV.
I’d recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Beef Jerky, but with the caveat that people who like sweeter things will appreciate this snack treat more than those who do not. Indeed, the easily-perceived sweetness put me off somewhat. So I’d rate this snack product at 86 out of 100. However, this particular beef jerky is a very healthy, high protein, low fat food, and can be eaten in moderate amounts as long as you consider the sodium you’re also taking in with it.
Where To Buy Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Beef Jerky
Look for this beef jerky in 24-hour convenience stores and in larger grocery outlets. It comes in a red, yellow, white, and blue wrapper with blue and white text. The bag has a little window on the front so that you can see the beef jerky inside.
- Beef Jerky on Wikipedia
- Bridgeford Foods Corporation Website
- Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Beef Jerky Web Page
- Where To Buy Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Beef Jerky
- : Moved this post to the Tom’s Diet Quest blog, added whitespace, adjusted ad placement, and tweaked the content.
- 2012-05-07: Originally published.