Discover the Unbeatable Delight of Biltong Beef Jerky

Have you ever stumbled upon a snack that completely blew your mind? And no, we’re not talking about rediscovering that forgotten box of Christmas treats hidden in the depths of your cupboard. We’re talking about a snack that will take your snacking experience to a whole new level. Get ready to be introduced to biltong, a delicious South African snack that will satisfy your cravings like never before. And if you’re already familiar with biltong, what are you waiting for? Grab one of our 1KG Original Biltong bags and indulge in the ultimate meaty delight.

Homegrown Biltong

A Whole New World of Flavors: Exploring Biltong Meat

So, what exactly is biltong? Picture thinly sliced dried, cured beef that hails from Southern African countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa. While it may resemble beef jerky at first glance, biltong is a whole different beast. While both snacks were originally created to fuel weary travelers on long journeys, the similarities end there.

Traditionally, biltong was preserved by curing the meat with salt and air-drying it. However, when European settlers arrived, they brought their own twist to the process. Spices like pepper, cloves, coriander, and even saltpeter (potassium nitrate) were introduced, elevating the flavors of biltong to new heights.

Beef Biltong

A Journey Through Biltong’s Meaty History

To fully appreciate biltong, it’s important to understand its rich history. South Africans have been perfecting the art of air-drying and curing meat for over 400 years. Originally, biltong could be made from various meats, including beef, game, ostrich, and even kudu, an antelope native to the region. Today, our focus remains on creating delicious beef biltong that stays true to its South African roots.

Biltong Hanging to Dry in Botswana

The name “biltong” itself reveals some interesting origins. It can be broken down into two parts: “bil,” the Dutch word for rump/buttock, and “tong,” meaning tongue. These names reflect the cuts of meat traditionally used for making biltong.

An Array of Meats to Satisfy Your Cravings

While beef is the most commonly used meat in biltong, other options are available for those seeking a unique flavor experience. Fish biltong, made with dried, salty bokkoms or even shark, is a popular choice. Additionally, biltong can be made using cuts of springbok or kudu, as well as ostrich meat. Whatever your preference, this South African snack is bound to win your heart.

Biltong Meats

Biltong vs. Beef Jerky: The Ultimate Showdown

While beef jerky and beef biltong may appear similar, they are worlds apart when it comes to taste, texture, and preparation. Beef jerky has a long-standing history, with some believing it dates back to the ancient Inca tribe known as the Quechua. Others attribute its origins to North America, where it has become a beloved snack. The drying and curing processes used in jerky production differ from those used for biltong, resulting in distinct flavors and textures.

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Beef jerky is typically made from thin slices of lean beef, dried slowly to maintain its taste and texture. Smoking, salting, and dehydrating are common methods used in jerky production. In contrast, biltong’s signature flavor comes from a unique spice blend consisting of rock salt, ground coriander seeds, all-spice, and black pepper. Vinegar plays a starring role, adding a distinctive flavor and a tender mouthfeel reminiscent of a perfectly cooked steak.

Thicker Biltong

Biltong’s traditional preparation and thick cut make it a more substantial and satisfying snack compared to beef jerky. While beef jerky has gained popularity worldwide, biltong remains rooted in its South African origins. The centuries-old methods and unique flavors have made biltong a traditional snack that stands the test of time.

The Delicious Benefits of Biltong

In recent years, people have sought out more wholesome and less processed food options. For meat lovers, finding a healthy and satisfying snack can be a challenge. Fortunately, biltong fits the bill. Made with natural ingredients and packed with protein and essential amino acids, biltong provides numerous health benefits. From aiding in fat burning and muscle growth to reducing mental fatigue, biltong offers a wholesome and nutritious snack option.

Biltong Ingredients

How to Enjoy Biltong’s Meaty Delight

Biltong’s versatility makes it the perfect snack for any occasion. Whether you’re on the go or enjoying a leisurely meal, biltong is a delicious choice. It can be savored on its own as a quick energy boost or paired with gooey cheeses, sharp pickles, and hot mustard for a delightful tapas-style snack board.

For a protein-packed salad, simply sprinkle biltong on top to add a burst of flavor and an extra dose of protein that will keep you feeling full and satisfied. Want to take your sandwich to the next level? Try adding biltong to a traditional sweet, milk-brushed mosbolletjies bread and a sprinkle of Parmesan for a truly tantalizing taste experience.

Biltong Sandwich

So, what’s the bottom line? Biltong is an incredibly delicious, protein-packed snack that has stood the test of time. While beef jerky has traveled the world and acquired various flavors, biltong remains true to its South African heritage as a traditional snack for modern life.

Beef Biltong – A Mouthwatering South African Classic

Biltong is a South African treasure, an artfully crafted combination of air-cured meat, vinegar, and spices. While various meats can be used to create biltong, beef is the most common choice due to its wide availability and affordability. Unlike its counterpart, beef jerky, biltong boasts a unique preparation process, resulting in a distinctly different taste experience. With cutting methods that can vary depending on preference, biltong offers a world of flavors and textures to delight your palate.

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Preparing Your Own Biltong Delight

Making biltong at home is a rewarding experience that takes approximately 15 minutes to prepare. To achieve the best results, start with a high-quality cut of beef suitable for biltong. Follow these steps to create your own biltong masterpiece:

  1. Cut the beef into flat strips, approximately 1 inch deep by 2 inches wide.
  2. Mix white vinegar and a sauce of your choice (3/4 vinegar, 1/4 sauce) in a large container. Immerse the meat strips in the mixture and let them absorb the flavors for 3 to 4 hours.
  3. After the soaking period, remove the strips from the mixture and pat them dry, reserving the mixture for later use.
  4. Mix spices together and layer them onto the bottom of a container that is large enough to hold the strips flat. Allow the meat to cure in the container for approximately 6 hours, allowing the spices to infuse the meat.
  5. Rinse the spiced meat strips in the reserved vinegar mixture to remove any excess spices.
  6. Attach hooks to one end of each strip and hang them in a well-ventilated area or a specially designed biltong box. Allow the biltong to air-dry for 5 to 6 days, depending on your preferred level of dryness.

Choosing the Perfect Lean Meat for Biltong

To ensure your homemade biltong is truly exceptional, selecting the right meat is crucial. Opt for organic, grass-fed beef, which can be sourced from local butchers or specialty stores. When it comes to the cut, choose lean pieces with minimal marbling. Silverside bottom round is a popular choice, but sirloin and top round cuts work well too.

The Art of Drying Biltong

Drying biltong is a straightforward process. Once you’ve completed the initial steps of marinating and seasoning, simply hook the meat onto the thicker end of the strips and hang them in a well-ventilated, isolated space or a purpose-built biltong box. Drying time can range from 5 to 10 days, depending on the method and personal preference.

How to Determine Biltong Readiness

The squeeze test will determine if your biltong is ready to be enjoyed. When you gently squeeze a piece, it should be firm with a slight spongy feel due to the retained moisture. Once your biltong passes the squeeze test, you’ll know it’s perfectly dried and ready to be cut into thin slices for serving.

Storing Your Biltong Delight

To prevent mold formation, store your biltong in a cool, dry place. Freezing your biltong can extend its shelf life up to a year. Alternatively, store it in a paper bag, jar, or bowl, and it will stay fresh for a few days.

Biltong Recipe: Bringing Authentic Flavors to Your Kitchen

If you’re ready to embark on a culinary adventure, here is a traditional biltong recipe that guarantees authentic and mouthwatering results:


  • 2kg Beef
  • 5 tbsp Cider Vinegar
  • 2.5 tbsp Coarse Salt
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1.5 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
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  1. Toast the coriander seeds in a dry pan, then grind them into a powder.
  2. Cut the beef into 1-inch-thick strips and place them in a container.
  3. Mix all the spices together and sprinkle them over the beef. Add the vinegar and rub the mixture thoroughly into the meat. Cure for 24 hours in the refrigerator, turning and rubbing the meat occasionally.
  4. Remove the meat from the container and pat it dry, ensuring the spice mixture remains on the meat.
  5. Attach hooks to one end of each strip and hang them in a well-ventilated area or biltong box. Allow the biltong to dry for 5 to 6 days, testing for readiness using the squeeze test.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you make biltong?
We create our biltong by marinating, seasoning, and curing silverside beef sourced from British and Irish farms. For a more detailed explanation, click here.

2. Is biltong a healthy snack?
Absolutely! Biltong is made with simple ingredients, packed with protein and essential amino acids, and has numerous health benefits. To learn more, check out our blog post on the delicious benefits of biltong.

3. What sets biltong apart from beef jerky?
While both snacks are dried meats, biltong and beef jerky differ in ingredients, preparation, and taste. Biltong uses vinegar and spices throughout the process, resulting in a unique flavor profile. It also has a higher fat content, making it juicier and more tender compared to beef jerky.

4. Where can I buy biltong?
You can find our range of biltong at Sainsbury’s and Waitrose in the UK. Additionally, you can purchase our biltong online through Ocado, Amazon, and our official website.

5. How long does unopened biltong last?
Our biltong has a guaranteed shelf life of at least 45 days when unopened, but it can often last 3 to 6 months.

6. How long does opened biltong last?
Once opened, our biltong should be consumed within 24 hours for 28g packs and within 10 days for bulk bags when refrigerated in an airtight container.

7. Is biltong suitable for a keto diet?
Yes, our biltong is low in carbohydrates and high in protein, making it a perfect snack for a keto diet.

8. Does biltong contain any allergens?
While we take precautions to avoid allergens in our biltong, it is packed in an environment where traces of common allergens may be present.

9. Is your biltong halal?
Unfortunately, we are not Halal certified.

10. Biltong or beef jerky?
Definitely biltong!


Remember, when it comes to snacks, biltong reigns supreme. With its irresistible flavors, rich history, and wholesome ingredients, biltong is the snack that keeps on delighting. So why settle for ordinary when you can experience the extraordinary? Treat yourself to the meaty goodness of biltong and embark on a snacking journey like no other. Visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ to indulge in the finest biltong today!