beef jerky

Why is biltong so much different from beef jerky?

When you see beef jerky and biltong you will notice that they are both rather similar. These are both dried meats, but there are also some differences as well. These are mainly the taste, ingredients and the production process itself.


Both biltong and the beer jerky use beef. The biltong beef is thicker, however, mostly due to the meat cut and the shorter drying time. This meat is cut into 1-inch strips or even thicker. The beef jerky cuts are very thin, which makes them a lot easier to eat. The jerky is dried naturally, whereas biltong will require you to add spices, salt, and vinegar as you go ahead and cure the meat. So yes, there are some major differences when it comes to ingredients, even if the primary ingredient is beef meat.

Production process

The production process is very different as well. Beef jerky is known for the fact that it’s cooked in a dehydrator for up to 10-12 hours. Unlike beef jerky, biltong is made in the absence of any heat. You will air dry it for a week by putting it on a hook. And as we mentioned earlier, you are using vinegar as a curing agent, which is very helpful because it helps keep the flies off as the meat dries. The additional biltong ingredients are also helping you get a very different taste. Plus, since the preparation process is a lot longer, those extra ingredients are adding up some extraordinary benefits that you will enjoy a lot.


Beef jerky and biltong tend to have a different taste as well. The spices and vinegar that we use during the biltong production process do affect the taste. They bring in a lot of extra flavor for biltong, which is a good thing. Beef jerky always tends to have that smoky and dry taste. The reason is simple, jerky is often smoked, but biltong is never smoked.

That’s why the biltong taste is a lot better. But as you can see from the production process, it takes a lot of time to make biltong when compared to beef jerky. Which is why it makes sense to have the former taste a lot better.

Another important thing to consider is that jerky strips tend to have very little fat. But biltong is made from a variety of cuts, and some of them can have up to 50% fat, which is a huge challenge most of the time. 

You can now purchase traditional South African biltong or droewors from South African food store – . Saffatrading is an online food shop that specialize in South African foods and goods. These foods include South African medicines, biltong and droewors, tea and hot beverages like Rooibos tea, cordials and soda’s and even South African springbok merchandise

In the end, even if biltong and beef jerky are similar, they are quite different from one another. The production process is extremely different for each one, and even the taste is unique as well. It all comes down to the way people prepare biltong and beef jerky, and how much time and effort put into it. But in the end, both of them are very tasty and that’s the most important thing. It’s a good idea to try out both to see which one suits your taste the most!