Beef Jerky vs Biltong, what is the difference?

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If you are a beef lover, Biltong will undoubtedly capture your heart with its delicious taste. 

Originating in Southern African countries, Biltong is a dried and cured meat that forms a healthy snack. It has garnered the attention of the folks by far, so if you are yet to try it, you must savor this delicatessen now! 

Identical in looks with beef jerky, don’t mistake Biltong for Beef jerky as both differ in their taste, ingredient, production processes, and texture. Jerky is more commonly a North African high-protein snack that uses an array of seasoning, sauces, and flavoring agents for its preparation. On the contrary, Biltong uses simple and natural flavoring and is significantly healthier than the two with high protein and lower sugar content. 

Are you excited to know more about these two delicious snacks? Let’s have a look at their differentiating factors!

The key differences between Biltong and Beef Jerky

Biltong and Jerky have different taste

When served, they may look identical but take one bite, and you will realize the uniquely deliciously taste that both have! There isn’t any winner as both are mouth-melting. The taste differs due to the spices, and vinegar used to add some flavoring in Biltong while Jerky has a Smokey flavor and drier taste. This is because Jerky is devoid of any fat content, which makes it drier in taste, while Biltong is a juicy snack due to its higher fat content. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all Biltong products have high-fat content. Biltong can have diversified taste as it can be made drier with less fat and chewy with high fattier meat.

It’s all in the spices—Biltong vs. Jerky

Both the snacks use versatile ingredients that render it a rich taste. Biltong heavily relies on vinegar for its preparation. In its drying process as a quantitative amount of salt and pepper is blended to add-in flavors. Some of the common African spices used in Biltong are allspice, coriander, clove, and curry. But as the Biltong is gaining more prominence, some new ingredients such as chili pepper, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, brown sugar, and garlic powder are now incorporated in its preparation.

On the contrary, Jerky has no usage of vinegar as this snack is dried in an oven or dehydrator. Jerky’s mouth-watering taste is mostly due to the various sauce, salt, sugar, and seasoning used. Do you know what’s common between the two?—both the snack uses beef as their main ingredient!

But here is the differentiation—beef slices cut for Biltong are slightly thicker and take longer for drying than the lean beef strips used in Jerky. Besides, the beef strips used in making Biltong is cut into wide strips, making it easier to hang dry while thinner stripers of Jerky make it compatible with cooking in a dehydrator/oven.

The differentiation of production process

The most imperative differentiating factor between the two is their production process.

For making Biltong, the meat is generally soaked in a spice-based and vinegar marinade overnight or sometimes even longer. Biltong is an air-dried snack dried in the absence of heat and then chopped into thick or thin pieces, packaged and served.

For making Jerky, the beef strips are first chopped into thin, lean strips, dipped in the marinade, left for 6-24 hours, and then dried either on a rack in the dehydrator for 4 hours or cooked in the oven for 12 hours. The result is jerky is drier and tougher as compared to Biltong. Jerky is usually soaked in salt and sweet marinade that keeps them tenderized and flavorful.

The uniqueness of texture

Last but not least, it’s the texture that differentiates Jerky from Biltong. In the most basic form, Biltong is a dried steak, which gives people the advantage of having it chewier or hard dried. Contrary, Jerky is dried in an oven or dehydrator and has a harder texture than Biltong. While there are various jerky preparations, but it lacks versatility in texture as most of them are tough and chewy.


Amidst the differentiating factors, Biltong and Jerky both are great snacks with delicious flavor and taste. While Biltong is slightly soft, flavorful, and has higher fat content, Jerky is drier, smokey and has leaner beef strips having low calorie and high protein. These are one of the best go-to healthy snacks for any occasion. What are you waiting for, taste them now, and let your taste buds explore Jerky and Biltong’s authentic taste and decide your personal favorite! When looking to buy biltong online, there are Australian companies such as Bigwig Biltong that specialise in making biltong only.

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Beef Jerky vs Biltong, what is the difference?

If you are a beef lover, Biltong will undoubtedly capture your heart with its delicious taste.  Originating in Southern African countries, Biltong is a dried and cured