Biltong VS Jerky

Biltong VS Jerky

Biltong VS Jerky: What is the difference?

Biltong has been called the African version of beef jerky and understandably so. 

The two products are somewhat similar and immensely popular, not only in South Africa and the USA but around the world.

Biltong and jerky are both dried meat snacks, but there are some key differences regarding the ingredients, taste and production processes.


  • Naturally air-dried by hanging on hooks for up to one week
  • Never smoked or cooked
  • Made from thick cuts of beef
  • Can be moist and tender if dried for a shorter time.
  • Marinated using vinegar, salt and spices to preserve the meat
  • Cut into pieces after drying
  • Due to low temperature drying, typically biltong has a whopping 55% protein content


  • Dried on a rack in a dehydrator or cooked in an oven for up to 12 hours
  • Usually smoked
  • Made from ground beef or thin strips of lean meat
  • Usually Drier and tougher 
  • Doesn’t contain vinegar; uses sauces and flavouring agents containing sugar and salt
  • Cut into pieces before drying
  • Typically, only 35% protein as the higher temperature of drying