Kalahari Blog

What is the difference between Biltong and Jerky?

You’ve likely heard about beef jerky before. This popular savory snack offers a delicious bite while you’re on the go. But what about biltong?

At first glance, these two snacks seem to be extremely similar. However, they’re not as close as they may appear. We’re here to break down the difference between biltong and jerky once and for all so you can understand which of these snacks may be best for you.

If you like your snacks with a bit of crunch and never any added sugar, preservatives, or artificial junk, you’re sure to love these keto-friendly snacks in the new year.

What is Biltong?

White bowl filled with slices of Original Biltong, next to a bag of Original biltong

At its core, biltong is an all-natural process of preserving meat that originated in South Africa. This unique air-dried process is centuries old and ensures that the premium cuts of beef retain their superior flavor, tenderness, and nutritional integrity. Just imagine a cross between dry-aged beef, jerky, and prosciutto but with 32g Protein, 0g Carb, and 0g Sugar per serving!

Unlike jerky, there are no heat, nitrates, or flavor fillers used to make our mouthwatering biltong. Instead, our biltong is made simply from only 6-8 all-natural ingredients, like:

  • Beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vinegar
  • Coriander
  • Rosemary

After sourcing the best cuts of top-round beef, we begin by trimming the fat off each piece. Then, we dry rub each piece to marinate it in our time-tested blend of spices and hang it to dry. After the drying process, each piece is thinly sliced against the grain, creating tender, flavorful pieces of biltong that are perfect for snacking on or incorporating into different recipes.

What About Jerky?

Next in the biltong vs jerky debate is the latter. Beef jerky and biltong may look similar, but the differences really come down to the marinating and drying process. First and foremost, jerky is often taken from leaner cuts of meat which can result in a drier final product when compared to softer slices of biltong.

Then, there are major differences in the drying process. Jerky is generally smoked or heated in some manner to dry the meat before adding lots and flavoring and fillers. This results in a product with a slightly smoky, drier taste that may overpower your taste buds.

There’s also often a misconception that jerky is higher in protein, however, this ultimately depends on the brand. At Kalahari, our biltong has nearly double the amount of protein per serving compared to many popular jerky brands while using a fraction of the ingredients.

While everyone has different taste preferences, biltong is often described as being more beef-forward in flavor, allowing the natural savory taste of the quality beef to shine while jerky absorbs whatever fillers and flavors are added during the smoking process.

About Kalahari

Ready to taste the difference between jerky and biltong for yourself? Kalahari offers superior biltong snacks in all the forms and flavors you crave. Shop our selection of biltong today to enjoy the savory, meaty flavors of this versatile, convenient snack.

And if you want more inspiration for how to eat your biltong, make sure to head over to our blog or check out some of our favorite recipes that utilize our crisps, slabs, and biltong bites.

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