Biltong is an air dried meat snack that originates from Southern Africa when the early settlers needed a method to dry and preserve meat before refrigeration. The word roughly translates into “rump strip” as meat is air dried in large steaks resembling strips of meat. It comes in various styles like our sliced biltong or our meat sticks (aka droëwors).
While many people compare biltong to jerky, our biltong is more natural, being slowly air-dried and only spiced with simple ingredients; whilst jerky is covered in artificial sauces and cooked at high temperature in a couple of hours. Taste-wise, biltong relies on more natural, simple flavours whereas jerky is often flavoured with high amounts of sugar and salt.
Once the meat has been selected and the sinew removed, it is then sliced into steaks before being marinated in vinegar and spice for hanging in a room that circulates air around the biltong steaks, slowly drying them.
For biltong to be shelf stable, it needs to be dry to minimum standards because the lack of water is what preserves the meat.
While there are different types and flavours of biltong available, the underlying taste of biltong is that of a well-seasoned steak with the meat being the primary taste. This differs from jerky where the sauces will often overpower the taste of the meat. Biltong is commonly cured and seasoned with ingredients such as vinegar, salt, coriander seeds and black pepper which gives it a deep variety of flavours and creates a unique and unforgettable taste.
Biltong is a great source of protein, essential vitamins and minerals such as iron and has low to zero carbohydrates. If you follow a high-fat, low-carb diet, such as a keto, banting or carnivore diet, biltong is a perfect, tasty snack.
However, just like anything in life, biltong should be enjoyed in moderation (remember folks, too much water can kill you). Particularly if you are concerned about your sodium intake, consider limiting the amount of biltong you eat each day.
Traditionally, biltong has been made from all kinds of meats including beef, ostrich, antelope and, in Australia, kangaroo. For over 400 years, South Africans have been curing, seasoning and hanging meat to air dry — creating the tasty and nutritious snack known as biltong.
Whether you’re looking for kangaroo meat sticks, or biltong sticks, Barbell Foods is the place to buy biltong in Australia. All of our biltong and other meat products are made from ethically sourced, grass-fed Australian beef — ensuring we only provide our customers with holistic and healthy snacks.
Browse our range of sliced biltong, biltong steaks, droewors and more today or grab one of our biltong samples to try before you commit to buying a full bag. We’re confident you’ll be back shopping online in no time!
Biltong is delicious on its own and that’s how most people eat it but it’s also great in omelettes, salads, soups or on a cheese board. In South Africa, biltong and droewors is found in every corner store and at every occasion. It’s the perfect meat snack to satisfy cravings on-the-go.
Although beef jerky and biltong are both dried meats, they differ in taste, texture and how they are made. Jerky comes from America and the meat is typically lean and is sliced into thin pieces before being marinated in a mixture of sauces after which the product is dried in a few hours at high temperatures in drying ovens.
This differs from biltong where the fat is left on the meat and the pieces are sliced into large steaks which are marinated with spices and vinegar before being air dried at ambient temperature over a few days. Lastly, the steaks are cut into bite-size pieces.
Biltong will taste more like a steak that’s being seasoned with simple ingredients from your pantry whereas jerky will usually be chewier and taste like the sauces that have been added to it. You can read more here about Biltong VS Beef Jerky.
Biltong is a healthy high protein, low carb meat snack that has a moderate amount of good quality fat. Because biltong loses its water weight when it’s dried, it’s an exceptionally nutrient-dense snack and is a great source of iron and we support farmers practising regenerative agriculture.
Unlike most other meat snacks, our biltong has zero sugars and no preservatives. We use the best quality beef you can buy and season the biltong steaks with simple spices you can find in your pantry. Simply put, it’s the healthiest meat snack on the market. Learn how to make biltong here.
Organic grass-fed & finished Australian beef, gluten-free white vinegar, sea salt, coriander seeds, black pepper, cloves and cayenne pepper. Our chilli biltong has red chilli peppers added and our sea salt biltong is only seasoned with salt! All our meat snacks are free from preservatives, dairy, gluten, soy and sugar. See more of our biltong recipes here.
Biltong with a good amount of fat attached is a great snack for the keto diet because it’s high protein and low carb. Our fatty biltong will help satiate cravings and keep you feeling full without taking you out of ketosis.
There is 47 grams of protein per 100g of biltong. For context, this is roughly double the protein content of a 100g can of tuna. Biltong can be higher or lower in protein content depending on how dry the biltong is and how much fat is left on the biltong steaks.
It’s best to keep biltong cool in the pantry or fridge and consume within 14 days of opening your bag. You can freeze your bag of biltong to maintain freshness over long periods. You can read more here for other methods of storing your biltong.
You can make a biltong box out of wood or other materials but the key is to make sure there is enough airflow from the bottom of the box to the top. You can buy fans that are commonly used in computers as these will cycle the flow of air and will dry your biltong pieces. You want to aim for a 7 day drying period, too quickly will cause case hardening and too slow runs the risk of mould growth.