Whats the difference between Jerky and Biltong?
This is possibly the most asked question we get asked here at the Weston Biltong Company "What's the difference between Jerky and Biltong" both are very much the same in many ways but very different in others.
First of all Biltong is made using a mix of Vinegar, Coriander and Salt where the meat is marinated for 24 hrs in this mix, most Biltong companies use they own mix of herbs and spices to create the unique flavour each producer has and is always and we mean always keep a secret. Some producers use spices imported from South Africa itself however you more often than not find that these blends are mass produced using MSGs as one of the ingredients. All our spices are produced by hand and each flavour has it own recipe to create a stunning mix of flavours not found anywhere else. Jerky is more often than not smoked before "Drying" no herbs as such are used.
Both are dried but Biltong retains some of its moisture where as Jerky has nearly all the moisture removed, meaning Biltong retains more flavour than Jerky.
Biltong is dried in full steaks at low temperatures with the slow movement of warm air. This can take up to 7 days but sometime as few as 3, factors such as fat content and air temperature and wind speed can affect this.
It's then sliced in to what is now commonly seen small slices of meat that is then eaten. Jerky is almost cooked at far higher temperatures than Biltong and takes far less time due to the higher temperatures and the meat cut in to thin strips before its "Dried". Jerky can also be made from minced meat where it is made in to thin strips of mince before it dried.
Quite often a lot of sugar is used in the making of Jerky and with Biltong only small amounts are used in some cases Biltong can be made with out using sugar but can at times loose its more traditional flavour by doing this.
Biltong is commonly found in South Africa and Jerky is found in North America. Both are delicious and have they very own place in market and again its down to personal preference which you prefer.