How is Biltong Made?
Posted on JANUARY 28, 2021
The tastiest snack, the simplest process
Processed foods are bad, mmkay? Don’t believe us? Certainly, you can believe them, or these guys, or science. In the midst of all of these over manufactured, highly processed, preservative-packed foods and snacks, there dwells an outlier. An anomaly. A rogue warrior that is honestly clean, surprisingly simple, truly all-natural, and insanely packed with protein – ever heard of biltong?
"Biltong is a centuries old process for preserving meat that originated in South Africa."
Biltong is a centuries old process for preserving meat that originated in South Africa. You can learn more about that here. You may have been hearing the buzz about it lately. People boasting that it’s far superior and totally different from jerky. Well, we’re here to tell you that it is. For multiple reasons, but the one that takes the cake is the way that it’s made. Jerky is processed. It contains nitrates, additives and, you may not even realize this, A LOT of sugar. Biltong has none of that. It is unprocessed. It is natural. It is awesome.
Here's How it's Made
Step One - The Cut
First and foremost; get some BEEF! Just like jerky, biltong is made using top round steak, one of the leanest cuts of the cow. Unlike jerky, the top round is cut into long strips called slabs.
Step Two - Season
The slabs are washed in vinegar and seasoned. What’s up with the vinegar bath? This is actually a critical part of the biltong process. The vinegar will kill bacteria and acts as a natural preservative while adding bold and intense flavor to the meat. Biltong never soaks in marinades like jerky. It simply gets tumbled with a coat of simple spices – that’s it!
Step Three - Dry
After the slabs are seasoned the fun begins – hurry up and wait! Biltong takes time, it can’t be rushed through an 8 hour bake in the oven or dehydrator like jerky. It needs finesse; patience. The type of TLC only the gentle wisps of clean air can provide. Biltong is hung and left to air dry at room temperature for 2-3 weeks. This all-natural drying process keep the nutrients of the beef intact. It’s why biltong has over 50% more protein than jerky!
Step Four - Slice
When the slabs have reached the perfect level of dryness, they’re taken down and sliced into ultra-thin pieces. These small strips of meat are tender and easy to chew, similar to a fine prosciutto. Once these pieces reach arm’s length they disappear. Because they are so damn delicious you can’t help but shovel them in your mouth by the handful.
And that’s it. Beef + spices + air = biltong.
TLDR; Top Round Steak is washed in vinegar, sprinkled with seasoning, hung to air dry, and sliced giving you an all-natural, super clean, high protein snack with NO SUGAR. Get you some.