The Canberra Times

Australian biltong Vs jerky: What's the difference?

Australian biltong Vs jerky: What's the difference?

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Whether you are a fitness junkie, a lover of food, or someone who knows their way around the cheeseboard - beef jerky is pretty well-known in Australia. But you might be unsure about what Australian biltong tastes like, and how it compares to jerky. Today, we are going to compare the pair and find out what the core differences are between jerky and Australian biltong.

So, what is Australian biltong?

Australian biltong is a fantastic snack for any time of the day, but the origins go beyond Australia. Biltong has a South African origin, and it is air-cured meat. This meat is also marinated with vinegar and spices, so you are biting into more than just meat when you snack on your biltong. You will be able to find biltong in all meat varieties, but beef is the more common type.

Now, there really is such a small difference between jerky and Australian biltong. In fact, many in the USA actually use the terms interchangeably, so you would be forgiven for assuming they are the same. So let's get down to the details.

Texture, flavour and ingredient content

Now that we know what Australian biltong is, let's discover the texture, flavour and ingredient content of the two snacks. While the details and ingredients are going to vary depending on the origin and brand, there are some common differences between the two.

Australian biltong is softer and higher in fat, with more ingredients marinated with the meat so it is generally more flavoursome. Jerky is harder and drier than Australian biltong, and usually smaller in size. Jerky comes from a leaner cut of beer and so there is less fat than its counterpart.

Protein-rich snack

Whether your preference is beef jerky or Australian biltong, they both offer a great protein source. For many individuals, protein is something we do not have enough of in our diet.

While vegetables and meat are the ideal sources of protein, jerky and biltong can be a very convenient way to get your daily protein intake. It is worth noting that these snacks contain more sodium than other protein sources, but if that aligns with your health goals, there should be no worry about consuming this treat.

Protein can aid blood oxygenation, energy, tissue repair and so many other great health benefits. If an individual has trouble getting protein into their diet, either due to lifestyle choices or other health concerns, jerky and Australia biltong can be an effective way to get that.

What to consider when buying Australian biltong and beef jerky

Like any food product, we want to understand where it is made, what the exact ingredients are, and anything else that can inform our decision and impact our health and well-being. You can try and find Australian biltong and beef jerky that is made in Australia and get clear on where this beef has actually come from.

Just because you buy something in Australia does not mean that is where the meat is from. Health food stores and quality supermarkets will stock a wide variety, and you can find an even greater collection online, but be sure to shop from a reputable provider.

You also want to be sure that it is actually made from meat because plant-based snack products are becoming widely assimilated into our stores. And while nothing is wrong with plant-based products, if you want to get that protein hit then you need to ensure your jerky and biltong are meat-based.

You also want to know what the meat content is in comparison to those spices and other ingredients that it is marinated with.


We hope this guide has informed you about the difference between beef jerky and Australian biltong. Both are delicious but they are going to pack a different punch, so choose the best option for your cravings!