Biltong: FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Biltong on the world wide web. We answer them from a Biltong expert perspective!

If you still have any other question, feel free to email us at hello@theherdbiltong.com.au!

Biltong Characteristics

What is biltong?

Biltong is air dried beef. Its closest relative is beef jerky though biltong is made differently and usually has different ingredients and flavours. Biltong has a savory flavour as its core ingredients are salt, pepper and coriander seeds. No, it does not taste like coriander for those who think coriander is gross!

The term Biltong comes from South Africa as far back as the 1600’s, the word is separated into 2: “Bil” which is derived from the Dutch word for ‘meat’, ‘buttock’ or ‘rump’, and “tong” meaning ‘strip’. Biltong = strip of meat. Voila!

The reason biltong exists was for preservation purposes. 400 years ago unfortunately refrigeration had not been invented yet so the natives and explorers needed to find a method to preserve their meat. A salt cure was one method and coriander seeds have an antibacterial property which kept the meat from going bad.

How is your biltong made?

At The Herd Biltong, our biltong is made from beef (we use an outside flat – a part of the silverside) which is cut into strips, marinated in a vinegar mixture and seasoned. We keep it traditional. Salt, pepper and coriander seeds are our base flavours – just like it was 400 years ago.

After we cut and season, we hang the meat in our stainless-steel biltong cabinets in our drying room. The cabinets have an extraction fan on the top of the cabinet which ensures even air flow throughout the cabinet. We have designed our drying room so the air that is pulled in is filtered 4 times (pre filter, HEPA, charcoal and UV) ensuring no airborne bacteria can enter the room, a fresh air intake which means the air is replaced every 40mins, it is positively pressured meaning when the door to the drying room is opened air is forced to exit the room (similar to what a hospital operating room has) to make sure no bacteria or dust particles can enter the room and then the room is dehumidified and temperature controlled.

It is then dried for up to 5 days and then sliced into bite sized pieces and bagged ready for consumption!

What ingredients do you use? Do you use any preservatives/nitrates?

All of our biltong flavours use the following ingredients:

  • Beef
  • Vinegars
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Coriander seeds

Our garlic (Garlic Salt & Chilli Garlic) flavours use dehydrated garlic powder, and our Chilli Falvours (Chilli Garlic & Chilli Salt) use crushed birdseye chilli’s.

We do not use any preservatives in our product. All killer, no filler!

Is your biltong gluten free?

No, the worcestershire sauce we use contains gluten.

Is your product sugar free?

Yes, we do not add any additional sugar to our products! The only sugar found would be the natural sugar from the beef.

Is your beef halal?

You might not know this but because Australia has a huge export market for its beef, most (about 90%) abattoirs process their beef according to halal guidelines. Our meat supplier is halal certified, however, our business is not certified. There is no pork or boar product that goes through our kitchen but as stated we are not halal certified.

What is the best way to store biltong?

We provide paper bags when purchasing online and when you visit us at events or markets. Apart from keeping it in a vacuum sealed bag, in the paper bag is the next best way to store it.

Paper bags in refrigeration will last up to 7 days, though the meat will dry out.

Paper bags stored in cool/dry spot will last up to 3-5 days. Relative humidity will affect this, if you live in a humid environment this will adversely affect the product.

Mould poses the greatest threat to biltong. Mold thrives in conditions with moisture and limited air circulation surrounding the biltong. To prevent mold growth, it is recommended to periodically mix the biltong to disturb the environment (every 2 days or so) and promote fresh air circulation. Since mould can develop rapidly, it is important to monitor your biltong closely.

Keep in mind that biltong is a perishable/fresh item, and if not properly cared for, it will spoil. It’s similar to leaving fruit or vegetable in direct sunlight or forgotten at the rear of the refrigerator—it will spoil under those conditions.

Is biltong the same as jerky? What is the difference between biltong and jerky?

This is the most common question we get asked! There are a few key differences between the two.

Jerky is dehydrated meat product. Biltong a cold, air dried meat. Because there is no heat applied to the product, biltong is able to retain its moisture leaving you with a more tender and moister product where as jerky is typically drier. And most importantly – because the meat is not ‘cooked’, biltong retains all the nutrients (mainly protein and iron).

Biltong is also a savory meat product, we do not add any sugar to our biltong range. Jerky typically does have a sweet aspect whether its sugar, honey or a sauce.

Some people like jerky! And that’s ok, however, most people have become accustomed to jerky as the standard for dried meats where in our (and many others) opinion – biltong is the king of dried meats.

I’m travelling – can I take this overseas or interstate?

Overseas – best to check with quarantine authority of the country you’re visiting. Each country has different regulations as to what kind of food products you’re allowed to bring in.

Interstate – Yes. There should not be an issue with taking biltong (especially if it’s vacuum sealed) interstate.

Is biltong healthy? Does it make you fat?

Another pretty popular question! Biltong is becoming a very popular choice for health conscious individuals because of the following:

– Super high protein. Our product has 41g+ of protein per 100g. To put that in perspective – chicken breast has 31g and steak has 25g.

– No added sugar and super low carbohydrates.

– Very low in saturated fats – think 2%.

Based on the latest research, sugar and carbs make you fat. Our biltong has no added sugar and is around 1% carbs making it a super healthy snack for those health conscious individuals.

Is our facility HACCP accredited?

Yes – HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is a system of managing food safety that involves analyzing and controlling potential hazards, including biological, chemical, and physical risks, at every stage of the food production process. This includes activities such as sourcing and handling raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of the final product.

We are audited regularly (internally and externally) to ensure we maintain a high level of compliance to confirm we continuously deliver a safe, consistent and high quality product.

Is biltong safe for pregnant women?

We do not recommend biltong for pregnant women. As the meat is not cooked, pathogens which can harm the unborn child may still be present.

Is biltong safe for children?

Yes! You may find biltong useful if your child is a fussy eater and doesn’t like to consume a lot of cooked meat. The nutrient dense biltong can serve as a good replacement for protein or iron.

It’s even safe for babies! In South Africa, it’s very common to see ‘teething biltong’ in supermarkets. It’s essentially a small stick of meat with salt that the baby can gnaw on and the salt would heal the wounds in their mouths from teething.

How long does it take to process orders?

Generally up to 2 business days.

We get daily business day pick ups from Sendle and (most of the time) the first thing we do when we get into the factory is pack the online orders so it can be sent off ASAP. We do not want to keep you waiting!

I’ve ordered 500g/1kg, how will it arrive?

We package our product in 2 sizes, 100g and 250g packets.

All 500g and 1kg orders will come as 2x 250g and 4x 250g packets respectively (unless otherwise specified).

If you want all 100g bags just leave us a note on checkout.

How does free shipping work?

We offer free shipping for all orders over $100 (excluding the shipping cost). Simply add $100 worth of products to your cart and the free shipping option will appear upon checkout.

How long does delivery take?

Delivery is generally 2-6 business days. Regional and rural areas can take a bit longer.

What shipping partners do you use?

Majority of our orders are sent via Sendle.

In areas that Sendle does not service, we use Australia Post.

Will I receive tracking info as part of my order?


If you’ve placed an order and you have not received tracking info after 2 business days, please get in contact with us at hello@theherdbiltong.com.au

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