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South African Snack: Biltong

South African Snack: Biltong

South African biltong is a delicious dried beef treat that has won the hearts and palates of food lovers all over the world. This salty snack is similar to jerky but stands apart thanks to a unique marinating procedure. The name "biltong" is a combination of the Dutch words "bil," which means the rump or hindquarter, and "tong," which means the tongue or strip of meat. Lean beef is cut into strips and marinated in a mouthwatering concoction of vinegar and spices, as indicated by the name of the dish. The outcome is a tasty and soft delight that is perfect as a quick snack or as the focal point of social occasions.

Preparation Time

4 hours for marinating and 2 days for drying.



Ground chili pepper

Coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)

Ground coriander

Ground black pepper


2 pounds of lean beef

Vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar

Worcestershire sauce





  • Trim off any excess fat from the beef and cut it into strips.
  • Mix the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, coarse salt, ground coriander, black pepper, paprika, and any optional ground chili pepper in a large bowl.
      • Add the beef strips to the marinade, making sure each strip is coated with the mixture. Seal the bag or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
      • Biltong needs a well-ventilated space for air-drying. You can use a biltong box, a food dehydrator, or even a simple fan-assisted setup
  • Air-dry the marinated beef strips for about 2 to 5 days, depending on your preference and the climate
  • Store the biltong in an airtight container