Biltong is a type of meat that is cured and originally come from South Africa. There are plenty of different types of meat which are used in its production, Biltong has been made with beef , game meats and has even used ostrich from farms. Generally it is made from raw fillets of meat that is cut into strips by following the grain of the muscle, or alternatively flat pieces filleted across the grain.
While similar to beef jerky because they are both spiced and dried meats, but differ but differ because of ingredients, taste and production process.
Biltong uses a curing process that was used by pioneers to preserve all kinds of meat in South Africa but nowdays biltong is most commonly made from beef, this is mainly because of its widespread availability and lower cost relative to other types of meat. For the finest cuts sirloin is many manufactures also use hip, topside and silverside while other cuts are used they are not as high in quality.
Biltong Jerky is marinated in a vinegar solution in most cases balsamic also works well, this is done for a few hours then siphoned off before the meat is flavored. Generally the spice mix consists of: rock salt, coriander, black pepper and brown sugar. This ground together, and sprinkled over the meat as well as rubbed in. Saltpeter is an optional extra and can be added as a preservative this is generally only needed for wet biltong or biltong that is not going to be frozen.
Meat should also be left for another few hours being careful to pour of excess liquid before putting the meat in a dryer.
In General the meat used in biltong is thicker with it being typically cut in strips approx 1 inch wide although this has often been exceeded compared to this Beef Jerky is normally a very thin meat.
Biltong uses vinegar and salt together in the drying process this cures the meat as well as adding texture and flavor compared to beef Jerky which is traditionally dried without using vinegar.