Ember Snacks’ Biltong Review

8.9
Ember Snacks Biltong

Ember Snacks are proud to be ‘taking your protein back to the British farm’ with their impressive range of biltong products. Biltong originates in South Africa; it’s dried beef that’s been marinated, cured and sliced to provide a tasty, nutritious snack.

I’ve been enjoying a selection of their handy 28g packs of three different flavours; original, chilli rub and garlic and rosemary.

Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet and particularly useful if you’re looking to get active or build muscle. Ember Snacks refer to their biltong as ‘natural protein sustainably sourced’. In each pack, you get 16g of protein which is ideal if you need a nutritious snack or something to add to your lunch.

First Impressions

Biltong is similar to beef jerky, but it’s made with a specific seasoning blend that gives it a rich, savoury flavour and traps moisture making it less tough. I’ve enjoyed lots of home-cured biltong in the past, so I was delighted to hear about these handy protein-rich snack packs.

When I first got a look at them, it was apparent that this isn’t ‘fake’ biltong packed with preservatives and unnecessary artificial flavours, this is the real deal. It’s made from sustainably farmed silverside cuts of British and Irish beef marinated in sea salt, coriander, vinegar, garlic, and pepper. Additional seasoning is added for the chilli and ‘garlic and rosemary’ versions.

The biltong I’ve had in the past has been packed full of flavour, so I’m hoping that these live up to my expectation.

Who are Ember Snacks?

Ember Snacks was founded by brothers Jack and Harry Mayhew. Growing up on a farm around animals, they were disappointed by the prevalence of factory-farmed low-quality meat in popular snack foods. They’ve worked to produce exceptional biltong and charcuterie from the finest cuts of meat from British and Irish cows to address this.

Their products are made with all-natural ingredients, and you’ll find no ‘unnecessary nasties’. They aim to demonstrate that that meat sourced in the right way makes for a healthy diet and a healthy planet. As well as producing food that’s in balance with nature they’re working with the wider farming community to end factory farming and minimise their impact on the environment. To achieve this, they keep their supply chain as short as possible and make all their snacks in the UK.

Awards and Certifications

Given the ‘proper’ farming and sustainably sourced ingredients mentioned on the Ember Snacks website, I’d like to see more specifics about their methods and relevant certifications.

However, they do tell us that some of their raw materials come from farms that are part of the Farm Wilder initiative. Farm Wilder work closely with the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Butterfly Conservation, the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG). They promote the 100% pasture-fed approach and collaborate to increase sustainability and biodiversity in farming further. 

Also, in 2020, all three of their biltong varieties were awarded one star in the prestigious Great Taste Awards.  They are often referred to as the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink awards, and a win here is a sought after indication of impressive standards.

I would have awarded a higher score if: There was details of more relevant certification or specific information about sourcing and production.

Ease of Use

Ember’s biltong comes in snack-sized packets that can easily fit into a bag or even your pocket. The tops rip off so using them couldn’t be easier. Inside there’s a small oxygen absorber sachet to keep the biltong at its best for longer.

The biltong itself is lots of thin shreds of cured beef, so eating it requires a little more concentration than your average protein snack, but it’s all the better for it and adds some anticipation.

Taste

All three varieties of biltong are packed full of flavour. They’re miles away from the processed meat snacks that you often see in supermarkets, and there are no artificial or chemical aftertastes. Having said that, if you’re an experienced biltong connoisseur, you may find yourself wishing for a slightly more robust taste from the original pack.

Having eaten large amounts of homemade biltong and made my own a few times I love to ramp up the flavour, so for me, the original wasn’t quite seasoned enough. If you’re the same, I recommend choosing either the chilli rub variety or the garlic and rosemary. These have the traditional biltong taste with some extra flavours thrown in and get much closer to that flavour zing that hardcore biltong lovers will expect.

Original: An excellent blend of cider vinegar, coriander, salt and pepper. The flavour is classic biltong but could be stronger.

Garlic and rosemary: An incredibly herb and garlic blast that delivers genuine flavours. There’s nothing generic about this blend; you can actually pick out garlic and rosemary notes. Delicious!

Chilli rub: This was my absolute favourite; you get a strong biltong flavour with a mildly spicy buzz. For me the spice level was perfect, it’s got enough of a kick, but it’s not so hot that it masks the other flavours.

I would have awarded a higher score if: the original flavour was stronger.

How Effective Are They?

As a protein source, these are hard to beat. Each small pack provides 16g of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. I used them as snacks between my main meals and at other times when I might have had a protein bar or shake.

The real beauty of them is that they give you a great way to mix up your daily routine. If you get sick of the same protein powder flavours, this is a great alternative.

The only issue I found was that once I’d eaten one packet, I wanted to open the next one immediately. On the few times that I did this, I found that it sat heavier in my stomach than protein powder so I’d recommend only using one or two packets spread out through the day to support your existing supplement routine.

Value for Money

For £27.99 you get a box of 15 individual 28g biltong pouches. That’s a total of 420g of biltong which contains 240g of protein. Per pack, it works out at about £1.86. At first glance, this may seem expensive but compared to other similar products their only slightly more expensive per serving. Plus, you’re getting quality protein with extra flavour.

If you’re just looking for a quick, tasty snack, you may want to look elsewhere, but if you want another excellent protein source to add to your existing routine, then this is ideal.

I would have awarded a higher score if: It was slightly more affordable.

You may also be interested in reading Best Collagen Supplement UK or our round-up of Best Turmeric Supplements UK, or the Best Multivitamins UK.

I also reviewed; Foodspring’s Whey Protein, Foodspring’s Vegan Protein, Planet Paleo’s Pure Collagen Hotties and Collagen Extra from G&G Vitamins.

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Overview

These 28g biltong pouches from Ember Snacks offer a great alternative to stodgy processed protein snacks. Each one holds 16g of protein from British and Irish silverside beef. They taste fantastic with the chilli rub and garlic and rosemary options providing a blast of a well-seasoned explosion of savoury flavours. If you’re looking to add more quality protein sources to your diet, then look no further.
Awards and certifications
7.5
Ease of use
10
Taste
9
How effective are they?
10
Value for money
8
Pros
15 packs for £27.99
Made with all-natural ingredients
Contains lean silverside British and Irish beef
Contains all nine essential amino acids
Three great flavours; original, chilli rub, garlic and rosemary
Handy, tear-open packs
Awarded one star for each flavour in the 2021 Great Taste Awards
Cons
They may be priced beyond some budgets.
The flavour of the original could be stronger.
8.9
Ember Snacks Biltong