Make your Own Biltong

Hotdoglegs, Going Postal

Making your own Biltong can actually be a pretty rewarding experience. The preparation is therapeutic and the final product worthwhile, despite Biltong’s long drying time. It’s worth the wait if it’s your sort of snack.

I have tried to simplify it all as much as possible for you to grasp.

I have been making it for myself for a good few years now
Biltong is a South African classic. It is an air cured meat marinated in vinegar and spices.

Equipment you will need to get you up and running.

  1. Storage Box
  2. Wooden dowels
  3. PC fan and 12v adapter
  4. Plastic meat hooks

You will need a dryer to cure the meat,I made one myself but you can purchase them for around the £80 mark.
The one I made cost around £20, I purchased one of those plastic storage boxes you can get at most DIY/superstore outlets, like the one below.

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Once you have the box, purchase several pieces of Dowel to act as hangers for the meat once ready, drill holes each side of the box and then slide the cut to measure dowels through the holes you have created.

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You also will need to drill extra holes on each side of the box to aid air circulation, which helps the drying of the meat.

The Next step, cut a hole in the side of the storage box where you PC fan will bolt onto, this will draw the air through the hanging meat, which air dries it too perfection.

The fan will run of a 12v Adapter, you can use any old computer fan with the Adapter as show below on my setup.

You can either bolt the Fan on, or stick it on with Glue or any other fixing you can think off, it really does not matter, as long as it works and does not fall off.

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You can also add a light into the box which can aid the drying, but I have tried it with or without the light and it does not make much of difference to the Drying process TBH.

Meat selection and Instructions on the preparation.

You can buy Biltong spice mix from a lot of places or you can make your own, I do both, it’s fairly cheap to make or buy.

Firstly Use a good quality meat like silverside or topside.
Get your butcher Slice the meat, with the grain into 1cm thick slices and about 20cm in length.
Make sure everything is clean and sterilised, very important.

Dip the strips of Beef into any old malt Vinegar, this tenderises the meat and it has antibacterial qualities which stops the meat going off while drying, take the Excess liquid of the meat and the coat the mix in the spices you have made or purchased.

Make sure they get a good covering of spices.

You then need to hang the meat onto the dowels using hooks, I purchased some cheap plastic ones from Ebay, make sure they are sterilised beforehand.

Hang the meat, making sure the meat is not touching the bottom or sides off the Box, this is to stop contamination.

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Basically that is it, Drying time is about 4-5 days, depending on your personal preference.

Shorter the drying time the wetter the meat, longer it’s a dry consistency.

Enjoy what you have made. It will not last long as it is quite addictive.

Hope some of you can give it a go, I made a few mistakes at first, so don’t be put off and just carry on.

© хотдогlegs 2018

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