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How to Make Biltong at Home - Catercorp

How to Make Biltong at Home

Sticks of Biltong and a knife on a wooden board

What is more South African than biltong?

It is super easy to get your hands on awesome biltong, available at almost every food store in South Africa. However, it is so rewarding and of course always tastes even better when prepared freshly at home.

We want to share a beginner’s guide to making biltong at home. And, even if you are already a fundi in this respect, you might pick up a cool new tip you haven’t tried yet.

Our simple step by step guide will help you with everything you need to know but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send us a message.

WHAT DO I NEED?

Meat

Biltong is traditionally made with beef but it is also made with many types of Venison. It can also be made with pork and chicken.

The best cut to use is Silverside or Topside. Both cuts have a nice amount of fat on the top. The same meat can be used to also make sticks.

Read: Different Cuts of Meat

Dry Wors is made by mincing beef trimming 80/20 (this is 80 % meat and 20% fat). You will use a sheep casing to fill the minced and spiced meat in, or you can opt for an artificial casing.

Equipment

There are many ways to dry your meat.

  1. A Stainless Steel biltong dryer. These are expensive but work very well.
  2. A homemade dryer, by using a plastic, wood or steel cupboard, adding some fans, rails and a light, you can make yourself a fairly nice drying cabinet for a reasonable price. Here is an example by Builders Warehouse of a homemade option.
  3. Small dryer. Like this one available at Game.
  4. Hanging under nets with a fan on, in a box. Many have done this. Just make sure the fan does not go off. Unfortunately, insects also like biltong. A fan usually does the job, no heater is needed but a bulb is recommended in humid conditions, to remove moisture from the dryer.
  5. If you wish to make dry wors, much more equipment will be needed, a mincer and a boerewors filler. You can find smaller versions of these at larger retail stores like Makro

Tools

There are a few items you will be needing to make sure you can cut, hang and pack your biltong.

  • Knives, good quality butcher knives.
  • A large dish, to lay and soak your meat in before hanging
  • Biltong hooks or paper clips to hang your meat up in your dryer.
  • Plastic bags or brown paper bags to package your finished biltong in. Paper bags work better, as the biltong doesn’t sweat in these.
  • A biltong chopper or electric slicer, or a knife to cut your biltong.

Spices & Sauces

Spices and sauces have been fairly standard through the years, for that traditional biltong taste, coriander, salt, pepper and some sugar. As time has gone on, these flavours have expanded, to Smokey, Chilli, Sweet Chilli, Lemon Pepper, BBQ, to name a few. View some of our Megalicious range of Spices available in bulk for some inspiration.

Biltong spice can be made from scratch or can be bought, like the Nou Gaan Ons Braai BBQ Grill. Go wild and try out different mixes until you find the best taste for you.

Another decision is whether to add Brown Vinegar and Worcester Sauce or just one and not the other? Some use a 50/50 mix of Worcester and Vinegar while others just use Worcester.

A typical spice recipe:

  • 5kg Meat
  • 1 cup of Brown Sugar
  • 500 grams Coarse Salt, normal table salt will not work
  • 2 Tablespoons Bicarbonate Soda
  • 1 cup of broken up Coriander Seeds or powder, preferably roasted
  • 1 Tablespoon cracked Black Pepper

How to make Biltong

Now you have what you need, let’s make some biltong!

  1. Take your meat, cut into 2 cm thick slices, or 1 cm strips for sticks.
  2. Pour a little Quinns Worcester Sauce and Brown Vinegar mix in the bottom of your dish, sprinkle the spice mix over this, now lay your biltong pieces on top of this, then again more Worcester/Vinegar mix and more spice, keep repeating this until all meat has been used. To prepare the sticks, add all to a dish and pour Quinns Worcester Sauce and Brown Vinegar mix and spices over and mix all together with your hands.
  3. Leave the meat to soak for 4 hours, and then hang.
  4. Whole biltong can take 3 to 4 days in a home dryer and sticks 1 to 2 days to dry.
  5. Once dry, remove from the dryer, eat or pack away for later.

Once you get the hang of making your own biltong, it’s time to play around with flavours. Try coating your biltong with Sauce-a-licious Sweet Chilli before hanging it to dry or if you like it hot, use Nou Gaan Ons Braai Extra Hot Peri-Peri to soak in to add extra heat.