Making Biltong

Great write up mate.
Now do one on how you make biltong, please, pretty please?


My takeaway from all this is that I would loooove some home made dry biltong. Also, screw everything, I am sick of this lapper lockdown. I don’t even cough much.

In case you miss :rofl:

Apart from this one shop in Pretoria SA which is just in a league of it’s own there’s a place back here in Oz at Enoggera in Brissy that sells some of the nicest Biltong i’ve had. It’s cleverly called “The Biltong & Jerky Shop” if anyone’s interested in some tasty Biltong, Boerewors and other Saffa goodies.


This shows you everything you need to do. However, I really don’t recommend you use the Crown National brand of Biltong spice. Its packed with artificial gunk. It is used widely enmasse throughout Seth Effrikka in commercial Biltong factories who supply all the local shops.

I make my mixture as follows

Essential ingredients:

Bolar blade or Topside bovine.
Black Peppercorns (vietnamese if you can)
Coarse Salt
Coriander Seeds
Fennel Seeds
Malt Vinegar

Paper clips
Paper towel
A biltong box

Ratios of spice mix:
33% coarse salt
30% black peppercorns
30% coriander seeds
6% fennel seeds

These are measured by weight, not volume. Toast your spices in a dry pan until they almost about to smoke and remove from pan quickly. Grind them down roughly and mix with the salt.

The ratio is 15gms minimum of salt per KG of trimmed ready to marinate meat, or 45gm per kg of total mixed salt/spices but the salt must make up 15gms per 1kg of meat.

The recommended meat is Topside, but thats expensive. I use bolar blade. Trim as much fat and all the silverskin you can.

Slice with the grain into long pieces, around an inch thick at the widest, but they can be as wide as you like. Put all the sliced meat in a bowl and add enough malt vinegar to wet everything down, say a 250ml cup per 2kgs. Let the meat ‘marinate’ in the vinegar for a while as you prepare the box and spices.

When ready, drain about 80% of the vinegar out of the bowl, and introduce the spice mix, mixing well and then cover and leave overnight.
Hang the biltong in your biltong box using paperclips (I used cable ties the first time as I couldnt find enough paper clips ). Plastic coqted clips please, those metal ones have all kinds of reactive goodness in them.

You will need 7 days to ripen your biltong but you can stary eating it at about day three if you are into rawish meats.

To really enjoy biltong, you need to slice finely, almost shave it. A very sharp and heavy cleaver is your friend. The seth effrikkans use a motorised slicing machine.

By next week you’ll be enjoying it.


I would have thought that based on my love for Biltong, one would assume this is a redundant post :wink:

Also, if people are worried about wether or not to add Instacure/prague powder, all I can say is that I left some biltong hanging for six months in the mancave and althoigh it was rather freakin hard, it was still edible six months later and I am still alive. Not to say you cant add some in if you want. It will give it a nice color.

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Plus, botulism sucks.

Anyone made some using Bicarbonate of Soda as a tenderiser? In the cooking game I believe they call this technique ‘velveting’ and is often used in Chinese takeaway style meals, like beef and black bean, tree and beef etc.

I dunno if Id want it too tender…I had some commercial junk and it was soft as. Flavorless of course, but mighty tender. I found though that it become to easy to eat and seemed as well enegineered to keep people doing this, like a packet of chips.

Savour the biltong, I say!

Soda - no. Mineral water as part of the marinade for shish kebab - yes. Works very well.

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I have used the bicarb as a tenderizer when cooking Chinese, specifically Mongolian Beef. Your right a little goes a long way. trying to take the beef to a really tender state by using a lot of Bicarb can change the texture and flavour too much. Even though you are really putting all the flavour into the food anyway.

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I have used the bicarb as a tenderizer when cooking Chinese specifically Mongolian Beef. Your right a little goes a long way. trying to take the beef to a really tender state by using a lot of Bicarb can change the texture and flavour too much.

Overall I think it works well I and I prefer it to hammering out meat or the bed of knives like the butchers use which is really just turning your meat into mince or pre cutting it to the point that it is hanging together just by a few threads but retains its shape.

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Soy sauce or vinegar as a marinade will help tenderise meat by breaking down connective tissue.

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I use soy sauce when I make jerky.

I use a soy sauce based marinade and “cook” it for 6-7 hours in the oven on 70 deg C. Leave the oven door slightly ajar lets the moisture out. Last lot of venison jerky I did didn’t last long. ( Taaasty!)

Sorry for Necro’ing this thread, but I still have not achieved that ‘perfect tenderness’ when making biltong (not jerky).

Im wondering if its because I have too much airfow (case hardening effect). I want to stay away from as many additives as possible.

Any tips?