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Dehydrated Recipes

South African Biltong Recipe | Create your perfect biltong

Biltong is a great snack, with great potential for modifying the recipe to your unique preferences. In this blog, we take a look at some of the possible variations and share our favorite South African biltong recipe.

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South African Biltong Recipe | Create your perfect biltong
Servings Icon
Serves
12
Prep time
Prep time
30 mins
Dehydration time icon
Dehydrating time
24 - 72 hours
Ingredients

  • 2 lbs top rump beef
  • 3 Tablespoons vinegar malt or cider
  • 2 Tablespoons salt coarse
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper ground
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown sugar

Ingredients
macros
Instructions
  1. In a dry pan toast the coriander seeds. Remove and grind with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  2. Prepare the meat by using a sharp knife and cut into one inch thick pieces along the grain of the meat and place into a glass container.
  3. Combine all the spices including the vinegar and rub into the meat. Cover and let the biltong cure overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Remove the meat and pat dry taking care to not remove the seasoning.
  5. Put each biltong onto a hook and hang it in the '2 Zone - 58 Hook Rotisserie' dehydrator.
  6. It will take about 24 hours - 72 hours depending on the thickness of the meat and the fattiness, the thiner and leaner the quick it is to cure, the thicker and fattier the longer it will take for the meat to cure. You should not be able to feel any give in the meat when you pinch it, that is the indication it is done.
  7. Once cured, you can cut the pieces into bite size pieces and savor the biltong!

Create your perfect biltong recipe

Origins of biltong

Biltong is a cured and dried meat product that developed in Southern Africa. Traditionally, biltong was air dried in the hot African sun, but modern production now tends to use the more consistent and predictable method of a dehydrator.

The word biltong is Afrikaans and is derived from the Dutch words ‘bil’ (meaning buttock) and ‘tong’ (literally meaning tongue, but also used to mean strip). Biltong today is usually taken to mean long strips of spiced and dried meat.


What are the best meats for biltong?

The most widely used meat for biltong is beef, but you can feel free to experiment. Other popular choices include lamb, game meats like venison, and kangaroo is definitely an option for an Aussie spin on a South African classic.

Similarly to making jerky, the best choices for making biltong are lean cuts as fat can go rancid and ruin your biltong or reduce its shelf life.


Preparation considerations

One of the most important things when making biltong is to make sure your meat is cut into thin strips. This helps to reduce the drying time. Usually for biltong, long strips of meat are used, with meat cut along the grain, but you can absolutely experiment with cutting across the grain to see which result you prefer.

The other critical thing to remember when making biltong is that the environment must be dry. You’re looking to replicate the dry heat of Southern Africa. Meat and Livestock Australia recommends drying biltong at around 30°C with high air movement. For biltong that is intended for commercial production, the best way to ensure a consistent temperature and safe final product is through a dehydrator where temperature and humidity can be controlled.

Unlike jerky, biltong is usually dried with the meat hanging from hooks rather than flat on trays. When choosing your dehydrator, make sure it can be used in this way if you want a traditional biltong result.

We recommend our '2 Zone / 58 Hook Vertical Rotisserie' - click here to shop now.


Spice up your biltong

Preparing biltong for drying involves marinating in a vinegar South African, combined with salt, sugar and other spices. Coriander is usually considered essential and reflects Southern Africa’s history as being a key stop on the spice routes from Asia.

Biltong provides a great South African for experimenting with different flavours and spicing, with recipes using an array of spices and chillies. In keeping with its South African roots, piri-piri spicing is very popular, as are other chillies. For a more Australian vibe, you could experiment with native spices like pepperberry, wattle seed and bush tomato.

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Ready to start experimenting with your biltong recipe?

You can create your own signature biltong recipe by playing around with different meats, various cuts, adjusting drying times and trying different spices. 

To get you started, here’s our favourite South African biltong recipe. We’d love to hear how you tweak this recipe and make it your own.

South African Biltong Recipe

Machine recommendation
South African Biltong Recipe | Create your perfect biltong
Servings Icon
Serves
12
Prep time
Prep time
30 mins
Dehydration time icon
Dehydrating time
24 - 72 hours
Ingredients

  • 2 lbs top rump beef
  • 3 Tablespoons vinegar malt or cider
  • 2 Tablespoons salt coarse
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper ground
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown sugar

Ingredients
macros
Instructions
  1. In a dry pan toast the coriander seeds. Remove and grind with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  2. Prepare the meat by using a sharp knife and cut into one inch thick pieces along the grain of the meat and place into a glass container.
  3. Combine all the spices including the vinegar and rub into the meat. Cover and let the biltong cure overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Remove the meat and pat dry taking care to not remove the seasoning.
  5. Put each biltong onto a hook and hang it in the '2 Zone - 58 Hook Rotisserie' dehydrator.
  6. It will take about 24 hours - 72 hours depending on the thickness of the meat and the fattiness, the thiner and leaner the quick it is to cure, the thicker and fattier the longer it will take for the meat to cure. You should not be able to feel any give in the meat when you pinch it, that is the indication it is done.
  7. Once cured, you can cut the pieces into bite size pieces and savor the biltong!

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Author Details

Kate.J

Kate spends her days doing life as a mother of two young boys, tending to chickens, ducks, working on her organic vegi garden and developing organic recipes that she shares with her friends via instagram. Researching and documenting comes naturally to Kate as she has a flare for design and photography.

https://www.instagram.com/katejoncheff/