Biltong is South African dried meat and is considered a great delicacy by South Africans. It was traditionally made by settlers to preserve meat before refrigerators had been invented. Biltong is salted and rubbed with savoury spices. After marinating and spicing, the meat was traditionally hung in a cool dry place or in the sun to cure. Today the meat can be dried indoors using artificial heat.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Particle board or other board
- Perforated board
- Tape measure
- Set square
- Hammer or nail gun and nails
- Door hinges and latch
- Electric drill
- Light fitting
- 60W light bulb
Fabricate your box. A permanent biltong maker should be made from wood. Cut four sheets about 38 inches high and 18 inches wide. The top and bottom pieces are 18-by-18 inches. Be sure to make 90 degree angles. Nail the pieces together to make a box, keeping one long piece for the door. Drill rows of 1/2-inch holes eight inches from the top and bottom of each tall sheet, including the door.
Mount rows of dowel across the box three inches below the top, each about three inches apart. The strips of meat will be hung from these. Cut a sheet of perforated wood to fit snugly inside the box and mount it 8 inches above the floor and nail it into the box. You will place sheets of newspaper on this to catch blood dripping from the meat, but some of the holes must be open to allow hot air from below to rise.
Install a light fitting into the bottom centre of the box. The light bulb will be inserted in an upright position and will heat and dry the air around the meat to hasten the drying process and help prevent humidity, which would cause mould to grow on the meat. Attach the door with hinges and add a latch.
Make a quick temporary biltong maker using a cardboard box. Punch holes near the top and bottom and insert dowel rods. Place newspaper on the bottom and insert a light fixture into the side. The box must be completely closed when the meat is curing. A small fan can also be used to hasten the drying process.
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