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Step-by-Step: How to build a DIY Biltong box

Updated on March 7, 2016
all parts needed to build your biltong box
all parts needed to build your biltong box

Building your own Biltong box is a lot simpler than you think. Spend an hour at your nearest DIY store to gather all the required parts or buy them directly from Amazon. Drink a few beers throughout an afternoon while creating this home made masterpiece, and you will be satisfied for a lifetime of hanging and air drying countless pounds of mouth-watering biltong.

Parts needed:

I also provided handy links to these products on Amazon further down:

  • Cabinet (I used a cheap, plastic garage storage cabinet from Home Depot)
  • 2 X CPU Fans 110v
  • 3-way 50-100-150 watt Incandescent bulb
  • 12-gauge Copper wire
  • 3-way Light fitting to install the bulb
  • Insect screen/mesh to keep the bugs out
  • Wooden dowels to suspend the cable for hanging biltong
  • Chain to suspend between dowels to hang biltong on. Usually purchase by the foot
  • Box of paperclips or christmas ornament hooks used for hanging biltong
  • Plug connected to wire
  • Switch (optional) - makes it easier to switch the box ON or OFF
  • Cable ties for attaching cable to dowels
  • Silicone Adhesive to attach screen/mesh to box

Tools Needed:

  • Drill
  • 2 inch Hole Saw
  • 4 inch Hole Saw to attach CPU fans (optional - I just used a hand saw)
  • Wire stripper (or pliers)
  • Measuring tape


Sterilite 01408501 2-Shelf Cabinet with Putty Handles, Platinum
Sterilite 01408501 2-Shelf Cabinet with Putty Handles, Platinum

2-shelf plastic garage cabinet for building your biltong box

 
Thermocool Axial Cooling Fan 110V 72CFM 4.72" X 4.72"
Thermocool Axial Cooling Fan 110V 72CFM 4.72" X 4.72"

CPU fan to ensure proper air circulation in your biltong box

 
view from left side of biltong box
view from left side of biltong box
view from right side of biltong box
view from right side of biltong box

After the box is built you can start to drill the holes necessary to create the airflow. As you can see in the pictures below, I drilled about 9 holes in the bottom right hand side of the box, and 10 holes along the edge of the shelf. These holes, along with the CPU fans create a constant airflow across the meat, improving drying times.

Once you completed all the holes you will need to mount the CPU fans at the top left hand side of the box as shown in the pictures. Ensure that the fans are sucking air though the box, meaning the airflow will start outisde, move through the 9 holes in the bottom right, move up through the holes in the middle shelf, passed the meat, and out through the CPU fans. This creates the right flow needed to dry the meat

To ensure no creepy crawlies get inside the box while you are drying the meat, cut out some insect screen to cover the 9 holes you drilled through the side of the box. Use the silicone adhesive to attach it to the box to create a good seal.

Mount the light fixture at the bottom of the box by drilling a hole through the center of the bottom shelf. Ensure that the bulb is not situated below any of the holes you drilled in the middle shelf, as some of the drippings may end up on the bulb.

Connect the CPU fans and the bulb fitting using the 12-gauge wire and then extend the wire to the nearest outlet within your garage, leaving some slack as you may end up moving it around in the future. Attach a simple rocker switch between the box and the plug if you like.

Drill 2 holes on either side of the top of the box, the same width as your dowels. These dowels should run the width of the box to support the chain used for hanging the biltong. Make sure the dowels or the chain do not hang over the holes in the shelf due to the drippings.


GE 18275 3 Way Phenolic Lamp Socket, Black
GE 18275 3 Way Phenolic Lamp Socket, Black

3-way lamp socket for the bulb - can switch between 15/100/150 watts depending on amount of light/heat you want in the biltong box

 
light source inside the biltong box
light source inside the biltong box
biltong hanging on hooks from the chain inside the biltong box
biltong hanging on hooks from the chain inside the biltong box

Once the dowels are up, thread the chain across the dowels in a zig-zag pattern, ensuring enough space for hanging the biltong. i used a chain versus using a wire as it gives you more flexibility in terms of where you hang the biltong. There are probably many ways to skin this cat, so if you find a better way please comment below.

I opted not to add a switch, but I wish I had since the plug ends up in an awkward spot in my garage. Add the optional switch to make it easier to regulate the power, before attaching the end of the wire to the plug.

Plug it in, and stand back to bask in the amazing glow and listen to the soothing hum of the CPU fans. Your work is here is done.

Sit back, have a few beers, make your way to the nearest butcher to get a few pounds of beef bottom round, and then grab some spices to start creating your very first batch of world class biltong. Well done for sticking with it!

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