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Making Biltong - Make biltong the South African way

Updated on September 15, 2009

Make biltong - Traditional South African Biltong

Step by step guide to make biltong - A free biltong recipe

Biltong - A cured meat that originated from South Africa and often compared to the American jerky.Biltong is becoming increasingly popular by the day. Not only in South Africa, but also to South Africans and many foreigners living overseas today. Even though biltong "holds" South African residency, it is meant to be enjoyed all over the world. Many years ago i found myself to be addicted to biltong and eventually decided to start making my own. This way, i would have biltong all the time and save money. Today, i want to share this with you, so you too can make biltong.

First thing i want to focus on is the ingredients needed to make South African biltong.

- Beef

- Rock Salt

- Coarse ground black pepper

- Coarse ground coriander

- Apple cider vinegar

How to make biltong:

South African Biltong
South African Biltong

1. Cut your beef into strips. The strips should be cut with the grain, about 6 inches long and a half-inch thick. Depending how you want your biltong, you can cut your beef to your own specifications. Once you have cut your beef into strips, sprinkle some rock salt on each side of the pieces and let it stand for an hour. If you let it stand for longer, your biltong will be more saltier in the end.

2. After you have left your beef pieces to stand for about an hour, you can now scrape off all the excess rock salt with a knife. Once done, pour some apple cider vinegar into a bowl and dip the beef strips into the vinegar for a second or two. Although apple cider vinegar is recommended, any vinegar will do.

3. Now sprinkle some coarse ground black pepper and ground coriander over the meat on both sides. These mixtures are standard and you could always try add some of your own spices to give your biltong that consistent and special taste. What ever tickles your fancy. Leave your biltong to stand overnight. Your biltong is now ready to dry.

4. When it comes to drying biltong, you have several options and methods. The first method many people use is to hang it in a cool place and have a fan blowing on it. However, this method can spoil your biltong due to the air humidity. Second method is the biltong box which is more reliable. The biltong box can either be purchased (best option), as they go for cheap or it can be home made. The biltong box as the name implies, is a small wooden box with a 60 watt lightbulb inside. Once your biltong i splaced inside the bilton box, switch on the bulb and leave for 3 - 4 days to dry. Make sure the box has a few holes as this promotes good circulation inside the biltong box.

So how do you know when your biltong is ready? You will know its ready when the biltong is hard and brown on the outside, but slightly moist and red on the inside. If however, the biltong has turned green, do not eat ! Voila ! My biltong recipe have helped you to make biltong for the first time. Easy as pie !

Make your own biltong - Step by Step

Making Biltong

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    • profile image

      Val lived in SA for 57 yrs. Now in Canada. 

      14 months ago

      Been making our biltong this way for years. Biltong can not be compared to Jerkey. Biltong is 100times better.

    • Duane Reeve profile image

      Duane Reeve 

      7 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I just made a 2.5kg batch of biltong and added 1x tsp smoked paprika & 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper to my spice mix. The end result was fabulous, although it could have benefited from a little more 'Cayenne'.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      How about trying normal ground sea/table salt, not rock salt it makes it to salty and very dry. Also I personally think a better alternative to apple cider vinigar is just plain grape/dark spirit vinigar

    • profile image

      Bantu mvana 

      7 years ago

      Damn ur recipe is so easy to follow bt i wuld also pt some peri-perh to the biltong for a hotter one thnx man

    • lovetrees profile image


      7 years ago from North West, UK.

      wanted to learn how to make Biltong for years so thanks for this, will give it a go very soon :D

    • profile image 

      8 years ago

      made my own drier and done my first batch worked excellent was a littel bit salty but will work it out now i am looking for a recipe for chilli bites if you have one can you email it to me

    • profile image

      Dan in Sydney 

      8 years ago

      Making first batch, in a box that the kids car seat came in... ! My wife thinks I'm mad , hawever she and the kids love the beautiful biltong !!

      I think I went a bit over board on the spices, and left in the fringe overnight, and maybe too much salt.

      I also did a chilli mix with Tabasco sauce in the vinegar, and chilli flakes

      please give me and feedback to any tips or tricks to it. as I am starting to salavate waiting for it to cure

    • profile image

      Lawrence Macrides 

      8 years ago

      Very Good recipe, gonna try some spices on the next load !

    • profile image

      Lawrence Macrides 

      8 years ago

      Here we go, Im giving the recipe a try and Ill let you know how it went !

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is the easiest recipe 4 me so far,by changing the time the meat sits in salt gives a different result,all I got to do now is shoot some roos and see how that goes,awsm thanx

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      During the video, you mentioned spices and said you would discuss them later in the video. You also caution the viewer about buying biltong spices on the web...but didn't elaborate.

      Please do.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have been making biltong for a while too - for me i love mine with a dash of peri peri ... the hotter the better

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      mAn this is so super nyc

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a good recipe and it works I can vouch for that I have been making biltong for years

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is great! Well do I remember munching multi hunks of biltong accompanied by an icy CASTLE and a slab of bread while hunting in the RSA. Terribly wonderful!

    • profile image

      V A KEMMEY 

      9 years ago

      Sounds like a great recipe, going to try it out.

    • profile image

      david c 

      9 years ago

      you are a good man. thanks for sharing

    • clspeakstoo profile image


      9 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Never heard of biltong until I read your post. I've been doing a bit of research on Ghanaian food and came across this. Looks good!

    • oscarmecp4 profile image


      9 years ago from South Africa

      CTown hallo broer I dig your recipe. Check on my hub for a lot of SA recipies

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      can i just ask. Why will making it in a box with a light buld mean that it is less likely to spoil from humidity than if it was just hanging with a fan?


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Fuckin excerlent man thaks for that i wil do mine now

    • viryabo profile image


      10 years ago

      Tasted biltong just a few days ago. Quite nice, but a bit salty for me. If i can make mine, maybe i'll cut the salt a bit.

      Thanks for the recipe.

    • Rynaldos profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from USA

      LOL Feel free to share some more spicy biltong recipies k ! Thank yo ufor visiting Annalene

    • Annalene profile image


      10 years ago from Richards bay South-Africa

      Hmmmmm will pass it on to my bubby :)


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