how to make biltong

How to Make Biltong: A Delicious and Easy Recipe

If you’re a fan of South African cuisine or simply enjoy trying new flavors, you’ve probably come across biltong. Biltong is a popular dried meat snack that originated in Southern Africa and is similar to beef jerky. It is not only delicious but also incredibly easy to make at home. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making biltong to perfection, ensuring a mouthwatering result every time.

What You’ll Need

Before diving into the recipe, let’s gather the essential ingredients and equipment you’ll need for making biltong:


how to make biltong

  • 2 pounds of lean beef, preferably top round or rump steak
  • 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of coarse salt or kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • A pinch of chili flakes (optional, for added heat)


  • A sharp knife
  • A cutting board
  • A non-reactive container for marinating the meat
  • A cooling rack or biltong drying box

The Step-by-Step Process

Now that we have everything ready, let’s jump into making your own biltong:

Step 1: Prepare the Meat

Start by slicing the beef into long, thin strips. Aim for a thickness of about 1/4 inch for the best results. It’s essential to cut against the grain to ensure tenderness.

Step 2: Make the Spice Mix

In a bowl, combine the coriander seeds, salt, black pepper, brown sugar, paprika, and chili flakes (if desired). Mix well to ensure all the flavors are evenly distributed.

Step 3: Marinate the Meat

Take the prepared beef strips and generously coat them with the spice mix. Massage the spices into the meat to ensure it is thoroughly seasoned. Place the seasoned beef strips into the non-reactive container, cover, and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight for more intense flavor.

Step 4: Hang or Place in the Drying Box

After marinating, remove the beef strips from the container and shake off any excess spices. If you have a biltong drying box, follow the instructions provided to hang the meat strips. Alternatively, you can use a cooling rack placed in a well-ventilated area.

Step 5: Wait Patiently

This is the hardest part! Biltong needs time to dry properly. Hang or place the meat in a dry, cool, and well-ventilated spot. Ideally, the humidity should be around 50-60%. Let the biltong air dry for at least three to five days, depending on your preferred level of dryness. The thicker the meat, the longer it will take.

Step 6: Enjoy Your Homemade Biltong!

Your homemade biltong is now ready to be devoured! Once the meat has reached your desired level of dryness, take it down from the hanging rack or remove it from the drying box. Slice it into thin pieces and savor the unique flavors of your very own biltong.

Tips and Variations

– For a more intense flavor, you can add Worcestershire sauce or red wine vinegar to your marinade mixture.

– Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences. Add more chili flakes for extra spiciness or reduce the salt if you prefer a lighter flavor.

– Experiment with different cuts of meat such as venison or ostrich for a unique twist.

With this simple recipe, you can now enjoy the deliciousness of biltong anytime. Make a big batch and share it with your family and friends, or simply keep it all to yourself – we won’t judge! Happy biltong making!

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