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An Easy Guide to Home Biltong Making

An Easy Guide to Home Biltong Making


Biltong has a rich heritage from our pioneering forefathers and is traditionally known in South Africa as Boerewors, Braaivleis and Sunny Skies. Throughout the ages many different marinades have been lovingly concocted for slices of beef or venison to draw their own brine for various periods of time, and then hung out to dry - with the proud creators each proclaiming the ultimate taste sensation in perfect Biltong!

The truth of the matter is that Biltong, as with any food, is subject to the verdict of personal taste, which varies from individual to individual. Some like it wet and fatty, others dry and lean; some prefer it well peppered with lots of coriander and other spices while others prefer it with a more delicate piquancy.

This is where your Home Biltong Maker comes into its full right! No matter which marinade you use for a batch of Biltong, at the end of the marinating period, more dry spice of your choice may always be sprinkled on a portion of the batch before hanging it to dry in the machine. In this manner you will cater for taste preferences. For those who prefer a drier Biltong, simply cut some pieces a bit thinner than others - they will dry more quickly and, in a couple of days your family and friends will enjoy Biltong, catering to each individual taste.


Making your own Biltong is becoming increasingly popular, not only in South Africa but especially by South Africans living overseas where Biltong is difficult to obtain, is usually of poor quality and can be prohibitively expensive.

Making your own Biltong

  • Saves money

  • Caters for personal tastes and textures

With a Home Biltong Maker is as easy as 1-2-3!

Just follow these simple instructions...

  • Slice the meat into suitable strips and rub with Biltong spice

  • Pat thoroughly dry with kitchen paper towel and hang the strips to dry

  • Wait for about 3-4 days depending on how thick the meat is sliced and how wet or dry you prefer your end product.</li>



It is wise to bear in mind that when you buy a cooker you do not automatically qualify to be a chef, nor do you automatically qualify as a barbecue Tongmaster when you purchase a new barbecue. These appliances merely provide heat and flame. It is up to the skill of the individual to use these appliances in order to create their masterpieces. The same principle applies to your Biltong Maker. It is an appliance that dries meat rapidly and hygienically. The quality of the Biltong, at the end of the day, will depend on the care and the flair that you, the individual, put into the process.</p>

Traditionally, a dry spice mix is used to sprinkle over the meat, or it can be soaked in brine for a period of time before hanging.

The following are some pointers to ensure that, no matter which process you use, a perfect batch of Biltong is forthcoming every time.

All of our recipes are proportionate when using 1kg batches. The reason for this is that the less meat you hang per batch, the quicker it dries.

Bear this in mind when you want your Biltong to dry faster.

For larger batches simply multiply the quantities. It is of critical importance NOT to hang wet, dripping meat. Neither in a Biltong maker or any other place. In certain types of Biltong Makers ALWAYS dry the meat thoroughly with kitchen paper towel before hanging it.

The second critical point is never to crowd your machine with too much meat. Each piece MUST hang freely, not touching each other nor the sides of the machine. Meat not hanging freely will not dry properly and worse still-&nbsp;can become mouldy.


Biltong can be made from virtually any meat or venison but remember - the better the cut and grade of the meat, the better the Biltong. Topside, silverside, or rump is perfect. (For overseas users these cuts come from the buttock of the animal).

Slice the meat with the grain and use a very sharp carving knife for the best results.</p>


This part is very important!

A Home Biltong Maker is best suited for hanging thinly sliced strips of meat for best results - not chunks of meat.

The thicker the meat, the longer it takes to dry. Aim for slices of anything up to 1cm thick. While slicing, one inevitably tends to end up with the bottom of the strip being thinner than the top. Try to keep it even. Do not hack at the meat, stop to assess your progress and then slice further.&gt;


For the first batch of Biltong, try the Tongmaster Biltong Seasoning recipe. It is foolproof and gives quick, easy results.


Some Biltong Makers make use of skewers and some use hooks to hang the meat.

Which-ever method is used please remember the following in order to create a free airflow for quicker drying and to prevent the possibility of mould.

  • Always hang the meat with the thickest part to the top.

  • Don't let any of the meat touch the sides of the machine.

  • Don't let any of the pieces of meat touch each other.


Biltong should be consumed within a week of preparation in order to get the maximum benefit in terms of taste and texture.

Normally you could just switch your machine off when the Biltong is ready and leave it hanging in there for easy storage. You may also take it out and keep it in the refrigerator. If you want to keep some of it for an extended period of time, put some pieces into a plastic freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and freeze it for up to 3 months.


Making biltong tasting sausages (Wors) for best results use Tongmaster Wors spice mix could even make your own!

Our collagen sausage skins are suitable for drying and you can experiment to your hearts content. Just remember to use the thinner variety for quicker results.

Posted by Tongmaster

The following awards were won by our customers using our spices and seasonings.


Award winning wild lamb & rosemary burger seasoning


Award winning angus burger seasoning


Tongmaster and their trade partners are all members of one or more of these certified organisations.

All Tongmaster trading partners are
BRC Certified.

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