Biltong is a dried beef product from South Africa. It is healthy tasty and natural and can be made quite easily if you know how. In the UK biltong is very expensive to buy but can be made at home quite cheaply using a biltong box. This article explains how I made my biltong box from scratch and the process you go through to make yours from scratch.
Constructing the Biltong Box
When deciding whether to purchase a Biltong box we weren’t very sure whether we should just go out and purchase one from the web. As I am not exactly your stereotypical DIY person I was leaning towards the purchase option. For some reason, why I don’t know I plumped to go and buy a box and try to make my own.
In order to make the supreme biltong box you will need
- A cabinet unit (see below for details)
- A cheap lamp
- A PC Fan
- Some Hooks
- Some wire/cabling
- Some insect netting (Optional)
I purchased my box from IKEA but any reputable dealer will do. The main thing to think about here is:
- Get a box around a metre high to hang the meat
- Get a box with a wipe clean surface
- Get a box with a hinged door
- Get a box with a shelf
- Get a box that doesn’t cost the earth! There is no point buying a mahogany box to hang dried meat in!
As you will see from the picture of my box we went for a sexy white unit.
The first thing you need to do is drill some air vents in the side of the box. We went for two holes in the side measuring about 5cm by 10 cm see the pictures below
Lamp and Shelf
The lamp will go at the bottom of the box so the shelf needs to go just above the lamps height (if the unit you have bought has a high shelf construct it upside down and balance it on the rivets). It is better if the shelf is removable for cleaning purposes. Cut out an area of the shelf but don’t cut where the lamp is. By cutting a whole you enable better air circulation. In my box I cut out a half moon at the opposite side of the lamp
The fan should be placed at the top of the box so that air is blowing out of the box.This in conjunction with the lamp forces air circulation around the box. The fan is optional however it speeds up the process and I for one do not have the patience to wait 5 days for biltong!.
You then need to attach the hooks/wire at the top of the box. As you will see for our box we screwed in some eye hooks and then criss-crossed wire into the hooks to enable us to hang the meat.
And voila this box is done. Plug in the fan and the lamp and start on making the meat!
In order to make delicious biltong please review my next article!