Biltong is a traditional South African method of preserving the meat of freshly killed game. The word literally means strip of meat which is the final product once you are complete.

Things You Will Need

Red Meat (the "broils" are good cuts. Any thick cut with little fat is fine)

Salt (coarse)

Spices (most common are ground black pepper and ground coriander)

Vinegar (of your choice)


Hooks or paper clips

Plastic bags

Step 1

If you are using red meat from the store then you can proceed to step 2. If you are using freshly killed game you will want to freeze the meat for a few weeks in order to kill any parasites that might have resided in the wild animal. Do not skip this step!

Step 2

Cut the meat into strips about 1x1" wide. The length should be more than 2 inches. The length does not need to be consistent but the other dimensions do need to, otherwise the meat will not finish consistently.

Step 3

Place the meat in a container and sprinkle with a vinegar of your choosing. I like regular white vinegar. Drain the excess away. The vinegar wets the meat to help the salt stick and melt.

Step 4

Sprinkle coarse salt such as kosher salt over all the surfaces of the meat. Do not cake it on. Essentially each particle will melt. That melt should generally be enough to cover the entire meat surface.

Step 5

Allow the salt to melt in. Then sprinkle on a small amount of your favorite spices. I use coriander and black pepper.

Step 6

Cover the container and refrigerate the meat overnight.

Step 7

Remove the meat and drain the excess juice.

Step 8

Sprinkle the surface of the meat with more spices (to taste). Cover all surfaces.

Step 9

Use the paperclips or hooks and hang the meat from a cool, dry, dark and protected place. A closet makes a fine spot.

Step 10

Allow about a week for the meat to dry.

Step 11

Remove the hooks and examine the meat. It should be dry and light. It should not have any mold, mildew or other off smells or looks. Reference the web for pictures of biltong. It is your responsibility to ensure the meat is safe to eat and share.

Step 12

Once you are satisfied the meat is safe you can place it in a plastic bag for safe keeping. Though it will keep almost indefinitely you should exercise caution. This is not an exact science.

Step 13

Enjoy! Once you taste biltong you will realize that there is nothing quite like it and you will make excuses to go to the store and buy more meat and spices.

Tips & Warnings

Though this method has been in practice for a long time, the risk of foodbourne illness is a risk. You must exercise extreme caution and common sense when preparing any food item and especially when preserving foods. Always prepare biltong with clean hands and utensils.