In my previous blog about making biltong I talk about DIY spice recipes and how to make your own dryer. The blogs above have received many hits but few readers have actually followed through. The main reason being the hassle of putting this all together yourself.
Now with the BiltongMate there is no longer an excuse! The BiltongMate was designed and built by an ex South African now living in the USA. There is a lot of attention to detail and everything (except the meat) is included in the package. As you can see here 4 sample packs of spices are included as well as both the larger plastic hooks for the bigger cuts of meat as well as small stainless steel hooks for those wanting to make the thinner snap sticks.
I used one whole 6lb eye of round which after trimming fitted perfectly into the BiltongMate.
Some folks like lots of fat on their biltong I prefer less so trimmed quite a bit off along with some of the silver membrane and other sinewy bits.
I tried out the traditional spice. After following the directions that came with the BiltongMate there was still quite a lot left for another batch if required.
Once all the pieces were coated they were layered in a container and out in the fridge to marinade for the suggested 1 hour.
A suggested the pieces were turned over after 30 minutes but this step is not totally necessary. Then after a further 30 minutes the hooks were inserted and the strips of meat hung to dry. Not to cause any confusion, the Honey Badger logo was done at my request. It’s a South African designed folding pocket knife which is ideal for slicing biltong. You too can have your BiltongMate customized .
After 4 days of salivating, we were eventually able to sample the first pieces of delicious biltong. One of the key factors in producing good biltong is the rate of drying. Too fast and the outside gets hard and the inside never dries. Too slow and the chances of mold increase. BiltongMate has got it just right. The centrally placed fan creates turbulence evenly over all the pieces of meat. In my DIY design mentioned above I use a lamp to help create a less moist environment but then my fan is not as efficient. There appears no need for a lamp in the BiltongMate design.
When quite dry many folks enjoy taking a whole stick in hand and just ripping pieces off, other prefer either thick or thin slices. Notice the tender slightly rare interior of the slices that really does distinguish the air dried biltong from the other forms of curing meat.
Oh and the scraps never go to waste and the dog knows about it! They get placed in a pot of boiling water, cooked and then placed into small bags as dinner treats.
With a footprint of only 12″ x 12″ and 15″ tall the BiltongMate takes up very little space and can be placed anywhere in your home.