Making Biltong Video Series

No show today folks as I have to take my wife to the dentist.  Nothing major but they do have to sedate her and therefore she can’t drive afterwords so I am choosing today to release the long awaited video series on biltong.  I talk about it all the time on the show, now you can see how to do it step by step.

The method you see me use is slightly different from some others I have seen online.  I have chosen my recipe and method from the writing of Peter Hathaway Capstick who spent half his life living on Traditional South African Biltong in the bush as a professional hunter and game control officer in the African bush.

A few things about this series in particular…

  1. I used a dehydrator for the bulk of the biltong because some people live in very humid areas
  2. The dehydrator was not necessary, the traditionally hung meat actually finished just as fast
  3. The quality of both batches was similar but I actually found the traditional a bit better
  4. The dehydrator was not any faster, the initial rapid drying formed a shell and the centers in the dehydrator took much longer to cure
  5. My advice don’t use a dehydrator unless climatic humidity requires it and then I would try a fan before doing anything else.

Anyway for some reason the final videos came out a little fuzzy in image quality, I am going to try to figure out what caused that but the videos will definitely show you exactly how to make biltong and how easy it really is.   As for how good it tastes, you will have to make your own to find out.  Beef works great but the leaner the better, the best comes from red game meat like venison, elk or bison.

Oh and if you like any of the shirts shown in this series those and a few others can be found in the gear shop at the bottom of this page.

18 Responses to Making Biltong Video Series

  1. Thank you so much for the video, a visual guide is just what I needed to feel comfortable making Biltong for the first time. 🙂

  2. Made my first batch a couple of weeks ago, have to make some more it was so good, my wife who worked in SA had told me about it but I never tried it, thanks for the reminder, I don’t think I will go back to jerky. Next batch will have some other spices added will tell you how it works out.

  3. How long did you leave the meat in the dehydrator?

    – Ryan

  4. Thanks for the videos. Thats a new entry on my to do list.

    Hope you don’t just give Blacky and Max the fatty parts! Mine get the whole roast 🙂

  5. Modern Survival

    @TP,

    Both methods took about 5 days, as I stated in the video ;>)

    Also unless you are in a very humid area, avoid it all together. The results of just hanging it to air dry were better overall.

  6. Thanks for the videos, Jack. I was hesitant at first to try to make Biltong, but you covered all the bases in these videos. I’m ready for my first batch now!

  7. Can you long-term store biltong?? As in, put it in mylar with O2 absorbers and if so, how long will it last? 2 years? 10 years?

  8. Modern Survival

    It will store damn near forever you don’t even need O2s or a vac sealer. Capstick said he left a few sticks in an old vest, found em ten years later, a tad dry but still edible and they were loosely wrapped in foil.

  9. ok I really did something wrong when I made biltong. After a week mine smelled almost rotten and was still really thick. It never did get that thin dried out look like Jack’s did. I may need to try that again

  10. Vic Firth originally make drum sticks.

  11. Guy at work (from SA) says run a couple of fans for the first day to get the initial crust and a single oscillating fan for the next 4 days.

  12. @10 I was thinking the same thing!

    Jack, you are awesome! I’ve been wanting to make biltong for a while, but I’m always traveling. I just took out a deer roast to thaw and I will be trying it tomorrow. I have a feeling I won’t be traveling next week. The videos (well the first, gotta watch the other ones still) are great help. I was picturing it in my mind while driving (when I usually listen) but the videos put a solid image of what to do in my mind.

    I am disappointed that the dehydrator didn’t speed it up. I have one but haven’t used it yet due to traveling. Soon though!

    I’m interested in ways to make biltong and other things when working out of town 5 out of 7 days out of the week, or more. Unfortunately my garden didn’t do that well this year but I’m going to find some system (or design it myself) that will automatically water my garden based on previous rainfall.

    Thanks again!

    P.S. By the way I was distracted for a couple minutes trying to read your shirt. I love it! If I didn’t already have a million T-shirts I would get one. But, LOL, put that on a button up shirt or something I can wear to work and I just might. My “boss” aka client would love it but I’m not sure about the other people there.

  13. Modern Survival

    @Luke the beauty of biltong is just hang it up and travel all you need to, when you come home it will be waiting for you.

    I mean the entire point is you are curing the meat for long term storage (if you can avoid eating it to quickly) so if you are gone for a week it will be done when you get back, if you go for two weeks it will have been done for a week and just sat there after that waiting for you.

  14. Once you’ve made your biltong, if you wanted to take it on a long range backpacking trip, how long will it last in the pack.

  15. If using Deer, can you catch Lyme Disease if the deer is infected when consuming biltong?

  16. Modern Survival

    @Bill you can’t go into the woods long enough for biltong to not outlast year. Biltong in something as mundane as a zip-lock bag can store for years.

    As for Lyme disease it is not transmitted via the consumption of meat.

  17. When the SHTF, do you think canibals will try and biltong their human victims? I lose sleep worrying about this.

  18. Hello all, I made my second batch of biltong recently and have set aside enough to ration out over a few days in a ziplock bag with the air simply sucked out. No oxygen absorbers. If anyone is interested (and I can remember) I can report the results in a year. I’ll consider a year a big success, since you gotta figure that if you’re in any sort of situation, that’s probably more than enough…

    This is something of a habit of mine. I made some hard tack to time test it as well, and it didn’t seem to age AT ALL inside of a ziplock over a year. Fun trivia.