Fresh biltong is at its best within 5 days of opening or making. If you want to freeze biltong meat, you need to first make sure you don’t eat it all in one go. ?
You can freeze most foods (that don’t have a high water content) and meat freezes especially well, check out this full list from the NHS. But if you freeze biltong meat, will this have an inferior outcome over using fresh meat?
Here a few pointers which I hope can help you.
Can you freeze biltong meat?
To freeze biltong meat it’s best to freeze large unsliced slabs. This will lock the moisture in and will typically freeze better than sliced which will have more area exposed to frozen moisture.
It’s helpful to freeze items you won’t use before their expiry date to prevent them from going bad or growing mould. Storing all biltong at 0° C or lower will retain vitamin content, colour and flavour. But it will change the texture of your biltong.
The freezing process itself does not destroy nutrients. In meat, there is little change in nutrient value when frozen but the overall process will more than likely make your biltong tougher. As with most food, fresh is always better than frozen. With this in mind, we would not recommend you to freeze biltong meat unless you really have to.
Can you use frozen meat to make biltong?
Yes, you can use dry-aged beef that has been previously frozen once. However, remember that freezing meat causes moisture loss after it has been thawed. There will be a noticeable change in flavour and texture of the meat.
By freezing meat, you are slowing down the yeast and bacteria, but they’re still present. The nutritional content doesn’t change when you freeze meat, but freezing forms sharp crystals of ice within the meat causing fibres to break down and some of the meat’s natural flavours to escape when thawed.
So if you are planning you make your own biltong, don’t waste your time with frozen meat. We highly recommend the use of FRESH meat over frozen meat to make biltong.
Top FROZEN storage tips
In short fresh is ALWAYS better than frozen, but the best way is to explore. If you find out any good tips please drop them in the comments below.
Freezing food is normally done as a necessity. So if you do need to freeze your biltong, place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in freezer bags or similar before placing in the freezer otherwise the cold air will dry it out.
If you want to find out more about how to store fresh biltong. Check out our blog on our top biltong storage tips.