There are two key steps to making biltong – curing and flavouring. But how long does it take to dry biltong meat? The important thing to note here is that curing the meat makes it safe to eat, but it’s the flavouring that makes it delicious and has you reaching for more.
When it comes to flavour, biltong packs a BIG punch. But in our opinion, there is nothing worse than tough bone dry biltong. Check out this blog if you want to know more about GOOD Vs BAD Biltong taste and flavours.
How long does it take to dry Biltong meat?
Good tasting biltong should be moist. If it is too dry, it’s usually too salty and if it’s too moist it’s not had the chance to develop its full flavour (a bit like wine). But how long does it take to dry Biltong meat?
There is no definitive time because it depends on two key factors:
- Meat thickness: The thinner your meat the quicker it will dry. We find 1cm works well.
- Air temperature: The higher the temperature the quicker the drying time. But never go over 40°C, this will slow cook your biltong. You don’t want this!
How do you know when Biltong is ready?
So, how long does it take to dry Biltong meat? Well with these two factors in mind, if you have a biltong box at around 25-30°C with 1cm thick biltong slabs, it should take 4 to 6 days.
You’ll know when the biltong is ready by giving it the ‘squeeze test’. It should be quite hard but also be a little bit squeezy in the middle confirming a bit of moisture inside. This is perfect!
Some people like biltong ‘wet’ and others like it ‘dry’. If you like your biltong dry, you can just leave it drying for another 2 to 3 days or you can slice it up. Put it in a paper bag and leave in the fridge where it will continue to slowly dry. Check out our TOP biltong storage tips.
How do you dry Biltong quickly?
The most important part of drying biltong is to hang your meat strips in a well-ventilated, dry area. This is essential because it helps prevent the growth of mould. Using a fan will help the meat dry faster. If you are making biltong in an area with high humidity, it is essential to use a fan. But how long does it take to dry biltong meat?
When it comes to a dehydrator vs biltong box dryer, a food dehydrator will always get the job done quicker. As little at 1 to 2 days. But don’t be fooled, fast isn’t always better and super dry isn’t always super fly.
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