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Old 11-30-2013, 05:06 PM   #1
steelerider OP
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Biltong machine.

If you're South African, (like me) you love Biltong. It is a dried meat - much like beef Jerky.
I wanted some. So I made my own biltong box.


Big old plastic tub with a 12 v fan to pull air.


On the other side, a vent (floor vent) to let air through, and a 60 watt light bulb in the bottom for some radiant heat.



Here she is loaded with fresh beef, ready to dry.
3-4 days, delicious biltong.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:54 PM   #2
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Looks easy to build, do you put any seasoning on the meat?
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:12 PM   #3
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Kudu

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Old 11-30-2013, 09:25 PM   #4
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floor vent looks good enuff to keep the rat/cat/dog out but wouldn't a screen keep the occasional maggot laying fly out of the box?
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:47 AM   #5
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I'd drop to a 40w bulb as I think you're going to cook with a 60w. I'd also put a 1.5v 3v 6v 9v 12v selectable power supply and drop the speed of the fan or you'll be sucking all sorts of crap in through the rather large vent.

If you make a MkII raise the fan and drop the vent lower and smaller, a row across the bottom for even flow.. Cool air in, hot air out at the top.

Keep the meat even cuts top to bottom...

Traditional bush biltong recipe:- Pick up, skin and gut dead animal. Tie to backpack. Walk about in the African sun. Enjoy in a day or two...

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Old 12-01-2013, 08:02 AM   #6
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I'm going to add some screen across the vent to keep any critters out. Although, it's freezing outside right now and there are no flies or anything in my basement. The 60w bulb hardly gives off enough heat to cook anything, it just adds a bit of radiant warmth to help things along.
I do have a selectable voltage transformer for the power supply. Right now it's on 12 v and the fan is running at its highest speed ( it's just a computer fan, so it doesn't move that mech air). There's just enough airflow throughout the box to dry things nicely.
As for spices, the meat was dipped in Apple vinegar, then marinated in a mixture of brown sugar, coarse salt and Worcestershire sauce for 45 mins. Then, quickly dipped back in the vinegar to wash the excess marinate off, and then rolled in crushed coriander and black pepper - then hung to dry.

This box is version 2.0. My first was a wood box with a bulb in the bottom. Which actually worked very well. The issue with wood is that it is difficult to keep clean.

I checked the batch this morning, and it is drying evenly, and very nicely. Will probably leave it for another day or two. I was surprised at how efficient this version is. It seems to be drying at a faster rate than the old wooden box.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:50 AM   #7
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All I can think off... that's not food grade plastic...
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by a1fa View Post
All I can think off... that's not food grade plastic...
Meh...
It's fine. The meat isn't touching the plastic.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:31 PM   #9
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but its also air contamination...
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:52 PM   #10
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please show a done picture
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:03 PM   #11
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This is interesting, I have some venison in the freezer I would like to try this with.

Is this something you can do with a dehydrator? I guess that would be more like jerky.

Plus one on seeing some "done" pics.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apxgrndr View Post
This is interesting, I have some venison in the freezer I would like to try this with.

Is this something you can do with a dehydrator? I guess that would be more like jerky.

Plus one on seeing some "done" pics.
I use a crappy dehydrator I bought at a yard sale for $5 to make jerky.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:35 PM   #13
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You can do it with a dehydrater, although I've never used one - it might be a little aggressive on the meat. This way will take about 2-4 days depending on how dry you like the meat.
Any kind of meat will work. If you are using beef, get a cut of silverside, or "London broil" as it's called locally. Here is the recipe and the method.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup coarse salt.
Worcestershire sauce.
Crushed Coriander
Whole black peppercorn
Apple based vinegar.

Step 1
Combine the sugar and the salt, mix well, lay it out on big tray.
Cut the meat into long strips - about 2 cm thick, trying to follow the grain of the meat.
Dip the meat strips into the vinegar. (Like a vinegar bath)
Roll meat in the salt and sugar ( like you would bread chicken)
Lay the meat in a container, and sprinkle the Worcestershire sauce over it. (For flavor)
Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours - you will see the mixture combine and turn into a delicious marinate. The vinegar will also help pull moisture from the meat. Once in a while, I'll get a turkey baster and draw some of the liquid over the meat again.

Step 2
After a few hours, remove the meat and give it another quick dip in the vinegar. (Use fresh vinegar)
Thus will wash the excess marinate off
Roll the meat in the crushed coriander and pepper (mixed) You can use any spice here, really. Coriander is traditionally used.
Hang to dry in your biltong box. After 2-4 days, enjoy!
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelerider View Post
You can do it with a dehydrater, although I've never used one - it might be a little aggressive on the meat. This way will take about 2-4 days depending on how dry you like the meat.
...
My dehydrator would not take 2-4 days to dry that out. 12-16 hrs maybe, so yeah, it might be too aggressive. I might just build one of these.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:48 PM   #15
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Still waiting on dinner to finish cooking here and now salivating.

I've made a lot of jerky in a gas oven on lowest low but it was touchy and one batch just plain cooked.

Do show the results.
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