The traditional biltong recipe, that took birth a few centuries ago, has moved way ahead in terms of the preparation methods. And even the delicious biltong has changed quite a bit, according to the regions it traveled.
For instance, you would always find a hint of change when you taste the traditional South African Biltong and the biltong in USA.
However, the major ingredients used to the prepare this and the popular techniques to obtain the final, delicious product are almost the same.
Here, we would discuss some of the popular drying methods that are used to prepare biltong:
· Sun Drying:
The oldest and the basic traditional method is the sun drying process of meat dehydration. In this, the meat pieces are snipped into flat strips and these are then hung in theopensun with a good circulation of air around them.
Also, these meat strips could be spread on wire meshes or trays which are kept in the sun for drying.
For sun drying, the meat is dipped in a salt solution and this could be helpful to resist microbial growth. However, the method has lots of disadvantages as the exposure of meat to open air could lead to the attack of dust, dirt, wind, rain, inspects and contaminants etc., leading to a deterioration in the meat quality.
· Solar Drying:
You might think of this and the previous one completely similar, but they are a bit different. Solar drying involves heating the meat indirectly with the help of solar radiations.
Solar drying method employs large and enclosed meat drying chambers where biltong is heated to anadequate temperature with a limited supply of air.
This could be a large-scale industrial process and keeps the meat absolutely safe from dust, insects, moisture, wind, rain, rodents and contaminants etc. Plus, the heating chambers allow a constant temperature, ensuring the sustenance of taste and quality.
· Hot Air Oven Drying:
This is a common household method used for the preparation of Biltong. The snipped meat strips are cured and marinated appropriately, followed by placing them on the oven shelves.
The oven dries the meat at temperatures ranging from 160 to 222oF and this process takes something from 6 to 8 hours for the biltong to get fully prepared.
Oven doors, while preparing the meat, could be left slightly open for the moisture to escape.
· Commercial Hot Air Drying Method:
This method is usually used by the industries where a large amount of meat is turned to biltong in a single day.
The strips are kept to dry on perforated metal trays, which experiences heat in hot air drying chambers. The chambers could also be added with some smoke to impart a smoky flavor to the biltong.
These are some of the popular meat-drying methods used to prepare your favorite, delicious biltong. While you get the meat online, do not forget to ensure buying only the best-quality grass fed biltong for the best benefits.