How To Make The Perfect Biltong

With the increased meat prices, biltong has become more of a delicacy than just a delicious snack these days. More and more biltong lovers have decided to try their hand at making their own at home.

It may look really easy, but there is still an art to perfecting the biltong recipe. Follow these instructions and you will easily be able to master this art.

One of the mistakes most people make when attempting their first biltong recipe, is not using the correct quantity required of each ingredient. Make sure that you mix the right amount of spice for the amount of meat you haveThe ‘Gerald Secret’ biltong recipe.

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2 kg lean roasting beef (Silverside, Topside or London Broil)
125 g rock salt (Any coarse salt will do. The coarser the better)
25 ml brown sugar
5 ml bicarbonate of soda
2.5 ml coarse ground black pepper
12.5 g coarsely ground coriander seeds
200 ml vinegar 
50 ml Worcestershire sauce
1 litre warm water



  1. Cut meat into strips of approximately 4 cm thick. Make sure you cut with and not against the grain of the meat.
  2. Mix the salt, brown sugar, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, black pepper and coriander seeds together.
  3. Rub the dry spice mixture into the meat and let it stand for about an hour. The longer it stands the saltier it will become.
  4. Starting with the thicker pieces at the bottom, layer the strips of meat in a large bowel. Mix the Worcestershire sauce and vinegar together and sprinkle the mixture over
    each layer. (Do not dip the meat in the mixture)
  5. Leave it in a cool place for 24 hours. It’s important to cover the bowel to prevent flies from getting to it.
  6. Remove meat, strain the vinegar mix and add a litre of warm water to the mix.
  7. Dip the meat into the vinegar/water mix and rub off any salt and spices that still cling.
  8. Squeeze the meat dry with hands or dry it with paper towel.
  9. Roll the meat in the remaining dry spice mixture.
  10. Skewer meat and hang it in a warm, but dry place, making sure they don’t touch anything on the side or bottom. When the air is humid, the meat is at higher risk of spoiling.
  11. Have a fan in the room so that it can blow the hot air onto the meat. Be sure that all the windows are closed so that no flies can get in.

It can take 3 – 20 days for the meat to dry, it depends on various factors, the weather being one them.

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12 responses to “How To Make The Perfect Biltong”

  1. Steve Avatar

    Why do you use vinegar and bicarbonate? I thought bicarbonate would neutralise the vinegar this killing the effectiveness of the acid, or vinegar neutralising the tenderising properties of the bicarbon.

    1. Trish Avatar

      Hi Steve
      Interesting question!
      I have no idea, apart from that it works
      Perhaps some Biltong Making Pros out there could answer this for us

  2. Sheldon Avatar

    Why do you rinse the original marinade mix?

    1. Trish Avatar

      Hi Sheldon
      To be honest I am actually not sure
      I wonder if one of our other readers could help answer this interesting question?

      1. Keith Taylor Avatar
        Keith Taylor

        The marinade is rinsed off so that the flavour of the meat is not overpowered by the spices/vinegar mix. Some people absolutely kill the flavour of meat by adding all kinds of condiments and sauces. To me, this is sacrilege. Why eat meat if you can’t stand the taste? MY biltong uses no more than salt, pepper, coriander (if there is no coriander, it is just dried meat, not biltong) and vinegar. I sometimes add hot chillies to the mix.

        1. Trish Avatar

          Thanks so much Keith I really appreciate the feedback and I am sure that other readers will too

  3. Michelle Avatar

    Step 9 really confuses me. What remaining dry spice mix? Nowhere does it say to reserve any or if so how much. Please could you clarify?

    1. Trish Avatar

      HI Michelle
      This really depends on how spicy you like your biltong
      If you like it very spicy, then make double the amount of spice and save 1/2 for this step
      If you dont like it too spicy then save half your spice for step no 9
      Please send us a pic and let us know how it tasted once you have made it
      Have a lovely day

  4. Linda Avatar

    You dont need Worcestershire. I make it without it. In face, you can make your biltong with any consdiments. Before I sprinkly the spices on the raw meat, I dip it quickly in vinegar. I use white vinegar. It’s the original way. Now I am salivating,

    1. Shimanga Avatar

      Hey Linda, It’s really all about preference. Worcestershire packs a seriously savory punch to meat. Please share your recipe for someone to try.

    2. Trish Avatar

      HI Linda
      Thanks for the tips
      I must say even when i was vegetarian for many years, the one thing i really missed was biltong

  5. karine Avatar

    what can I use instead of worcestershire sauce?

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