The best way to store biltong to keep it fresh and tasty is to keep it in a location where it is dry and the air can circulate around it.
Learning how to store biltong is vital to ensure the flavour and tastes remain, making it delicious to eat time after time.
Biltong is a natural product and is best stored naturally.
You can use the following methods to store it:
- Keep it in a wooden bowl on the table with a cloth covering it.
- If you buy biltong keep it in the brown paper bag.
- Keep in the fridge only if the packet is still vacuumed sealed.
One of the things to watch out for is biltong mould, I regularly check all my biltong to make sure no mould is forming or is present. Biltong mould forms when there is moisture in food and no air circulation, the wetter the biltong, the higher the probability that you will get mouldy biltong.
Mould on biltong can occur quickly so pay careful attention to how you keep your biltong. You can remove biltong mould by running the biltong through a mixture of vinegar and water. I like to use 30% vinegar and 70% water.
I mix the vinegar and water and put this into a bowl, I then rinse the biltong making sure to wipe all the mould off. I pat the biltong and hang it to dry. If mould has contaminated the meat, it will not dry, even if left for a week, discard it as it is not safe to eat.
How Long Does Biltong Last?
Biltong can last for 4 to 7 days before mould starts to set in.
You can use one of the three methods below to make sure mould doesn’t form.
- Keep your biltong in a wooden bowl covered with a paper towel or cloth.
- Hang your biltong in a location where air can circulate.
- Put your biltong in a paper bag, in a dark cupboard, this allows the biltong to breathe, but you will need to eat it within a few days.
Make Sure You Have Airflow Around Your Biltong
In South Africa, where I grew up, we made Biltong in winter; It was hung in the rafters of the garage to dry. As kids, we would eagerly wait, what seemed like ages for the biltong to be ready. Hanging the biltong in the rafters allowed air to circulate naturally, here in the UK, the climate is wet and humid and not great for making or preserving biltong in winter.
The first time I made biltong in my garage, I came home from work one evening to find the whole batch had gone mouldy. I realised then that I needed a stronger system. I redesigned my biltong box to make sure it included airflow and the right heat to remove moisture from the meat.
Now after we have made our biltong, we put it in a brown paper bag in the cupboard until we are ready to eat it, we mix it around every few days to ensure air circulates all around the biltong.
Should I Keep Biltong In The Fridge?
If you are storing biltong in the fridge, it is best to use vacuum bags, keep the bags sealed, until you decide to eat it. Be aware the wetter the biltong is, the shorter the lifespan is.
How Long Does Biltong Keep in The Fridge?
We would recommend keeping moist biltong in vacuum bags in the fridge and see the Best Before dates. Once opened, put it in an open bowl and mix it up a bit. Mix it up daily until consumed.
Do not leave an open packet of biltong meat in its plastic bag. It will go rancid much quicker than if kept correctly.
Can You Freeze Biltong?
You can freeze biltong up to a year. Storing biltong in the freezer will add to its shelf life. When you decide to defrost your biltong, it will release a lot of moisture. Make sure the packet is open with as much natural airflow as possible, also make sure that any moisture is evaporating allowing the biltong to thaw out.
Keep on mixing the biltong around and loosening the bundle of meat. Daub with kitchen towel if you can, to remove any excess moisture. Now that you know how to preserve your biltong, it will taste great and still have the freshness and be full of flavour, until you are ready to eat it.