Taking Care of Your Tong

Storing biltong is essential to enjoy it at its best. Learning how to store it is vital to ensure the flavour and taste remain, making it delicious to eat.

We love making this South African delicacy as much as we enjoy eating it. We are sticklers for using the correct methods and keeping a perfect quality every time.

Each piece is thoroughly checked to make sure the meat is perfect, then it is hand cut and prepared lovingly with the right spices for the flavour we are making.

It is important to us to make sure we do this process thoroughly as you always get out what you put in.

Storing

It is a natural product, which is best stored naturally. The “wetter” you like it, the faster it can go mouldy.

The more moisture in food, the higher the probability that mould can occur, (no matter what preservatives some companies use). So please take extra care storing it when is exceptionally moist.

Care needs to be taken to store it properly and avoid any spoilage.

In South Africa, it is warm and ordinary for humidity levels to be below 30%, perfect for making and storing it.

Here in the UK, it is wet and humid and not great for making or preserving it! Therefore, we must store the meat in an area with as low humidity as possible!

It is a natural ‘moist’ food substance and not indestructible as some people might think!

In America, the cowhands carried around beef jerky under their saddles for months on end, which may work in the incredibly dry conditions of Arizona or Texas or the Kalahari Desert, but not in London, Manchester, Wales, or Glasgow!

The only reason for any dried meat, to go off, is due to incorrect storage!

How to Store It in the Fridge.

If you are storing dried meat use vacuum bags, keep the bags sealed and preferably in a cool place (fridge), until you decide to eat it.

Be aware that the wetter it is, the shorter the lifespan is. We would recommend keeping moist dried meat 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 for a maximum of 3 days or until consumed. Most mould starts to happen when the meat meets a ‘surface’.

Moisture then forms at that surface contact point.

The inevitable and unavoidable universal process then starts, MOISTURE + OXYGEN + WARMTH = MOULD.

Do not leave an open packet of dried meat in its plastic bag. It will go rancid much quicker than if kept correctly.

Storing in the Freezer.

Storing dried beef in the fridge or the freezer will add much shelf life to your product.

We cannot recommend as to how long though. The choice is yours. Should you, however, have frozen your dried beef, it will naturally release moisture once it starts to defrost.

Make sure it is as open and airy as possible, also make sure that any moisture that is being released because of the refrigeration or freezing evaporates away.

Keep on mixing it up and loosening the bundle of sliced meat. Daub it if you can, with the kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture.

Now that you know how to store this South African delicacy properly, it will taste great and still have the freshness and flavour factor.

Enjoy.

Eat within three days. Hang whole sticks from a hook or string, in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place or the fridge.

Never store in a sealed container, it will sweat. It will lead to mould. It needs to ‘breathe’.

Please do not make the mistake of thinking that a dark place (cold or warm), is always suitable. If the air is humid, it will start to go off!

About Gareth 17 Articles
I am a keen biltong enthusiast, I like to keep to the traditions that I learnt when I grew up in South Arica. Please feel free to comment on our recipes and join in with ideas.

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