Biltong is known as one of the most wanted and most delicious keto snacks, of those who take care of their figure and try to eat as much as protein in their diet. Although the original recipe is from South Africa, it found a way to spread all over the world quite easily, and now is being produced wherever people like to consume it.
For those who are hearing for the first time about this delicacy, it is actually a package of thinly sliced pieces of lean meat that is marinated, dried, and smoked. As we mentioned in the first paragraph, people like it because it is keto – a light, low-fat food that contains tons of meat proteins, in most cases is easy to store and has a long shelf life. That is if bought in protein selling shops. However, if made at home or if purchased from someone who makes it, storing it for a longer period might be a challenge.
Drying is one of the oldest methods used for preparing food when we plan long-term storage. This method was used by the ancient Egyptians to store meat, fruits, and other foods. However, it is the Indians who have almost perfected this process simply by drying the meat in the sun.
As for this type of meat, it is firstly marinated, then dried, and cut into thin slices.
So, what are all the ways one can store biltong, to use it for a longer period of time?
The question was partially answered above – it depends on how you buy it. If you’re using it as an everyday snack, then it is best to buy those already packed in vacuum bags, like those sold in protein and fitness shops.
Why are they the most convenient? These packages have special absorbing substances within the package to absorb the oxygen and preserve freshness and taste, as long as possible. If you’re worried these substances can be toxic, don’t because they’re not. Even though they should not be consumed separately. Packed in such a way, biltong can be stored in a cold and dry place, for a longer time. Or for as long as the package says. What is important to mention is that it should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, a pantry is a perfect solution. If opened, it can be kept in the fridge but should be consumed completely in a three-day period.
If it’s moisty, it can’t stay for long
Not all people like their biltong dry, as the one you get when buying already packed in bags for snacking, as previously mentioned. Since it has so many recipes and varieties of meat, some simply like to consume it with more moisture. If this is the case with you, then storing is an even greater challenge. Not because it will go to waste that quickly, but because it will slowly dry out and won’t be as moisty as you may like it to be.
Is there a way to handle this and keep it moist at least for some time? Well, yes. You will need a home vacuum sealer, though. Vacuum it, seal it and throw it in a fridge. The second option would be to eat it as soon as possible, while it’s moist.
Making a suitable storage
If you don’t have a suitable pantry, and you want to store it for just a bit longer, you can create one. Two main criteria for quality storage, in this case, are dryness and coolness. Dryness will keep your snack free from mold, as they are your most common enemy. Low temperatures on the other hand are keeping the fat unspoiled, as it can go rancid quite quickly.
Additional criteria for good storage is that it is away from UV lights, to keep the taste at its best.
What is the best material for storing?
Although the one you buy in a store is in plastic bags, in most cases, if you can choose – avoid plastic. Brown paper is a much better option, than put it on a clean, dry shelf. Such paper will allow airflow, as opposed to plastic.
If you’re buying it fresh, you can also put a clean cloth in a pot, and biltong on top of it. However, avoid leaving it open, as it will be exposed to pests.
For those in the category of moisty biltong lovers, it is important to develop a habit of stirring, while it is in a pot. This habit will help your snack keep them moist longer, and you’ll make sure pests are not eating them as well.
A freezer is also an option
Having no storage shouldn’t discourage you from buying biltong. There’s always an option to freeze it. Additionally, you would want to vacuum it prior to freezing, to make sure it is properly sealed. This goes as the best storage choice for those who don’t plan to eat it soon, as it can stay fresh like this for almost a year.
However, be careful how you de-freeze it. Using a paper towel for getting rid of additional moisture should be practiced.
How do you know if it’s spoiled?
What can get you confused very easily is the white stuff that appears on the surface of the meat, as it usually reminds people of mold. It doesn’t have to be the case, though. If you know who you’re buying from – if it’s the local producer, most probably it would be the salt that accumulates like crust and appear as mold.
If the look of it bugs you, just fetch a clean piece of cloth and use a little vinegar to get rid of it.
Note that this is only if you know the supplier, if not, don’t risk eating it.
Storing biltong is an important thing, if you enjoy this snack, as it will keep it eatable. So, try what we have suggested and you’ll be eating it fresh longer than you’ve expected.