How To Store Biltong
Biltong... an iconic South African product right up there with veldskoen, vuvuzelas, 11 official languages and Nelson Mandela. We take for granted that we can pop in to the local shop and purchase a few slices whenever we need. Often it is those South Africans that have moved overseas that miss it the most. Now it goes without saying that in most South African households we eat biltong almost as quickly as we can get it. However how exactly should you store it if you find yourself in the enviable position of having too much to eat all at once?
The team over at Biltong Blog have put together some great tips. "In general, biltong should last for at least 4-6 days before being at risk of mold. The best methods to extend that time are to vacuum seal it (preferred) or keep in the fridge. In a well ventilated, non humid environment biltong sticks / pieces can last for week or even months. However, I rarely see biltong last for longer than an hour or two, never mind for weeks or months!
For food to go moldy (even in humid climates) it needs to be exposed to oxygen. Therefore it is recommended that you keep your biltong sealed until you want to eat it. When removing biltong slices from a vacuum sealed package, mix the slices in an open container or plate (or paper bag). If your biltong is sliced, mixing it daily will help keep pieces drier for slightly longer as mold usually forms on surfaces when pieces are touching. This is also true when you are drying in a biltong box – i.e. be very careful to avoid pieces touching each other."
Image courtesy of Fleisherei
Here are a few other tips from Biltongmakers.com, "Biltong or smoked foods should be consumed within a week of preparation in order to avoid the possibility of mould, especially during wet and rainy periods or if you live in humid coastal areas. If you want to keep biltong over an extended period, rather put some pieces into a plastic bag, suck out as much air as possible through a straw, seal, and freeze for months.If mould should occur, it can be removed by wiping it of with a cloth which has been dampened with vinegar."
At this point you may be thinking you can start your own Biltong empire from a Stor-Age unit. Please remember that you cannot store any food items in self storage units. For a list of other items you cannot store, please visit the Stor-Age Frequently Asked Questions page.