How to make a biltong maker.

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Fanie, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Ok you guys call it jerkey, and I must admit it sucks a bit because you marinade the meat. We Boere like to be a bit more bare on the raw stuff.

    This may also move it into the preppers department of long life food or emergency food or simply if you want to make food that will remain unspoiled long enough if you take a long trip where there are no corners with shops... you know what I mean.

    I bought some rosters used for placing cakes on when they are taken out of the oven, a suitable sized plastic box where the grills can fit into, screws to slide them in on, some air holes on the bottom and a largish 24V PC fan to circulate the air through the dried food.

    The unit is lightweight and I run it off a small solar panel. Placing it in the sun makes the drying a bit faster.

    I cut the meat (no fat !) in thin slices, spice them and lay them over the racks, into the dryer and if it's warm a day later you have dried meat.
    I just salt and pepper my biltong, I made jerkey too with marinade, mmmm... not too bad but the biltong is nicer.

    I also cooked meat, thin slices (~3mm) and dried. You have to re-hydrate by placing in water for an hour or so, bring the water to boiling speed which is around 80 knots or so and you have cooked meat again.

    I cooked potatoes, rice and did the same as the cooked meat. One advantage of dried stuff is it weighs about 25 to 30% or the original weight.

    To preserve the food you have to put it in a plastic bag with an oxygen remover. These you can make yourself, very simple. A small cotton bag, a piece of steelwool and some damp salt that would make the steelwool oxidize (rust). The oxidizing process use the air up once you sealed (ironed) the bag air tight.

    Meat can be stored for around 13 months or so (according to what I have read) and potatoes, rice and other foods for around 30 years. If you sailed off and you are not back by then, blimey, don't bother coming back, you got rinsed out somewhere on an island full of voluptuous sex craving women who abused you day in and night out and no "got lost" excuse will work. And all you had was dried food... :D

    Well I can see you are without doubt going to get lost again :rolleyes:
     

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  2. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    I was watching a doco on Islanders fishing. They hung their catch up to dry.

    I want to know why it doesn't just go rotten.

    Poida
     
  3. hoytedow
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    hoytedow I'm not a cat.

    Hey that's a nice piece of work there, Fanie. If you don't have electric a closed car with a dashboard facing the sun will give you the heat needed. Just lay the meat out on paper just inside the windscreen. No steel wool? Use iron filings in a rag to keep it off the meat.
     
  4. hoytedow
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    hoytedow I'm not a cat.

    It dries faster than the bacteria can work. Bacteria go dormant in arid conditions.
     
  5. hoytedow
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    hoytedow I'm not a cat.

  6. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Aye, like Hoyte said, food just doesn't go off, else you won't have time to eat it :D

    I do have a piece of shade net over the fan so flies can't get in there, they are the culprits that can spoil your food, especially meat.

    Raw meat needs to be salted well, it enhances the taste as well as improve perseverance.

    If you vacuum pack raw meat it lasts for about 5 days out of a fridge at room temperature, only because there are still a small amount of air in it off'n which bac and terie can grow. If you remove the oxygen, nothing can grow.

    In the old days when rice or meal was stored they used to put a short burning candle on top, then put the lid on. The flame would burn (almost) all the air and "miet" ? cannot germinate and spoil the content.

    What is "miet", the small bugs you find in maize if stored over prolonged time in English Hoyte ?

    Pre-cooked dried food requires little energy to prepare, after re-hydration you only need to heat up unless you like cold cooked food.
     
  7. gdavis
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    gdavis Junior Member

    Fanie, what a groovy idea! Can you do the same with chicken? So I can have my butter masala chicken anywhere I might be? Here in maine u.s. the sun is a wee bit lower in the sky, if it takes two days do you stick it in the frdge over night? I really don't know anything about this but I love the idea! This means that when i'm cruising(soon to be) I can pack away a whole lot more food meaning I can bypass those ports with six cruise ships unloading thousands of cruisetts onto what used to be a beautiful island that is now ruined by mostly the good ole u.s.a. Say what? Ooops. And tell me about this island, is it off the coast of maine? Oh probably not. How about monkey's, are there monkey's? I really like monkey's. That would top it right off for me. And can it be in the pacific? How about down around new guinea, yep that would suit me just fine.
    Oh, where was I? Do you need it to be a certain temp inside the box and how long at that temp? Too many questions, I hope not. Well anyways i'm going to try this that is after the glacier retreats in the spring and the sun climbs back up. Thanks for the cool post.........never trust a sleeping chicken!......................peace......g
     
  8. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Hi George,
    I never tried to dry chicken, but it could probably be done - IF you can get it flat enough to dry out properly. Can't be done with a boat so you's have to find someone with a truck to drive over it to get it nice and flat. If you like the grill pattern on it then check the tire thread.

    I don't think chicken categorize as meat though, if we feel like vegies we have chicken or fish... LOL, if my wife makes stew I tell her now THAT is how soup is supposed to be.

    As long as you have air flow the content dries out. We traditionally make biltong in winter and hangs it in the cold. Heat (ie the dryer in the sun) just makes it dry out quicker. Most of my house works off 12V so if it rains or get dark I just connect to 12V inside and it still dries, the 24V fan just turns a bit slower. We have some rain currently and I dried around 2.5kg of biltong to around 700g in weight inside the house. Can't make a move near it or the wife's dog watches very carefully what I'm about... just in case.

    The island was just wishful thinking, if it existed the sea would be teaming with souls trying to get lost. It's more or less the same thing as a nympho, in old times they were referred to as mermaids.... doesn't exist. But one can dream.
     
  9. hoytedow
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    hoytedow I'm not a cat.

  10. hoytedow
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    hoytedow I'm not a cat.

  11. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Instructions
    1 Wash a cutting board with soap and hot water. Wash your hands with an antibacterial soap and hot water and dry on a clean towel.

    2 Take the meat you want to preserve and cut it into serving size pieces with the sharp knife on the clean cutting board. Set aside a cutting board that can only used for cutting raw meat.


    3 Pour about an inch of kosher salt on the bottom of the airtight containers you are using for the meat storage.

    4 Sprinkle the meat on the cutting board with kosher salt and allow to sit for about ½ hour. Turn the meat over and sprinkle the other side with the salt and allow to sit for another ½ hour.

    5 Rub the salt into the top, bottom and sides of the meat. Place the cutting board on a pan or baking sheet so that any blood drains into the pan.

    6 Discard any blood that drains from the meat during the process. Let the meat sit on the cutting board for 24 hours. Cover the meat with plastic wrap so it will not be contaminated.

    7 Rinse the meat under cold running water and discard any blood that drained during the 24 hours.

    8 Lay the meat in single layers into the salted containers. Pour more salt around and on top of the meat.

    9 Seal the containers thoroughly. Check that all the containers have their covers "locked" in place, so no air can get to the meat. Store the meat in a dark, cool place for up to a year.

    10 Open the containers as needed and rinse the meat well under very cold water. (now you need a fridge again :D)
     
  12. AndySGray
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    AndySGray Senior Member

    There is a similar technique using smoke.

    The USA has sort of diverted the 'smokehouse' and turned it into a method for cooking but 'cold smoking' was a major industry back before refridgeration was possible.

    That good old victorian breakfast staple, the kipper, a smoked herring would last very well, and salmon benefits from the gentle nature of the treatment.

    Farmhouses across europe have fireplaces with disproportionately large chimneys and a hundred years ago if you looked up you'd see dozens of hooks with hams, sausages and even cheeses being preserved by the smoke.

    Smokers don't use much fuel, a couple of charcoal brickettes to get things started then a handful of hardwood chips will smoulder for hours - the oxygen is reduced giving better preservation but they don't get hot like a BBQ.

    Ideal on a sailing boat if you have some lines over the back...

    They are some modern versions for hunting/fishing camps which can be used both as a drier or as a smoker, though the later is favoured if larger predators are a possible they fear smoke/fire but will investigate the smell of drying meat.

    Talk to your local Deli - some of the older style sausages and meats have insane shelf lives, especially in a modern vacuum pack wrapping. For a long sea journey a few salami, chorizo, and cured hams will last well in a cool cabin or indefinately in the fridge.

    I've been keeping my eye out for one of the commercial style stainless bakers fridges - the ones with shelves about 4" apart - easy clean, insulated and with a magnetic airtight seal, remove the dead compressor and plumb in some 3" drier tube to a small remote firebox, small vent on the top and bingo.

    All this talk of smoked fish has reminded me that I do have a couple of kippers in the back of the fridge, so I reckon its a good excuse to do something with them - I'll probably hard boil a few eggs, stir fry the leftover rice with some butter and lots of curry powder and spinach, flake in the kippers and add the boiled eggs coarsley diced. They been in the fridge a while so may be a bit dry so I may have to boil in a little milk to soften. Not quite the classic Kedgeree but good enough for my taste. :D

    Check out the other threads - there was a recipe posted for bourbon marinated beef jerky which I cannot read without drooling ;)
     
  13. AndySGray
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    AndySGray Senior Member

    Here it is...

    Was going to link but this seemed as easy....

    post #1972 in the cooking outdoors and aboard thread and much kudos to the original poster. Thanks.

     
  14. gdavis
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    gdavis Junior Member

    thanks for the info fanie, I'm going to give chicken a try, that is after I invent a chicken flattener. Stay tuned! Okay so maybe I can settle for a nice warm island with a few monkey's and one mermaid, oh the sirens sweetly singing in the wind...................g
     

  15. AndySGray
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    AndySGray Senior Member

    Chicken jerky is much less common (though often available as a dog treat), there is a significant baseline of certain bacteria (salmonella in particular) which can survive a non cooking jerky process.
    The suggestion is that the chicken be pre-cooked either by steaming or roasting prior to 'jerkyfication' (if thats even a word). Still would be a good opportunity to add flavourings - I like a yoghurt and red curry marinate in the style of tandoori chicken - never tried to jerky it but it keeps the chicken moist and acts as a tenderizer and I think you'd need something which helps the tenderization process?

    :?:
     
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