How to Make a Biltong Box

Updated on October 4, 2017
My husband made our biltong box and has adapted what he did into this step-by-step guide.
My husband made our biltong box and has adapted what he did into this step-by-step guide.

You want to make your own biltong?

You have to have a biltong box to hang your meat in to help with the drying process. You can buy a biltong box or you can have a go at making your own. Follow this step-by-step guide, and you will soon be the proud builder and owner of your very own biltong box.

Materials Needed

10mm thick plywood cut to these measurements:

  • 2 x 1m x 50cm for the front and back panels. (Diagram A)
  • 2 x 1m x 25cm for the two side panels. (Diagrams B and C)
  • 1 x 60cm x 30cm for the base. (Diagram D)
  • 1 x 48cm x 25cm for the shelf. (Diagram E)
  • 1 x 50cm x 27cm for the lid of the box. (Diagram F)

(Scroll down for diagrams)

Other Materials

  • 2 x 25cm x 2cm x2cm batons. (Diagram G)
  • 1 x 50cm x 2cm Ø dowel rod. (Diagram G)
  • 1 x small door latch
  • 4 x standard door hinges.
  • 1 x standard light fitting for a 100 watt light bulb, with electric cable and plug.
  • Approx. 50 x 3cm long wood screws to assemble the box.
  • 16 x 1cm long wood screws to attach the hinges.
  • 2 handles to make moving your biltong box around easier.

Diagram A

Source

Diagram A Instructions

Drilling the air holes in the front and back of panels

  • Measure and mark two horizontal lines in pencil 5cm and 15cm from the bottom of the panels.
  • Along these horizontal lines make a mark every 10cm, then using a 2cm Ø drill bit, drill holes where the marks are.
  • You will now have 8 x 2cm holes along what will be the bottom of your box.
  • Now measure and mark two horizontal lines in pencil 5cm and 15cm along the top of the panels.
  • Along these horizontal lines make a mark every 10cm, now using a 1m Ø drill bit, drill holes where the marks are.
  • You will now have 8 x 1cm holes along what will be the top of your box.

Diagram B

Source

Diagram B and C Instructions

Attaching the inside shelf and supporting the batons onto the side panels

  • Measure and mark in pencil, a horizontal line 30cm from the bottom of what will be the side panels.
  • Along this line, make marks in pencil every 5cm, then using a 1mm Ø drill bit make indentations or 'pilot holes'.
  • Using 4 x 3cm woodscrews attach one of the 25cm x2cm x 2cm batons (Diagram G) to each of the side panels. These batons will support the shelf on the inside of the box, once the box is complete.

The small door makes the light bulb accessable
The small door makes the light bulb accessable | Source

Diagram B Instructions

Making a light bulb access door in one side of the panel

  • Measure and mark in pencil a horizontal line 20cm from the bottom of one of the side panels and 5cm in on either side.
  • Mark in pencil two 20cm vertical straight lines from the end of horizontal line to the bottom of the side panel.
  • Using a standard jigsaw, cut out what will be the light bulb access door.
  • Using two of the hinges reattach the door and attach a small door latch to enable you to open and close the door easily.

Diagram C

Source
View into the biltong box from the top....
View into the biltong box from the top.... | Source

Diagram C Instructions

Making the supporting holes for the 'meat hanging' rod in the side panels....

  • Make a mark in pencil 12.5cm and 5cm down from the top of each side panel. Making sure that the shelf supports are at the bottom end of the side panels!!
  • Using a 2cm Ø drill bit, drill a hole in each side panel. This is where the dowel rod will fit to hang your meat from.

Diagram D and E

Diagram E Instructions

Preparing the shelf

  • Measure and draw two lines along the length of what will be the shelf, 5cm in from each side.
  • Along these lines measure and mark in pencil at 4cm, 10cm, 5cm, 10cm, 5cm, 10cm, and 4cm. (See diagram E above)
  • Mark rectangles on the shelf by drawing a line between the three 10cm spaces along the length and then drawing lines across the 15cm middle markings. You will have three rectangle drawn marked out on what will be the shelf.
  • Now using your jigsaw carefully cut out these rectangles, you can discard the actual wooden rectangles. They are for the heat from the light bulb to be able to rise and dry the meat.

Diagram F and G

Source

Assembling Your Biltong Box

  • Connect the two side panels to the back panel, using a 3cm wood screw every 10cm or so. Making sure that the shelf supporting batons are on the inside of the box!!!
  • In the side panel without the door, you need to attach your light fitting centrally below the shelf support. ( See diagram C) The light bulb must not touch the bottom of the shelf when it is finally fitted.
  • Now connect the front panel. You have now got a four sided box.
  • Turn the box on it's end with the large holes at the top, and attach the base (See diagram D, above) using 3cm word screws.
  • Turn the box back up so it's standing the correct way up and fit the shelf into place. It should sit across the two wooden batons, 30cm off the base of the box and make sure it isn't resting on the light bulb at all.
  • Pass the dowel rod through the adjacent holes in the side panels at the top of the biltong box. This is where you will hang your meat from. My husband put grooves along the top of the dowel to prevent the hooks from moving and the meat from touching.
  • Connect the lid (Diagram F above) to the top of the biltong box using the last two hinges and 1cm wood screws.
  • Finally attach your handles to the sides of your biltong box to make moving your biltong box around easier.

Your finished biltong box should look something like this.
Your finished biltong box should look something like this.

Congratulations!

You are now the proud maker of your very own biltong box. Happy biltong-ing!

Neal painstakingly trying to draw diagrams that I could follow.
Neal painstakingly trying to draw diagrams that I could follow. | Source

Thanks to My Husband Neal

I would like to say a big thank you to my husband Neal who has taken the time to try to explain to me, a very clueless DIYer, how to make a biltong box.

Without him, this article would not have been written.

A Few Tips

  • We put tin foil on the base on the biltong box to catch any dripping meat juices.
  • You don't want meat juices to drip on to the light bulb as that would cause it to blow. So if you think that any meat juice will drip on to the light bulb through the hole in the shelf, just put a small piece of tin foil across the hole to protect the light bulb.
  • You can also drill holes into the dowel rod that you hang your meat on, so that the meat hooks are secure and won't move.
  • Use a 100 watt bulb to start, then change to a 60 watt for the last couple of days. Depending on your air humidity.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Debbie Roberts

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Oonagh 

        4 years ago

        What do you use so the biltong doesn't go moldy & lasts longer?

      • debbie roberts profile imageAUTHOR

        Debbie Roberts 

        6 years ago from Greece

        Hi steve, I'm happy to hear that you are having a go at building something similar yourself and I will let my husband know too. Hope you manage to get your glue dried too.

        I hope too that if it is biltong you are planning to make, that you have as much success as we have.

        It was great to get your comment, thank you.

      • profile image

        steve-dundalk,ireland 

        6 years ago

        i am currently building something similar based on your hubby's drawings..thanks alot-the local hardware gave me some offcuts and i'm away..glued frame together after drilling all holes and fitments..waiting for glue to dry as it's a wet and windy day in ireland

      • debbie roberts profile imageAUTHOR

        Debbie Roberts 

        6 years ago from Greece

        Hi TKW, I imagine that you will have a good laugh when you bring out your Montana made biltong!! You have plenty of time to get practising too. Biltong actually freezes well too. I must add that to my hub.....

        Thanks again!!

      • TKW profile image

        TKW 

        6 years ago from Great Falls, Montana

        We'll be definitely giving it a go. I just found out today that we have friends from SA coming to visit in June. It will be a nice surprise for them to have some Montana made

        biltong!

      • debbie roberts profile imageAUTHOR

        Debbie Roberts 

        6 years ago from Greece

        Hi TKW, I'll pass the compliment on to my husband I'm sure he'll appreciate it as the drawings took him the best part of a whole day!!

        You should really give it ago, it's not difficult. The important thing is to make sure the box stays warm and dry.

        Goodluck and let me know how it turns out if you make some.

        Thank you for reading and for your nice comment.

      • TKW profile image

        TKW 

        6 years ago from Great Falls, Montana

        Thank you so much for sharing this! The tutorial is very good and tell your hubby that his drawings are great. I went to SA last June and fell in love with Biltong and want to make my own here in the states.

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