About biltong chili bites:
Biltong chili bites, AKA peri-peri biltong stokkies (sticks), are great to have around for quick snacks and they are often consumed at sporting events in South Africa since they are so tasty and convenient.
They also make great snacks while on-the-go – e.g. when traveling or playing golf.
Biltong chili bites are actually simpler and quicker to make than either larger biltong pieces or dry wors and they can be easily dried in a dehydrator or a very low temperature oven (e.g. 170 F – propping the oven door open about an inch to create airflow).
Ingredients and instructions for biltong chili bites:
- 2lbs of beef – Round or Sirloin does well (see this article for the best selection of meat to make biltong).
- Cut the beef into long thin strips, about 5-10 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. You can also make thin but slightly wider strips as shown in the pictures below.
- Let the strips sit in a mixture of vinegar and Worcestershire sauce (apple cider vinegar is best and Worcestershire sauce is optional) for a few hours (thin strips do not need as much time as larger pieces of biltong). Alternatively you can just sprinkle a little vinegar over the pieces at the same time that you are applying the biltong spices – see the step below.
- Follow the very easy spicing ingredients (salt/pepper/coriander/sugar to your liking) and instructions in the Make your own biltong page. I recommend not brining the thin strips for longer than about 8 hours. Before drying the strips, rinse them lightly to remove excess spices (to taste).
- For chili bites add some chili powder (or peri-peri spice if you can get it) – start with about one table spoon and adjust to make it spicier if desired.
- Note, you can also use Tabasco in the brining mixture – and the addition of some chili flakes to the outside of the meat just prior to drying adds a nice touch (both taste and looks)
- Once the sticks are ready for drying, you can enhance them by adding some cracked coriander seeds and chili powder/peri-peri spice or chili flakes to the outside and press to stick to the meat. Be careful not to add too much at this stage.
- Lay the biltong sticks out to dry on your oven rack, dehydrator rack or hang them in your biltong machine. Do not let pieces touch. Time for drying will depend on the heat (quicker in a 170 degree oven than the biltong box). Inspect after about 4-6 hours if in the oven or dehydrator. You will know they are ready when they are fully dry on the outside and will bend just a little but not break. If you prefer drier sticks them leave them in a little longer.
- Experiment and try a few different “heats” on different sticks – but take care to note which is which before serving!
- Store the sticks in the fridge or in a paper bag (not plastic unless you vacuum seal them). More advice about proper storage of biltong can be found here.
- A really novel and tasty alternative is to dry the biltong sticks in an electric or wood smoker. Prepare them in the same way as above, but smoke them as described in the article entitled Smoked Jerky.