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White spots on biltong - mold or salt?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by Zushi, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Zushi

    Zushi Newbie

    Hey everyone! This is my first post and so thanks in advance for all of the help!

    I've made biltong several times now but I've always done it indoors. I recently moved to a new house where I don't have a place to house my biltong box inside. So, I've placed it on my covered back porch. The box is pretty standard. A meat hanging area with an isolated light bulb area beneath it. All of the holes on the box are meshed/screened in.

    I hung this biltong about 7 days ago and the weather has been about what I would've hoped for. A day or two ago I noticed some white spotting and wasn't sure if it was mold forming or salt being pushed out. It doesn't appear that all of them have it on them. And it doesn't seem to be "spreading". Anyways, before I go wiping it down with vinegar and what not I thought I would get some input.

    I just wanted to post my pictures of the pieces that are showing it and see if anyone had any strong opinions one way or another.

    P.S. Some pictures may show some red specks/powder. That is some chili spices I applied.

    Thanks in advance and I look forward to the responses!

    Attached Files:

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Gotta be mold... I'll PM you my address and I will dispose of it for you.. I'll even pay the shipping... HAHAHAHAHA...
    Looks like salt crystals from what I can see....
    If it rubs off and smears, it could be mold... Feel it.. if it feels hard like crystals, it's good to eat...
  3. Fueling Around

    Fueling Around Smoking Fanatic

    What he said!
    Mold is usually soft and moist and furry.

    Welcome to the forum.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like some of each to me. The tiny uniform white round mounds ,look like Mold Colonies. The White a Haze and the stuff like Frost on a window, looks like Salt Crystals...JJ
  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'd guess mold from the pic's, although it looks blue on my computer. White mold is harmless but can be washed of with a little vinegar.
    chopsaw likes this.
  6. Zushi

    Zushi Newbie

    Thanks for all of the replies! Here are what I hope are some better pictures. Hopefully there is better lighting so that everything isn't blue hued.

    I'm going to go ahead and wipe it down and see how it looks in a bit and hope it all works out!

    Thanks again.

    Attached Files:

  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yep, up close...Still looks like a Field of Button Mushrooms, to me...Mold...JJ
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yep... In that picture it does look like white mold.. It's OK to eat.. You can wipe the meat with white vinegar like jimmyj noted...
    Did you soak the meat, initially, in vinegar ??

    A home made biltong will usually be made from the beef buttock. Great cuts are sirloin and steaks cut from the hip such as topside or silverside. The best biltong is made from the eye of the round muscles that run down both sides of the backbone. Ideally the meat is marinated in a vinegar solution (cider vinegar is traditional but balsamic also works very well) for a few hours, and finally poured off before the meat is flavored. Coriander is the dominant spice.
    Rump roast -- top sirloin -- remove fat .. silver skin ..
    Sea or kosher salt ------ 1/4 cup (course)
    ROASTED coriander seed---- 1/2 cup --- grind yourself 1.0-2.0 gm. / kg
    white pepper or black W/B 2.0-3.0 gm/kg
    malt vinegar---- 1/2 cup
    brown sugar ---- 1/2 cup 1.0-2.0 gm/kg
    worcy sauce----- 1/4 cup
    THIS STUFF IS MADE INTO A MARINADE for about 12 hours for 1" thick meat.. shorten
    the time for thinner cuts .. coat all sides .. turn during the marinade process... hang to dry, do not clean off the meat...
    baking soda ADD TO THE MEAT FIRST.. dust moderately


    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
    chef jimmyj likes this.
  9. texomakid

    texomakid Smoking Fanatic

    @Zushi just curious what put you onto the Biltong? I spent some time in South Africa many years ago. I ate a LOT of Biltong while there (and drank a Castle or two..........)
  10. Zushi

    Zushi Newbie

    @texomakid I went to South Africa in 2010 for the World Cup. That's where I encountered biltong and loved it and wanted to learn how to make it. I was living in OK at the time and had already been drying meats and had good access to lots of beef so I started working on it. I've also tried my hand at droewors as well. Tho, that stuff is a bit more labor intensive, so I usually stick to the 'tong.