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Old 05-11-2008, 07:37 PM
SoUl_SuRvIvOr_45 SoUl_SuRvIvOr_45 is offline
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Default How to preserve meat while in the wild



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i was just curious how you would preserve the deer of big game of fish that you killed or caught while camping or stranded in the wild
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:52 PM
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smoke it like jerky?
Old 05-11-2008, 08:04 PM
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Fish Jerky
You jug and trout lines have been producing and you have been eating well but it is time to move on. There are still 40 fish left, which equals 40 pounds. This is far too much weight to transport on your back, and if freezing conditions do not exist, they will spoil rapidly. You are going to have to dehydrate (dry) and smoke the fish. When you are done your 40 pounds of fish will weigh only 6-8 pounds. This you can easily carry and it's a 10 day supply of food for one person.
Fish jerky has been a part of our diet for a very long time because drying fish is an excellent method of preserving this vital food. Many fishing and seafaring communities have had their own style of dried fish for eons. Dried codfish was in nearly every households in northern Europe and a staple for centuries.
Considerations:
1. While freshwater fish can be dried, it is not recommended that the home jerky maker uses fresh water fish unless you are absolutely certain it has no parasites. Ocean fish is much less prone to parasites and for that reason is a much safer choice. Most parasites can be killed while dehydrating a fish at a minimum of 140 degrees, however this is not excuse for playing it safe by cooking the dried fish before eating.
2. Fish with a low fat content (bass, pike, and crappie, for example) are the best candidates for jerky. Oilier fish is also less suitable for jerky making as the high fat content will make the jerky become rancid and spoil rather quickly. Due to the distribution of fat in fish, the fat cannot just be trimmed off. For this reason, fish such as mackerel, salmon, whitefish, mullet, carp, catfish, lake trout, rainbow trout, salmon, and shark, do not make the best sources for non-smoked, jerky making. Certain cuts of tuna have less fat and can be used, but make sure you have a lean cut.
3. Most of these fish can be smoked, however, with excellent results but the oilier the fish the less the unrefrigerated shelf life.
4. Fillet and skin then cut the meat into convenient 1 " X 6" X as-thin-as-possible strips. (With very small fish-such as smelt-just clean out the innards and remove the heads . . . the small bones can be eaten.) The time it takes your fish to dry will depend upon the temperature used, the thickness of the strips, and the amount of moisture in the slices.
5. Preparing the fish jerky (curing):
a. Prepare a brine by combining the salt, water and sugar (if used) in a bowl.
b. Place in the brine, leaving the fish to soak for approximately half an hour. Remove fish and rinse thoroughly to remove excess salt from the meat.
c. Alternately, coat the fish with salt and dry cure spices (if you have any).
6. Drying the fish jerky:
a. Place the fish in your dehydrating or smoking rack so that no pieces are touching. Jerky dried with low heat (at least at 110F) will be tastier and contain more nutrients but, because of the parasite danger, keep your temperature at 145OF degrees for 12-14 hours. If you want to eat some right away, take the jerky from the oven while it's still bendable. When the fish jerky is ready, it should not be overly dry or crumble, but ever so slightly yielding to a squeeze on the thickest part of the meat. The strips must be quite brittle, however, if you want to store them for longer periods.
b. Let jerky cool completely on racks; remove from racks and store in airtight, insect proof containers in a cool, dry place. Finish by smelling and tasting the fish. The jerky should have a mildly fishy flavor and aroma. Fish jerky should contain 20% or less water and there should be no visible surface moisture.
7. Using fish jerky:
a. Fish jerky is usually chewed in its raw form, but it can also be cooked and used in a variety of soups and chowders.
b. For these dishes, the finger food should be soaked in water first, until it's fairly soft and less salty. (Cooking is recommended, since it's sure to destroy any harmful microorganisms that might be present . . . and drying only stops bacterial growth.)
c. Like other types of jerky, dried fish keeps best in tightly closed jars stored in a cool, dry location. If all moisture and mischievous bugs are banished, it will stay "fresh" for long periods . . . even years!
8. Fish Jerky Cures:
1. Brine
a. 3/4 cup salt to 1-1/2 quarts water.
b. 1/2 Gallon Water 1 1/2 Cups of Salt 1 1/2 Cups of Brown Sugar.
2. Dry cure (for 100 pounds of meat or fish)
a. 6 pounds salt 3 pounds sugar
8. DRY SALTING FISH:
a. Fill a pan or shallow box with dry salt. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt on the bottom of the brining container.
b. Dredge each piece of fish in salt, then place skin-side down in the container. Place large pieces with the backbone next to the container wall. An extra piece may be placed in the middle to level each layer. Overlap pieces as little as possible. Pack small fish in a ring with tips of heads touching container walls. You may need to put one or two fish across the center to keep the layer level.
c. Stagger successive layers so that each fish rests on two fish in the layer below. Scatter a thin coat of salt between each layer. Pack the top layer of fish, both large and small pieces, skin-side up.
d. The amount of salt used depends on the season of year, fish size and length of preservation desired. A general rule is to use one part salt to three parts fish.
Old 05-11-2008, 08:20 PM
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I would say in the wild that drying would be your best bet
Old 05-11-2008, 09:21 PM
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You may want to skip down to the part that speaks to "field smoking/drying".

Quote:
Smoking and Drying Fish

by Chris Janowsky


(The author is founder of the World Survival Institute [POBox 394C,
Tok, Alaska 99780; 907-883-4243] in Alaska where he teaches
wilderness survival and produces instructional videos on survival -
The Editors.)


Winter has released its grip on the land and water. The ice has
left the lakes and rivers for yet another season. The salmon have
left their ocean home and are headed back to the place they were
born. All salmon spawn in the fresh water streams of their birth
except Sockeye (Red) Salmon. A Sockeye will spawn in the lake
where it was born.

As these fish move upstream each year, respective to their species
and age, they feed many animals including man. Animals eat the
fish right on the spot, while man usually ops to save some for the
future. This is especially true for those like myself who choose
to live a subsistence lifestyle.

I use a fish wheel to procure the fish I need for the year. It is a
very effective way to go when you are living off the land. I catch
as many as 300 6 to 8 pound Sockeye Salmon in one evening. Then
the work begins!

There are many ways to put fish up for a later date; but probably
none is more well known, and at the same time so misunderstood, as
smoking fish. Many people are of the opinion that smoking fish
preserves them. Nothing could be further from the truth, as we
shall soon see.

Let's start with why a fish spoils and exactly what we are
fighting. Also at this time we should consider the many parasites
that live in all fish. Besides these parasites that may or may not
be dangerous to us, bacteria is the number one cause of spoilage.

In the process of preserving fish, bacteria is the enemy. The more
we know about the enemy, the easier it is to defeat. Bacteria need
the proper environment to exist in, which is one that consists of
warmth and moisture. Most bacteria thrive in a temperature range
of 65 degrees F. to 100 degrees F. If we store fish in a location
with an ambient temperature of less than 65 degrees F., bacterial
growth will be slowed. Bacteria growth will stop at temperatures
below 0 degrees F. Unfortunately, once the fish thaws bacterial
development will start again.

If we increase the temperature to certain ranges over 100 degrees
F., bacterial growth will again be slowed. Should we further
raise the temperature to 200 degrees F., the resident bacteria on a
healthy fish will be destroyed.

We also know that bacteria needs a moist environment to grow and
thrive. As we remove moisture from the fish, we are removing the
bacteria's home. Ideally, for a maximum preservation time, the
moisture should be reduced to 15-20 percent.

Now that we know our major enemy's weaknesses, we can safely start
the smoking process.

There are two basic methods of smoking fish or red meat. One is
called cold smoking; the other is called hot smoking, or smoke
cooking. Let's take a look at the cold smoking process.

COLD SMOKING --

The fish is placed in a confined space. This can be anything from
a wooden box to a large walk-in smokehouse. The fish is either
suspended by strings, metal or wooden hooks, or racks to allow good
smoke flow all around the meat. Never use galvanized steel racks
or hooks in any smoking or cooking operation, as the galvanized
steel will poison the meat and make you very sick, or outright
kill you.

Smoke is now added to the smokehouse from a wood stove that is out-
side the structure; and the meat inside starts to pick up the
flavor of the smoke. The temperature is kept low. The temperature
should be kept below 138 degrees F. With some methods the
temperature never rises above 90 degrees F.

This process may take several hours or even days to achieve the
desired results. The finished product will be very moist and not
very hot. As you can see, cold smoking has done nothing to destroy
any bacteria, especially at 90 degrees F. In fact, those cute
little parasites are also alive and well; but a temperature of 160
degrees F. will most certainly ensure their demise.

If properly smoked with the right wood (more about this later), the
fish will have a good flavor; but remember, it is not cooked or
preserved in any sense of the word. This fish must be refrigerated
and consumed in a short period of time or it will spoil. It can
also be canned or frozen.

One way to increase the shelf life of cold smoked fish is to soak
it in brine solution before it goes to the smoke house. One brine
recipe that has been used for generations is to add salt to a
volume of water to the point that it will float an egg. The brine
is kept cool; and the fish is left to soak with frequent stirring
for 24 hours. The fish is then rinsed with fresh water and taken
to the smoke house.

HOT SMOKING --

Hot smoking is the method that I prefer for many reasons. First of
all, I like my fish cooked. I also like to ensure that all those
cute little parasites don't get any older; and I like to eliminate
all bacteria that is in the fish. This can be easily accomplished
by hot smoking (smoke cooking).

When hot smoking, more care must be taken when constructing the
smoke house because of the high temperatures that will be created
within it. Unlike cold smoking, here the wood stove will be inside
the smoke house.

The fish are placed in the smoke house in the same manner as in
cold smoking. Next, a fire is built inside the stove. Any type of
wood can be used for this purpose. The stove should have a damper
in the flue pipe, and a way to control its intake air. With these
two adjustments, you can easily fine tune the temperature of the
smoke house. Place the smoking wood on the flat surface on top of
the stove and start a small, controlled fire. By adjusting the
smount of wood and its dryness, the amount of smoke can also be
easily controlled. I keep two piles of smoking wood: one is bone
dry; the other has been soaked in water. This gives me a lot of
latitude for controlling the smoke.

With this set-up, both heat and smoke can be controlled separately.
I start with a temperature of 120 degrees F. with a medium smoke
for about two hours. Next I raise the temperature to 140 degrees
F. for approximately three hours with a heavy smoke. At this
point a sockeye salmon fillet will start to take on a nice red
color. The temperature is now raised to 160 degrees F. for
approximately one hour with a medium smoke. The salmon will now
have a deep rich red color bloom. We know now that the parasites
have definitely had their day ruined. Finally, the temperature is
raised to 200 degrees F. This is the temperature that destroys
most bacteria known to man. Maintain this temperature for about 45
minutes to one hour with no smoke.

The fish are now ready to eat; and any bacteria has also been
destroyed. The final product looks and tastes great. Remember
that even here the fish is not preserved, and must be dealt with as
we talked about earlier. This fish will last longer than the cold
smoked fish, but it is still subject to attack from airborne
bacteria mainly due to its moisture content.

SMOKE DRYING --

One other way of preserving fresh fish, which goes back to the
beginning of time, is the smoke drying process. We know that the
natural bacteria and parasites in the fish need a moist environment
to grow. This being known, we remove as much moisture as possible.

Again, this process can be broken down into two basic methods. I
teach both of these methods in my wilderness survival classes. The
first is dehydrating, smoking, and cooking the fish at the same
time. The second mehtod is one that has been used by Native
Americans for generations; it is simply dehydrating and smoking at
the same time.

The first method is accomplished by taking a split open fish,
hanging it in front of a fire by means of a stick, then slow
cooking it until it is completely dehydrated. Then the fish can be
eaten as is, or rehydrated later at any time by adding water. As
long as the fish is kept dry, it will not spoil.

The second method is accomplished by air drying. The fish is
either split open and hung up to dry, or cut up into strips and
hung up to dry. In the previous method, the fire adds both heat
and smoke. With this method, the fire is constructed to add smoke
only. The fish will be tough and leathery when it is completely
dry. The Native Americans call it fish jerky. During the drying
process the smoke not only flavors the meat, but also keeps the
insects away. Fish in this condition will keep for a very long
time if kept dry.

The drying/smoking process can be accomplished either in your smoke
house or in the field. Good dry airflow around, over and under the
fish is critical. All fish pieces should be separated and never
allowed to touch each other. Enough smoke must be added to keep
insects away. Insects like flies carry bacteria that will
contaminate the fish; and if they lay eggs, the larve will spread
bacteria everywhere.

A well-designed smoke house should have louvers installed near the
roof and the floor, so that airflow can be easily regulated by
opening and closing them. As well, the smoke in the smoke house
can also be easily controlled.

FIELD SMOKING/DRYING --

Although smoking in the field is a challenge, it can be
successfully accomplished. A tripod can be lashed and erected with
a shelf constructed halfway up. The shelf will consist of a grid
of green sticks to allow for proper air flow. A simple canopy is
then constructed over the top of the tripod. The bottom of the
canopy should fall no lower than 6 inches above the shelf level,
again to promote the airflow necessary for drying. The canopy
helps hold the smoke, keep away the insects, and keep out rain or
dew.

A small smokey fire is then built directly under the structure to
create the smoke. As soon as the canopy fills up with smoke,
insects will be driven away and the fish will start to pick up the
desired smoke flavor.

Improvising drying structures such as this are limited only by the
imagination and the materials that are readily available in your
particular area. For example, the canopy can be made by using
large leaves, muskeg, bark, or even a tarp that you may have with
you.

The type of wood that you use to create the smoke is very
important. You will want to use a desiduous wood and not any type
of conifer. Conifers (soft woods) like pine or spruce trees
contain a lot of pitch. The smoke from this kind of wood will
blacken the fish with what is basically creosote. This is not a
good situation, nor is it what you are trying to achieve.

The desiduous (hard) wood that you choose will be dictated by the
area that you are in. Some fine smoking woods that I have used are
alder, hickory, cherry, apple, and aspen. I prefer alder over all
of these, apple second, but that is just my own personal taste.
Note that hickory and cherry produce a good but very harsh smoke,
and should be used only by the experienced smoker.

The smoke fire is started with very dry wood and then green wood is
added to create a good heavy smoke. You have to keep a constant
eye on the fire. You may have to add more dry wood to keep it
going, or more green wood to make more smoke.

MARINATING --

If you are planning a smoking operation and it is not an emergency
survival situation, you may well want to soak the fish in a brine
or marinade solution before smoking. We already talked about a
brine solution that will float an egg. This solution is not
intended to enhance the flavor, but rather to aid in preservation.


When fish are properly soaked in a good marinade and then smoked
with a fine hard wood, the final product will have a beautiful look
and texture to it. The flavor will be unrivalled by the most
accomplished gourmet restaurant; most importantly, you will have
done it all yourself.

My favorite marinade for salmon and trout is to take a large
plastic container like a 30 gal. garbage can with a lid and fill it
2/3's full with clean ice cold water. This container should be
spotless and made of food grade plastic. (No matter what, never
use a metal container to brine/marinade in. The brine will attack
the metal and some of that metal will be absorbed into your fish.
The only exception would be a good grade stainless steel. Stick to
food grade plastic or wood, and you can't go wrong.) Add 2 pounds
of brown sugar, two cups of garlic powder, and one cup of onion
powder. Salt can be added to taste if you wish. If I use salt at
all, I use no more than two cups. Then mix well with a large clean
wooden paddle.

The marinade is now ready for the fish. Some people leave the skin
on the fish filets or strips. I prefer to remove the skins when
cleaning the fish. There is no reason to leave the skins on if the
fish are placed on racks and not hung on hooks. The skin acts as a
barrier to the marinade and to the smoke. Also, when in the
marinade, the skin will give off a slime. The fish will have to be
rinsed before going to the smoke house. If the fish are split and
hung by hooks for smoking or drying the skins will have to be left
on to hold the fish together.

Add your fish to the marinade until the liquid almost reaches the
top of the container and mix well. Keep in a cool place and mix
well every two or three hours. Keep the container covered when not
mixing and continue for 24 hours.

The fish is now ready for drying or any one of the smoking methods.
If the skins were removed from the fish prior to soaking, transport
immediately to the drying racks or to the smoke house. If the
skins were left on the fish should be rinsed in cold clean water
first, then moved to the smoke house.

Smoked fish can be eaten like it is or mixed with other things.
Take smoked salmon and put it in a blender with mayonaise, and
you'll have one of the best sandwich spreads you've ever tasted.

In the near future we will look at other ways of curing, preserving
and pickling fish and red meat. I've run out of space in this
article, but this should get you going safely in the right
direction. If you have any further questions on getting started
with smoking fish or smoke house construction, feel free to call or
write me at the World Survival Institute.

One word of caution: once you have built a fine smoke house and you
have it in use, the unique aroma of fresh smoked fish has a
tendency to attract neighbors of all sorts; ...... and somehow
they always seem to know exactly when the fish is done. So make
plenty if you want some for yourself. Happy Smoking!!


American Survival Guide June 1993 page 28
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoUl_SuRvIvOr_45 View Post
i was just curious how you would preserve the deer of big game of fish that you killed or caught while camping or stranded in the wild
what time of year? Hang a deer for a couple of weeks in the fall... in the summer keep it alive... the best way to preserve meat is to not kill it until you need it.... the woods is where you store lunch....
Old 04-17-2011, 01:20 AM
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Get yourself an SAS survival handbook....
Old 04-17-2011, 09:51 PM
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Here is one way used by the Afrekaners, pretty simple as you could use just a stick rack and the hot sun & dry air. If it is too humid a slow fire us helpful.
230gr

Make Biltong
Biltong consists of strips of cured, air-dried beef or game and is a form of African style jerked meat.
How to Make Biltong
It is really simple to make your own biltong, and the principles of which are basically the same regardless of recipe. The best biltong is made with the best ingredients but serviceable can be made with the whole animal.
Meat Selection
In the past farmers used a whole beef carcass for Biltong, but today the beef is normally used. The finest biltong is made from the muscles running down both sides of the backbone and which are cut whole from a side of beef. The cheaper cuts of meat often contain an some amount of sinew and binding tissue which will yield a tough product.
Method
1. The meat must firstly be cut into strips and must be cut with the grain because when you come to eat the final product you will cut the biltong across the grain (and tough tissue), in order to get the most tender pieces.
2. The meat will shrink by a large amount during the drying process roughly estimate that your end produce will yield approximately 50% of your starting weight. {less if dried to brittleness at 20 to 35% moisture}
3. In cool, dry climates, your initial strips of meat can be cut fairly thick but in warm, moist climates, your initial strips of meat should be cut thinner to avoid spoil during the drying process.
4. Remove as much sinew and binding tissue as possible when you cut your strips of meat.
5. The strips of meat are then dipped into undiluted wine or apple cider vinegar.
a. The vinegar dissolves some of the sinew and binding tissue and makes the meat a little more tender.
b. mellows the aroma and flavor of the meat, before and during the drying process.
c. causes the meat to have a dark and shiny appearance once it is dried.
d. opens up the raw meat so the spices are able to penetrate deeper into the meat.
6. At this point you are ready to season your meat: traditional biltong ingredients used in a seasoning:
a. Salt, Pepper, Sugar, and Coarsely Ground Dry or Roasted Coriander
b. To roast your coriander, place dried coriander seeds in a dry pan over medium heat and stir the seeds around the pan. The seeds will give off a strong aroma and will turn a golden brown color. At this point you should remove the seeds and coarsely crush them.
7. Some recipes call for ‘saltpeter’ to cure the meat and help prevent mildew and also give the meat a nice rosy color once it has dried. Nitrates may significantly increase the risk of cancer in humans
8. {We use additional seasonings such as dried chilies, garlic, Soy and Worcestershire sauces in with the vinegar soak.}
9. Placing it into a large ice chest or cool porch in late fall overnight, and allowing it to absorb the flavors of the vinegar and seasoning, before you hang it up to dry.
Seasoning recipe:
27.5 Lb of meat strips
1 Lb fine salt
cup brown sugar
1oz bicarbonate of soda (helps to make the biltong tender)
2 teaspoons saltpeter (optional)
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
cup coarsely ground coriander

Drying
There are many different ways of drying your biltong. In the old days, the South African farmers ( in their dry climate) made little s-shaped hooks out of steel wire. These would be run through one end of the meat strips, and hooked around wires stretched along the beams of a house, or even the branches of a tree.
Some people also loop a piece of string through one end of the meat, which is used to hang the biltong to some kind of hook.
The ideal conditions for drying your biltong are in a breezy place, away from direct sunlight, but well-lighted, in order to prevent mildew. Make sure that you keep it away from ants, rats, insects, and pets.
The time it takes to dry biltong varies depending on how thick your meat slices are, what type of conditions you have in the place you are drying your biltong, and the method you chose to dry your biltong. With practice, you will get to know when your biltong is dried to your taste. You can hack into it with a knife to see exactly how moist it is; typically it should be hard on the outside, but a little moist and red on the inside. With time, you will learn to squeeze the biltong between your fingers, and use the sponginess of the biltong as your guide.
Three methods use to dry biltong.
1. A home-made enclosed cabinet with screen mesh sides (to allow air but exclude insects) and metal rods that run across the width of the cabinet (to hang the biltong).
2. A home-made ‘Biltong box’ is a sealed wooden box with holes in the top and all sides for air circulation and houses a 60w light bulb at the bottom of the box, separated from the meat drying portion by a wood or metal barrier with holes or slots to allow the heat from the light bulb to travel upwards while protecting the light bulb from having the juices from the drying meat.
3. Running one end of the meat strips with a hooked around wires stretched along the beams of a house, or even the branches of a tree.

Storing biltong:
1 Week Store at room temperature in a cool, dry area in a sealed plastic container or a paper bag but this may cause the jerky to dry out more.
Several Weeks Store in a sealed plastic container or Ziploc bag, and refrigerate 32 –38 degrees F.
1 Year Store in a sealed plastic container or Ziploc bag, and preferably vacuum seal, then freeze.
Several Years Dry to brittleness and pack with salt in plastic pail.*

Biltong that is utterly dry can be grated or pounded into a powder for use.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:15 AM
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DONT smoke meat with conifer. Pines, spruce, fir- trees with needles. Turpentine.... Alder is excellent, almost any hardwood tree is excellent. Corn cobs are even good. The smoke helps produce heat to dry the meat, along with coating it with preservative effects. Brine is good, but if you have salt, in middle of nowhere, and need to live 1 yr? Save your salt!!!!!! Doing whole small fish by scoring them exposes more flesh to dry when you hang them. Larger fish, butterfly them, and score the fillets. Small fish, minnows, just do them whole.......
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