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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been a long time prepper, even before Y2K, and even as a kid.

My focus has been on other aspects of prepping and survival that I wont go into here. Until recently, I had just planned to cook/food prep stuff on the run and the most basic way possible without thinking of long term necessities. Aging and other factors have made me re-evaluate and adapt my stratagies to support a long term bug in/out in one place for longer periods.

My wife and I have been getting into cast iron/dutch oven cooking over the last few years, mostly doing it while camping/hunting. After a couple of years of using one particular pan it has started to be nicely seasoned, getting that sticky/velvety texture ( :confused: ) that my grandmother's stuff had on it.

I know about propper seasoning of the cast iron and do it regularly in the oven. We also do not wash them by scrubbing hard or with much soap. We realize that the following list precludes this set up from anything but vehicle bug out due to the weight involved.

Our list of supplies includes:

- 12 inch/8 qt dutch oven with legs & lid
- 10 inch pan
- 8 inch pan
- 8 inch (deep) chicken fry pan
- griddle
- one scraper
- One lid lifter
- one hanging hook (my son made it with a blacksmith at scout camp!)
- length of chain
- Chain with round hanging grill (not very solid, may not make the load-out in SHTF)
- iron tripod
- spit and stakes

- (edit to add) one, soon to be two lodge brand, silicon pan handle covers

What I know we probably need: (at least all I can think of....)

- fire grate for cooking with the pans

Now, my concern is that cast iron cooking can use up quite a bit of oil - fat - grease for cooking. I can order some shortening powder from my friend that sells long term foods. However, this will go quickly and I will not be able to transport enough of it if we have to leave to support our cooking needs for more than a couple of weeks to a month.

I am a hunter and have gotten deer and even butcher it myself every time. However, it seems that fat will be hard to come by if we are at a BOL or backwoods camp. I also know that long term diet of protien without fats equals "rabbit starvation".

I have no idea how long vegitable oils, Criscoe type shortenings, pork/beef/deer/bear/etc fat stores without going rancid?? I feel I could cache some at likely way points or destinations if I had an idea of the best way?

Is it possible to "can" rendered fats/grease like you can meats & veggies so that no bacteria can turn it rancid??

Any help you can send my way would be greatly appreciated! :thumb:
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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When I can ground meat of any kind, I lightly brown it first. But when I put it in the jars, I add the cooked off fat into the jars with the meat giving me the option of draining it off or having it available in just the situation you mentioned. Canning bacon also puts quite a bit of fat into the jar. I've never had it be remotely rancid that way.

I've also never tried just canning fat so it will be interesting to see what experiences people have.:)
 

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Reb.... and Proud Of It!
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My grandmother had crockery canning "jars" that she put meats with the juices into and poured fat/lard onto to cover about 1 inch above the meat. I have no idea how long this will hold ( I don't remember ever getting ill from any of her cooking) but I do know grease was used as a sealant by many old timers. Certainly in this day and age there are better/safer methods.
 

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I love my cast iron pans, I have a special one only used for frying eggs in the morning, lol...I can't help it, it's seasoned perfectly and no one is allowed to use it, wash it or touch it without my permission. The only time I use it for anything besides eggs is when I cook bacon bits in it and half of that grease stays in it. Of course, I have a half dozen other cast iron for my other cooking. One thing I would recommend is to NEVER use soap on it. I use a metal scrubby thing to clean out the inside with plain water and return to the burner or fire to finish it off.

I ran out of bacon grease recently and fell into a state of panic. I bought ghee for backup.... Need to try that out though. Basically it's canned butter so I would think you could can grease. Others more experienced will chime in here. I know in the olden days they would store fried meats within layers of grease on the kitchen countertop in crock pots to eat throughout the winter months, I think by the time they got to the bottom cut, the lard was about rancid.... Interesting stuff, not even sure where I read that.

Anyway, on you list of supplies you might want to add( if you don't already have em) those skinny pot holders that slide over the handles of the pans. I love them although they catch on fire quite often. I also like to use the small fold up lid stands when I cook outdoors, very convieniant.
 

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My grandmother had crockery canning "jars" that she put meats with the juices into and poured fat/lard onto to cover about 1 inch above the meat. I have no idea how long this will hold ( I don't remember ever getting ill from any of her cooking) but I do know grease was used as a sealant by many old timers. Certainly in this day and age there are better/safer methods.
Lol you beat me to it! I would love to send some food scientists back in time to evaluate their practices.

I'm also glad to hear coconut oil stayed good for so long in the other post since I store that too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Anyway, on you list of supplies you might want to add( if you don't already have em) those skinny pot holders that slide over the handles of the pans. I love them although they catch on fire quite often. I also like to use the small fold up lid stands when I cook outdoors, very convieniant.
Yup, I have one or two cloth ones at home here but just found and bought a newish handle cover that goes over the handles that are made of silicon perfectly molded to slide on tight, lodge brand too! I figure they would be more sanitary than the cloth ones and not catch fire. They were about $5 each at the local army surplus.

You can find info on the new handle covers here in the Lodge website: (specific page about the covers) http://www.lodgemfg.com/cooking-accessories/silicone-hot-handle-holder-ASHH11

Thanks to everyone for your help and wisdom! I was kinda starting to get worried about this short sightedness in my planning! :thumb:
 

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patriarch
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We too, are big cast iron cooking fans. Cast iron really doesn't use more oil. I suggest that you change your eating habits from greasy food to more baked, roasted, or stews. We will face the same problems our ancestors did when migrating & homesteading the frontier. Without hog lard, our breads will suck! Pie crust will be tough. Butter? Maybe one milk cow in 50 miles!
To our dismay, it will be tough using tallow, possum, or animal fat, but that is what awaits us if the TSHTF. Good oil, fat will be worth the price of gold unless you can grow olive trees in your BOL.
The stew pots of different sizes will be a god send. With a good rue/gravey , anything can be added. Meat, if found, any & all vegetables. Left overs, kept over the fire/smoke will keep flies away, then more stuff will be added to it by all members. Potluck! All sopped up by bread.

I might add that yeast will be just as important as oil! Learn to make an eatable flat bread. These can be heated on an ungreased griddle. I have an eight gallon kettle for soup & stews. I have acquired two kettle bails of different sizes. Never know when you can find a kettle without a stand.

Check out my cookset , pictures. Just a sample of the utincils I have. A swing away griddle for skillets and water boiler is very important too. Not in picture.

I tried to pattern my outfit after Cookie's. Remember wagon train? Cattle drive chuck box and iron tools. Hey, they worked for them, why change.
I can see those high filuting neighbors asking what is for supper once they hear that possum or **** is on the menu! I bet they won't stay long.
 

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patriarch
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We developed the use & need for cast iron while camping. To be more portable, I placed the campfire irons in a 4" PVC tube, all the cooking g hardware goes into a box. It has to be organized just so. I suspect you are cooking over a wood fire?
Don't forget, without wood, there is no cooking! Most people don,t give wood gathering a second thought. It comes so natural, pick up some limbs, cook a fire.
Not quite that simple! I try to conserve firewood, cooking on a small fire compared to the other campers who build bon fires and you have stand 8' feet back. Sometimes I need coals for baking, but other wise, smaller the better. May have to wait for those hot coals.
Are you equally prepared to handle firewood gathering by collecting wood cutting tools?
Bucksaw, one man saws, double bit Axe, single bit Axe, files, swedges, etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What about alternate sources of animal fat or tallows as two bits mentioned?

I understand that the brains of certain animals are risky to use for cooking fats due to prion diseases and other contaminates. Any experiance here in the safe harvest and use?

I also seem to remember that bone marrow is basically fat, right? Does anyone have a prefered method of extracting marrowto use for cooking if it can be? can you crack a bone open, apply light heat and it will soften and run out of the bone? Do you have to completley split the bone and scrape?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We developed the use & need for cast iron while camping. To be more portable, I placed the campfire irons in a 4" PVC tube, all the cooking g hardware goes into a box. It has to be organized just so. I suspect you are cooking over a wood fire?
Don't forget, without wood, there is no cooking! Most people don,t give wood gathering a second thought. It comes so natural, pick up some limbs, cook a fire.
Not quite that simple! I try to conserve firewood, cooking on a small fire compared to the other campers who build bon fires and you have stand 8' feet back. Sometimes I need coals for baking, but other wise, smaller the better. May have to wait for those hot coals.
Are you equally prepared to handle firewood gathering by collecting wood cutting tools?
Bucksaw, one man saws, double bit Axe, single bit Axe, files, swedges, etc?
I am aquiring larger and more serious wood gathering/processing equipment. I have smaller, more portable tools, decent axe, sven bow saw, splitting wedge, etc.

I have been experimenting with using wood coals instead of charcoal for cooking as we wont have the ability to stock pile or transport much charcoal.

Some things I have thought of is

- i will need a small metal shovel with a flat front edge that will help with distributing wood coals to the oven or under pans.

- Do you all only use wooden spoons to cook with or are you ok with gently using metal spoons that last much longer?
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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If you are looking for the bone marrow for the fat and nutrition as opposed to trying to harvest cooking fat, then cracking the small to medium bones open by whacking them with a hammer or with a chisel and hammer and boiling them to add the marrow to the broth or soup. I use that when making some broths because if the nutrition is there, why would I want to throw it away. :xeye: Larger bones (leg bones of harder boned animals) need to be cut into pieces 3 or 4 inches long if you can't crack them.

I've also heard of but never made roasted marrow bones from the larger bones (an older friend used to eat it this way, I was young and stupid and wouldn't try it. :() I think this method could be adapted to use at a campfire using a dutch oven or on a grill in power down situations. I'm including a link on roasting the marrow bones. It has some raw vegetable toppings that are optional in my memories of it. The gentleman I used to know just dipped the roasted marrow and spread it on split, toasted leftover rolls from dinner, would salt and pepper it, and have that for supper. :)
http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2010/02/17/roasted-marrow-bones/
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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I use metal spoons with my cast iron all the time except for my egg pan, it only gets plastic spatulas. :) I have cast iron cookware that is a few months old and some that is over 70 years old. The only time I've ever had a problem is shortly after I married and my husband "cleaned" one of my skillets for me. He has chosen never to do that again. :D: My cast iron cookware is now rather like my pocketbook. I'd better be dead before anyone touches it. :D:
 

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patriarch
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Yes, we have flat shovel/scoop to place coal on the dutch oven and on the ground for keeping pan hot. I took a water meter lid, cast iron, flip it over, welded three railroad spikes on it for legs. Nice utincil stand , lid resting , or even kettle. Couple with shorter legs. Poker to move wood & coals around.
I have several balance beams that teter the weight of item resting/hanging on end over fire. Hard to explain, kinda cool. Blacksmith gadgets?

All animals have some fat. More in the winter. Will keep for a while until you kill another. Deer have tallow, not much. Possum, ****, & furbearing animals will have a lot in the winter. I am not sure if people understand the smell that these animals produce? I am a trapper & hunter myself. No biggie here , all smiles........
Oh, we use mostly metal, some fancy plastic, but when they're gone will use wood. I am a admirer of the French/ Indian war, but let's be realistic! Most convenient.
 

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Something I forgot to add... I use long handled BBQ tongs in place of the poker or shovel you guys mentioned. I like it because I can move just one coal at a time if needed without all the ash flying everywhere. I also use metal spoons and spatulas even in my egg pan. I like my egg pan smooooth and non-stick so I scape the drippings up with the spatula. I had never heard you aren't suppose to use metal, I just cook by the example of my mother and grandmother!

And yes! Some wild game stinks terrible .... I remember as I child my mom cooking boar..... It stunk up the whole house, a very distinct smell. I prefer squirrel, rabbit,deer, pheasant and dove, not much fat though. I agree with the above post about adjusting our cooking to use less grease. Our diets now tend to have to much!( or at least mine!)

A skill that should be relearned by many of us is rendering lard. There are a few good videos on utube, just search. Even if you don't have the opportunity to actually do it,due to space etc ..it will be vital to know the process when the time comes.
 

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patriarch
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Ha Ha, wife cooked raccoon last month! First time, she almost threw it out! It stunk so bad. Turned out be great. She knows how to make BBQ ****.
Rendering lard is a breeze. Cleaning the the hog isn't. Lots of hot water and scraping. Been there. Picture this, hog being opened up and all the guts fall out of the stomach cavity into a wash tub, my niece says " wow mom, look at all the sausages". Cutest thing I ever heard.
I understand a theory I read, you will be so tired of eating food just seared over the flame. The meat will be intollerable to chew. Actually processing meat, I doubt it, unless your in a homestead situation. Safe location!

This is where a portable meat grinder comes in. Learn to make sausage from any game. Hides smell, changes the wild taste & blends flavors, Don't forget the spices. Buy bulk, they're like money . L earn recipes from the old world.
 

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patriarch
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Just remember that Crisco was invented by Mr Proctor and Mr Gamble, the soap people!

Crisco got famous by "talking bad about lard" not how good Crisco was. Or the benefits of using Crisco. Its all about the money. Something's never change.

Too much real butter, lard, or fat in your diet? The American Heart Ass. was an investment group promoting a new product "vegetable oil". The invention of the process.
Guess what, heart problems have risen ever since.
 

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Ha Ha, wife cooked raccoon last month! First time, she almost threw it out! It stunk so bad. Turned out be great. She knows how to make BBQ ****.
I teach a cooking class and each year we do a week of grilling. I have had all kinds of wild game from raccoon to rabbit. Deer and dove are the most popular wild game in our area but there is also squirrel and duck that have been brought.

I always try and get the kids to try something they have never experienced so they understand how well they have it. One our teachers is a cajun and made some raccoon stew that was absolutely delicious.
 

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patriarch
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Here is a pot of ham bone and beans.
http://www.survivalistboards.com/picture.php?albumid=2932&pictureid=28999

Picture of my more permanent fire pit in the back yard. Sometimes, when I can't get away to go camping, I can still enjoy a campfire. Nothing is better than baking a potato in the hot coals and a T-bone on the swing away grill.
I also have a tri-pod for the 8 gallon kettle. It may weigh as much as 50 pounds when full? I have planned to make a stand for it, but haven't accomplished that yet.
 
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