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well being new to survival i am trying to learn as much as i can, as fast as i can. i have started to stock pile some canned good, getting ready to start ordering MRE's or mountian house goods. i am having a close friend teach me the art of canning. heck i just found out today you are able to can meat/fish.. anyway my question is, how do you preserve meet other than canning, without refrigeration. and how long does it keep..
 

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About the only thing I have done with meat is to turn some into Jerky. It is good to see you looking at different sources for your food. You really want to mix your food sources. Mountain House is a great source of Freeze Dried Food. they do work for US Military. Their entrees are really good. The lasagna and stuff like that are really good. Number 10 cans last up to 25 years in case of Mountain house.

Be careful with MREs. How you store them is critical. Heat will kill an MRE fast. Put them in the trunk of your car at 120 degrees plus and you have a month before they go bad. that is according to the US military charts. Nice thing is you can heat them on top of your engine manifold.

Remember with food to buy what you eat. Learn to fix the food you buy. And buy a manual can opener.
 

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You can smoke dry- like smoked hams- or sun dry as in dried fish, or fire dry, as in jerky. You can also salt cure or sgar cure meats if you have enough salt or sugar. These were the primary ways the pioneers had available.
You might also be interested in making pinole - parched ground corn- used by long hunters as a staple food. Pemmican was another Native American food preservation technique worth looking into.
 

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fallschirmjäger
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I would suggest pemmican as well. I have heard that in Canada it was used also by the military in XIX century.

But this post meant to be about something different. A few years ago I read in an old book about interesting experiment on different types of meat. Results were very interesting. Scientists discovered that pork goes bad very fast and mutton remains good for couple weeks (if I remember right I think it was over one month). Of course meat of different animals was kept in the same conditions.

I haven't reproduced those experiments, but I think results make sense because ancient people used to keep mainly sheeps and goats.
 

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Old Thread...

I know this is an old thread, but I'd like to reopen the discussion... Has anyone done any real research into how they'd go about preserving and subsequently cooking with preserved meat? My family is prepared to weather almost any short- to mid-range emergency (temporary setbacks like natural disaster or single-city nuclear incident) with no power, but we're beginning to consider TEOFTWAWKI and while we understand sustainable gardening, etc, we had a discussion about meat storage.

While some concerns can be addressed with simple animal selection (we already keep chickens and rabbits, both of which are easy to breed and you can keep the meat "good" simply by keeping it alive. One rabbit or one chicken winds up being one meal for our family (or with enough leftovers to only worry about keeping cool for a day or so)) but what happens when I shoot a deer?

Assuming salt is prevalent, that may be an option... what about smoking? We had a discussion about canning the meat, which is certainly an option, but meat must be pressure canned, which means steady temperate for up to 90 minutes - hardly an effective use of energy/propane/generator/wood in an all-bets-are-off situation.

Anyone really researched this? If not, I will - we're finally geting into the "what would we do 8 or 10 months after the event?" stage, and there are a few long-term questions that don't have clear answers... I keep thinking about "Into The Wild" when he's starving and shoots the deer (moose?) but can only eat on it for a day or so before it goes bad and gets maggots... that's NOT when I want to start thinking about how to handle this...

Found resources would be great... I just don't want to reinvent the wheel if someone has already compiled some info - if not, I'll put something together.
 

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The USDA has a lot of pamplets on preserving meat.

You can use a salt cure or you can use a sugar cure, either will prevent foul soilage if done correctly.

Jerky is preserving meat by lack of moisture.

Bactira has to have certain conditions to grow, moisture, heat, etc.

prevent the conditions you prevent spoilage.

The pioneers used huge (caldreans) to boil fat and cook the spoiled meat. If you kill the bacteria you will be able to eat the meat. In fact some spoilage is what makes meat tender, that is why they hang meat for a week or so at about 40 or 45 degrees, the cold slows the development of the bacteria but lets enough grow to tenderize and add taste to the meat.


later
wayne
 

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I use the Alton Brown Blowhard 5000 (youtube it) to dry meat. Works great and is cheap.

You don't necessarily have to jerky season meat to dry it. I've used dried meat in stews and soups with good success.
 

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I heard that before refrigeration or before pressure canning meat (using a large pressure cooker, I have) that people put serving size chunks of meat in a big crock, much like a pickle crock, covering the meat with rendered and strained "leaf lard" also known as the lard around the kidneys. It is the highest quality lard, used today in flaky pastry I understand.

I heard the crockery meat would carry over until the next hunting season. However, no one said anything about the ambient temperatures. I would think keeping the crockery meat in a "root cellar" would be a requirement. I don't know.

I never did it, but I did try rendering "leaf lard" once: do this outdoors.
 

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Silly Boyz TrucksR4 Girlz
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We freeze, can, and jerk meat. Dried meat and jerky don't necessary qualify as the same. Most people leave too much moisture in their jerky for long term storage. If you completely dry it, until it is basically as hard as a rock, then it will store a long time at room temperatures with no ill effect.
 

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When getting a moose for example, cut lots of thin strips. Thinner dries and smokes easier (less moisture to drive out). Water is the killer for meat, unless it's canned. Thin strips and use a wood that is good for smoking. Up here in AK we use alder because of it's prevalance and mild flavor. You may use hickory, apple, mesquite etc. stay away from pines and such, that will ruin the meat and make it taste like turpentine. One other thing, most smoking wood should have the bark removed as fungus and nasties congregate in the bark.
Build a smoker out of branches or some other covering. Don't use plastic or treated woods as the chemicals leeching out of them could be curtians for you. What you are trying to do is hold in some heat and make sure the smoke permeates the meat.

Hope this helps a bit

Mountaintrekker
 

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The native plains indians had this figured out...even if they didn't know why..

Pimican.. This was a main source of food for them to get them through the long winter months.

They sun dryed there meat in strips and sometimes smoked it on willow scafolds. The meat is them ground. basically powdered. This totally dry meat keeps pretty well

Then it is mixed with Berries..and allowed to dry, most berries will work but some are better tasting and have more sugar than others,. Whether they knew it or not the sugar from the berries was acctually preserving there meat in a sugar cure. The barries also provide a much needed vitamin source throug there long winters.

The deer tallow (rendered fat) was pored over the meat and mixed in. It is then formed into small biscut cakes... the interesting thing about "Deer" tallow is that it is the only tallow that will not go rancid.. (Beef, Pig, Bison, etc. will all turn rancid) Wonder how they new to use deer..Must of been a long winter the first time they found out not to use tallow form other animals:D::D:

This combination is a perfect food source, providing Protein,minerals, Vitamins, and much need fat and calories. I seem to remember from the "Journals of Lewis&Clark" that this was not a favorite food source for the men:eek::D:..but much better then the rotten ground fish they got from the iIndians on the Columbia:taped::xeye::D:
 

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I seem to remember from the "Journals of Lewis&Clark" that this was not a favorite food source for the men:eek::D:..but much better then the rotten ground fish they got from the iIndians on the Columbia:taped::xeye::D:
WARNING: Thread hijack in progress!

This is a great read. Actually, I remember that their favorite was beaver tail. I found that pretty interesting. It was also interesting that they were sick of elk meat by about half way through the trip.

A good survivalist/prepper instruction to learn from the journals is the importance of salt. The expedition actually waited for quite some time on the west coast before their return trip so that they could manufacture salt for the return journey. A good lesson on how important salt is when you are "roughing it." And that ties back into meat preservation so I guess it isn't too much of a thread hijack!:)
 

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This is a bit more of a detailed description of a drying/smoking rack for all kinds of meat. We basically make a skeletal wood frame like a larger pup tent. We use willow or alder depending where we are and what looks the easiest or straightest. Peel the bark off! we use peices about as thick as your thumb. Then we split a long thin "fillet" of moose or salmon etc. and hang it from the split in the meat. Just leave an inch or two of meat connecting the peices together. This keeps the wind from blowing it off the rack.
Don't use synthetic string or binding to tie it all together! You will be using a fire under this to hasten the drying and keep the bugs off of your catch. The synthetic string may burn or melt contaminating your meat with nasty taste and smell.
We get a fire of alder going under it, a smaller one will do, your not trying to cook the stuff, just keep warm dry air around it and create smoke. Make the fire about as long as the drying rack Keep a heavy supply of dry wood and a few wet or green peices of the same stuff to create more smoke. Like I said before... use a smoking wood. Alder, hickory, some maples, mesquite, apple, cherry etc. I'm sure there is more, we just use alder.
There is no exact time limit for this stuff... not like a pizza at 400F for 15 to 20 minutes. You need to watch and "read" the meat. You want it dry and stiff. If you plan on storing for longer period of time, dry it till it will snap like a dry twig.
We also use a brine solution and soak some of the meat in pickling salt, brown sugar and or hot peppers or other spices. make the brine by adding salt until you can float an egg in it. Soak the meat for a few hours... moose, elk, deer can be soaked for 12 to 24 hours. Sometime the catch is taken way too far out or we don't have all the seasonings and we just dry it or smoke it. It's still good and keeps the protein so you can eat it later.

Just how my little clan does it. There's a thousand other ways I'm sure.

Mountaintrekker
 

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Res Ipsa Loquitur
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We also use a brine solution and soak some of the meat in pickling salt, brown sugar and or hot peppers or other spices. make the brine by adding salt until you can float an egg in it. Soak the meat for a few hours... moose, elk, deer can be soaked for 12 to 24 hours. Sometime the catch is taken way too far out or we don't have all the seasonings and we just dry it or smoke it. It's still good and keeps the protein so you can eat it later.

Just how my little clan does it. There's a thousand other ways I'm sure.

Mountaintrekker
Hey Mountain, what do you do with the meat after it soaks in the brine solution? Is it also dried or preserved some other way?
 

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south africans have a jerky kind of process for meat called "biltong" ive made some and like it alot more than jerky.. you can find some good and easy recipes online if you google it
 
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