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Curing meat on the run

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Kingfish, May 25, 2016.

  1. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    I have been on many survival forums over the years and have yet to read how someone on the run with a back pack would use the meat of say a deer , Pig, Elk, Sheep, Goat etc .after making the kill. On the run , bugged out temps are 70to 80 during the day and 50 to 60 at night. Bugs , Flies etc. I am assuming smoking the meat into Jerky is the only way to preserve it at all and even then spoilage is going to happen without large quantities of salt. How did the Indians preserve meat long term ?? Did they just eat it all before it spoiled? Does anyone have a time table for unsalted smoked meat on hours or days to spoilage?
    Ganado, Motomom34 and 3M-TA3 like this.
  2. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    Cooking, pickling, salting, curing and smoking are the first things that come to mind
  3. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey++

    I'm a bit busy, but Jerky and Pemmican com to mind. They would also wrap it up, and eat on a leg for up to a few days.
  4. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Our forefathers could tollerate eating meat that would gag a modern man.. So, that brings up the question of, to what degree of rancidity would you except?

    If one where on the "run", there would be little time to process meat.. However, cooking all the meat you could will slow the decomposition process, and then salting, brining or even canning, if you are not on foot, would be options.. On foot, cook and run and eccept some loss.. This same process could be applied to grid down and one has a freezer full of meat.. Just my thaughts on this..
    Ganado likes this.
  5. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    My thoughts on this thread were to see how the guys who claim they will survive with a bow or gun are going to preserve meat from larger game animals. I could probably eat half a deer loin in one sitting but in 4 days that deer would be spoiling Cant carry enough salt for brine and would need a bucket. Plain smoking is just cooking it. Cooked meat will make you sick if left out or not refrigerated. So again is there any real way one person can use an entire deer, pig or other large animal while bugged out with no resupply. On the run etc.
  6. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    this is a really great question @Kingfish
    you can pickle meat? that is a new one on me!

    pemican and drying but none of these are the kind of things you can do on the run

    Pemmican: The very portable high energy protein food | Survival Monkey Forums
    Recipe - RECIPES | Page 4 | Survival Monkey Forums
    Making Pemmican pdf | Survival Monkey Forums
    Recipe - RECIPES | Page 2 | Survival Monkey Forums

    Preserving Meat on the Frontier.
    Imagine living in an era when there is no refrigeration. None at all. If you live in a town you might get ice delivered to your house every week or so during the spring, fall, and winter, about twice or three times a week during a Southern, Texas, or Southwestern summer. However, if you live in the country, you're not going to have ice except as a special treat a few times a year. Of course, if the creek nearest your property freezes over during the winter-thick ice, not thin-you might go down and saw chunks of ice out of the creek. Unless you've got well-insulated underground storage for it, it's not going to last much past the middle of June. So-how are you going to preserve meat for late spring, summer, and early fall eating?

    Meat was dried-the stuff called 'jerky' from what Native Americans called it, though the practice seems to be world-wide. In sub-Saharan Africa exactly the same stuff is called 'biltong.'

    It was pickled. It was smoked. Those were about the only ways of preserving meat.

    According to DR. CHASE'S RECIPES OR INFORMATION FOR EVERYBODY, the thirty-sixth edition of which came out in 1866, here are some recipes for preservation of meat without refrigeration. One of the recipes for preserving beef deals with hundred-pound lots, which would not be unusual on a farm or ranch. First you would thoroughly cover the beef in salt 'to draw out the blood.' After the beef remained in the salt for twenty-four hours you'd drain it and pack it into a wooden barrel. Then you'd prepare the preserving brine. This would consist of seven pounds of salt, one ounce each of saltpeter (potassium nitrate, also used in making gunpowder) and cayenne pepper, one quart of molasses, and eight gallons of 'soft water.' That was usually rainwater caught in barrels and allowed to settle until all the dust went to the bottom of the barrel. This you'd bring to a boil and 'skim well.' You'd then let it cool, pour it over the beef, and put a lid on the barrel.

    Now, obviously, this stuff is gonna be mighty salty when you take it out of the barrel. What you'd do to get rid of the salt would be parboil the stuff-throw it in a pot of water and boil it for fifteen or twenty minutes. After that you could cook it in whatever way you wanted to. Unfortunately, parboiling has an unfortunate effect on the meat. It makes it about as tough as boot leather. After the meat was parboiled but before it was cooked a good cook took a heavy metal skillet and pounded the meat with the edge of it to tenderize the stuff.

    By the end of summer, the onset of autumn, this preserved beef would be getting a mite 'high,' to say the least. The primary reason rich brown gravies and tangy sauces were invented was not to 'enhance the flavor of the meat,' but rather to disguise the fact that it was pretty far on the way to being rotten.

    To preserve mutton-the hams only-you were advised to put the mutton hams into a weak brine for two days. Exactly how much salt made a 'weak brine' isn't mentioned. After that, for each one hundred pounds of mutton hams put six pounds of salt, an ounce of saltpeter, two ounces of saleratus, and a pint of molasses into six gallons of water and pour it over the mutton in the barrel. You would leave the mutton in the brine for two to three weeks and then take it out, dry it, and apparently dry it as you would jerky. According to a note, the saleratus kept the meat from getting hard.

    There were several methods of curing hams, all of which involved smoking them. Mr. Thomas J. Sample of Muncie, Indiana, writing in 1859, prepared his hams this way. To what Mr. Sample called a 'cask of hams'-he apparently used large casks, for this recipe is for twenty-five to thirty hams-he allowed them to lie in salt for two or three days. He then packed them in casks and poured his brine over them. The water-he doesn't give a quantity-had to have enough salt added to float a 'sound egg or a potato.' That's a lot of salt. To that he added a half-pound of saltpeter and a gallon of molasses. He then left the hams in this brine for six weeks. After that time he took them out, drained them, dried them, and smoked them. Dr. Chase adds that immediately dusting them, upon removing them from the smoke, with finely-ground pepper will keep flies off.

    A Marylander, Mr. T. E. Hamilton, who took several first prizes at fairs with his hams, did it somewhat differently. First he rubbed the hams with fine salt and let them sit for two days. He then made a brine of four gallons of water, eight pounds of coarse salt, two ounces of saltpeter, one and a fourth ounces of potash, and two pounds of brown sugar. This he poured over the hams and let them pickle for six weeks. After that he took them out, drained them, dried them, and smoked them. Having eaten Virginia smoked ham myself-though it's been well over half a century-I can testify that the hams of Virginia and Maryland, which are very similar, are great.

    To have pork chops or pork steaks for summer from the winter kill, this method was used. After pickling the pork 'until it is salty enough to be palatable,' you would fry it or cook it until it was about half to two thirds done. Then you would pack it into airtight jars in its own lard. According to Dr. Chase, when you took it out and finished frying it or cooking it, it would be as fresh as you could want. He mentions having handled beef in the same way, packing it in lard, and that it was preserved, as well. Bacon was also prepared like this. After being cured and smoked, it was cooked about half way, then packed in lard in airtight containers. According to Dr. Chase this worked on the same principle as canning, by excluding air from the meat.

    One method Dr. Chase mentions would supposedly preserve meat for as long as three years. He recommended packing it in finely-ground charcoal. (Don't try this with modern charcoal briquettes. They've got a lot of petroleum products in them as well as charcoal-and not just the 'light the bag' kind.) Apparently this is the way the British Royal Navy packed meat for long voyages. Dr. Chase mentions that Captain Cook sailed three times around the world with the meat for his crews packed in powdered charcoal, and the meat was still edible at the end of the third year-long voyage.

    Oh, yes-to preserve eggs, pack them in finely-ground corn meal. According to the recipe, eggs will keep 'perfectly fresh' for up to a year this way. Now-aren't you glad you live in the era of home refrigeration?
  7. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey++

    It is called Cold Smoking, and in high summer humidity, will give you at least 1 1/2 weeks with nothing else done to it. IF you have a smoke house, then you cold smoke it, and every couple of weeks when you have something new to smoke, it gets a boost of smoke to help preserve the existing longer. That is the theory.

    Slat pork and salt beef was a really common way to store in bulk, especially for shipping. JAS Townsend has a spretty good video on youtube.

    There is a point when you just have to accept that some is probably going to waste, on the run. You can use the remaining meat for bait, a lot of times.
  8. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Ganado likes this.
  9. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    If I'm on the run, I probably wouldn't hunt something that large... longer cooking time, longer cleaning time, harder to hide the gut pile and waste... etc... I would if possible opt for smaller game... If I had to take larger game, I would gorge my self with the organ meat ( goes bad first and has the most nutrients, Thinly slice the loins, back strap what ever I wanted... start smoking/jerking it and every time I could have a fire keep smoking/jerking it until it was complete or I ate it...
    3M-TA3 likes this.
  10. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Could you bury the meat ? say 2 feet down in plastic zip loc bags for a few days? This would keep the flies off it and keep it at 58 degrees. Do this while drying it into Jerky. Your thoughts? And yes eat as much as you can fresh. Build a sun drying rack and set a fire under it so you are using both the sun and the fire to cook, smoke and dry the meat?? Not being able to carry salt in any large quantity is a key down fall to making jerky so you have to go the route of drying it in thin strips and smoking it heavy.
  11. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    I'd be careful about the smoke giving me away - both visually and by smell.
  12. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Again this is a real problem for the bug out choice. I hear arguments all the time when discussing center fire rifles versus .22 rim fire for bug out. I start talking about a .22 being better for small game and they argue that you get more meat for the round by using a center fire and shooting larger game. So how do use the meat. Lets say you and your trusty .308 or 30-06 drop a 1000 pound Elk. The temps are in the mid 70,s during the day and 50's at night. How do you process 600 pounds of meat??? Remember you are bugged out with what you can carry on your back. A small deer ? I think most of us could deal with eating and smoking the meat maybe even save the hide for something . But how about a Moose or an Elk

    A search brought up a woman saying to use a zip loc and submerge it in a cold stream or lake as deep as you could and still get it back. She called it natures frig. a COLD TROUT STREAM deep hole would work well for short term storage of say 20 pounds of venison in sealed zip loc bags. Sounds plausible . If it works It will be a good reason to bring a roll of those double lock zip lock freezer bags. One problem could be racoons or Mink may steal your meat from the stream while you sleep.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2016
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  13. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey++

    Maybe up north, but in my AO, you are making jerky, or taking the hit. I am not past shooting a rabbit with a .308 or with a secondary hunting weapon. Also, ain't no 1000 pound nothing out this way, unless you kill a horse or cow. You MIGHT get 100lbs of meat off a huge deer.

    Burying ain't an option around here.
  14. Aeason

    Aeason Monkey

    I guess this could work with some thought and innovation. One day at my dad's while sitting on the porch with him and one of my adult sons, talking about prepping stuff, My dad told us about how his grandma kelp a hind quarter of beef one summer. She put it on the top of a shed on the hot tin in the day the heat kelp the fly's off and brought it in and covered in the night. He said it all got eaten a meal at a time.
    Ganado likes this.
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