Finished Experiment, thought i would share the results..

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Resqdan, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Resqdan

    Resqdan Archangle

    What started me on this test was the never ending supply of stale crackers my family produces.. My thinking was besides taste would it really hurt you to eat them and how could i make them tolerable..

    What i did.. 2008 i took Ritz crackers (one sleeve) Cheezit (box) Saltines (one sleeve), i also got some chicken bouillion in the little cubes.. They had to have a printed expiration of 2008 to make it into the test.. and they all expired before July.. so as of July everything was three years past the expiration.

    First was a straight up taste test. All were stale but edible.. the cheezit had a little off flavor due to the cheese flavoring i would guess.. but after a few i could eat them.. All of them would have ended up in the trash for sure if this was not for a test.. but in the quest for knowledge.. i pressed on...

    Two i took a cup of water and warmed it up .. dropped one bouillon cube in and let it dissolve.. did a flavor check.. it was weak but tasted just like chicken bouillon should.. so i added two more cubes and let them dissolve.. now the taste was strong.. so i just dunked the crackers.. to the point were they were wet but not soggy. Now everything thing could be eaten with ease.. cheezit were much better.. saltines and ritz were still some what stale tasting but the bouillon solution made them much better...

    I made some more chicken bouillon solution and then crumbled the crackers in.. i used about a half cup of water for each type of cracker.. i crumbled enough crackers to soak up so almost all the solution was gone making sure all the crackers were completly soggy.. Wow.. they all were very tasty.. the cheezit took the lead now for what ever reason the cheese flavoring added to the mixture.. i ate the three cups of crackers up.. and i was full..

    I did this because i was curious mostly.. i thought this would be easy cheap things to keep on hand.. and if they did expire and you were in need you could use them.. why the bouillon.. i think it is an easy way add flavor to water and make a broth and in my opinion the dried bouillon would be good for many many years without taking extra steps to make it last.. Which i didnt mention earlier i did not take any extra steps.. i just put them in a cardboard box and labled it so no body messed with it.. they were stored in the same room as my other food..

    One week after the test i tell you i had no ill effects from the test.. no upset stomach.. no diaherra.. nothing.. i felt full just as if i had eaten a normal meal..

    I think this would be a good way to stretch your food you have on hand.. you could keep a crock pot full of broth warm.. crackers next to it.. and when someone was hungry between meals, there it would be.. or use it for meal, add some dehydrated peas or can use your imagination..

    I will be vac sealing a few types of crackers.. a bunch of bouillon in different flavors. (i wish i would have thought to try different kinds but chicken is my favorite so i went with that, i am sure the others would work just as good) I would use the stuff that is the real dry hard cube or powders, i know there a better types to use that have some moisture but they would not store as well i have a feeling.. so for me the dry hard cubes for me.. and lots of them.. every year i will add more to the collection..

    Well thats all i can think of.. some of you might think i wasted my time but for me it shored up some of my thinking and thought i would share.. If you have any questions let me know.. hope this was useful
    Mountainman and gunbunny like this.
  2. Wolfgang2000

    Wolfgang2000 Monkey++

    Thanks for the info.
  3. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Interesting experiment and thank you for the detailed info. I stock lots of things that aren't very common for most 'preppers' and this would be a great way to have something quick when the kids are sick of beans...
  4. Truman

    Truman Monkey+

    Test is needed, but take care.
  5. Robryan

    Robryan Monkey+

    Hot sause is another thing that is used to make things palatable that is why the army always put a litte bottle of the stuf in MRE's. I will stock up on chicken and beef bouillon cubes also. Thanks for the test.
  6. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Stale crackers

    may not be particularly appealing on their own, but they need not be discarded because their soggy texture makes them less palatable than fresh crackers.

    they can be revived in an oven at low temperature until the moisture content is reduced to the point that they are crisp again.

    They can be used as a thickening agent in stews, casseroles, soups, gravies and sauces.

    Burgoo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    They can also be used as a biscuit base for quiche and similar savoury dishes.

    The nutritional content of stale crackers can still be used profitably by creative cookery rather than being binned.
  7. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Also one could argue that home made hard tack is an effective and stable long term storage of flour.

    Bascially a twice baked cracker-like biscuit, shelf stable and useable in the ways Chell described.
    Some info on home made hardtack - just an FYI - this was used as a staple in the sail days of Naval operations, as well as a Civil War ration. What it is and how to make it at home. This is also commercially produced and consumed as Pilot Bread aka Pilot Crackers. It is very popular in Alaska:
    Pilot Bread Facts - YouTube
    Hardtack Recipe - YouTube

    Recommendations on how to eat it:
    Pilot Bread Magic - YouTube

    This stuff lasts FOREVER, if kept properly:
    150 Year-Old Civil War Hardtack - YouTube
    pmbug and Mountainman like this.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Nothing like Pilot Bread, and Peanut Butter, to take the hunger pains away, when you a long way from the cabin..... ..... YMMV....
  9. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    Hi Bruce. I'd be willing to bet that every pocket you have is stuffed full of those yummy things ! LOL How's it going up there in Alaska ? Getting cold yet ?
    Falcon15 likes this.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Not so cold, YET... but the snow level is slowly creeping down the mountains.... right now it is at 2300 feet... and getting lower every time a cloud passes by.....
    Nadja likes this.
  11. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    Denver is getting set up for a big one this weekend. They are lower then we are by the way. Coming fast !
  12. wrc223

    wrc223 Monkey+

    I have been performing a little experiment over the past year. I was going to wait until the first day of hunting season but since you open the subject, I will share mine.
    Hunting season opens up here in another month. The first day of hunting season last year I shot a large doe. I did the usual processing into steaks, roasts, stir fry, kabobs, etc. Some of it I took outside and smoked.
    I dug a hole in the ground about 36" deep. I made a good fire to the side. I then started shoveling coals into the hole. I almost filled the hole at first. Waited for it to burn down almost completely. Then I put about a round point shovel load in the hole and put a layer of applewood on top (chunked). Once a good smoke developed I took scrap pieces of venison and placed them on an old grill grate. I placed that over the hole and covered with a new galvanized garbage can I poked holes in the bottom of and ran two rod through.
    I hung larger pieces of meat suspended within the can. I kept adding coals and apple wood until the suspended meat was done, then I removed that. I smoked the scrap pieces until they were dried completely. Since then I cut one gallon bag aside for my experiment.
    I simply filled one gallon ziplock bag with the dried smoked meat. The only thing that went on the meat prior to smoking was kosher salt. I placed that bag on a shelf in a open but hidden spot. Every month I pull out a handful and do two things. I eat half the handful to check stand alone taste and texture. The second thing I do is boil it down with a few cups of water and a cup of rice. Toss in some canned peas towards the end of cooking and have it for lunch for a couple days in a row.
    Next month will be the end of the first year. When I down a deer this year I am going to repeat this and do a larger batch to see how long it will keep.
    Mountainman, Resqdan and Sapper John like this.
  13. Resqdan

    Resqdan Archangle

    like the hard tack clips.. i made some and will have it in storage from here on out... not really what my test was all about but good stuff just the same.. I like the test done with the smoked meat that is the kind of stuff i, we all need to know and do so we can do it if and when the time comes... if times are tough and a deer steps into my sites when its warm out i need to be able to make the meat last.. thanks
  14. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Hmm, hardtack looks interesting and might be a good item to make and store in advance in mylar bags.

    Has anyone ever tried adding ground up dehydrated veggies or beans to add some additional nutrients? Or even some type of good grade vitamin powder, additional flavorings ect. The biggest question with adding stuff is how does it affect the shelf life.
  15. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    might be a little difficult with dehydrated veggies, since there is a water content in the base dough. Vitamin powder might work, heck even bullion powder (instead of salt). I'll make a batch and post some results. As for shelf life? Damn near infinite (apparently) in the basic formula. Adding bullion adds oils, so that may increase rancidity. Care to wait a few years while I run a test? Just kidding.

    Here is a site that has some recipes/variations on trail bread. To quote:
  16. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Thanks for sharing the info. I'll have to play around with it some. I would think as long as each ingredient has a long shelf life then you are good to go. Also might want to think about buying dehydrated or canned butter, although I don't think it has as long a shelf life but would go well with it.

    I can't watch the videos above on the computer I am using but is hartack basically like a cracker or is it thicker like bread but dry? Is it possible to steam it or something to make it more bread like?
  17. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Soaking in a hot liquid like coffee or tea is the traditional method in making teeth breakers er um Hardtack more edible/palatable. It is a very dry, very hard cracker like biscuit.
  18. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Would there be a negative effect of making them much thinner like cracker rather than a teeth breaker?
  19. wrc223

    wrc223 Monkey+

    Mold will grow faster. With hardtack the mold was exterior and could be cut away and still eaten. Thinner and airy would allow air pockets to grow mold.

    I did Civil War reenactments for years. I also did the whole Mountain Man thing. I have eaten a LOT of hardtack!! With hardtack and dried meat you want to have a few spices in your pack. Garlic, season salt, pepper, and boulion cubes are the most common things I kept in a small leather roll and used sparingly.
    Put your meat and a boulion cube in your tin cup and fill with water. Set on fire and let cook down for a while. Once meat is rehydrated and falling apart, remove from heat. Hit it with some garlic and season salt then plop in your hardtack. Wait for mix to cool and allow the hardtack to absorb the water and turn into a chowdery type of density. Give it a shot of black pepper and it's chow. It really aint too damned bad.
    gunbunny likes this.
  20. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    What if you stored it in a mylar bag with oxygen absorbers?
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