Preserving meat w/o refrigeration


I realize you’re asking about keeping big hunks of meat, but have you considered making pemmican? It’s something I’m starting to experiment with.

I haven’t tried drying meat yet, but I’m going to use ground meat because I’ve read that it dries fairly quickly (I’m using a dehydrator).

I just got 40# of beef trimmings from a buthcer and rendered it into a bit more than a gallon of tallow.

I have plenty of dried fruit to add.

Now I’m looking for a good recipe. I googled it and found a few that look promising. Does anyone here make pemmican, if so, what ratios do you use?


i haven’t made it yet (and i stress yet), but Rix put up a great post on making it a while back. You can find it here.


thanks! that is some great information


A quote from a website called Stefan’s Florilegium (a collection of message threads on recreating medieval culture)

Hello! I found these in Plat's Delights for Ladies, 1609:
  1. Flesh kept sweet in summer.
    You may keep Veal, Mutton, or Venison in the heat of Summer ix or x daies
    good, so as it be newly and fair killed, by hanging the same in an high and
    windy room (And therefore a plate cupboard full of holes, so as the winde
    may haue a thorow passage, would be placed in such a room, to auoid the
    offence of Fly-blowes) This is an approued Secreet, easie & cheap, and very
    necessary to be knowe and practised in hot and tainting weather. Veale may
    be kept ten daies in bran.

  2. How to keepe powdered [salted] Beefe five or six weeks after it is
    sodden, without any charge.
    When your Beefe hath beene well and thoroughly powdered by tenne or twelve
    dayes space, then seeth it thoroughly, dry it with a cloth, and wrap it in
    drie clothes. placing the same in close vessels and cup-boards, & it wil
    keep sweet and sound two or three moneths, as I am credibly informed from
    the experience of a kinde and louing friend.

#20 goes on to say to keep Beef at sea, take this salted beef (soaked 9 or
10 days in brine), put it in barrels pierced full of holes, tie the barrels
to the stern of the ship & fling them overboard!! “which, by his infinite
change and succession of water, will suffer no putrefaction, as I suppose”
But he hasn’t tried it.

#15 preserves shelled oysters in a pickle made of their own juice, white
wine vinegar, salt & pepper.

#16 preserves cooked Salmon in a close vessel, immersed in wine vinegar,
with a branch of rosemary.

#17 (already discussed?) preserves fried fish in oil.

#18 preserves small pieces of roasted beef in a barrel with wine vinegar.


If you live in an area with lots of citrus fruits you can acid ferment the meat… submerge raw meat in acidic juice. Cover and allow to ferment. the juice will go stale, but the meat will “cure”… Works great with chicken… think lemon chicken… You still have to cook it tho.


yo, im new here, but i thought it throw in my two cents: eating raw meat is perfectly fine as long as you get grass fed or wild meats from healthy animals. I eat a raw paleolithic diet composed of mostly grass fed beef meat and fat. Never felt better.

Also, pemmican is a great food and it’s really easy to make. Here’s a manual made by another raw paleo guy:

half rendered fat and half really dry beef jerky by weight. delicious and it lasts forever. great survival food


You’ve probably already thought of this if its an option, but I tie a shoulder or haunch to a tree and toss it out in the river. The more submerged it is the less likely it is to attract bears. It definitely gets nibbled and chewed, but I still usually get most of the meat.

          My suggestion is you make an ice cube.

Refrigerator Water Filter

             My alternative ways in Preserving meat w/o refrigeration is to make  an ice cube box.

Manitowoc Ice Machine


I found out about the idea of a “spring house” while reading the Alvin Maker series. Basically, it’s a small hut built on top of running water so that it is constantly cooled by the cold moving water. The characters in the novels used theirs for keeping cream cold.