Sun-drying jerky


#1

I sun-dried some deer meat over the past couple really hot days. It seemed to work pretty well and I ate some and didnt die but I was wonderin if anyone has some tips or advice.

What I did: I just cut it as thin as possible, with the grain as well as I could. Then I draped the strips over a cord tied across the corner of my fence, up out of the dogs reach. I took it in for the night and refrigerated it, then set it out again the next morning. These two days were sunny and in the upper 80s so by the second evening it was totally dry. Flies were landing on it and a couple yellow jackets came by and nibbled on it a bit.

I started a second batch, doin it the same way as the first except I put these strips in a tamari/water brine before hanging them. Its not as hot out so I think this batch will take a day or so longer.

I donno if I should be worried about the flies or not but I couldnt think of a primitive replacement for cheesecloth, which is what was suggested for keepin them away in a book I have. I just assumed it wasnt that big of a deal.


#2

I’ve read of people using smoky fires to keep the flies away. Usually the children of the tribe tended the fires.


#3

Wilderix, nice to hear that. Smoke sounds like it would work great!

What about soaking the meat a little in strong peppermint tea or some type of plant juice that repels flies but stays digested and edible to us. Also putting the certain plants around the meet may also repel unwanted neighbors:) I want some of that meat lol! It always excites me to hear about people do rewilding things I’ve never done yet and have no clue how to do. I want to know how to do everything comfortable and teachably. Yay! I want to know how to run like a fox, …climb a tree like a chipmunk, …dig like a badger, …make clothing from scratch, …strain and purify pine pitch with grass, …build a debris hut that I can comfortably sleep in over night (several nights), …uncoil and strike like a snake, …track like an aboriginal, …dodge like a mobbed hawk, …hunt as graceful as a great blue herein, …play like a squirrels, …process deer meet, etc etc etc. Everything!

Goodluck!


#4

Wow that was a beautiful poem, Eric!

What about soaking the meat a little in strong peppermint tea or some type of plant juice that repels flies but stays digested and edible to us. Also putting the certain plants around the meet may also repel unwanted neighbors:)

I haven’t thought of or heard of using plants for keeping insects off of drying meat, but it sounds feasable. If plants can keep the bugs off us, why not off of our jerky? It also makes me wonder what woods would be best for making smoke to keep flies off, too. Would sassafras’s bug-repelling properties be carried up in its smoke? Would thowing some peppermint or pennyroyal on your fire make the smoke more powerful for warding off the flies?


#5

Yeah a fire would probably work great for keeping the flies away, but then i would have to tend the fire and couldnt go to hip portland cafes to use the internet while my jerky dries!


#6

quite true. usually the killing, butchering and preparing of the animal from the hunt was a several-day ordeal where the meat was dried, the fat rendered, the hides tanned. feast on the liver and the rich fatty meat of your kill while everything else gets done, and they you’ll have some well-preserved food and hides to last you a while. then you can get all hip.

what kind of solution were you hoping for, scavenger? some kind of way to cover the meat using primitive cloth. like a cheesecloth made of nettle fibers? i would suggest a solar oven made with found materials, but that would be hard to keep from getting too hot.


#7

Yeah I was just being dumb, using a fire is probably the best method, and I imagine it would dry the meat faster too and maybe add some smoke flavor. I was thinking that a box made with old window screens would be a good way to do it without the fire and keep the flies away, but thats more mad-max than primitive :slight_smile:


#8

I’m not as pure-primitivist as some. My opinion, whatever you can use to help yourself out that doesn’t hurt your bioregion–especially if it can help it–is fair game. Especially when you’re making subsistence on your own without a tribe to support you. The box idea with a screen sounds like a good one. Or if you could find enough screenage to make a sort of tent over the meat racks.


#9

Part of our “duty”(always self-imposed) is to figure out how to recycle the detritus of Civ into useful, workable, primitive tools. We’ll never be able to “run off into the wild”(as if wild was anywhere but inside us), but we will be able to make new and interesting uses for civ’s “junk”. For example, I made sausage casings out of old used sheepskin condoms…

I would say that making a box of old window screens qualifies.

I am definitely not a purist primitivist either.

NOw that I think about it, you may want to think about planting a “barrier” of insect repelling plants like nasturitum, sassafras and peppermint. I can bring you some deep south peppermint some time next week when I am in portland, if you would like. Just be warned, though, it is “invasive” and will take over if you don’t plant it in a container.


#10

hahaha i donno that sounds kinda sick man. Thanks for the mint offer though, but I am actually movin back to VA in a couple days where there is plenty of that stuff already.


#11

[quote=“23, post:9, topic:226”]Part of our “duty”(always self-imposed) is to figure out how to recycle the detritus of Civ into useful, workable, primitive tools. We’ll never be able to “run off into the wild”(as if wild was anywhere but inside us), but we will be able to make new and interesting uses for civ’s “junk”. For example, I made sausage casings out of old used sheepskin condoms…

I would say that making a box of old window screens qualifies.

I am definitely not a purist primitivist either.

NOw that I think about it, you may want to think about planting a “barrier” of insect repelling plants like nasturitum, sassafras and peppermint. I can bring you some deep south peppermint some time next week when I am in portland, if you would like. Just be warned, though, it is “invasive” and will take over if you don’t plant it in a container.[/quote]

wow! that’s some fucking determination on the rewilding front, rory. (pun intended).

i applaud you ad nauseum.

hey, how are you getting to portland? would you be coming up through, arkansas, perhaps? i love me some invasive mint.


#12

Rix,

I am breaking my own rule and flying commercially. THe flight will be about 5 hours and the bus would have been 3.5 DAYS. I’ve ridden the greydog from Linden Wash(about 11 miles from the canadian border in extreme NW Wash) and that took 5 days, which sucked horribly. THe flight only cost about 100 bucks more than the bus or train, and I figured the less travel time is worth the 100 USD.

When I come back, I’ll have to come check you out. My fiancee has been wanting to go to Hot SPrings for awhile now.

I could mail you some priority if you would like. It would last the 2-3 days in the mail. Mine sat in the bag for about 5 days before I planted it, and I figured it wouldn’t grow. 2 months later, my huge planter is overflowing with it. extremely hardy, and extremely invasive.

Scavenger,

as you can see, I enjoy crude humour. i didn’t really make sausage out sheepskin condoms. I used standard poly-ply trojans…


#13

Rory,

I definitely understand making the choice to fly. Even if you were driving, NW Ark would probably have been out of your way.

Priority mail would work. I never thought about mailing live plants. I’ll PM you my info. Let me know if there’s anything you would like in trade. I have some really strong catnip (i dried it under cool conditions) and could probably get ahold of some other herbs – dried or live – if there’s anything you can think of that you’d like from “way up north” here.

Hot Springs is nice. I love the Ouachita mountains. I went to school along the Ouachita river, and Hot Springs was the nearest wet county for making beer runs. When the 5th world actually happens, maybe the hot springs can be the meeting ground between your Kreyo tribe and my (cool, post-apocalyptic name to be determined) Ozark tribe.

i didn't really make sausage out sheepskin condoms. I used standard poly-ply trojans......

well, you definitely lost some kudos for the fact that the condoms weren’t used. but you regained a few points for creative usage all the same. it really does make sense. where else should your sausage go?


#14

We have sun-dried lots of roadkill and some hunted meats. Although in our bioregion sun-drying is a luxury (we live in one of the wettest parts of Western Washington). We use some black cloth to cover the meat which helps the meat dry faster and keeps flies away.


#15

I have dried in the sun, and just brushed off the maggot eggs before they grew. Also, in wetter times I just build smokehouse and smoke my meat until its dry. Usually a few days.


#16

It’s better to cut the meat across the grain not with the grain… you open it up so it can dry easier, pluss cross grain makes the final product easier to eat.


#17

also cut across the grain for grinding into pemmican, otherwise you get tough fibres.