Stocking up on supplies and food is something that most (if not all) preppers are very well-versed in. Ensuring that you’re stocked up with more than enough goods should disaster ever strike is insanely important, but along with loading up on things right now, it’s also important to know how to properly preserve and store everything you have. Today, we’re talking about how to preserve meat without refrigeration.
There are a ton of different food items that you can stock up on for a SHTF situation, and while non-perishable goods are really great to have, you need to pack some perishable ones as well if you want to maintain a steady and healthy diet.
Meat is packed to the brim with protein, vitamins, and minerals that you won’t get anywhere else, and while storing in your refrigerator is ideal, chances are you won’t have access to a working one if things ever get really, really bad.
As such, here are 4 tips for knowing how to preserve meat without refrigeration.
Tip 1 — Preservation Preparation
Before we get too far into the whole process of preserving meat without refrigeration, there are some initial preparation steps that you need to take first.
First of all, you’ll want to ensure that the meat you’re going to store is as fresh as can be. We recommend using beef and pork as your meat of choice, and you can either get it from a butcher that you trust or from your own farm if you’re involved with homesteading.
With your meat selected, it’s time to find the best place in our house to store it. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to look for the area of your house that is the coolest temperature-wise. This could be your attic, basement, etc. Go through all of the rooms in your home, check the temperature of each one, and go with the one that is the coolest.
Tip 2 — Salt Your Meat
One of the most common and popular ways for storing meat without refrigeration is by using salt. Using salt as a preservation technique is something that was used for years upon years before refrigerators were even invented, and this method still holds up very strongly to this very day.
In order to use salt as a way for preserving your meat, you’ll need the fresh pork/meat of your choice, pickling salt, brown sugar, and jars that you’ll use for storage.
Now that you’ve got your supplies, it’s time to start the salting process.
Cut your pork or beef into slabs that measure around 4 or 6-inches each. You don’t have to be exact with your measurements here, but try to stay within this ballpark. Take 1/2 pound of your pickling salt, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, and then mix the two things together. Doing this will provide you with enough of the mixture to cover at least 12 pounds of pork/beef, and for most people, that should be more than enough.
With your mixture made and ready to go, take it and completely cover your meat with it. You’ll want to ensure that every little surface is covered by the pickling salt and brown sugar, and once it is, put the meat into the jars you got out earlier. You’ll want to double check that the jars are as tightly packed as can be, and once they are, you’ve now got a sash of salt-cured pork/beef that you can use whenever — no refrigerator required.
The meat should be placed in the coolest room of your house that you found earlier, and you’ll want to store it in a way that makes it easy to access the meat whenever you want to. This might mean converting an entire room into a meat store area, but this really is worth the effort if you suspect we might be heading to a SHTF world.
Tip 3 — Preserving Meat with Brine
Along with using salt to preserve your meat, the brining method is another technique that has established itself as one of the most reliable methods out there for keeping beef/pork as fresh as can be without the need for any sort of refrigeration.
Just like with the salting process, cut your meat into slabs that measure between 4 and 6-inches. Once you’ve done this, you’ll want to put the meat directly into a crock or pot that’s been properly sterilized.
With this done, it’s time to dissolve around 1-pound of pickling salt, 3-quarts of water, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Once this is dissolved together, pour the newly-made brine over your beef/pork until all of your available meat is totally covered.
Take a plate with some sort of weight or other heavy object on top, place it on the meat, and then store your covered food in a room that has a constant temperature of around 36-degrees Fahrenheit.
After your meat has been sitting like this for about a week, take it out of the brine, stir it together, and then re-add your meat like it was before. Put the meat back into the cold room you’re storing it in, and repeat this process for four weeks. Once those four weeks are up, your meat will be ready to be safely cooked.
Tip 4 — Dehydration
Lastly, dehydration is another great method that’s worth trying out.
Dehydration is the process used for creating jerky and other small bits of meat, meaning that this isn’t ideal if you want to preserve enough meat for a full-fledged dinner.
However, having jerky made out of beef, pork, venison, and turkey can create for a great snack that will still offer you protein, minerals, and vitamins in a bit-sized portion.
The dehydration process does take some time to get used to, but once you’ve done it a time or two, it becomes considerably easier. And, as you’d expect, it offers yet another way to safely store meat without having to rely on a fridge.
Having a solid supply of meat is essential for providing your body with the nutrients it needs at all times, and while this can be tricky without easy access to a refrigerator, there are many ways to safely preserve your meat supply without the need for any sort of electricity at all. Knowing how to preserve meat without refrigeration is an extremely important skill we encourage all preppers to be versed in, so hopefully this article helped lead you in that direction.