Your available food supplies in a survival situation will differ considerably compared to what you have access to right now. This is to be expected, but in addition to knowing this fact, it’s also important to prepare for it and know how to adapt to such a different way of living. You’ll still need to eat while trying to survive, and one of the best things to fuel your body is that of meat. Today, we’re talking about how to preserve meat without refrigeration.
Meat is absolutely filled with protein that’s essential to keep you charged and at the ready for whatever gets thrown your way, and in addition to this, it’s also chock-full of vitamins and minerals that essential are to your survival.
However, as we know, meat often needs to be refrigerated or frozen in order to stay fresh without going bad. Chances are you won’t have access to a fridge in a SHTF world, so what do you do?
Some might say so long to meat and look for other food options, but you don’t have to do this. It’s very possible to store meat without the need for a refrigerator, and these are some of the best ways to do so.
Dry it out
If you’ve ever had jerky before, then you’ve had meat that was dried out.
Drying meat out, also referred to as dehydrating meat, is a very common process that works incredibly well for keeping meat fresh and tasty for weeks upon weeks.
People having been dehydrating meat for thousands of years as a way to preserve it without the need for a fridge or any sort of electricity, and it’s one of our favorite methods to use.
Meat is dehydrated using a hot sort of heat, and you can do this with the likes of an oven or dehydrator. However, if you don’t have your hands on these things, you can do it just as easily with a gas/charcoal grill or even with a basic fire.
There are a number of different ways that you can dry meat, but doing so in strips of jerky is definitely the most common and popular. The process does take some time to get used to at first if you’ve never dehydrated meat before, but with enough practice, you’ll be able to get the hang of it in a flash.
The one thing we’ll mention here is that you’ll want to be sure to remove any and all fat/skin from the meat you’re working with before cutting it. Do this along with cutting your slices as thin as you possibly can, and you’ll notice that it cooks considerably faster.
Canned meat can be found in most grocery stores these days, and although a lot of you have probably never touched the stuff, there’s a reason it’s sold at so many places – canned meat has a ridiculously long shelf-life.
You’ll get some solid endurance out of meat that you dehydrate, but when it comes to canned meat, you can easily expect to get years after years of use out of the stuff without it going bad.
So, how in the world does canning work to preserve meat without refrigeration?
If you’ve ever canned fruit or vegetables, the process with meat is very similar. You’ll need to get the temperature of your meat hot enough so that any bacteria that’s still on it is killed off before you seal it up, and this is definitely the most important step of the whole process.
Chicken and beef are the two meats that work best when canning, and if you have fish on hand, this works well, too.
When canning meat, we find that the best way to go about it is with cooking the meat before you actually seal it up. So, you could cook up a ton of beef stew, can it, and then take it off the shelf whenever you want to have a warm and comforting meal.
The curing process
Before refrigerators were invented, people stored meat by salting it down – a process that’s also referred to as curing. Preserving meat without refrigeration used to be the norm, and this is how people went about things.
These was once a day where just about everyone cured meat to keep it fresh, but these days, it’s become a skill that not nearly enough people know about.
Curing is similar to drying meat out as both steps involve dehydrating it, but when curing meat, you can use it for more common meals and recipes than just jerky.
The most popular way of curing meat is usually by having the juices of your meat drain off completely once you’ve rubbed it down with your salt. Curing meat won’t get you as great of a shelf life as canning it, but it does do a much better job at preserving the flavor and keeping it fresh if you only need to sort something for the short-term.
Packing it raw
Raw packing is one of the lesser known methods for preserving meat, but it’s one that’s still worth knowing to ensure that you have as many options available when it comes to storing your meat while also trying to survive in a SHTF world.
When packing meat raw, you’ll cut it up into small cubes that are then salted down and stored in a jar that you’d usually use for canning. The lid for the jar that you use absolutely needs to have a vacuum seal, and once your meat is in the jar, you’ll want to transport it to a cool place where it can sit.
Raw packing can keep meat fresh for years at a time, but it’s also one of the more time-consuming methods out there.
Knowing how to preserve meat without refrigeration is a skill that we advise all preppers to know, as it really is one of the most valuable ones around. Meat is one of those things that your body simply needs, and as you can see, you have a lot of options available to you in regards to keeping meat fresh and tasty even without a fridge or freezer.