Salt Preserved Meat

Discussion in 'Food Storage - Canning/Freezing/Butchering/Prep' started by gracer, Jul 9, 2016.

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  1. gracer

    gracer New Member
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    There's this ancestral practice from the mountainous villages in my country where pork meat is usually preserved using a lot of rock salt and the meat could last for years. They massage meats with a lot of salt and store them in clay jars. They are not safe from maggots but even after years of storage in a jar, the meats are still in tact and edible. The village people sometimes even include the maggots with the meat when they cook it.

    By the time they finally cook the meat, they usually boil it with beans or other types of meat. It really tastes salty even if you wash it many times before cooking.
     
  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    If you wish to salt fat pork, scald coarse salt in water and
    skim it, till the salt will no longer melt in the water. Pack
    your pork down in tight layers; salt every layer; when the
    brine is cool, cover the pork with it, and keep a heavy stone
    on top to keep the pork under brine. Look to it once in a
    while, for the first few weeks, and if the salt has all melted,
    throw in more. This brine, scaling and skimmed every time
    it is used, will continue good twenty years. The rind of the
    pork should be packed towards the edge of the barrel.44
    Salting meat was a less time consuming task that salting pork. Child explained
    that “you have nothing to do but rub in salt plentifully, and let it set in the cellar a day or
    two…In summer, it will not keep more than a day and a half; if you are compelled to
    keep it longer, be sure and rub more salt, and keep it carefully covered from cellarflies.”
    45


    43 Deborah Norris Logan, Diary VII, December 28, 1824. Historical Society of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/a-survey-of-18th-and-19th-century-food.html
     
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  3. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    More for practice for teotwawki than anything else , we have salted wild game as well as domestic pork and hung it up over a smoldering green hickory fire to cure . We certainly are not experts at this but at least we can say we have actually done it and are not just quoting something from a book or what they heard . Frankly I question the statement that salt cured meat will last for years . Because it didn't , is why our ancestors shared with neighbors a fresh kill of any large size . The hickory fire in case someone doesn't know is simply " for the smoke " to keep insects away from the meat as it dries out and form a hard outer rine . And as someone above said the meat is salty to eat . Honestly I had rather eat jerky hung over a smoldering green chunk of hickory wood than a chunk of salt meat . We have done both in volume in our rock and log walk in dirt floor smoke house . The smoke house itself is to shelter the meat from rain and such and traps the smoke inside . The reason for using green hickory wood for the smoking agent is because it smolders well and leaves a good taste to the meat . Another region may have a different favorite wood for smoking . --- I have meat curing salt in the stash but actually meat will last for weeks without salt if dried in thin strips for jerky . So if someone has not any salt for curing meat it is no big deal . --- This is something all preppers should practice and not just read about it . I am talking about " primitive style meat curing " not using some electric gadget that will not work without electricity . Prepare to live in a world without stores and electricity . Prepare for teotwawki .
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
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  4. Dalewick

    Dalewick Legendary Survivalist
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    The only method of keeping meat good for years that I know of is to freeze dry it. I personally have never seen hams last at most a year (and that required trimming). I'm not willing to experiment much with meat as food poisoning can kill pretty quick. Be interesting to hear from others.

    Dale
     
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  5. Dalewick

    Dalewick Legendary Survivalist
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    How long will jerky (American style) actually last? It gets ate to fast to last very long around my folks.

    Dale
     
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  6. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    I have never had any jerky go bad either . About as long as it stayed around here without getting eaten was about a month . And I agree with your assessment on the longevity of a chunk of salt meat .
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
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  7. Rebecca

    Rebecca Master Survivalist
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    I use salt in curing various meats. For biltong, jerky, dry wors, salami etc. But I must admit to not having tried to keep them for an extended amount of time. Usually I make enough in each batch to last about a month. I make some kind of dried meat regularly as we enjoy it as snacks, or even meals if I am out and about on the property and can carry it with me. In the case of TEOTWAWKI and it becomes essential to store a large amount at once like a deer or 2. Or a whole beef etc I would split it between canning and drying.
    I don't use any electric gadgets (good description Poltiregist lol) to dry the meat, its all ingredients, air movement and smoke.
     
    1. Old Geezer
      I had to look-up dry wors. Had no idea of what that was. And, thanks for the rest of the info!
       
      Old Geezer, Mar 13, 2021
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  8. Rebecca

    Rebecca Master Survivalist
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    You have mentioned this before and I am fascinated. My method of smoking is a lot less sophisticated and a lot smaller right now than a walk in smoke house. I have previously done internet searchs and looked in my books for a lot of detail. But I would truly appreciate it if you could describe how yours works and was built, or even just a picture. I prefer to trust in someone who is actively using something rather than authors who may or may not have actually done it.
     
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  9. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    I would like to post a picture of the smoke house but that is above my computer skills . We stacked rocks to form the bottom portion of the walls to about 2 or three feet high with a post upright at the 4 corners of the structure . Above the rock portion of the walls we continued up with logs fastened to the upright posts . Over time some of those wall logs have been replaced with boards . A fifth upright post was set to make a doorway . For a roof we used store bought 2x4's to frame a support for a tin roof . We built a door out of boards and left the floor dirt in order to provide a place to build a fire . Hanging from the ceiling we have a frame made of 1x4 boards for the sides and a wire mesh bottom . On this frame we place the meat . The wire mesh bottom allows the smoke to filter through the meat . We can adjust the height of the meat holding rack by the cords holding it above the smoldering fire . We direct smoke and cure the meat . I have seen more complex systems in books or something that piped smoke in from an outside source but I see no advantage in doing all the extra work of piping in smoke when all you have to do is put the smoldering wood inside the smoke house . The rocks on the bottom portion of the wall has cracks allowing air to enter and drift upward toward the ceiling and exit a space left under the tin roof .
     
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  10. Dalewick

    Dalewick Legendary Survivalist
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    Poltiregist, I'm posting these pics for Ms. Rebecca. Both sets of my grandparents had smokehouses and they looked like this one. Wish I had pictures of the old farms.

    Rebecca, The only difference is that we chinked between the logs with clay mud mixed with moss. Used the same chinking on the barn.

    6e9aa2b40b48be2dbe7a7289096994a0.jpg


    Here are some plans on how they work. Made some great bacon in those old smoke houses.

    R28d69c6d8e59bcbe2df402061bdb9564.jpg


    Dale
     
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    1. Old Geezer
      This sure brought back memories. My kin did not use a separate firebox. I never helped out with this process therefore I can't speak to the methods used. All I know is that salt pork was the order of the day. For my kin, "It's cold enough to kill hawgs," carried real meaning. My mom's dad and his lot shot wild hogs -- they were subsistence hunters. My dad's dad would smack them in the head with the broadside of an ax to knock them out, hang'em up, and stick their jugulars/carotids. "Bled like a hawg," has meaning. Business cohort of my dad said that he'd once stuck a hog and it managed to shake loose from where it was hung. It ran all about bleeding like a hawg. He said the place was a fright.
       
      Old Geezer, Mar 13, 2021
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  11. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    I am sure there is a practical reason why some prefer indirect smoke piped into the smoke house but what that reason is , I have no idea . I use a smoldering chunk of wood directly under my meat and adjust the distance between the smoldering wood to the meat to control the temperature . This works well for me when making jerky as I want a very low heat to dry the meat and am " not " depending on salt to dry the moisture out , even though I like a little salt on my jerky for flavoring . Larger pieces of meat that I am curing with salt , " I am " depending on salt to dry it out so I am not concerned about any heat , just the smoke .
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
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  12. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I have seen some very old rural UK houses that have an opening to the exterior of the chimney, this is so they can use this to smoke their meat.
     
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  13. Max rigger

    Max rigger Master Survivalist
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    IIRC I think good quality smoked ham thats vacuum sealed is good for three month out of refrigeration. Go into europe and you'll see smoked sausages/hams hanging in bars and eateries and doubtful they'll get used in a week so they must keep.

    My aunt married a farmer and in the chimney of the old farmhouse were hooks which were used for hanging meat, don't think she ever did though. She was a strange lady, she kept bees (and cured me of my fear of them) and believed in UFOs big time and used to bang on about them all the time; sadly past away now :(
     
  14. Dalewick

    Dalewick Legendary Survivalist
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    If I remember what grandpa told me, it was so he could keep a hot fire going in the box that didn't need checked as often but still made plenty of smoke from the wet wood he put on top of the fire.

    Dale
     
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  15. Rebecca

    Rebecca Master Survivalist
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    Thank you Dale and Poltiregist. I appreciate you taking the time to explain (I have even written it down in my note book for reference in case). I always think information directly from people with first hand experience is invaluable. I hope what I build will work just as well.
     
  16. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    Building a smokehouse is nothing complex . It is just a structure to trap smoke in as the meat cures . I even have my eye on an old discarded pickup camper shell left on another parcel of land that we have which is our primary hunting ground when we gather meat for the fall . I figure during teotwawki my group can follow the example set by Native American Indians , if gasoline is not available . Walk to the hunting ground as a group , gather meat and smoke it in a smoke house using that camper shell as a roof and enclose the sides in with rocks and logs . Then the cured and much lighter weight meat can be taken back to our retreat with our hand cart .
     
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  17. Max rigger

    Max rigger Master Survivalist
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    You surprise me Rebecca, I thought you'd be clued up on food smoking, your the one who's put up good food posts in the past...but as they say "everyday in a little way you learn something new".

    Right, I'm off to ebay to buy a smoker ;)
     
  18. Rebecca

    Rebecca Master Survivalist
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    Super tempted to ignore Max as is my default. But here you go, I have two existing smokers, both of which I use. I did state in an above post that I smoke meat, just not as efficiently as Poltiregist. One I purchased from a gentleman the next town over that he welded together. The other I made from a wooden box, a pipe and an ancient wood stove. While they both work very efficiently, I could not process an entire deer in one go. And with no electricity you can't just leave things like meat lying around. Well unless its the middle of winter and you are happy for it to freeze solid. I am not ignorant on methods of smoking, I have an entire books on it lol, I have also looked into the traditional methods used by the Inuit to smoke fish for preserving. Non the less, and here is the point to this whole explanation, which I make more for new people who may come here one day than dear Max, regardless of what you think you know, there is always some one older and more experienced who can give you an extra hint or tip that you had not have come across before. In this particular subject Poltiregist and Dalewick both have years more experience than I do. Hence it would be stupid not to ask for their opinions and knowledge. Which they have ever so kindly shared. So when I build a walk in smoke their tips will be available to me. No one person knows everything, even about a single topic.
     
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    1. Dalewick
      Rebecca, I will warn you. Walking into a smokehouse with hams and bacon cured and fully smoked leads to a meal of smoked meat....EVERY TIME! LOL! It's a great memory for me. My grandpa used to take me in and showed me when the hams were ready for wrapping. He was something else. He also showed me how his still worked and gave me my first taste of moonshine at 8. I thought I was on fire. LOL!
       
      Dalewick, Mar 13, 2021
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  19. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    As Rebecca just pointed out , for those that are new here " Max Rigger " is our resident Troll and is constantly attacking members with ridiculous statements .
     
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  20. Max rigger

    Max rigger Master Survivalist
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    No I don't troll, I just don't get along with lies and BS but don't troll, and remember poulticgist ...no personal attacks on members ;)

    This thread has started a 'want' in me, I now 'want' a smoker when in fact I don't 'need' one.

    It will make an interesting winter project for me and another skill acquired, thanks for starting the thread OP.
     
  21. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    # purely for information :
    an internet troll is someone who posts offensive, controversial and divisive material online.
    in Psychology Trolls are Narcissists, Psychopaths and Sadists and will Lie, Exaggerate and Offend.
     
  22. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Another common definition of a troll is anyone that disagrees with you and says things that while possibly true you don't want to hear. Most real trolls almost never say anything that is true, correct or worth reading. Their only purpose when posting is to stir crap and create arguments. A genuine liberal, for example. is anoying as hell but that doesn't make them a troll necessarily.
     
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  23. Max rigger

    Max rigger Master Survivalist
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    Troll is a word now becoming common in 'cancel culture' "You don't agree with me !!!!!!! your a troll" Used a lot by folk who can't win an argument.
     
  24. Max rigger

    Max rigger Master Survivalist
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    Getting back on the track after a minor derailment, anyone here smoke fish?
     
  25. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I like smoked Mackerel, in fact Mackerel is my favourite fish.
     
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  26. Max rigger

    Max rigger Master Survivalist
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    Smoked Mackerel/kippers and good old Cod keep me happy.
     
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