Smoking and Salt for Preservation

Discussion in 'Food Storage - Canning/Freezing/Butchering/Prep' started by joshposh, May 25, 2016.

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  1. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    In the bush and before refrigerators and iceboxes, humans used smoke and salt to preserve meat. Believe it or not, but early man use to smoke their meat over a fire to preserve meat and it will last a very long time. The process itself sucks all moisture out of the meat and locks out bacteria. The same can be done with salt. As a high concentration of salt that is spread over and rubbed into the meat. Reported, the meat will last a very long time.

    My grandfather always smoked and sun dried meat and fish. It was nice having jerky to snack on during the day. I should of paid closer attention to the process. I could of learned something.
     
  2. Correy

    Correy Expert Member
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    Salt is one of the most important things you can have lying around, and also has been the one item whose price skyrockets everytime there's political turmoil and food shortages. You can't go wrong with stocking salt.

    Drying meat though, can be a little tricky if you do it outdoors, because you want to fend off flies from laying eggs on the meat. Smoke itself usually fends most bugs off.

    The people in areas near Caucasus and the north Middle East have a technique to make a kind of cured meat called "pasterma". First they air/smoke dry a large slab of meat for a week or two, and then they make a paste out of salt and various strong spices and cover the meat with that. Originally it was done with camel meat, but now they use different kinds of meat. The paste both gives the meat a flavour as well as kills any remaining bacteria and insulates the slab of meat from any bug/worm that might like to take a taste of the meat. The meat is kept hung from a rope from the sealing to prevent rodents from getting near it. It's a little tricky if you don't have the precise recipe, but I know for a fact that many Armenian housewives make pasterma in their household.
     
  3. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    My grandfather never dried it out in the open. That's a infestation waiting to happen. You have to construct a sun box where flies can't get to it. It's an easy build. Do you see any crack where flies can get to it? Think not. Some boxes are made entirely of glass and a few air vents. So this is a easy and viable way to dehydrate and preserve meat.

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  4. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member
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    It's not only meat that you can dry in a sun box, you can dry fruits and veggies as well. The problem most people have when they grow their own veggies and fruit is that it all is ready to pick at the same time.

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    There are various different models but the principle is the same. I'm sure that if you wanted to you could dry meat or fish in it.
     
  5. filmjunkie08

    filmjunkie08 Active Member
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    Drying meat using the above box has been very informative for me, so thank you. However, wouldn't there be a terrible odor coming from the box? Especially in the beginning when the meat is fresh?
     
  6. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    I agree with this thread about drying and smoking for preservation of meat and fish. It is an old method that until now is still being practiced. I have seen a fish preserving hut where the fish are on the racks and the middle of the hut is the circle of stones for the fire. They mostly use a certain type of wood for smoking. With smoked meat like bacon, I haven't seen although I have read that hickory wood is used to give the meat flavor.

    When surviving a calamitous situation, I guess the most possible way of preserving food is by sun-drying. Unless you have companions who know how to make fire, sun-drying is somewhat complicate. Little sun will spoil the meat or fish and too much sun will dehydrate the food. Honestly, I haven't experienced sun-drying food except in some cases like the squid that would be cooked in the evening that needed drying under the sun for the whole day. And from what I hear in the coastal areas in the province, they just let the fish dry under the sun. In 2 or 3 days, they have dried fish. But then again, it may not be that simple.
     
  7. HealthandVitality

    HealthandVitality New Member
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    Our forefathers had no other means of preserving their food, compared to what we have today, they did pretty well. I recall village life where you would see mud huts used as smoking houses with large slaughtered meat pieces hanging from the thatched roofs. It had all been blackened by the smoke, and it lasted for weeks. Every meal time, a portion would be cut for the evening meal and to my surprise, as young as I was, it was delicious. This is not just an old method preservation, it is a very useful way of survival in the 21st century. We have become too accustomed to electricity being on for 24 hours, in the event of an EMP attack as continually highlighted in the media, thousands of people will be clueless as to how to survive. In my opinion, we need to practice survival without the modern day amenities now and then because the children born in this modern day are completely ignorant that life can continue with a microwave.
     
  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    many of the old cottages in the UK have a metal plate on the outside of the chimney giving access to the chimney stack, this allows meat etc to be placed a certain height about the fireplace so that this can be smoked over the fire without being burnt in the flames.
     
  9. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member
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    Normally meat only smells bad when it's going off. If the meat has been well seasoned and prepared it should give off a very strong odor.
     
  10. lucidcuber

    lucidcuber New Member
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    I never before really understood how smoking meat worked, I always just assumed that it was for flavour, but I have salt preserved meat before with grandparents. I do have salt preserved meat in store, but fortunately I rotate that frequently, so it wouldn't have chance to go off anyway, even if I didn't do a good job of preserving.
     
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