Preparedness

Laura

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Some months back after our experiences making pickles over the summer, I purchased a 41 quart canner/pressure cooker. When it arrived, it had instructions that included how to can meats. I'm going to experiment with doing that in the next week or so while the price of stew beef is still affordable. I think prices are going to get very high and people who need to eat meat might want to do the same. It's certainly better than purchasing processed meats that are full of chemicals. I'm going to do stew beef first, then pork and maybe fish. I'm thinking that sausages would be useful preserved in jars also. They could be slightly pre-cooked in patties, and then stacked in the jar with a bit of broth over them before processing.

If anybody else decides to do this or has done this and can offer any experience, let me know!
 

Laurentien2

Dagobah Resident
Maybe dehydrating meat is not a bad idea either Laura. We purchased a dehydrator some time ago and you can practically dehydrate any thing. Dehydrated meat can last for quit some time too. I remember eating dehydrated meat in Nepal in the mountain, they didn't have electricity at the time so, they will hang the meat from yack close to the fire place and let it dry for a few day. When they served it, they just cut some into piece and add some water and spice, heated it and served it on rice and it was delicious.
 

Aiming

The Living Force
Laura said:
I'm going to do stew beef first, then pork and maybe fish.
That's a good idea. Do you know how long stewed meat in jars is durable? I would think that adding enough salt would make them durable for quite a long time. I also wonder which method makes the food longer durable, dehydration or stewing and storing in jars?

I've found this as some general tips for storing food in jars:

from: _http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/keepingfoodsafe/storing/

Storing dry food, tins, jars and drinks

Many types of food don't need to be kept in the fridge to keep them safe to eat, for example dry foods such as rice, pasta and flour, many types of drinks, tinned foods, and unopened jars. But it's still important to take care how you store them.

Here are some tips:

* Try to keep food in sealed bags or containers. This helps to keep them fresh and stops anything falling into the food by accident.
* Don't store food or drinks near cleaning products or other chemicals.
* Don't use old food containers to store household chemicals, and don't store food in containers that have been used for other purposes.
* Only reuse plastic water bottles if they’re not damaged and you can clean them.
* Don't store food on the floor, because this can encourage mice, ants and other pests.
* Keep the storage area dry and not too warm.
* Remember that some types of food might need to be kept in the fridge once you’ve opened them – follow any storage instructions on the label.
And here someone's describing their experience:

from: _http://www.survivalblog.com/2010/01/letter_re_the_advantages_of_ho.html
Storing meat long term has been a problem for me for several reasons, but I think I have a pretty good solution. I recently started canning it myself. I bought a 25-quart pressure canner and a few dozen jars just as an experiment and tried it a few months ago and was amazed at how easy it is. Canning is not that much more trouble than freezing (assuming you re-cut and re-wrap meat before you freeze it). I still freeze steaks and fish, but I pretty much can everything else, from left-over turkey to hamburger meat.

You can cook up about 20 pounds of stew meat or hamburger at a time, can it, and then use it for a variety of things throughout the month. The effort required is not as much as I feared and the quality of the product is excellent. For making stews, soup, or basically anything of that sort, it's indistinguishable from fresh meat and much more convenient. Almost every recipe you prepare starts with "brown the meat". Your canned meat is already past that stage, so you can skip that step. I find myself grabbing a jar in preference to frozen meat just for the convenience.

It takes about 3 hours per "run" with my pressure canner, but most of this is spent reading or watching television or something. I start with the least expensive lean meat I can find, already cut into stew by the butcher, so my prep time is roughly 30 minutes. By the time the canner is up to the boiling point and ready to close, I have pre-cooked the beef and stuffed it into jars. Then, I wait 90 minutes, turn off the canner and wait another 20 minutes for it to cool and remove the jars. I find that I can do 2 runs after work in the evening while I am relaxing and by bed time, I have about 40 jars of meat sitting in my pantry. Since I can twice a month and use less than a jar a day, my stocks are building up quickly.

Canning saves freezer space and the meat doesn't end up freezer burned in a month. In fact, I just opened a four month old jar of stew-beef and I didn't notice any change in quality yet. I assume a year shelf life is about the most I can expect, but with rotation, that could allow me to store a year supply of meat with little trouble.

I first started with pint jars, but found that they are too large for me. I switched to 12 oz jars which were still a little big, and finally settled on 8 oz jelly jars as the optimum size for me. Figure about 4-8oz of meat per meal per person. Canned meat has already cooked down so you use less than you would if it's fresh. . A pint jar should be about right to cook a meal for 4 people.

The price of home canned meat is roughly half the price of store bought product once you own the jars. (All jars cost a little under a dollar each in my area). The lids are maybe 10 cents each. I can't vouch for shelf life yet, but the quality is at least as good. It's a great feeling to see rows and rows of tasty and wholesome canned meat in the pantry.

BTW, I have also started storing my beans, lentils and other legumes in quart mason jars. Each one holds about 1.5 pounds. Just fill them up and drop in an oxygen absorber and you are done.
edit: disabled links
 

Aiming

The Living Force
Here are some basics for canning in general, fwiw:_http://www.canning-food-recipes.com/canning.htm

from here:_http://www.canningmeat.net/
How to Make Canned Meat Using Chicken and Turkey

Chicken and turkey are popular meat choices. Many meat lovers find these meats
delicious and healthy as well. These meats have similar canning methods. You can do
canning meat with chicken and turkey by remembering practical and simple methods of
the process.

Things to remember

1. Remember to choose fresh chicken and turkey meat.
2. Keep your kitchen area clean.
3. Always have warm soapy water in the sink to clean your hands and kitchen
surfaces as both meats can be oily and greasy.
4. Prepare and clean your filling jars and have them sterilized in hot boiling water.
5. Prepare a pot of boiling water to place your chicken or turkey to soften the meats
6. After boiling the meats, place meat on a big platter and let cool for some time.
7. Keep the pot with the broth hot.
8. When cool, debone the meat and take the time to do this. Place meat and bones in
separate plates.

Canning procedure

1. Get a hot jar from the pot and fill it with deboned meat. Press the meat inside the
jar and leaving enough space about two inches from the rim. You can add a pinch
of salt if you want.
2. Add the broth leaving about an inch space from the rim. Insert a butter knife
inside the jar and let it go on the side the meat and jar to prevent air bubbles. Fill
up the rest of the jars.
3. Clean the rims with a clean cloth dipped in vinegar. Make sure to wipe out the
grease around the rims of the jars to seal them properly. Then get another clean
cloth and make sure to remove all traces of vinegar on the rims.
4. Place the lid on the jar and fasten a tight band on. Make sure to keep it tight.
Continue doing this with the rest of your jars.

Pressure Canner cooking

1. Carefully follow cooking time and instructions on your pressure canner. The time
can be as long as long as 75 minutes or more depending on the kind of canner.
2. When it is time, turn off your burner and let your canner cool. Take off the lid and
remove all your jars carefully.
3. Let your jars cool for another 12 hours before storing them. Check the seals.
Those which are broken off must be consumed immediately.

Helpful tips and Hints

1. Don’t attempt to make your canner cool quickly by placing it under water or using
electric fans.
2. If the lid of your canner does not easily come out, then your canner still needs
more cooling time.
3. Your jars are properly sealed if you hear popping sounds
4. Tag or mark your lids with the type of meat inside and the dates when they were
made

For a more delicious meal of canned meat, place your chicken or turkey into a pan and
bring it to a slight boil. Add a cup of water and about two tablespoons of cornstarch to
make it saucier. Happy eating!
I have never tried canning foods myself, but I remember from my childhood that my grandmother had her whole cellar full of canned foods.
 

Odyssey

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Laura said:
Some months back after our experiences making pickles over the summer, I purchased a 41 quart canner/pressure cooker. When it arrived, it had instructions that included how to can meats. I'm going to experiment with doing that in the next week or so while the price of stew beef is still affordable. I think prices are going to get very high and people who need to eat meat might want to do the same. It's certainly better than purchasing processed meats that are full of chemicals. I'm going to do stew beef first, then pork and maybe fish. I'm thinking that sausages would be useful preserved in jars also. They could be slightly pre-cooked in patties, and then stacked in the jar with a bit of broth over them before processing.

If anybody else decides to do this or has done this and can offer any experience, let me know!
I'd like to try this too. I'm planning to make a grass fed meat run this weekend and a friend said he might be able to hook me up with some deer meat. I was thinking recently of what to do about meat if the electricity is shut off. (I guess I could just hang it outside my window or bury it in the snow during the ice age. Ha, ha.) This would be a good time to stock up before hyperinflation kicks in.

There are lots of options on Amazon for pressure cookers/canners but all of them are made with aluminum. What kind are you using?
 

Odyssey

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Speaking of long-term meat options, has anyone ever tried pemmican? It's popular among paleodiet folks and could be another option/experiment for us to try.


From: _http://www.natureskills.com/pemmican_recipe.html

Pemmican Recipe
by Tamarack Song
First published on Teaching Drum Outdoor School's site.

Pemmican: The Indigenous Sausage (from tape transcript)

The Native People of the temperate and northern regions of America developed a high-energy fast food that is easily transportable and long-storing. We know it as pemmican, or pimikan in the Algonquin languages. The term is derived from pimii, the Cree-Chippewa word for fat. This is quite appropriate labeling, because fat, a concentrated energy source, is the most important ingredient. The second part of this article contains a pemmican recipe.

We are all generally familiar with pemmican already, as it is basically sausage. It is a mixture of dried shredded or pounded meat, usually ungulate (Bison, Elk, Deer), and lard (solid rendered fat), usually ungulate also, which is combined and compressed into cakes.

Pemmican is made by first separating the fat and meat from each other so that they can be processed individually. Meat is best preserved by drying, and fat by rendering. If there is fat in the meat, or vice versa, either could spoil. However, once each is prepared they can be mixed together and the resulting product will have good keeping quality. For travel it is tightly packed in sealed containers (similar to stuffing sausage in casing) so that it will not rancidify.

The popular understanding is that pemmican contains fruit. This is a misconception. Historically, a small amount of dried fruit (such as juneberries) was on occasion added, more for flavor than for its nutritional contribution. Indications are that it was probably no more popular than is sweet sausage in the Euro-American tradition. The practice of adding fruit to pemmican became commonplace with nonnatives, who in my estimation were probably accommodating their acculturated taste for flavor additives in their sausages.

Fat is the primary ingredient in a pemmican recipe because fat has nearly 2 1⁄2 times the energy of complex carbohydrates (which are starch, as found in grains and tubers), sugars or meat. This is important in travel and cold weather because a lot of energy is needed without overloading the system with bulky foods. Another benefit of fat is that it digests slowly, providing steady energy over a long period of time. Sugars break down rapidly, giving a quick energy peak, then a valley. Carbohydrates fare a bit better, yet nowhere near fat. Meat in excess of what is needed to rebuild muscle is broken down and converted to energy, however it requires more water than other energy foods and may carry health risks (see bottom of page).

Fat is more necessary than meat in northern diet. As a traditional North Country travel and winter ration, pemmican needed to sustain life and provide energy, sometimes on its own. Northern greenhorn explorers have died trying to live on lean meat. Some Inuit Peoples’ winter diets consist of almost half fat. Recently a woman crossed the continent of Antarctica on foot, consuming pure olive oil (a liquid fat) for energy.
There are recipes for it all over the net and at the end of the quoted article above.
 

RyanX

The Living Force
I think as long as you can afford (or have access to) electricity, freezing meats is probably the way to go. Grass-fed beef is not hard to find around here and I've had pretty good luck freezing it over the years. I usually keep a few chickens frozen along with some random assortment of pork too. This came in handy this past year when I was in a financial pinch for a couple months and had trouble getting enough food.

But, given the possibility that the lights could go out, it might not be a bad idea to learn how to can meats too. I've often thought that if that happened, I would probably have to have a canning marathon to save whatever meat I could from the freezer. I have a pressure cooker and have had variable success canning meats. In the winter time this wouldn't be hard. Heck, I could probably just keep the meat in the freezer for at least a few months without electricity (I keep the freezer in an unheated garage). But in the summer months this would be a real problem.

I think if it came down to a survival situation, I would look into raising rabbits for meat and canning those. They eat mostly grass, which you could grow in trays indoors or in a small greenhouse. An old-timer in my neighborhood talks about how his family used to can rabbits some 50 odd years ago. According to him, rabbit meat is very tasty.
 

Deborah Elder

The Force is Strong With This One
Our canned meat was tender, savory, delicious. (Like a slow-baked roast.) Even old chickens become tender. I seem to remember tasing someone's canned sausage, too--great idea about patties and broth. Most people have tasted canned fish, but you could put some fish-spices in the jars for more yumminess.

The effort to aquire the supplies and learn the simple steps is very rewarding. The flavors are very rich, the jars are beautiful on the shelves, and hopefully canning day will a day of community and happy memories. Meat preservation that does not rely on electricity is sure a bonus. For people with delicate teeth (and children) pressure cooked meat is easy to eat, too.

Such a wonder of science. ^_^ Have fun!
 

Deborah Elder

The Force is Strong With This One
(I could not figure how to modify my just-posted reply.)

I should mention that canning game (deer, antelope, elk -so probably goat, too- maybe rabbits) requires careful use of your preferred masking spices. Because the flavors are so concentrated in the jars, that wild flavor some people do not appreciate is also enhanced in canning. A lady from Germany and an older ranch-wife here in Montana told me her secret spices years ago and I always received compliments about my "beefy game." <{ allspice and nutmeg }> Sounds useless, but truly makes a differece. Those two actually disappear as you build your usual other spices on top. ( ~1/4 tsp. allspice, scant 1/8 tsp. nutmeg per quart jar)

Happy canning! ^_^
 

Laura

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Odyssey said:
There are lots of options on Amazon for pressure cookers/canners but all of them are made with aluminum. What kind are you using?
Since the food does not come in contact with the cooker because it is in sealed jars, it doesn't matter that it is aluminum.

I found a bit on the net about shelf-life. They say 2 years is average, but in jars that are kept in a cool, dark place, it can be longer. The issue there is the vitamin loss more than anything else. One can pretty easily tell if the food has "gone bad" and it's always a good idea to heat it thoroughly before eating if it is older. So, basically, it looks like canned meat in jars, not metal cans, can last five years. I'm thinking it's gonna be three years or so before the economy sorts itself out, so a bunch of canned meat on hand might not be a bad idea.

As for freezing vs canning, I'm thinking that I'll do the canning and put that by and we'll continue to eat from the freezer as long as it is affordable. I wasn't actually thinking about the power going out, though with decaying infrastructure that's a possibility. (Not even going to introduce cataclysm into this discussion since that is not my concern; we don't know that there are going to be any but we DO know that the economy is tanked!) I just know that I can't put enough in my two freezers to last more than about 6 weeks to two months if we had to go to eating that exclusively because food was priced out of our reach.
 

Prodigal Son

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Odyssey said:
Speaking of long-term meat options, has anyone ever tried pemmican? It's popular among paleodiet folks and could be another option/experiment for us to try.
Yes, I have, it’s quite easy to do with a dehydrator using quality beef cuts, organ meat, and lots of beef suet/dripping. I used a recipe (not sure if I’ve still got it) off the web that was used on a polar trip. I kept it in the freezer.

Later I discovered that I’m sensitive to beef and organ meat! So stopped making it. I suppose I could do it with other meats though. :)


I like the idea of 'canning' too. :)

Edit:

This is the recipe that I used:

1 part dehydrated vegetable, concentrated tomato puree (I used cranberries and blueberries)
5 parts dried beef (round of eye, or rump) – jerky (or use moose, caribou, deer – not pork or bear)
5 parts dried Ox liver
18 parts dried bacon
33 parts fat - beef suet (tallow) preferably, or lamb – lard is OK but it will not set as hard as the other two (this is a Winter mix (1 meat:1 fat), for Summer use reduce fat (1.5-2 meat:1 fat))
Cayenne pepper
Minced dried onion
Garlic powder
Paprika
Black pepper(and I added salt too)

Really the ingredients are up to you – I also added ground nuts and seeds.

It is recommended to make your first batch with 2-3lb (wet), to get the feel of things, the wet to dry ratio and how much space in the drier it takes up, and how much is finally made. The result is a fully rounded nutritional meal, and very high in energy. One portion is a complete meal.

With each portion (bar) covered in wax paper/greaseproof paper and stored in a cool dark place it will last for 8 months, longer in a freezer. Traditionally 3/4lb was considered sufficient (bear in mind the people consuming it were doing far more strenuous work than sitting at a desk!). 1/4lb per day (113g) for the average adult is a good size portion. And, 95% is absorbed by digestion.
 

ginebra

Jedi Council Member
I used to can vegetables in he summer time especially tomatoes and a mix of tomatoe, green pepper, aubergine,onion and marrow, previously
fried. So I think the same could be applied to meats and poultry. At least two years can be stored and be very tasty.
 

Mrs.Tigersoap

The Living Force
We don't have the space for a big freezer, so our place is very limited for frozen food. We are currently considering buying a dehydrator. Apparently, the best are the ones with a thermostat and no central system (but one that works everywhere in the trays), like the Excalibur (love the name!). Here is a website with some interesting info:

_http://www.dehydrate2store.com (lots of great tips and info about storing food)

I had heard about dehydrators, but had never really taken an interest. This is all new to me (sorry for those who already know all this) and I discovered that apparently, you can dehydrate things like apple sauce or fruit (or vegetable purée) and make 'fruit leathers' from them! This seems yummy! (_http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_fruit_leather/). And apparently, when you choose a pricier product (around 150-200 dollars), you get a thermostat which helps you keep fruits really flexible and soft.

FWIW
 

RedFox

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think I'll look into the dehydrated food, as space is a real issue for me.
From what I've read if you have a fan assisted over you may not need a dehydrator to dry the food.

On a related note I find the timing of the post funny due to laying awake last night wondering what to do about food in the coming years. One thought that did cross my mind was the use of food rationing (like the ration books from WW2).....except with a twist (as always).....they get to prescribe what everyone can/can't eat through the use of this system (everyone gets their daily dose of gluten/dairy/GMO/msg!).

I also had a dream a week ago about finding a derelict building full of freezers with food in (that had been their for a few years)....I remember feeling overwhelming joy at having berries again after so long! :cry:
 

Laurentien2

Dagobah Resident
Mrs.Tigersoap said:
We don't have the space for a big freezer, so our place is very limited for frozen food. We are currently considering buying a dehydrator. Apparently, the best are the ones with a thermostat and no central system (but one that works everywhere in the trays), like the Excalibur (love the name!). Here is a website with some interesting info:

_http://www.dehydrate2store.com (lots of great tips and info about storing food)

I had heard about dehydrators, but had never really taken an interest. This is all new to me (sorry for those who already know all this) and I discovered that apparently, you can dehydrate things like apple sauce or fruit (or vegetable purée) and make 'fruit leathers' from them! This seems yummy! (_http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_fruit_leather/). And apparently, when you choose a pricier product (around 150-200 dollars), you get a thermostat which helps you keep fruits really flexible and soft.

FWIW
We bought an Excalibur dehydrator a few months ago and it work very well. So far, we use it to dehydrate nuts, veggies and fruits. I will start experimenting with meat soon I guess. Some of our favorite recipe so far are granola cereal, a mix sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans or walnut and pumpkin seeds with dried cranberries and date paste as a sweetener. Another one is buckwheat crispies made with buckwheat groat, I mix both for breakfast with berry and almonds milk. We also make raw tortilla made with carrots, zucchini, spinach etc... and flax seeds. It replace bread, ideal to make wrap for lunch and they last a long time more than regular bread. Some others favorite are kale chips, sweat potato chips and flax seed crackers and coconut macaroon for desert.



Citer ce message
I think I'll look into the dehydrated food, as space is a real issue for me.
From what I've read if you have a fan assisted over you may not need a dehydrator to dry the food.
This is right, if you have a convection oven that you can set at very low temp. like 115F, you can probably have good result. The only difference to a regular oven is that it is not hermetically close, air is renewed in the dehydrator.
 
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