Congratulations! You managed to hunt one thing.

Sadly, your kill would possibly depart you with method extra meat than you may deal with. It’s a standard problem with bigger sport just like the white-tailed deer, which yields round 52 kilos of venison and might feed over 200 individuals.

Until you’ve obtained just a few hundred hungry mates ready round, it is advisable to protect many of the meat for later. 

Freezing is the apparent technique, however what if you happen to don’t have a freezer?

By no means concern. There are a number of various strategies out there. These vary from fast and straightforward subject methods to extra time-consuming culinary endeavors.

One factor you may rely on is that all of them present a satisfying, protein-packed meal while you want one. 

1. Strain-Canning

Each homestead ought to have a stress canner. As soon as you understand how to can, it’s the only and most foolproof technique to protect your meat with out refrigeration.

For those who’re new to the concept, try our pressure-canning information to see what the method entails. Right here you’ll discover ideas, tips, and sage phrases of recommendation.

Try this video for a breakdown of primary stress canning.

Strain-canning makes use of warmth to sterilize meals inside a jar. It additionally seals the jar shut and prevents micro organism from coming into.

The USDA states that canned meat can keep good for as much as 5 years, although you must use your greatest judgment in relation to meals security. Relying in your circumstances, you would possibly get away with roughly time. 

Understand that pressure-canning is just not the identical as water-bath canning. The water-bath technique is unsuitable for meat, as meat incorporates low ranges of acid and can spoil with out the pressurization course of. So if you happen to don’t have a stress canner, you’ll want to purchase one—nevertheless it’s a worthy funding to make. 

One in all my favourite canners is the Presto 23-Quart Canner. It is going to work on any stovetop, together with fuel, electrical, and induction. It’s simple to be taught with and nice for newcomers.

Plus, you should use it for water-bath canning in addition to pressure-canning. This specific unit can course of as much as seven quart-sized jars at one time. It isn’t large, however greater fashions will price much more.

Execs

  • It’s a straightforward and easy technique when you be taught it.
  • It’s comparatively quick at 100 minutes per batch.
  • Your meat can final 5 years or extra.

Cons

  • It requires a stress canner.
  • There’s a studying curve. 
  • It should be completed on a range.

2. Dry Salt-Curing

Salt-curing recent meat is a technique individuals have used for 1000’s of years. The curing course of works by way of osmosis, which is triggered when salt is utilized to meat.

The salt penetrates deep inside the flesh and dries out every cell within the muscle. Keep in mind what occurred while you poured salt on that snail? Yep. The identical factor will occur to your sport. 

Find out how salt preserves meat and get some useful tips about salt-curing.

There are a number of methods to salt-cure your meat, however dry-curing is greatest for while you don’t have refrigeration. The method entails rubbing your meat in a ridiculous quantity of salt, then hanging it to treatment in a cool, darkish place. Alternatively, you may bury your meat in salt inside a treatment field. 

Relying in your particular situations, the meat can take weeks to treatment absolutely. The extra humid, darkish, and dank your atmosphere, the higher.

How lengthy earlier than it spoils? All of it relies on the situations, however some cuts have been recognized to final for years as soon as cured. 

In fashionable instances, we all know that including further substances like nitrites may also help kill off micro organism and lengthen the life-span of meat even additional. Nonetheless, it may be troublesome for newcomers to create a superbly optimized curing combination for preservation. 

Anthony’s Pink Curing Salt No.2

A product like Anthony’s Pink Curing Salt #2 may also help. This combination is specifically formulated to protect meat over an prolonged time, enhancing the flavour and retaining your sport good for longer. I like Anthony’s as a result of it’s designed for use with out refrigeration. So, you may salt-cure your meat, dangle it as much as dry, and eat it instantly after it seems moisture free. 

Execs

  • It requires no particular tools.
  • It requires no electrical energy.
  • Your meat can last as long as a 12 months or extra.

Cons

  • Meat spoils shortly if brined incorrectly.
  • Your meat can style salty.
  • Your meat might take a very long time to treatment.

3. Brine-Curing

Brine-curing works very like dry-curing, because it makes use of salt to forestall the expansion of micro organism. The principle distinction is that whereas dry-cured meat is rubbed in salt and hung to dry, brine-cured meat is submerged in a saltwater combination and stays moist your complete time. Brine-curing is way the identical as pickling, besides you don’t use sugar or vinegar. This technique is commonly used for pig’s ft, however you may brine any meat.

Brining has been used for hundreds of years and was particularly in style on lengthy sea voyages the place salt was ample, and refrigeration was nil. It’s easy, simple, and practically foolproof—simply combine up an answer of salt and water. You’ll want a few pound of salt for each three quarts of water. 

Brining with pickling salt is best than brining with common salt as a result of pickling salt doesn’t have any components that may mess up the brining course of.

For those who’re in search of a dependable salt, Morton’s Pickling Salt is a superb alternative. It’s economical and additive-free, plus it is available in a four-pound field so you may brine greater batches of meat. Simply submerge your recent meat within the water, cowl it with a lid, and retailer it in a cool, darkish place.

Brined meats can final for months if saved accurately. 

Execs

  • It’s cheap. 
  • It’s a easy and straightforward course of.
  • It makes you’re feeling like a pirate.

Cons

  • Your meat can end up very salty.
  • It has a excessive potential for spoilage if completed improperly.
  • Brining meat can stink up your home.

4. Dehydrating

Dehydration is the method of eradicating water from meat, which prevents micro organism from rising. You may dehydrate simply utilizing the solar or your oven. Alternatively, you may use an electrical dehydrator or freeze-dryer. What you’ll wind up with is principally jerky. 

Fats causes meat to deteriorate faster, so dehydration works greatest with low-fat cuts. You’ll must cook dinner your meat to 158°F or above to kill off E. coli and salmonella micro organism, then slice the meat as thinly as attainable.

You may sun-dry your meat if you happen to reside in a sunny and dry local weather. In any other case, you’ll must oven-dry it. As soon as it’s dry, you may retailer your jerky for as much as 12 months in an hermetic container with out refrigeration. 

Freeze-drying models price 1000’s of {dollars}, rendering them impractical for most individuals. However if you happen to hunt typically, investing in a daily dehydrating machine could be price it. There are a number of nice meals dehydrators available on the market nowadays. One in all my favorites is the Excalibur 9-Tray. This isn’t the most cost effective choice, nevertheless it’s extremely helpful and versatile.

Excalibur Food Dehydrator 9-Tray

You may dehydrate bigger quantities of meat on it, because the trays are over one sq. foot and might maintain as much as 7.7 kilos. You may as well dehydrate fruits, veggies, and all kinds of foraged items.

Execs

  • It’s a flexible course of with numerous strategies.
  • Dehydrated meat can last as long as a 12 months or extra.
  • Any animal might be was jerky.

Cons

  • Meat takes some time to dehydrate.
  • It may be troublesome to inform if meat is absolutely dried.
  • There’s a steep studying curve to correct dehydration.

5. Chilly-Smoking

This technique makes use of smoke to dry out the meat, primarily dehydrating it for preservation. Smoke particles additionally include antimicrobial properties that destroy micro organism and assist lengthen shelf life. To cold-smoke meat, you’ll want an oblique warmth supply that directs smoke over your sport. 

Whereas cold-smoking dries the meat and inhibits bacterial progress, the meat nonetheless isn’t technically cooked to the FDA’s “secure zone.” Because of this, it’s a good suggestion to mix cold-smoking with a curing technique like dry salt-curing. It’s attainable in some circumstances to cold-smoke meat with out curing it first, however that is higher completed by skilled people who smoke. 

Learn: Smoking meals for newcomers

You may cold-smoke over a campfire if the scenario requires it.

If you wish to strive cold-smoking, bear in mind that it takes effort and time to get proper. You could treatment butchered meat with salt or brine beforehand and cold-smoke it for 12 to 24 hours. However it’s the most effective technique for taste. Various kinds of wooden impart totally different tastes and aromas, and it may be enjoyable to combine and match to see what you like. 

You’ll want a cold-smoking setup to get began. You may dig one out in your yard or modify your present smoker by putting the meat away from the warmth supply.

Lanny Smoke Tube for Pellet Smoker

An alternate is to purchase a smoker tube just like the Lanny Smoker Tube. These tubes are full of flavorful wooden chips or pellets and supply hours of billowy smoke to protect your meat.

They’re versatile and might be positioned proper inside your present grill or smoker. You’ll want to exchange the wooden chips after they run out, nevertheless it’s a small worth to pay for simplicity.

Execs

  • Your meat can have a scrumptious taste.
  • There’s room for creativity and aptitude.
  • It really works with any meat, fish, or cheese.

Cons

  • It often requires curing first.
  • Well being security hazards exist.
  • It takes a very long time.

6. Making Confit

Whereas confit might conjure up visions of fancy French eating places, its roots are literally fairly humble. This scrumptious dish originated in medieval instances as a strategy to protect meat earlier than refrigeration existed.

Confit requires you to submerge salted meat utterly in fats, cooking it low and sluggish. The fats ultimately will get rendered and kinds a protecting barrier towards micro organism and spoilage. 

It takes some time to make confit as a result of you need to cook dinner it on such low warmth. You don’t essentially want a range for this technique, however you’ll must have a tendency a fireplace for a number of hours if you happen to don’t have one. As soon as your meat is cooked, let it cool. Then, pack it into jars and canopy it utterly with rendered fats. 

Confit is salted closely beforehand to assist treatment and protect it. Proof means that it could final a number of months when correctly ready and saved. Confit was historically made with duck or fowl, however you may also make it utilizing different sport.

Execs

  • It’s insanely scrumptious.
  • It’s comparatively simple to arrange.
  • You may brag about your fancy meals.

Cons

  • It requires numerous fats.
  • It requires three to 6 hours of sluggish rendering.
  • It may style salty.

7. Making a Zeer

A zeer is a sort of DIY fridge first utilized in North Africa lengthy earlier than anybody had electrical energy. It seems making a zeer is a straightforward, easy course of—all you want is 2 giant clay pots, sand, fabric, and water.

Stack one pot inside the opposite, with the sand sandwiched between the 2. Then pour water on the sand and canopy it with a moist fabric. 

Try this tutorial to discover ways to make a zeer and if it may be helpful in your space.

Because the water evaporates, it cools down the within of the pot. The draw back is {that a} zeer can solely get your meat so chilly. It isn’t a long-term preservation choice, nevertheless it may lengthen the shelf lifetime of recent meat for a number of days. 

I’ve used a zeer together with dry salt-curing to protect meat in tropical environments, the place the humidity makes drying troublesome. If a zeer isn’t your fashion, there are different choices for off-grid fridges. It simply relies on whether or not you need to dedicate time or sources to constructing these models. 

Execs

  • It’s simple to make.
  • It’s moveable. 
  • It’s product of low-cost supplies.

Cons

  • It can not protect recent meat for various days.
  • It makes use of up loads of water.
  • You’ll be always refilling water reserves.

8. Burying Meat

Burying meat might be the oldest meat preservation technique on the earth. By burying meat, you restrict publicity to daylight and air that encourage bacterial progress. The pH degree within the soil also can act as a preservative, as can the cooler temperature away from the solar. 

If you wish to strive it, dig a gap just a few ft down in dry soil. Select a cooler, shaded space. It’s higher to bury meat together with dry salt-curing or smoking. In any other case, your meat will spoil inside just a few days. Even with optimum situations, burying meat is just not a long-term choice for preservation. 

Execs

  • It’s simple.
  • It’s fast.
  • It’s free.

Cons

  • Your meat will nonetheless go unhealthy comparatively shortly.
  • Scavengers can steal your meat.
  • Your meat can get soiled.

Keep in mind, there are many choices out there irrespective of your sources. Those that recognize custom can depend on salt-curing or canning, whereas individuals who have a style for the finer issues can get inventive with confit or smoking.

Now that eight methods to protect meat with out refrigeration, you’ll have the ability to take pleasure in all of it 12 months lengthy.

Associated

Additionally learn protect meat within the wild.

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