“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Meat without Refrigeration
Meat is tricky without refrigeration. Many people eat more meatless meals, but you can still have meat. Living on a farm your meat stays fresh as long as it is still running around the pasture and yard. But what do you do when it is no longer running free. Well, there are some things. You cannot store raw meat for long periods of time without refrigeration, it is dangerous. However, you can store meat. If you butcher then you may can your meat. I like to go ahead an make up lots of soups and stews and such and then can it. Some people like to just can the meat and then use it for whatever. Canning meat is a delicate process as it can spoil ( becoming deadly) very easily. Get a good manual on how to can meat (Backwoods Home has several good articles) and then follow them precisely. Knowing exact temps is a must to canning meat. Jellies and such you can eyeball, but don't with meat. You can also salt cure meat. This is the old method of sticking your meat in a bucket of salt and letting it sit. It is a good way to preserve meat, but sure makes for a salty diet. Definitely not for those with high blood pressure. However, salt cured meat has a long shelf life especially if the outside temperatures are cool. Smoked meat is another good way of preserving meat. Again following temperatures and length of time in the smokehouse to properly preserve the meat. You can also dehydrate the meat using either a food dehydrator, or a slow open fire with the meat hung over the fire to dry. This is also called making jerky. Dried meat can be reconstituted to a certain extent, but is best used in stews and soups where it has a chance to be in a liquid for long periods of time. Even then it is a little chewy and not quite like fresh. Chickens are great farm animals, because you can butcher, cook and eat. No storage required. Same thing for meat rabbits. Of course larger animals like hogs and cows might require some thinking about what you are gonna do with the meat. I recommend a combination of all of the above with these animals. Remember you would get real tired of eating the same thing day in and day out over the winter months. So we are still seeing it is possible to live without refrigeration, even when it comes to something as tricky as meat.