In surviving situations, protein becomes an essential nutrient, but at the same time, it’s a luxury product. Preserving the meat is impossible if not done correctly. Due to the short time, before it starts to spoil, knowing how to preserve meat in the wild is essential. The microorganisms involved in the alteration of the meat have an optimal development temperature. Those are 0-30 degrees Celsius to the psychrophilic ones, between 20-55 degrees C at germs and between 50-75 degrees Celsius at thermophilic temperatures under certain humidity conditions and in the presence of oxygen.
How to Preserve Meat in the Wild by Smoking
Before the development of cooling and freezing technology, the methods of preserving the meat were salted, smoked or dried. Smoked meat does not just keep it for a more extended period (canned), it also gives it a specific taste. Smoke, combined with the flavor of the meat and some spices, provides a remarkably authentic taste. Smoke, used in meat processing, must meet specific criteria for tasty and healthy food.
Smoke results from the burning of organic materials (wood, sawdust, etc.). The typical smoke flavor obtained by combining smoke with meat and spices. If the meat matures too little, a “greedy” taste, somewhat cruel, will be preserved, which, once removed, will remember the feeling of fresh meat. These products lack the harmonious aroma resulting from the ripening process. There is a possibility of a maturing process too long, possibly even at temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius.
The wood for smoke production is known as combustion material. For smoked meat and meat products, hardwood must be used.
Confiners such as spruce and pine have high resin content. On the one hand, the burning of these resins causes the appearance of tar spots on the product. On the other hand, the risk of dangerous substances that harm the health is significantly amplified.
Also, smoked products using hardwood cannot compare to the taste with those smoked using coniferous wood.
Therefore, smoked meat made with coniferous wood will not give the same noble quality of meat as smoking made of hardwood.
You can get the cleanest and best product by using beech wood. The beech wood gives the meat a superior flavor, as well as a uniform golden brown color. However, other types of hardwood, like apple, hair, alder, ash or maple, can also be used.
Each of these woods provides the meat a specific taste. Rarely used in this regard is oak or chestnut wood.
Concerning oak wood, this is due to the high tannin content that gives meat products a specific acrylic taste.
Mistakes in Smoked Meat
- Obtaining an insufficient amount of smoke or extinguishing the fire.
- The amount of smoke is insufficient and does not cover the entire surface of the room.
- The ventilation of the room is insufficient. To ensure adequate ventilation, there must be a vent slot.
- Use of combustion material (wood, sawdust) too moist.
- The ventilation flap is closed and does not allow sufficient air intake. This prevents ignition of wood.
How to Preserve Meat in a Survival Situation?
A pit of about 50 cm is dug in the ground. Then the fire is made using dry wood, and we need to capture the smoke produced by a structure that we lay out of sticks and leaves. The arranged structure should be in the position so that it does not fire.
How to Preserve Meat with Salt in the Wild
Salting the meat is practiced for its preservation. In addition to preserving, flavoring along with various spices and smoked meat offers a great taste. This process is one of the oldest methods of preserving food.
There are some differences between meat salting and brine.
For meat salting, use kitchen salt. While for brine, aside from the kitchen salt, different spices or specific substances are used.
If the meat is treated only with a salt of the kitchen, after a while, the product will change its color (It will darken.). If the meat treated with brine, in addition to salt, brine is added nitrites or nitrates as well as various spices. In this case, these blends — nitrite brine — lead to an increased color of the meat (red-hot color). That’s why the products you see in the showcases are always fresh!
Dry salting is a process by which the meat is rubbed with salt; then it is allowed to dry. Dry drying represents a traditional method. The only meat used for dry salting is meat that has been finely cooked and drained (No blood clots can be found through the veins.). The friction of the flesh must take place on a dry surface.
Particular attention should be paid to the joints, as there is the highest tendency for microorganisms to develop, which will lead to the alteration of the meat. The most suitable salt is begrimed because it best penetrates into the flesh.
After this operation, the meat must be shaken well to remove excess salt. Then place it on a grill or in a different container. For 3-4 days, pieces of meat must be rotated, meaning, pieces below will be placed above and vice versa. This prevents a high concentration of the salt in pieces placed underneath.
Survival Meat Preservation Recipe
The classic recipe for salting the meat by dry salting consists of 35-50 grams of salt per pound of meat. Some also recommend adding 1 gram of sugar per pound of meat.
Various spices can be other, depending on each person’s personal preferences. The humidity of room air should be as low as possible (below 75%).
The ideal amount of salt in the finished product should be 4-5.5%. Excess salt of the finished product is unnecessary and adversely affects the quality of the product. Careful!! The meat should be covered with salt on all sides, with considerable care! Unsolicited places will collapse faster and compromise the whole piece.