Pemmican is one of the oldest food sources invented by native Americans hundreds of years ago. It is not only a great source of protein, but does not need to be refrigerated and can be kept for months. Meat can spoil easily and turn to maggots in the wild so making pemmican with your meat can be a great option to preserve it for months to come.
So what exactly is Pemmican?
Pemmican is a mixture of several ingredients including dried meat, fat, salt, nuts and berries.
How Do I Make Pemmican?
It is important to prepare each ingredient before combining them. Strip all the fat off the meat you are using to make the pemmican. Cut the meat into strips less than 1/4" thick and dry over an oven or fire.
The mean cannot be cooked, so be sure to keep the temperature between 100-200 degrees Fahrenheit. This will dry out the meat within 6-12 hours. It is recommended to set your oven to 175 F but if you are using a campfire set the meat at a level you can hold your hand over the fire for 8 seconds before pulling it away. Make a tripod over the fire or use the paracord included in our survival wristbands to suspend the meat. When the meat is dry, it will break apart easily when bent.
After the meat has dried you will need to make it into a powder. To do this simply use a grinder or mortar and pestle to break it down. Then it is time to reduce the fat into a liquid form. Cook the fat in a container on low heat until it is fully liquefied. Feel free to add nuts, honey, dried fruit or spices to enhance the flavor. Keep in mind however that using anything other than salt and spices can reduce the shelf and storage life. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Be sure to only add as much fat as needed to hold it all together. Otherwise the mix will become to wet.
After everything is combined evenly, shape it into squares and wrap with plastic wrap or wax paper. When there is nothing left to shape put all of the pemmican squares into an air tight container. Store in a cool, dry place and enjoy within 3 months to 1 year depending on the ingredients.
Have you made or had pemmican before? If so, please share with us in the comments. Thanks for reading!