3 Ways To Preserve Meat Without A Refrigerator

While most of us would hope that we'll never have to live in a world without electricity, the fact of the matter is that we all should be prepared for the worst.

In the event of a large natural disaster or world war that knocks out power plants for an extended period of time, we'd need to preserve our meat and other food perishables without a refrigerator.

It's also helpful to know alternative means to refrigeration for long camping trips.

Below you will find 3 ways to preserve meat without the use of a refrigerator.

1. Drying

Homemade Dried Barbecue Bacon Jerky with Salt

Homemade Dried Barbecue Bacon Jerky with Salt

Drying meat results in jerky, which is tasty and can be kept for about half a year. When drying meat, you will first slice the meat into thin cuts, soak it in a brine mix with salt, and hung out to dry. Drying the meat eliminates moisture, which otherwise causes fungal and bacterial growth.

The salty brine assists in drawing out the moisture and preventing the meat from rotting. Be sure the meat is lean–fatty meat will not dry out–and you'll have a nutritious, light-weight meat source whenever you need it.

2. Salting

Salting is how people used to keep meat before refrigeration. Meat must be chopped into chunks and then layered in a barrel full of salt. Each piece of meat must be completely surrounded by salt to create a dry environment free from bacterial growth. The meat should become very hard, and it must be re-hydrated with a lot of water before it can be eaten.

3. Curing and Cold Smoking

Smoking hanged pork neck in a traditional way in the home smokehouse czech republic. very tasty meat flavored with salt and garlic.

For fatty meats, like bacon and ham, curing and cold smoking is the way to go. The meat is first soaked in a brine which adds flavor and also discourages the growth of spoilage organisms.

Afterwards, the meat is cold smoked at temperatures under 110 degrees to seal the surface without cooking it. The meat can be stored in a dark, cool area in brown bags for up to 6 months.


These are not the only ways to keep meat without a refrigerator, but they are a good place to start. It's easy to take for granted that technology will always be at our fingertips, but this may not be true.

The practice of techniques like the ones above will make you more likely to survive during unexpected hardships.

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