Some Healthy Ways to Preserve Meat
If properly preserved, meat can be safely kept for weeks, months, or even years. The most apparent technique is to keep meat cold in a freezer. There are, however, other methods of meat preservation, some of which have been utilized for 1,000 years or more. This is especially critical in an emergency.
1 Preserve your meat by Freezing :
Prepare and wrap the meat before placing it in the freezer to avoid freezer burn.
Meat and poultry can be frozen in their original packaging, but it’s best to double-wrap the box to ensure no air gets in. To over-wrap, use plastic bags and heavy-duty aluminum foil meant for freezer usage (the label will inform you).
Find out how long frozen meat may be safely stored.
- Meat does not last in the freezer indefinitely.
- Meat that hasn’t been cooked (such as steaks or chops) can be securely stored for 4 to 12 months.
- Ground beef that hasn’t been cooked may only be preserved for 3-4 months.
- Cooked meat can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two months.
2 Preserve your meat with Salt
- Curing salt may be found online at butcher-packer.com, mortonsalt.com, and sausagemaker.com, among other places.
- Place meat in airtight jars (or plastic storage bags) with enough salt to completely coat the meat. To ensure that all areas of the meat are coated in salt, alternate layers of flesh and salt.
- For a month, keep the jars/bags in a cool environment (36-40 degrees Fahrenheit). Allowing it to freeze is not a good idea.
- Using this formula, determine how long to salt cure meat: Per inch of thickness, it takes 7 days. A 12-14 pound ham that is 5 inches thick, for example, will require 35 days to cure.
- If maintained in airtight packaging such as plastic bags, salt cured meat can keep 3-4 months without refrigeration.
3 Preserve your meat by Drying (Dehydrating)
- This is something you can accomplish at home using your stove and oven.
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- To get rid of germs, boil strips of beef on the stove for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the meat from the water and set it aside to drain until completely dry.
- Preheat oven to lowest setting and bake for 8-12 hours.
- Instead of using an oven, you might use a professional food dehydrator.
- Meat that has been properly dried will feel sticky, hard, or leathery.
- Without refrigeration, dried meat will survive 1-2 months in airtight containers.
It is possible that a perishable product (such as meat or poultry) left out at room temperature overnight (for more than two hours) is unsafe. Even if it looks and smells wonderful, toss it out. Never test a food for spoilage by tasting it. Verify temperatures with a food thermometer. If the ambient temperature is above 90 °F, leave food in the Danger Zone for no more than two hours.
The Danger Zone is a temperature range between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit where germs may quickly proliferate. Keep cold food cold, at or below 40 °F, and hot food hot, at or above 140 °F, to keep food out of the Danger Zone.