Preserving Meat Without Refrigeration

The ability to preserve meat, without refrigeration, has long been a thorn to many outdoor enthusiasts, often leading to overweight and cumbersome coolers.

Yes, one could simply use biltong or jerky, but there are other alternatives and this article will illustrate some of those methods

Various methods can be used to preserve or to cure meats to eliminate the need for refrigeration. Before the use of pressure-cooking to “can” meats, meats were air-dried, cured with salt and sugar, and/or a combination of smoke and heat.

Preserving Meat Without Refrigeration

Today nitrates, sodium nitrate, and potassium nitrate are also added along with salt and sugar in the curing of meats. Nitrates are known to inhibit bacteria growth by reducing the oxidation process. Regular table salt also inhibits bacteria growth by drawing the moisture out of microorganisms effectively destroying them.

This process is referred to as “osmotic pressure”. The concept behind any curling or preservation of meats is the elimination of moisture, which bacteria need to survive and grow.

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