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View Full Version : Salting your food for SHTF scenario...Viable?


pc_load_letter
12-12-2012, 8:35 PM
I was watching the history channel the other night and the show discussed salting food and how it changed long distance travel.

Anyways, in a disaster, is it viable to salt your fish, chicken and meat in your freezer and fridge versus trying to keep you freezer running?

Is it a hard process? Do large enough bags of salt exist that could salt 20+ pounds of food?

Any resources on how to do it?

Thanks!

ElvenSoul
12-12-2012, 8:49 PM
Canning did away with salted.

pc_load_letter
12-12-2012, 8:56 PM
Right, but that doesn't really answer my question. I want to know what is the best way to deal with the pounds of steaks, chicken breasts and fish I keep in my freezer if things go south.

I'd rather run a heater than my fridge but would hate to waste all that food.

drdarrin@sbcglobal.net
12-12-2012, 8:58 PM
Funny you should ask. I was talking about this very thing earlier this week. My friend has several freezers full of pork, venison and fish. He also has 100 lbs or so of salt. His plan is, everything gets salted should the power go out. I haven't had a chance to check it out further.

jeffrice6
12-13-2012, 2:22 AM
Tag

ElvenSoul
12-13-2012, 7:38 AM
Funny you should ask. I was talking about this very thing earlier this week. My friend has several freezers full of pork, venison and fish. He also has 100 lbs or so of salt. His plan is, everything gets salted should the power go out. I haven't had a chance to check it out further.


That sounds workable and good plan

Grizzled Bastard
12-13-2012, 7:54 AM
Yeah, you could salt. But as mentioned above, canning solves the problem. Freezers are great for short term storage but you can do better for a SHTF scenario by canning. I use a pressure cooker for all kinds of stuff. I just finished canning 4 flats of boneless/skinless chicken breast I got on sale for 1.29/lb. Just did the same with a bunch of pounds of London Broil at 1.99/lb. I do the same with Albacore that I catch offshore. It's all phenomenal tasting. Everybody I give it to goes apechit over it and wants more. I only freeze what we're capable of eating in the short term should all the power go out and you keep your freezer shut and let it thaw very slowly. I have tons of canned food that will last years in storage. We slowly cycle through the oldest and replenish when I find smokin' deals at the grocery store.

SMOKEYMOUNTAIN
12-13-2012, 10:10 AM
Yeah, you could salt. But as mentioned above, canning solves the problem. Freezers are great for short term storage but you can do better for a SHTF scenario by canning. I use a pressure cooker for all kinds of stuff. I just finished canning 4 flats of boneless/skinless chicken breast I got on sale for 1.29/lb. Just did the same with a bunch of pounds of London Broil at 1.99/lb. I do the same with Albacore that I catch offshore. It's all phenomenal tasting. Everybody I give it to goes apechit over it and wants more. I only freeze what we're capable of eating in the short term should all the power go out and you keep your freezer shut and let it thaw very slowly. I have tons of canned food that will last years in storage. We slowly cycle through the oldest and replenish when I find smokin' deals at the grocery store.

Great method. I like your style.

speedrrracer
12-13-2012, 10:13 AM
Spoke to my wife about this. Not her specialty, but she had a coupla things to add:

She says you can salt, but you pretty much have to bury every square inch of surface area of [whatever you are salting] as deeply in salt as possible. If the salt settles off some piece, and that piece then becomes exposed to air, you could be up a creek.

So you end up need large storage containers for a relatively small amount of food, and large amounts of salt that are really being wasted.

She says the salt is being wasted because you could can those things, save tons of space (and salt), and incur less risk of loss with canning -- damage to a can just damages that small can, whereas damage to a huge barrel / crate / whatever of salted stuff risks that entire barrel /crate / whatever.

Also there are additional health risks (http://info.cancer.ca/cce-ecc/default.aspx?cceid=27&) to a diet high in foods preserved in salt.

clbshooter
12-13-2012, 10:37 AM
I remember 50 years ago helping my grandparents around xmas time curing hams and hanging them up. What they did was work salt into every crevise and place on the meat with their hands, it seemed like it took hours to do 1 ham but I was only 10 or 12 so it may have took less time. What I do remember quite vividly is that my mom's fingers were almost raw at the end of the process. This was on their farm in North Carolina and they called the hams country cured. Maybe google this hope it helps.

ireload
12-13-2012, 3:46 PM
You can call South Bay Salt Works in the west side of Chula Vista's Bay Front St. and ask if they would sell you bulk salt. Mind you that the salt is obtained via solar evaporation and has not been "cleaned" yet. Sorry I o not ave their number of hand. If you Google map you'll see how much salt they produce.

ns3v3n
12-13-2012, 3:48 PM
How does canned chicken taste like after one year??? And the texture???

problemchild
12-13-2012, 4:22 PM
How does canned chicken taste like after one year??? And the texture???

Just ate 2yr old canned chicken last week and its better than fresh. Its tastes awesome.

Salting is a waste as it sucks the water out of the meat and makes it hard. You still have to cook it after and that cooks more water out. Whats left is a brick that tastes like salt. Not for me......

olhunter
12-13-2012, 6:50 PM
... and incur less risk of loss with canning -- damage to a can just damages that small can, whereas damage to a huge barrel / crate / whatever of salted stuff risks that entire barrel /crate / whatever.

Isn't home 'canning' done with glass jars?

Is there a canning method that actually uses cans? Besides the commercial way of course.

El Toro
12-13-2012, 6:55 PM
If shtf and you have a freezer or fridge full of fresh meats, you will want to save it fast. You need to look into brining and smoking. Yes you are drying your meat, fish, chicken but youre preserving it for months. It'll look less like meat to you but it will be a protein source and you can stick it in ziploc bags and suck out the air to keep it for 2-3 months at room temps. It can be eaten uncooked or re-constituted in boiling water for a soup.

I use a brine of water, salt and brown sugar for a few hours. If you cut the meat 1/2 inch thick it'll take about 2-3 hours in the brine and then about 4-6 hours smoking. Buy a Lil'Chief smoker now while theyre on sale at Cabelas, Ace, Turners or Big5 and get the Hickory woodchips there too. If you want to try fish, buy Alderwood. The Lil'Chief has a small informative booklet to get you going.

problemchild
12-13-2012, 7:21 PM
Isn't home 'canning' done with glass jars?

Is there a canning method that actually uses cans? Besides the commercial way of course.



Yes there is let me see if I can find that post.

Laythor
12-13-2012, 7:25 PM
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Grizzled Bastard
12-13-2012, 8:10 PM
How does canned chicken taste like after one year??? And the texture???

Canned chicken and canned beef are fantastic. With chicken, what I do is fill the 1/2 pint jar with meat then add a pinch of sea salt and a table spoon of Mezzetta diced pepperoncini with some of the vinegar brine and then pressure cook. The pepperoncini adds just a hint of great flavor to the chicken. It's so good, you can just eat it out of the jar. For tuna, I use Mezzetta diced Jalapenos in the vinegar brine, NOT canned jalapeno like you'd use on crappy nachos. Both the chicken and tuna are like crack! Texture is just like you'd see from a big chunk of canned tuna. It just shreds and flakes apart. For prepping, you can add it to Ramen, Salads, make chicken salad with mayo/mustard/celery just like tuna fish sammich.

Same goes for beef but I only add a pinch of sea salt. It shreds like typical shredded beef. Use it for tacos. I typically shred it, pop it in the micro for a minute or two, add BBQ sauce, and you have a killer BBQ beef sammich.

I have tuna that is 3 years old that I'm still working on. Tastes like it did the day I prepped it. If your process is done right and done cleanly, you've got very little to worry about and a compromised jar is pretty obvious to tell when the top is "popped" and there is no vacuum inside. You can see the product inside the jars as well. You should treat the canning process with as much respect as you would a reloading process. There are some very important rules that need to be followed. Doing so will insure a safe and quality finished product.

Isn't home 'canning' done with glass jars? You should teat your canning process just like you would a reloading process.
Is there a canning method that actually uses cans? Besides the commercial way of course.

Typical canning is done with mason or canning jars, yes. They're VERY durable and heavy and store easily in the flats they come in making it safe for earthquake safety in the right place. You can get metal cans still. They're not too expensive but the sealing devices to properly seal the lids are extremely expensive. Like around $1k expensive when I shopped it. A good 21 qt Pressure Cooker like an All-American (the best made) 921 or even a smaller 915 will cost around $250-$300 brand new. They can be had for very cheap if your incredibly lucky and find one at a garage sale or on craigslist. They don't last but for minutes online because people that know what they're worth will scoop them up fast. People like ME!