Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

By A D Livingston

Published 2010

  • About

Modern backpackers can make up some pemmican at home, then take it with them on a journey. Of course, the meat can be dried in the kitchen oven as well as on the clothesline. These days most of us don’t have rawhide bags and would prefer to keep the pemmican in what we perceive to be a more sanitary manner, as set forth in the following directions:


  • 1 pound dried meat or jerky
  • ½ pound lard or other fat that doesn’t require refrigeration
  • ½ pound dried apricots or similar dried fruit or berries
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • melted paraffin
  • cheesecloth


    Pulverize the dried meat and fruit; I usually use a mortar and pestle for this, but a food grinder or a food processor will help for the initial work. Mix the pulverized meat and fruit into the lard, adding a little salt and pepper. Form the thick paste into small bars about 1 inch in diameter and 3 to 4 inches long. Wrap each bar in cheesecloth and dip it quickly into melted paraffin.

    It is, of course, always best to store pemmican in a cool, dry place, but refrigeration isn’t required. When you’re taking pemmican on a journey, pack it in a cool spot that isn’t exposed to the sun. Native Americans and the early explorers ate pemmican raw, like a candy bar, and sometimes they boiled it in water, making a gruel. It can also be mixed into soups and stews, along with such ingredients as squash blooms and strips of dried pumpkin. Either way, pemmican is a highly nutritious mix for camp or trail. And for home consumption, too.