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    Long Shelf-Life Meals

    Pemmican Recipe

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    Pemmican is a traditional North American food, often associated with Native American cultures. It's known for its long shelf life and high energy content, making it a practical choice for long trips or emergencies. Here's a basic recipe for pemmican:


    1. Lean Meat: 2 pounds of beef, bison, or venison. The meat should be as lean as possible to prevent spoilage.
    2. Fat: 1 pound of rendered beef fat (tallow). It's important to use rendered fat as it has a longer shelf life.
    3. Dried Berries: 1 cup of unsweetened dried blueberries or cranberries. These add a touch of sweetness and additional nutrients.
    4. Optional Additions: You can add nuts, seeds, honey, or maple syrup for extra flavors and nutrients, but remember that these additions might reduce the shelf life of the pemmican.


    • Oven or dehydrator
    • Sharp knife
    • Food processor or meat grinder
    • Large mixing bowl
    • Saucepan
    • Pemmican molds or a baking tray


    1. Prepare and Dry the Meat
      • Freeze the meat slightly to make it easier to slice.
      • Cut the meat into thin strips, about 1/8 inch thick.
      • Dry the meat strips using a dehydrator set at 145-155°F (63-68°C) for about 15 hours, or in an oven at its lowest setting, with the door slightly ajar, for about 10-12 hours. The meat is properly dried when it is completely dry, brittle, and snaps when bent.
    2. Powder the Dried Meat
      • Once the meat is fully dried, let it cool.
      • Grind the dried meat into a fine powder using a food processor or a grinder. This may take several minutes to achieve the desired consistency.
    3. Prepare the Dried Berries
      • If your berries aren’t completely dried, place them in the oven or dehydrator until they are brittle.
      • Grind the dried berries into a coarse powder using a food processor.
      • You can actually skip this step and make it with just beef and fat, or use other berries/flavoring to match your taste preference.
    4. Render the Fat
      • Slowly melt the beef fat over low heat in a saucepan until it becomes a clear liquid.
      • Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the fat to burn.
    5. Combine Ingredients
      • In a large bowl, mix together the powdered meat, powdered berries, and any optional ingredients.
      • Slowly pour the melted fat over the mixture, stirring continuously until everything is evenly coated and a thick paste is formed.
    6. Form and Set the Pemmican
      • Spoon the mixture into pemmican molds or spread it onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
      • Press down firmly to compact the mixture.
      • Allow the pemmican to cool and solidify at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
    7. Storage
      • Cut or break the pemmican into bars or pieces.
      • Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. If made and stored properly, pemmican can last for several months to a year without refrigeration.

    Additional Tips

    • When drying the meat, ensure there's good airflow to prevent mold.
    • The ratio of fat to dried meat can be adjusted according to your preference. A typical ratio is 1:1, but you can vary this depending on whether you prefer a drier or fattier pemmican.
    • Pemmican can be a versatile food: eat it as is for a quick energy boost, or rehydrate it in soups and stews.
    • Chek out the History of Pemmican here.
    • Try pemmican in more flavorful recipes like Rubaboo Recipe with Pemmican

    By following this detailed recipe, you can create a nutritious, long-lasting pemmican that's perfect for hiking, camping, or emergency food supplies.

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