A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


July 13, 2012

For Us Meatlovers: Smokehouse Plans

     Thanks to my good friend, CZ, for bringing this topic to the blog.  For several months now, I've been trying to think of all the ways to store protein, specifically meat.  Your larder can be full of dried beans, and eggs from your chickens, and even canned cheese; but let's face it, there's no substitute for meat!
     I've shared my pressure canning process and believe me, it is an excellent method for storing meat.  But if you have the occasion to butcher a cow, or a wild hog, that's a lot of meat to process.  You would need multiple pressure canners and cases of mason jars to get the job done.  But if you had a small smokehouse, you could accomplish your task easily, and in a time-honored manner.
     Smokehouse plans abound on the internet, as do the methods of smoking meats.  The purpose of a smokehouse is to enclose heat and smoke, and reduce, but not entirely eliminate, airflow.  While you can do this with a charcoal grill or a metal barrel, grilling and barbequing meat is very different from smoking meat. For meats to be considered smoked they can only be cooked at temperatures between 52 degrees F to 140 degrees F.  This can be a process that takes anywhere between one hour and two weeks. Cured meats are cooked thoroughly both on the inside and the outside. The process of grilling and barbequing only sears the outside of the meat.  Here's another fact that's important to know:  The longer the cooking time, the greater the loss of moisture from the meat, which results in a saltier end product with a longer shelf life.  When TEOTWAWKI is a reality, longer shelf life will be an absolute must.
     While the design of your smokehouse can be as complex or simple as you want, all you really need is a source of smoke, a smoking chamber (or something to confine the smoke inside), sticks, screens or hooks to hang the meat, and a way to control the draft. I'm including a link to one of the most concise and easy to follow plans I found.  Check it out or adapt it to your own needs.  The nice thing about smokehouses is their adaptability; you can build them with removable wooden shelves to accommodate briskets, fish or whatever.  And they can be taken out for cleaning or to make more space for hanging. You can add hanging racks at the top to accommodate sausage, poultry and roasts or hams.


     Once you finalize your plans and build your smokehouse, you need just a little more information and you're ready to start curing meat.  You'll need to decide between cold, warm, hot or wet smoking; you'll need to decide how you want to create smoke for your smokehouse, and what kinds of wood to use.  This article will provide you with expert and easy-to-follow advice.
     So now you have one more method to help preserve food, and one more arrow in your quiver to help you survive hard times.  It seems like all the good methods take us back to a simpler and easier lifestyle, don't they?  A time when we were closer to the land and the elements.  For me, I'm actually looking forward to returning to a less sophisticated way of life; one that is free of computers and cell phones, and full of the rewards of my own labor.  Let the world scoff, but I know I will be equipped to handle it, both spiritually and mentally.  And I will have all I need!

Genesis 6:21      "You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them."

2 comments:

  1. Hello Belle,

    I just wanted to mention that I bought a Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin booklet for $3.95 a few years ago called,"Build A Smokehouse". It's a pretty nice little book and it has four different projects in it, such as:

    How to Make a Hot Smoke Pit
    How to Make a Barrel Smoker
    How to Make a Box Smoker
    How to Make a Concrete Block Smokehouse with a Concrete Floor.

    Certainly worth $3.95.
    Storey has several different listings of these little Wisdom Bulletins on many different topics and they are usually very easy to understand, with no frills, but quite informative. I have several of these little soft covered booklets. Well worth the money and good to have on your preparedness bookshelf!

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  2. Lisa, you are so valuable to this blog! You are a fountain of wisdom (and encouragement!) to all who read these posts. Thanks for this tip and I, for one, will definitely be checking out these little Booklets. I'm anxious to see what else they have to offer. As alway, I love hearing from you!

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