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.
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."