How Pemmican Is Made and Why It Doesn’t Go Rancid

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If you’re not familiar with pemmican, it’s a type of jerky that’s made from dried meat, fat, and berries. It was invented by the Native Americans and was used as a way to preserve meat for long periods of time. 

Pemmican doesn’t go rancid because the fat content inhibits bacterial growth. In this blog post, we will discuss how pemmican is made and why it doesn’t go rancid! Pemmican is basically a food that has been around for hundreds of years and was used by Native Americans. 

Pemmican is made from dried meat or suet, berries, and sometimes other ingredients such as maple syrup, but not always. The reason why pemmican doesn’t go rancid like most foods do when they are exposed to air over time is because of the way it’s made and what it contains. 

It consists mainly of dehydrated (dried) meat, which is then ground up into powder form along with some fat, usually tallow or lard, depending on what you have available in your area at the time; this combination creates an environment where bacteria can’t grow. The fat also helps to preserve the meat and keeps it from going bad.

What is pemmican, and where did it come from?

Pemmican is a combination of meat, fat, and berries. It’s not that different from the jerky we eat today, except pemmican was often made with raw meat instead of cured or dried. The process of making it is simple: you cook the lean portion of your kill (usually deer) until all the water has evaporated out, then smash it into small pieces that are placed in a container along with dried fruit and rendered fat (which acts like glue). 

You simply cut off a piece and consume it when ready to eat. This recipe for making pemmican comes from Native Americans who would use their skills during long hunting trips when there wasn’t much food available outside of what they were able to kill. 

So what makes pemmican so special? Unlike other dried meats, pemmican doesn’t go rancid. The rendered fat acts as a preservative and keeps the meat from spoiling. This is why it was such an important food source for Native Americans – they could travel for weeks at a time without having to worry about their food going bad.

How is pemmican made?

The traditional way to make pemmican is by drying lean meat over a fire until it’s crumbly. The dried meat is then pounded into a powder and mixed with melted fat, berries, and any other desired ingredients. The mixture is then put into a container and allowed to cool. 

Pemmican can last for years without going bad because of the high levels of protein and fat that keep it from spoiling. Additionally, the air-tight container prevents bacteria from growing. Pemmican makes an excellent survival food because it’s lightweight, calorie-dense, and doesn’t require refrigeration. 

The variety of flavors and ingredients allows for a diverse diet that can fit into any budget or dietary preference. Modern recipes for pemmican include everything from hamburger meat to jerky, but most traditional recipes stick with lean venison or bison, melted fat (often from the same animal), and dried berries like blueberries or cranberries. 

The amount of fat used in the recipe will affect how long it lasts without refrigeration since bacteria need moisture to grow. Beef is often substituted for buffalo because buffalo are becoming increasingly rare in North America. Buffalo has also been introduced elsewhere on Earth, where they thrive as feral animals, such as Australia and South Africa.

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Why doesn’t pemmican go rancid?

Normally, the fat in the meat will go rancid within a week or two if not preserved with salt. That’s what makes pemmican an amazing food to have on hand – it’s shelf-stable for years at room temperature. 

So how does pemmican avoid going rancid? The answer is simple: freeze-drying. Freezing and drying the meat and berries together creates a vacuum that prevents bacteria from growing; therefore, there are no enzymes present to make the fat oxidize! 

Also, because most of the water has been removed during freeze-drying (which happens naturally inside your freezer), mold cannot grow either! The absence of moisture is what makes pemmican such an amazing food storage item; it can last up to 25 years or even longer.

The nutritional benefits of pemmican?

Pemmican is a superfood that is packed with nutrients! It’s high in protein, low in carbs and fat, and has none of the sugar found in processed foods. 

The reason why pemmican stays fresh for so long without spoiling or going bad? Because it contains no moisture to feed bacteria or mold spores. When you make your own pemmican at home (which we highly recommend), you can be certain that what goes into it will stay good forever! 

Plus, you’ll know exactly how much salt was used during preparation because this dried meat recipe uses only one teaspoon per pound of wild game meat, mixed together with just enough rendered tallow to bind everything together while still retaining its shape when rolled into balls or strips.

The history of pemmican in North America? 

Pemmican was a popular food for many Native American tribes and fur traders. The Cree, Ojibwa, Assiniboine, Blackfoot, and Sarcee all used pemmican as a staple in their diets. Fur traders from the Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company also relied on pemmican to sustain them during their long expeditions into the wilderness. 

So why doesn’t pemmican go rancid? The key to its preservation is the addition of fat. Fat is a natural preservative, and it helps to keep the protein in the meat from spoiling. When made correctly, pemmican can last for years without going bad. In fact, there are some reports of pemmican being eaten more than 100 years after it was made!

Recipes for making your own pemmican?

Pemmican is a nutritious and easy-to-make food that has been used for thousands of years. It was originally made by the First Nations people of North America, but it soon became popular among explorers and frontiersmen as well. 

The word “pemmican” comes from the Cree language, where it means “grease” or “fat.” Pemmican can be made using various ingredients, but most recipes contain meat (often bison), dried fruit (raisins or cranberries), nuts (almonds or peanuts), and salt to taste. 

These ingredients are mixed together with melted fat until they form a thick paste, which is then packed into containers for storage. Pemmican doesn’t go rancid because the fat used in the recipe acts as a preservative. 

The high-fat content also makes it a very calorie-dense food, which is why it was such an important source of energy for explorers and frontiersmen who were often traveling long distances in difficult conditions. Pemmican can be eaten raw or cooked, and it makes a great snack or meal replacement.


Shanna is the 2nd half of Top Outdoor Survival. Like Forest, she has a passion for guns and knives. They love to go on a survival trip at least once a year. They love to go camping, hiking, and traveling.

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