How to Preserve Meat Without Refrigeration?

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In the old time, our ancestors have to find out ways to preserve meat for later consumption. Luckily, nowadays, people can easily preserve it in refrigerators. But what would happen if they are broke down? How can we preserve meat without refrigerator? We would like to share with you some methods for this situation right in this article.

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The Importance of Preserving Meat Without Refrigeration

Preserving meat without refrigeration has been an important practice throughout history, especially when refrigeration was not available or when it’s broken down.

Here are some reasons why:

  • Longer preservation

This is important for communities that rely on hunting or farming for their meat supply. Preserving meat without refrigeration allows it to be stored for a longer period of time.

  • Cost savings

Preserving meat without refrigeration is a cost-effective solution.

Refrigeration is expensive, and in some areas, there may not be access to electricity or the resources to maintain refrigeration systems.

  • Nutrient retention

Some ,meat preservation methods, such as smoking or curing meat, can actually help to retain important nutrients, making the meat healthier to consume.

  • Cultural significance

Many cultures have traditional methods of preserving meat that are important for maintaining cultural practices and passing down knowledge from generation to generation.

  • Sustainable practices

Preserving meat without refrigeration is a sustainable practice that can help reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.

To sum up, preserving meat without refrigeration is an important practice for many reasons, and continues to be used today in many parts of the world.

Principles of Meat Preservation

Principles of Meat Preservation

Before we get to know how to preserve meat without refrigerator, it is important to understand the principles of storing meat that all of the methods we will be discussing utilize.

There are three basic principles of preserving meat without a refrigerator, and they all involve in preventing bacteria from growing on your meat.

The first principle is to remove the moisture bacteria need to survive by simply drying your meat. The second one is by changing the pH of the meat with an acid like vinegar or salt, which will make the meat uninhabitable to bacteria. And the third one involves creating a physical separation from the meat to the air; like storing meat in a sterilized jar.

How to Preserve Meat Without Refrigeration?

Knowing how to preserve meat without refrigerator can do more than save you from losing food if the power goes out.

There are a lot of ways to store meat without using refrigerator. From the simple to the highly technical, some of the methods in this list will be suitable for any environment, requirement, and preference.


This is a common method of meat preservation where meat is exposed to smoke for a few hours.

This method uses smoke to dry out the meat, essentially dehydrating it for preservation. Smoke can also destroy bacteria and help extend shelf life.

This is because smoke contains chemicals, such as phenols and other compounds, which are absorbed into the meat during the smoking process.

To cold-smoke meat, you’ll need a cold-smoking setup to start. This can be done by suspending the meat over smoldering wood chips or by using a dedicated cold smoker.

You can buy a smoker tube like the Lanny Smoker Tube. These tubes provide hours of billowy smoke to preserve your meat.

When properly executed, cold smoking can result in delicious, flavorful meat that will last for months.

The biggest drawback to this method is that you’ll have to burn a lot of fuel for a long period of time to create enough smoke to complete the process.


How to Preserve Meat Without Refrigeration?

Salt-curing is a method with a diverse and rich cultural history.

Basically, curing is a process of preserving meat that is like salting. It takes the method above and beyond by using several additional ingredients, which are sodium nitrate in conjunction with salt as well as other spices to both enhance flavor and provide a measure of antibacterial performance.

Cured meats can last a very long time when prepared correctly.

After cleaning a cut of meat, use common salt, sodium nitrate, and various spices to thoroughly rub all over and into every crevice on the cut before let it sit in a cool environment for about a week.

After this time, the meat will be rinsed, wrapped in cheesecloth or a breathable barrier, then hung up in a dark, dry environment and allowed to further cure from several weeks to several years.

As long as the quality control is carefully implemented, the result is delectable and completely safe to eat.

This technique is adaptable to many different environments.


This is a very popular method in South Africa. All you need is a dehydrator or biltong box. You can also build one yourself.

Dehydration removes the moisture from the meat without removing any nutritional value. It prevents bacteria from growing.

Dehydration works best with low-fat cuts since fat causes meat to deteriorate quicker.

Cook your meat to 158°F or above to kill off E.coli and salmonella bacteria, then slice the meat as thinly as possible.

You can sun-dry your meat if you live in a sunny and dry climate. Once it’s dry, store your meat in an airtight container without refrigeration for up to 12 months.

Pressure Canning

How to Preserve Meat Without Refrigeration?

This is simple and effective method to preserve meat without refrigerator.

Pressure canning uses heat to sterilize food within a jar and kill off the spores that carry the botulinum toxin.

Pressure canning also seals the jar shut and prevents bacteria from entering.

According to the USDA, canned meat can stay good for up to five years. Depending on your circumstances, you should get away with more or less time.

Pressure canning is not the same as water-bath canning. So if you don’t have a pressure canner yet, it’s worth buying one.

Keep in mind that you can’t use a pressure cooker to do this, it has to be a pressure canner.


Brine-curing uses salt to prevent the growth of bacteria. It works much like dry-curing. The main difference is that brine-cured meat is submerged in a saltwater mixture and stays wet the entire time, while dry-cured meat is rubbed in salt and hung to dry.

Brining has been used for centuries. It’s popular on long sea voyages where salt is abundant, and there is no refrigeration.

You just need to mix up a solution of salt and water, about a pound of salt for every three quarts of water.

Brining with pickling salt is better than with regular salt because pickling salt doesn’t have any additives that can mess up the brining process.

Brined meats can last for months if stored correctly.


How to Preserve Meat Without Refrigeration?

For this method, you need to submerge salted meat completely in fat, cooking it low and slow. The fat eventually gets rendered and forms a protective barrier against bacteria and spoilage.

Once your meat is cooked, let it cool. Then, pack it into jars and completely cover it with rendered fat. Placed in a cool area out of direct sunlight.

The meat can last several months when properly prepared and stored.

Make sure all other pieces of meat are completely surrounded by the fat whenever you take meat out of your crock.

Keep in mind that if you live in a hot climate or your confit jar warms up, you might have problems with spoilage.


This is probably the most well-known method to preserve meat without refrigerator.

You can air dry meat using the power of the sun; install a solar drying apparatus, hot air blower, or other systems to speed up.

Drying remove moisture content present throughout the meat. By doing this, microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast, and others cannot survive and flourish.

Dried meats can last many months or even a year if it’s carefully stored.

This method is versatile, adaptable, and relatively easy to perform at scale.


How to Preserve Meat Without Refrigeration?

Burying meat might be the oldest meat preservation method in the world. By doing this method, your meat can be limited exposure to sunlight and air that encourage bacterial growth. The pH level in the soil can also act as a preservative.

If you want to try it, dig a hole in dry soil in a cooler, shaded area. It’s best to bury meat in conjunction with dry salt-curing or smoking.

Keep in mind that any meat stored this way should be cooked first, then placed in the hole, covered with fresh wood ash, and then finally covered with dirt.


Although there are many methods to preserve meat without refrigerator, they may not be as effective as a modern refrigeration in preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.

Therefore, it’s best to store preserved meat carefully and cook it thoroughly before consumption.

Conclusion: So above is the How to Preserve Meat Without Refrigeration? article. Hopefully with this article you can help you in life, always follow and read our good articles on the website: Refrigerator- side by side Refrigerator -Appliances Kitchen Review Blog

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