How to make Pemmican


This may be not be the healthiest food that you can eat (and it is sooo not). But it is a great high energy food to carry with you on long strenuous hikes.  Pemmican is a Native American Indian survival food that has an incredibly long shelf life, and it requires no refrigeration storage. It is similar to a Granola Bar except it contains no artificial preservatives. It is a high density energy source that contains protein, fiber, fat, carbohydrates, natural fruit sugars, vitamins, and minerals. It also tastes great because it is a simple combination of meat jerky and your favorite dried fruit.

There are three basic ingredients to making pemmican.  Lean dried meat, Animal fat, Dried fruit or berries.  Yep that’s all it takes to make it.

Small generic batch recipe:

  • 1 cup lean dried meat.  You can use any wild game meat and most domestic.  I do not recommend pork due to the problems of actually getting a lean cut of meat from it to make into jerky.
  • 1 cup dried berries or dried fruit
  • 1 cup rendered animal fat.  You can actually use the fat you drain from hamburger and bacon for this.  If you do make sure you heat it up to the point that all the water has evaporated from the grease and you filter it to clean it up.

If you plan on doing everything from scratch it will cost less in the long run, but it increases the time it takes to make a batch.  Even though it takes a while to make your own jerky you will at least know exactly what is on it.  A lot of commercial varieties have way to much preservatives in it for me.  Same goes for the dried fruit and berries from the store.

Take the meat and berries and grind them as close to a powder as you can make it.  Place them on a cookie sheet and put in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes just to make sure there is no moisture at all left in them.  Any dampness before you add the fat into can cause it to go bad and make you sick.  Mix the two in a bowl and add a pinch of salt if you want to for taste.  It is not necessary to use salt to preserve it but it will give a better flavor to your mix.  Now add your cup of melted fat to the dried ingredients and mix. Next spread the mix out on a cutting board to a thickness of about ½ inch.  Then let cool completely and cut into 1”x 4” bars.

Store you finished pemmican in plastic wrap or in an air tight container.  Your pemmican can be safely stored and eaten for up to 8 months.  If you can keep it stored between 45-75 degrees it can last for several years.

My personal recipe

  • 1 cup venison jerky
  • 1 cup dried salal berries
  • 1 cup bacon grease(I love me some bacon)

2 thoughts on “How to make Pemmican

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.