Preparedness blog

Storing Meats and Proteins in Your Food Storage

By Lexi from Ready Store
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Protein is an important part of our diet and necessary to have in your food storage. For many people the majority of protein comes from meat, fish, and poultry. In the past, these foods have been difficult to store because of the limited options of preservation. Canned and dried meats like tuna and beef jerky have a short shelf life, making them difficult to store in long term food storage.

Thankfully, technology has improved in the last few years. There are many more protein options available for food storage, as well as technology advancements that have increased the shelf life of all foods, including meats. One of these advancements is the freeze-drying process.

Freeze-dried Foods

Saratoga Farms Freeze Dried Ground BeefThe freeze-drying process removes moisture from the food without damaging its nutrients or structure. This is done by freezing the water in the food at very cold temperatures, then slowly warming it to a gaseous state, completely skipping the liquid state. This process remove up to 99% of the moisture in a food, giving it a shelf life of 30 years.

The freeze-drying process works on many foods, including meats and other proteins. Freeze dried meats can include turkey, chicken and beefThese meats are a great source of protein and can be stored for 30 years in your long-term food storage. Once reconstituted, they have the same flavor and texture as other meat, as well as the same nutrients. They can be used as regular meat in any recipe and provide the same great taste!

Other freeze-dried protein options include eggs, cheeses, and milks. Again, all you need to do is reconstitute the food and it will be ready to use in any recipe. Freeze-dried foods are some of the best options for your food storage because of their long shelf life, their high nutritional content, and their versatility.

Dried Foods

Saratoga Farms Pinto BeansAnother low cost option for storing protein is dried beans. They have a shelf life of 20 years and can be reconstituted in water. Beans are an easy item to store in your long-term food storage and will provide a great source of fiber and protein when you need it.

However, beans are not a complete protein. You will need to pair it with a grain like rice or wheat in order to get all of the nutrients that you need to stay healthy. While beans are a great protein to store, it is always good to store a variety of proteins to ensure that you receive all of the necessary vitamins and minerals that your body needs to survive.

Protein is an important part of any diet and having it in your long-term food storage will prepare you for anything. With technology like freeze-dried meats and dairy products and advancements like TVP, storing the protein you need has never been easier. Protein can now be stored in many different forms, ensuring that you’re ready to handle any situation.

8 years ago
Northwoods Cheryl
8 years ago at 6:37 AM
Like fauna above, I also have access to a lot of meat..FREE meat! I have a friend who works at a food pantry. (She and 1 other woman run it out of a church) The local grocery stores give them the close-dated meats or ones they have too much of, after freezing it all. My friend tells me the people who come for food there very rarely ever want the frozen meat! They only want the frozen TV dinners, and highly processed foods. She has to keep whatever is not taken, in her own home freezer. The stores bring her more once a week. She often has too much. It would otherwise be thrown out, so she gives me all I can handle. What a blessing! There are usually a LOT of T-bone steaks and Porterhouses, boneless skinless chicken breasts, and hamburger. Last time there was an entire 31# Hillshire ham! I have a small chest freezer here that I use for a "holding" area. I cook and eat as much of it as I can, and can up the rest. I have found that the meats have a better flavor in the long run if they are browned up first, and fat drained off. (Except the ham) I season them and put a bit of garlic and onion i the jars. I can them using beef bullion. (or chicken if for pork or chicken) If the burger is very lean like ground round, after thoroughly cooking, I simmer in a stock pot of water till any remaining grease floats to the top. Refrigerate it till the grease hardens on top, and peel it off. Then the burger is made into dehydrated "Hamburger Rocks" after being lightly seasoned with salt. Keeps for YEARS that way, sealed in a food grade plastic jug. (I use fruit juice jugs I get as throw-aways at work. I put a piece of plastic wrap over the mouth of the jar before sealing it up with the lid. That ensures an absolutely air tight seal. For the most part, freeze dried meats are too expensive for my budget. I have a few cans as well as some TVP. But, home canning is the best way for me. I also can bacon the same way the Yoder company does, rolled in parchment after being about 1/2 way cooked. Works GREAT.
8 years ago at 8:34 AM
Storing meat: I have canned hamburger, chicken chunks, pork roast chunks, beef stew meat for about 10 years and it is a wonderful way to have meat, protein, on hand. We have meals from it several times a week so it can be rotated and we can enjoy the ease of opening a jar and having a meal in minutes. I used the hamburger in chile, soups, and tacos. I use the pork chunks as pulled pork with BBQ sauce and with black beans in soup. I use the beet stew meat with brown gravy over mashed potatoes. I used the chicken in soup. I have never had trouble with a single jar and have literally gone through hundreds and hundreds of jars. The best part is that I always have a couple hundred jars of great protein and nearly ready to eat meals on hand - rain or shine.
8 years ago at 7:08 PM
Christine, I use the recipe book that came with my pressure canner. Also--you can go to gopresto(dot)com/recipes/ canning/meat.php. It is so convenient to have some ground beef or chicken already cooked and ready to eat.