So you’ve risen and killed a small furry animal, eh? If so, you may soon learn that you might want to preserve that animal for the future so that you don’t starve in the winter. Now normally we would just throw Bambi in the freezer, but now that the zombies have taken over and the power grid has failed, we’re fresh out of luck. What to do?
Make beef jerky the old fashioned way. That means no electricity, no electric ovens, nada. Here’s how it’s done.
What you’ll need:
A knife, salt, water, a bucket, a rack of some sort (or a good tree branch in a pinch), firearms, and plenty of patience.
Step 1: Cut your meat into thin strips. The thinner the better.
Step 2: Soak the meat in a bucket of brine (that’s salt water, folks). You will know when you have the correct amount of salt in your water when you can just barely float a raw potato in the mix. You should soak the meat for a couple of hours.
Step 3: Build a small, smoky fire and hang the meat strips on your rack over the smoke. Or, in a pinch, you can just lay the meat out in direct sunlight. It is worth noting that the direct sunlight method is not idea because you stand a higher chance of having contaminated meat when you are through. However, the trade off is that smoking meat puts off a smell that can be smelled from miles away, and might lead thieves or zombies right to your position (hence the firearms).
Step 4: Leave the meat in the sun or on the smoke until the meat is very, very dry. It will be much drier than the beef jerky that you are used to using, and probably as hard as a rock. But hey, you’ll likely survive the winter, even if it tastes like a tree branch.
As a parting note, I’d like to point out that this will be one of the only ways of preserving meat when the world ends, so salt will become much, much more valuable than gold. You may consider stocking up in preparation if you are so inclined.