A great way to start a survival pantry is to preserve food like dry meats. You can make jerky this way and make your beef and pork (and other meats) last longer.
To dry meat, you’ll first need to select a lean cut such as sirloin or flank steak. Next you’ll want to remove all visible fat from the cut of meat. At this point, you can freeze the meat for 5 hours to make the next step, cutting the meat into thin slices, easier (however, this is optional).
Then just cut the meat against the grain into slices about 1/8″ – 1/4″ thin.
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Next you can marinade the meat with salt, pepper, water, and vinegar, or you can season the meat with BBQ sauce that is diluted with water to a 1:2 ratio. The reason you use water is that you can more easily coat the meat but the water will evaporate, leaving the concentrated BBQ sauce and tons of flavor on the meat.
Always marinate the meat overnight. Use tin foil to line the bottom of your oven and arrange the strips of meat on the cooking grate, setting the oven to 140°F – 170°F. The foil is key because this can get a bit messy.
Prop the oven door open slightly using a wooden spoon to accelerate the dehydration process. You do this because it will allow the moisture to escape from the oven. (note your house is about to smell amazing).
The whole process should take around 2-6 hours, depending on the thickness of the slices and the natural moisture in the air.
Test your jerky by bending it. You want it to tear and then you know it is about done.
Once done, let it air dry for 24 hours before packaging it. You can begin eating it right away too if you want to give it a try.