Pemmican is made from pulverized dried meat or fish mixed with fat and dried berries, then made into a thick paste. Native Americans made this because it was nutritious, didn’t spoil and was good for traveling.

The mixture was either shaped into small loaves or cakes; thus you could eat while traveling and not have to stop.


1 cup venison or beef jerky
1 cup dried berries or a variety of dried fruit (list below)
1 cup crushed nuts or seeds (such as sunflower seeds unroasted)
¼ cup suet, lard or peanut butter
2 teaspoons honey

Grind or pound jerky to a mealy powder in a bowl. Add the berries and nuts.

Heat the suet and honey until softened. Stir them into the meat mixture until well blended.

When the mixture is cool enough to handle, shape it into logs or cakes.

Stir in an air tight container or plastic bag; it will keep for many months.

Some of the other dried fruits you can use; (cherries, apples, raisins, currants and nuts)

Native Americans used dried beef or venison that they dried in the sun or over hot beds of coal. They hung stripes of the meat over a stick supported by forked poles. When the stripes were brittle, they would beat into a powder and add hot fat to bind the meat and make a paste.

If you choose to make some pemmican, I would store it under refrigeration if possible.  If it is stored under adverse conditions, keep it as cool and dry as possible.  In case you see signs of rancidity or spoilage throw it away, do not eat it.

Preparedness Mom


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