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preserving meat in a tub of beef tallow

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  • preserving meat in a tub of beef tallow

    Anyone know about this method of meat preservation? ie storing it in a tub of animal fat at room temperature. I read a few conflicting stories about it. Some say you have to cook/cure the meat first. Others don't. Information on the method is sparse. How long can you store meat in fat? It doesn't have to be the meat source's own fat right?

    Was just trying to figure out this method because it seems like it would be a better alternative than the fridge and freezer. No thawing, more space in the fridge, freezer does not damage the meat, but most of all a much increased expiration date. This opens interesting possibilities like having fresh summer grass fed beef available in the winter.

    So, does anyone understand how this works? What are good and bad practices? Can you store raw meat in it? For how long? If not, can I just cook it and put it in there? Does the type of fat matter as long as its solid? Does it change the taste of the meat?

    If I don't get answers I'll eventually experiment with this myself.

  • #2
    Bumpage.

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    • #3
      Pemmican.
      Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

      Griff's cholesterol primer
      5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
      Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
      TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
      bloodorchid is always right

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      • #4
        If there is moisture in the meat it will go bad.
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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        • #5
          I remember making duck confit in school and it was AMAZING!!

          First you cure the duck by rubbing with salt, maybe sugar, and other spices and herbs. Refrigerate for around 2 days.

          Then you rinse the meat and curing spices off of it. Pat it dry very well, removing excess moisture is key.

          Then it is placed in a container below the rim, and you add enough fat to completely cover the meat. The fat will have to be rendered to liquid to get it in the pan submerging the meat.

          Then the final cooking process is a very very light bake at around 200 degrees F for 5-10 hours.

          This can then be sealed in jars or stored for many months if done correctly.

          I used duck, but I am sure most meats are applicable. And there must be many variations of curing spices, cooking methods, and tips that have gone unmentioned.

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          • #6
            Keep in mind that "room temperature" used to mean something very different from what it means to us now.

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            • #7
              Room temperature is 72-74 degrees. Has that changed?
              Crohn's, doing SCD

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
                Room temperature is 72-74 degrees. Has that changed?
                That is hot for me. When I lived in the states I set my hermostat to 68F (which is 20C) and was toasty warm. I'd regard 'room temperature' as being anywhere from about 12C to 20C.
                Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                Griff's cholesterol primer
                5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                bloodorchid is always right

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                • #9
                  I suppose it depends on outdoor climate after all.
                  Crohn's, doing SCD

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                  • #10
                    The fat would keep the meat from getting exposed to air and oxygen, and a layer of tallow over meat can help prevent freezer burn. But tallow itself can go rancid at room temp if you leave it long enough.

                    As to room temp, as little as 40-50 years ago, a lot of homes only had one or two heat sources. Then you have the whole room temp as to what climate? I used to be able to store five dozen egg flats in a mud room nine months out of the year when I lived in central WA. I wouldn't do it at all here in Louisiana. If you look at recommended temps for serving red wine, which is often stated as "room temp," it's actually in the 55-65 degree range which is a bit cooler than a lot of folks keep their homes.

                    Anyway, before you make yourself sick or waste out a great piece of meat, I'd do a small test with some cheap CAFO stuff and see how it works for your climate.
                    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                    B*tch-lite

                    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                    • #11
                      ive been looking for the shelf life of beef tallow but estimates range wildly, from a week to decades. Myself I'll go with "years", because I've had home rendered tallow for over a year before and it was fine. It was in a sealed jar. I had it for so long because I used other animal fats for cooking.

                      So, I guess I'm supposed to cure it with salt to take out the moisture, then put it in the fat?

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                      • #12
                        I know confit involves storing meat in fat, but I don't know about room temperature. That sounds terribly unsafe unless you're absolutely free of contamination.
                        F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                        "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
                          Room temperature is 72-74 degrees. Has that changed?
                          They used to keep this stuff in an unheated pantry in houses without central heating.

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