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Old 02-03-2009, 06:05 AM
jester jester is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Equaly at home in the water, the mountains and the desert.
Posts: 919

For say fruit and vegetables, simpy cut in small pieces you can remove seeds and large portions that are liquid <like the insides of a tomato> you can also peel them or skin them, then lay flat to dry.

You can also place them on screens so air flows and they dry quicker, or you can make mesh flats or racks from loosely woven flat pieces of wood or sticks or twigs or even leaves. Let air or sundry and flip them over and repeat until they are dry which they should usualy be brittle.

You can make a past of tomato, or fruit puree ansd let it dry into a leather or skin like a fruit roll up, these you can then tear off the desired portion and soak in water for use later. I have freinds who do this with tomato sauce.

Soups and stews this can be done too.

The key things is cutting them into uniform size, air circulation, and protecting them from insects and windblown debris. Its that simple.

As for smoking,

Soak the meat in a brine for a period of time, 24 hours, cut into uniform pieces, thin is good, then hang in a smoke chamber, this can be a cardboard box, or a metal trashcan or an old refrigerator.

Have your smoke going, this can be a candle burning under a pan of woodchips that have been soaked in water, I usualy use a 50/50 mix of half wet half dry, fruit wood and nut woods are the best, never use pine type trees or citrus or eucalytus. And hang your meat about 12 to 16 inches from the base of the small smoldering fire as you want the smoke not the heat to cook and preserve what you want. Racks or hanging from hooks are the best since it gives better coverage of the surface area.

And salting, the meat can be placed in a layer of salt in a box or barrel, covered in salt and then another layer and on and on until done. Of course the item should be hung for a bit to let moisture drain away.

And brining, a salt and water and spice solution, usualy used for pork like salt pork, uniform pieces of pork or the meat of choice <beef is corned beef> and let it soak for several days, or weeks.

The thing with salting is, you will need to presoak and cook out the salt that was used to preserve the meat.

And pickling:

Vinegar, spices and your medium fish, pork, vegetables. Brew up your vinegar and spices like tea, then pour it over the items you want to pickle, seal in a crock or jar and leave alone for 2 weeks or longer so the item gets pickled. And these should remain preserved for several weeks or months once cured.
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