skip to Main Content

The Ultimate Guide to Making Pemmican: A High-Energy Survival Food

Are you looking for a high-energy survival food that you can make at home? Look no further than pemmican! Pemmican has been used by Indigenous peoples in North America for centuries as a portable, long-lasting source of nutrition. It was also a staple food for European explorers and traders in the 18th and 19th centuries. In this article, we’ll go over what pemmican is, its nutritional benefits, and a step-by-step guide on how to make it yourself.

What is Pemmican?

Pemmican is a mixture of dried meat, fat, and sometimes berries or other dried fruit. The meat used can be any lean meat, such as beef, bison, or deer. The fat used is usually rendered from the same animal, and can include tallow, lard, or even bear fat. The meat and fat are combined with dried fruit and mixed together until it forms a paste. The paste is then formed into small cakes or balls and can be stored for long periods of time without spoiling.

Nutritional Benefits of Pemmican

Pemmican is a high-energy food that is packed with protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It was the perfect food for Indigenous peoples and European explorers who needed a portable, long-lasting source of nutrition. Pemmican is also a great source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and B vitamins. The fat in pemmican is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function, heart health, and reducing inflammation.

How to Make Pemmican

Now that you know what pemmican is and its nutritional benefits, let’s get into how to make it yourself.


  • 1 pound of lean meat
  • 1 cup of rendered fat (tallow, lard, or bear fat)
  • 1 cup of dried berries or other dried fruit (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°F.
  2. Cut your lean meat into thin strips and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Place the seasoned meat in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 8-12 hours, or until the meat is completely dry and brittle.
  4. Remove the meat from the oven and let it cool completely. Once cooled, grind the meat into a powder using a food processor or blender.
  5. Melt your rendered fat in a saucepan over low heat until it is completely liquid.
  6. Add the dried berries or other dried fruit to the melted fat and stir until they are coated.
  7. Add the powdered meat to the melted fat and fruit mixture and stir until everything is combined.
  8. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and let it cool completely.
  9. Cut the cooled mixture into small cakes or balls and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Pemmican is a high-energy survival food that is easy to make at home. With its long shelf life and nutritional benefits, it’s a great addition to any prepper’s pantry or camping supplies. Whether you’re hiking in the backcountry or preparing for an emergency, pemmican is a reliable source of nutrition that will keep you fueled and energized for whatever comes your way.

Back To Top