How to Preserve Meat for a Long Time Without the Fridge: 10 Proven Options

How you can keep raw meat for a short time without refrigeration

There are 8 ways you can keep a delicious piece of cow, chicken, or pig from dying again.

  • ice – pour into a container and put the meat there, close the container tightly and wrap it with a cloth, change the ice every 3-4 hours (storage time – 3 days);
  • mutton or pork fat – coat a piece of meat in fat, wrap it in paper or cloth, and put it in a dark cool place (storage period – 4 days);
  • Cooking – cut the meat into slices, put in a saucepan, add 5-6 tablespoons of salt and water, cook for 3-4 minutes, transfer to a container, cover, and put in a dark cool place (shelf life – 2 days);
  • horseradish, sorrel, or nettle – wrap plants around meat, sprinkle with salt, and change leaves every 7-8 hours (storage life – 2 days);
  • Vinegar – wash the meat, pour vinegar over it, wrap it in a cotton cloth, put it in a container and cover tightly, and then every 7-8 hours change the solution and drain the liquid (storage life – 3 days);
  • Milk – wash the meat, put it in a container, pour cold milk, cover and put in a dark cool place (shelf life – 2 days);
  • Lemon and cabbage – beat cabbage leaves with a hammer, wrap meat in them, put slices of lemon on top, and again wrap cabbage (storage life depends on the amount of cabbage and lemon).

Some craftsmen even use honey as a preservative for meat, you too, if you wish, can follow their example. It’s enough just to spread a piece of meat with honey, put it in a clean container, and cover it with a lid. Store in a cool, dark place for no longer than 2 days.

How to preserve fresh meat for a long time

If you need the product you bought not to spoil for a longer period than two or three days, you can buy one or more of the suggested folk remedies.

IMPORTANT: keep in mind that the meat will have a specific smell and taste when processed.

Salicylic Acid

Rinse meat, dilute 1 tsp. salicylic acid in 0.5 liters of water. Take a piece of cloth bigger than the size of the piece of meat, and soak it in the solution. Wrap it around the meat and put it into an enamel bowl. Close it tightly with a lid and keep it closed. Put the meat in a dark, cool place and keep it for no longer than two weeks.


This method is quite popular among travelers and those who are used to surviving in different conditions. There are two options for using salt in this case:

  • salt solution – dilute in 0.5 l of water 10 tbsp of salt, put the meat there for a day, then put it in glass jars and pour the solution;
  • dry salt – sliced pieces of meat put in several layers, pouring salt over them.

Store the meat in both cases should be in a dark cool place, the period – about three months. Before you use it for cooking, you need to put the pieces in clean water for 2-3 hours so that excess salt comes out of the fibers.

There are also other methods – canning, drying, or curing meat. On how to properly make jerky at home to preserve it for a long time, we told in a previous article.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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