There are several helpful tips on how to preserve your foods with and without electricity in the "Preparing For the Coming Collapse of the US Dollar" book. However, my philosophy on writing the book is that it is more important for the information to be available than to earn money on the sale of the book. Perhaps it is selfishness, because the less people that are out there panicking because they have no food, the safer the area will be where my family and I will have to travel for day to day business. Regardless, here are a few tips that are in the book and some that aren't.
There are two main enemies of preservation of meats and they are fat and moisture. Trim away as much fat as you can, don't toss it, we'll discuss what to do with it all later. If you can eliminate the fat and moisture in a cut of meat, you will be more than halfway to a goal of preserving meats.
1. Salting - There is a short video on my You Tube channel on salting to preserve meat. (http://www.youtube.com/user/DavidStevenRoberts?feature=mhum) Salt costs about two dollars for a five pound box at a warehouse club. You can use kosher salt, but table salt works just as well. Trim the meat you want to preserve of all skin, fat and gristle pieces. Rinse blood off and pat dry. Place meat in airtight container on a layer of salt and pour another layer of salt over it. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour depending on thickness. Dump used salt into a plastic container, rinse meat and do it again. Dump salt again, use new salt and repeat. Seal the container for 24 hours. Dump this salt and refill with new salt. This meat should last for up to one year, if kept sealed and at room temperature.
2. Smoking/Curing - A smoker can be built with a metal trash can, some grill grates and a supply of hardwood or charcoal. Remember slow smoking is preservation, fast smoking is preparation. If you 'cure' a ham, the cured ham can be stored for up to a year in room temperatures. The curing process however, requires at least a month's worth of electricity until the process is complete. Begin now!
3. Dehydrating - But, David, there's no electricity! My dehydrator won't work! No problem. You can dehydrate foods using the power of the sun. Use the dashboard of the car that isn't going anywhere and let the food sit there for a few hours. On a hot day the inside temperature of a vehicle can reach 130 degrees. Build a solar dehydrator. Start dehydrating now while you have power and this won't be a problem. Other options include: the sun oven, a solar generator with enough juice to run a couple of dehydrators and the ingenious cheapo method.
4. Ingenious Cheapo Method to Dehydrate Meats - Place strips of beef in the ridges of a clean air filter. (not fiberglass) Tape another air filter over the top of this one and place more strips of beef on that one. Set one more filter over this one and tape them together. Place the filters in a window where the flow of air comes through naturally and wait for the movement of air to dehydrate your meat. These cheap filters are about $2.00 a piece and can dehydrate 15-16 large strips of meat. If you still have some power, attach the filters to the back of a fan and turn it on to speed up dehydration.
If you are sitting at home and all of a sudden the power goes off, use any or all of these methods to keep the foods you have purchased edible. You don't HAVE to toss it all! If you have already prepared yourself with a good supply of preserved, canned, smoked, salted or dried meats, you can always preserve the rest of what you have in the same way for when the power cuts off permanently.