How to Make Pemmican

Making Pemmican by Hand

Did you know you can make pemmican at home with basic ingredients and simple steps?

Pemmican is a preserved meat-based food made from lean meat, animal fats and berries. Native pemmicanAmericans invented the method in the 1700’s and 1800’s. Because it stores for long periods without spoilage, it was ideal for traveling and long hunting/trading trips.

Today, Pemmican is making a huge comeback; especially among Paleo and whole foods dieters, survivalists and preppers.

How to Make Pemmican: Venison or Beef

This is the simplest explanation of how to make pemmican. A video tutorial and then a great fruit-honey pemmican recipe with more exact amounts and directions follows.

Pemmican Ingredients:

  • Meat
  • Fat
  • Berries

Steps to Making Pemmican:

  1. Dehydrate Meat and berries
  2. Render Animal Fat
  3. Combine ingredients
  4. Allow to set, chill or freeze.

Video: How to Make Pemmican

This is a wonderful how-to video on making Pemmican from scratch. Pemmican is great for camping trips, hiking, and homemade survival food storage.

Pemmican Recipe #1

Meat & Fruit Pemmican with Honey

Do cowboys eat pemmican? Certainly! This is a great pemmican recipe, making 9+ cups of pemmican. Pemmican can be stored in a tub, or rolled out and cut into bars.

You’ll Need:

  • 5 cups lean meat (deer, beef, caribou or moose)
  • 3-4 cups dried fruit
  • 5 cups rendered fat
  • 1 cup unsalted nuts
  • 1/2 cup honey


  1. The meat should be as lean as possible and finely ground at home or by the butcher. Dry the meat, either by spreading in a thin layer on a cookie sheet and baking at 180 degrees F in an oven for 7-9 hours, or in a food dehydrator on the jerky setting.
  2. Pound the dried meat into a powdery consistency. You can use a blender of food processor or pound it by hand.
  3. Grind the dried fruit, either completely pulverizing it or leaving some lumps for texture.
  4. Heat the rendered fat on stove at medium-low until it melts.
  5. Combine meat, powdered dried fruit, fat, chopped nuts and honey.
  6. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Allow to cool completely before storing and eating.

Also read The Lost Ways Review by Claude Davis

Historical Facts about Pemmican

Pemmican, sometimes misspelled pemican, originated with the Native Americans, in what is now the United States as well as in Canada.

“Pemmican” originates from Cree, in which the name pimîhkân comes from pimî, or “fat, grease”. It was heavily used by fur-trading Europeans after they interacted with the Native Americans who were using it in their travels and trading trips.

Since the food was long-lasting and did not spoil, was full of energy and protein and easily digested, it was an excellent trail food for those traveling throughout the continent.

Historically, pemmican was made from whatever meats, fats and berries were available at the time. The best was typically a combination of bone marrow fat and the lean meats of deer, elk, or buffalo.

Have you ever made Pemmican?

Share your tips or ask questions from those who’ve already done it.