Guide to Freezing Food

Freezing food is one of the easiest methods of preservation for the homestead. Due to the small learning curve this is an easy way to preserve food. Additionally it does not require a huge investment in equipment. Furthermore, modern refrigerators are already equipped with small freezers.  However, if you really want to store a decent amount of frozen food, invest in a chest freezer.  

Many types of foods are amenable to freezing.  It is simply a matter of proper packaging and sometimes a little pre-freezing preparation.  Freezing foods is likely the least labor intensive method of food preservation. That is the advantage. However, there are also disadvantages. 

Most methods of food preservation have a limited shelf life and this includes freezing food. This is especially true of meat. If you have ever tried to eat a piece of meat that has been in the freezer for 2 years you know what freezer burned meat tastes like.  It is still edible but not...

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Off Grid Refrigeration: Propane versus Electric

When I started living off the grid in 1996, my technology options were limited.  However, since that time, there have been many advances that make an off grid life much easier.  This is especially true when it comes to off grid refrigeration. Not only have appliances become much more efficient but there are also many more options. Two of the most common options for off-grid refrigeration are propane and electric. But how do you choose?

The decision between these two appliances should begin with a comparison of efficiency and the long term cost of operation. For the sake of comparison, I will discuss the energy consumption of an 8 to 10 cubic foot refrigerator. Household refrigerators range in size from 8 to 30 cubic feet.  An 8 to 10 cubic foot unit is sufficient for two people. Add about one cubic foot for each additional family member. 

Now let’s get started with our choices for off grid refrigeration.

Propane refrigerator

Unlike the electric...

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Off Grid Appliances: Options for Cooking Off Grid

Living off grid is fun and challenging. If you are so motivated, you can find creative ways to take care of all of your basic necessities.  Of course, one of life’s basic necessities is cooking, food storage, and maintaining a safe and sanitary food supply.  How do you cook off grid? How do you keep fresh food easily available?  Fortunately, there are numerous high efficiency off grid appliances.  Consequently, this makes it easy to prepare meals and have reliable efficient refrigeration. 

In today’s world there are various choices for off grid appliances. This is great because it makes living off the grid that much easier.    

Off grid cook stove 

If you are living off grid, there are numerous options for cooking meals.  The most energy efficient means is using an off grid appliance that requires a solid fuel source. This is especially true if you are producing your own electricity.  

An electric stove draws a huge...

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Guide to Smoking Meat

Smoking meat has been a means of food preservation for thousands of years. It is especially useful if you live off the grid. However, it is also a means to prepare some excellent food and step out way beyond the basics of grilling. Yet many people are intimated by the thought of smoking meat and never even attempt to learn this art.

This guide to smoking meat is designed to not only teach you the basics but also give you some fantastic pointers on how to purchase your first smoker. But in the event you are limited on funds, this post will also give you what you need to turn your grill into a smoker.  

In other related posts, you will also learn the basics of Cold Smoking meat as well as a guide to purchasing your first smoker.  But for now,  let’s start out with the basics.


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The Quick Run Down on Backyard Farm Animals

Keeping backyard farm animals is an important part of the process of producing your own food. This goes hand-in-hand with gardening, hunting and fishing. By incorporating all three methods of food production, you can achieve a significant level of self sufficiency.

A surprising number of municipalities allow small backyard farm animals within city limits. More and more municipalities are starting to relax their regulations.  If you live in an urban area it is important to check your local ordinances. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out what you are allowed to have. Be sure to ask if there are any limitations. For example, you may be allowed to have chickens but not a rooster.

Be sure to choose backyard farm animals that are tolerant to your local climate. And just as importantly, choose animals according to the purpose you have in mind, such as meat versus milk production.

As with most animals, good husbandry is key. This means providing shelter against adverse...

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Food Storage for Self Reliance

One of the most important aspects of self reliance is having some measure of control over your food supply. Most people accomplish this by several different means. They usually  raise small backyard farm animals, plant a  garden, home food preservation,  as well as hunting and fishing. While these skills are the very foundation of self reliance, there are folks that are in no position to have a garden or raise animals. However, it is still possible to reach a great degree of self reliance by other methods. For example, it is possible to gain control over your food supply by simply stocking up on common grocery store items. Additionally, you must adhere to some basic principles of food storage.

These days there are numerous businesses that command a huge corner of the long-term food storage market. They also provide a lot of wonderful information regarding the value and advantages of their products. As a result, I have in fact purchased a number of things from theses...

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Establishing an Emergency Food Supply

An important first step in preparing for the unexpected is simply establishing an emergency food supply. From the perspective of being self sufficient, having extra supplies is fundamental.

I grew up with two working farms in the family and we always had a large walk-in closet that was well stocked with home canned goods, extra dry goods, and other basic supplies. This was a normal part of being self sufficient. I would strongly recommend that you do the same thing. This is something that is very easy and inexpensive to accomplish and it is similar to having an insurance policy.




There are several distinct advantages to establishing and emergency food supply. On a very practical level, if something were to happen and you either could not work or you were simply unemployed for a period of time, you would still be able feed yourself. If a major storm comes through your area and there is a significant interruption in the local...

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When Did Practicality Turn Into Prepping?

Having grown up with 2 working farms in the family, we were about as self sufficient as you could be. We raised cattle, chickens, pigs, rabbits, goats, and had an extensive garden. We hunted, fished, foraged, canned and preserved food in every way possible. We never really talked about self sufficiency. It was simply the way we lived. But, were we actually prepping? 

Practicality or Prepping?

When I was younger, I thought all the effort at self sufficiency was way to much work. I deemed it unpleasant if only for the reason that my parents made me do it. At the time, I knew little of how such experiences would shape my adult life.

For the past 20 years I have had a cabin that is 100% off grid. It is the usual story of the utility companies wanting to charge way to much money to supply services. I loved the property and the location so I dedicated myself to learning how to live off the grid.

I installed solar, high efficiency DC appliances, eventually LED lighting, and built a...

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