jerky to make it last longer and make it easier to transport as well as having an extra protein source on hand. Smoking will prevent the waste of valuable meat and allow you to kill bigger game. Fish, large mammals, and large reptiles
can all be smoked and preserved for later use.
To properly smoke meat dig about a two foot deep pit, start a fire and let it burn down to a nice hot bed of coals. Ideally you will want the temperature of the coals so you can hold your hand four inches above them for 7-8 seconds. An alternative to digging a pit is to build a tripod to go over the coals.
Next, trim the fresh meat of all fat, skin, and bone. Fat will spoil and ruin your cuts of meat. Cut the meat across the grain into 1/4" thick or less strips. If you have salt available you can press some into the surface of the meat or make a brine solution and marinate the meat.
You will need to skewer these strips onto a green stick and place it about 1-2 feet above the coals depending on how hot the coals are. Remember you are not trying to cook the meat only remove the moisture from it.
Now onto the smoking, you will need to mix green hardwood and fuel wood to keep the fire from being smothered but you also want a lot of smoke. The smoke and heat create a film over the meat that will prevent flies from laying their eggs on the meat and keep other bugs away too. By removing the moisture the meat will not rot and the heat kills bacteria. Do not use pine or other softwoods for smoking unless there is no other wood available. Softwoods such as pine will taint the flavor of the meat but won't hurt you. The amount of time required to properly smoke the meat varies greatly and there are too many variables to take into account, the best way to check for doneness is by feel. Pay close attention to the meat checking it ever so often for dryness. If the meat bends it is not done if it cracks it is dry enough.
For food safety even once the meat is smoked it should be cooked when possible to kill any bacteria. Smoked meat will store for up to one year and is an excellent way to preserve meat for the long haul.