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Sunday, July 1, 2012

How Much Salt To Store

A salt mill for sea salt.

Original Article

Once again, I was replenishing a staple, salt in this case, and I started to crunch numbers in my head about how much salt I should consider storing for SHTF.  I thought enough about it that it turned into a post. :-D Enjoy.

Cooking with/Seasoning with – This part is easy. Even if I include baking in the figures, a couple of pounds of salt would see us through most of a year.

Preserving meat - This one is trickier to figure, but then I thought, what if I assume I want to preserve a half a cow? That’s as good a place as any to start.  That would be on average 200 pounds of dressed meat. And, if we remember our lessons from Chefbears post on Cuts of Meat not all of that will be suitable for preserving. Let’s keep the numbers even, this is back of the napkin level here, we’ll say that 150 pounds of it is  fit for preserving.  If we are using a curing mix that calls for 2 cups of salt per pound of beef, that’s 300 cups  of salt.   That’s good to know.

Pickling veggies – I’m thinking here of things like kimchi, where you’ll need a cup of salt for a crock of fermenting cabbage.  Or, even pickling cucumbers and dilly beans, those usually call for a tablespoon of salt per pint.  Vegetable preservation could easily take a couple of pounds of salt to pickle a large crop.  I think you’d find that after a couple of pounds of salt, jars and space will be your limiting factors, not stored salt.

Barter -I think salt could be an interesting barter commodity too. If you bought it in the small pound containers from the grocery store, it’s around 44 cents, and already portioned out into a convenient amount.  Keeping them away from water would be the hardest part. But, definitely worth a thought.
In the Mediterranean area, including Ancient Rome, salt was even used for money. The word salary comes from the Latin word for salt, because they paid people in salt. -wiki
Besides deciding all of the above, you’ll also want to decide how to split the weight of salt between Kosher salt, and Pickling salt and Iodized salt.  Split it to match how your family eats salt. Spend the money to get it into water proof containers.

How much salt would you store to get through a long SHTF event?

- Calamity Jane
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  1. If you have the room, I would fill up everything you don't have food in with salt. It will come in very valuable if teotwawki happens. sugar is the other one to store, it has more uses than just as a sweetener. Anyway, for the 2 adult humans and 3 large dogs, I plan on ~500 lbs. being stored. Salt is very important in food preservation and baking.

  2. Any recommendations on curing "recipes" and "how-tos"?