Root cellars, which were covered in the last post, are only a part of the story when it comes to preserving foods the old-fashioned way. The old time food preservation began with the smokehouse for flavoring and preserving meat. Apart from being traditional, smoking meat also happens to use no fossil fuels if the old methods are used. It does not require that the person doing it be “on the grid” at all and therefore is an essential skill for independence-minded meat eaters to have.
Build a Smokehouse: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin by Ed Epstein is a part of the Country Wisdom series started in 1973. The first two chapters define smoking for the city-dweller that has never seen a smokehouse let alone tackled the problems inherent in building one. It covers the way in which smoke preserves meat and the way it improves the flavor of of it as well. For the reader who picked up the book without any interest in actually building a smokehouse, this chapter alone may be enough motivation to actually follow through with the plans detailed in the following chapters.
The various parts of a smokehouse are also described. These are what the builder will be putting together when he or she takes on this project. While it is suggested that the person attempting to build a smokehouse have some experience with carpentry, the author also suggests that constructing a smokehouse is an excellent starter project for the novice builder who would like to get their feet wet on something less challenging than a house or barn.