The Wellness Blog


Posted by US Wellness Meats on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 @ 10:13 AM

Pemmican is a concentrated mixture of fat and protein used as a nutritious food. The word comes from the Cree word pimîhkân, "pemmican", which itself is derived from the word pimî, "fat, grease".  It’s a recipe that was developed by North American Indians in which lean meat from large game, such as buffalo, elk, or moose, was sliced and dried in the sun or in the smoke of a fire, then ground into powder using rocks.  The meat powder was sometimes mixed with available berries and then put into a rawhide bag.  After that, melted fat was added to the mixture to complete the recipe.  During the fur trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, pemmican was a dietary mainstay.  It was also heavily relied upon by European explorers as they ventured through North America.  Our pemmican recipe is based on a native Cherokee Indian recipe.


How We Make It:

We start with our grass-fed beef jerky, which comes from the inside round muscle, and then grind it down to remove as much moisture as possible (to preserve the shelf life).  We then blend that with our grass-fed beef tallow, along with water and any other ingredients, such as cherries, honey, or sea salt, depending on which flavor we are making.


  • Regular Pemmican: jerky, tallow, water, dried cherry, raw honey, sea salt
  • Honey/Cherry-Free Pemmican: jerky, tallow, water sea salt
  • Salt Free Pemmican: jerky, tallow

Serving Suggestions:

Pemmican does not need to be cooked or heated. Some prefer the firmer consistency when the bars are pulled directly from the freezer and allowed to thaw for 5-15 minutes. Other customers eat the bars at room temperature. It just comes down to individual preference.  Pemmican consists of a blend of tallow (40%) and beef jerky (60%).  Our pemmican is offered with or without dried cherries and raw honey.  The inclusion of dried cherries and raw honey act as a natural preservative and additional energy is obtained from honey.  Pemmican was, and still is, a wonder food.

How to Eat Pemmican:

Pemmican is a great way to start the day.  You can store pemmican in the freezer, as it will not freeze completely solid due to all of the tallow on board.  After just a few minutes at room temperature, it will thaw enough to eat easily.  If you leave them out at room temperature, the bars will get quite a bit softer.  Consuming pemmican before a workout provides a great boost of energy and protein, and one bar post-workout is a great way to refuel. 

Our Thoughts on Pemmican:

For some of our customers, pemmican is a novelty to try. For others, the Pemmican becomes a staple of their everyday diet for a natural, healthy source of energy. If your palate is ready to enjoy real, unprocessed flavors, we think you will find the pemmican satisfying. Many of our customers, especially trainers and athletes, absolutely love our pemmican to the brink of addiction.

We describe our pemmican as "everyday" pemmican; it is the perfect balance of fat and protein, but in a softer, easier to consume texture.  We have sampled shelf stable "emergency" versions of pemmican over the years made by customers and friends.  While shelf stable, pemmican in this form is very hard.  Along with the overwhelming majority of our customers, we prefer the softer version for a quick, easy to consume energy source.  Due to demand for our current three varieties, we do not make a shelf stable pemmican at this time.  We do offer the raw ingredients- tallow and lean cuts- through our online store if you would like to try making your own pemmican.  A simple online search will bring up many pemmican recipes and helpful hints if you are courageous in the kitchen!

Bars vs. Pails:

Each pemmican bar weighs in at approximately 2.2 ounces each and are a handy snack to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anytime in between! Some customers buy the pails and make their own "bars" by forming the pemmican in various sizes on wax paper. Then, the Pemmican is re-frozen and a variety of sizes are available (even snack size pemmican bars!) when quick energy boosts are needed.  You can save on the bars by buying in bulk, if you buy 50-100 bars you can save 10% each.

Pemmican Storage:

Your preference for storage will determine the pemmican's shelf life. We suggest the following storage guidelines to our customers:

  • Store pemmican bars and pails in the freezer for up to 2 years
  • Store pemmican bars and pails in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks
  • Keep safely at room temperature for a week to ten days

Per USDA requirements, the labels will state to "Keep Frozen".  We are required to have this on the label since we do not use any preservatives or nitrates, however it will be safe at room temperature for a week to ten days. 

Nutritional Data- Honey/Cherry Free Pemmican


Even if you don't fall in love with eating the pemmican as a stand alone product, it is a wonderful addition to stir-frying vegetables or frying eggs as suggested on our website. We have also received feedback from customers that gradually became accustomed to the deeper, more subtle, natural flavors of grass-fed meats. Thus, they tried the pemmican again and had a better experience.

We appreciate your interest in our pemmican. Let us know what you think, we always like to hear customer feedback about our products!

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Product Information, Good Fats