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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!


I absolutely hated your pemmican the first time I tried it. My mouth was like "oh, no! This isn't a texture that I am familiar with!" 
But surprisingly, I kept going back for more because my BODY knew it was good stuff.  
I am now a complete pemmican addict. I think it's delicious & would eat it preferentially over just about any other breakfast food before a workout. (Even if my non-pemmican eating husband calls it pelican!)
Posted @ Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:54 AM by Barb
I will eat it at room temp or out of the freezer for 15 minutes or so, but I love it warmed until very soft. It's great with a fried egg, and I've come to enjoy it mixed in a bowl of oatmeal!
Posted @ Wednesday, December 12, 2012 10:03 PM by Ed
Right - I need to try this! I'm quite embarrassed that I haven't so far!
Posted @ Monday, December 17, 2012 9:33 PM by Paleo Suz
Based on several recommendations, I was looking at this for long-distance hiking. However, it appears that the storage recommendations and shelf life would not allow this.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 08, 2013 8:50 AM by Dave
Hi all, had a great hiking year using pemmican from Norway to Yosemite. Using dry ice and creek beds extended my summer use to around 3 weeks in the bush. I sure look forward to the day you come out with a shelf stable product. I bet there are a few of use who would pay more or donate to the cause of machine upgrades. I can't tell you how cool it is to carry less weight in my pack and be supercharged by eating this way. Not to mention my food prep time eating time is reduced to negligible. With two and half months in the bush this year I am yet sold again on pemmican. Thanks AC
Posted @ Friday, January 11, 2013 9:22 AM by allan
I use the pemmican as my primary food source when hiking and kayaking in the hot weather of Southern Nevada. It is very soft after a few hours in 100+ temperatures. I am out for 1-3 days at a time and refreeze what I do not use. I do not attempt to keep it cold but ensure the package has not been damaged. Never had any problems and love the energy. One bar is a lot of food and I have to work at eating it all - LOL.
Posted @ Sunday, January 20, 2013 8:05 AM by Carl Parker
Curious about the casing that is used... Is it edible? I remove the wrapper but I wasn't sure if the casing that keeps the shape was something I could eat?! Thanks!
Posted @ Tuesday, January 29, 2013 12:51 AM by Brandon Budge
We recommend removing the casing before enjoying the pemmican!
Posted @ Tuesday, January 29, 2013 8:58 AM by US Wellness Meats
Please tell me if this is a cooked product. Are all ingredients in this product cooked to 165 degrees? 
Posted @ Tuesday, February 19, 2013 1:00 AM by motherfish
Yes - pemmican is fully cooked and can be enjoyed right out of the package. It is a combination of our dried beef jerky and our beef pemmican.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 19, 2013 9:41 AM by US Wellness Meats
Do you have a projected time for the Cherry Honey Bars becoming available and do accept back orders?
Posted @ Thursday, February 21, 2013 1:52 PM by Ted Rupp
Why does the nutritional data vary so significantly between the three types of pemmican?
Posted @ Friday, March 01, 2013 10:00 PM by Penelope Pemmican
Disappointed by the lack of response. Let me spell it out. 
According to the nutrition information you have posted: 
Serving size: 3 oz 
Calories: 400 
Calories from fat: 340 
Total fat: 37g 
Protein: 15g 
Serving size: 3 oz 
Calories: 380 
Calories from fat: 310 
Total fat: 34g 
Protein: 14g 
Serving size: 3 oz 
Calories: 300 
Calories from fat: 210 
Total fat: 23g 
Protein: 22g 
In an email, you told me: "Taking the salt completely out of the pemmican will alter the  
nutritional data a bit, that's the biggest difference between the two products." 
I'm having a hard time understanding how salt alone can account for a difference of 100 calories, 14g of fat, and 7g of protein between the honey/cherry-free and the salt-free varieties. 
Perhaps you can clarify.
Posted @ Monday, March 11, 2013 12:29 PM by Penelope Pemmican
I was wondering if you are still planning on offering shelf-stable pemmican one day?
Posted @ Tuesday, April 23, 2013 11:44 AM by BeckyT
We have sent all of our pemmican bars back to have the nutrition data tested again and will have those results posted as soon as they are available.  
We would like to offer the shelf-stable pemmican and will post any new information on it as it is available.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 23, 2013 1:57 PM by US Wellness Meats
I can't stop eating this stuff: 'Fills you up', no stomach trouble (can't say that any other food), tastes excellent, tons of energy. 
I, too, would be interested in a shelf-stable (recipe and packaging) form, but what you guys have right now is delicious! 
Suggestion: Cranberry or (ooh) Blueberry forms? Unfortunately, cherries are a stone fruit, which I react to a little bit...
Posted @ Friday, April 26, 2013 7:25 PM by P. C.
Dear US Wellness Meats Persons:  
Your have the Bison. you have the Bison fat. You have the cherries. You have the processing and shipping expertise. You have the marketing skills and excellent product reputation. Why in goodness sake don't you produce Bison Pemmican? There is a large market for its sale among anyone interested in Canadian Voyageur history, Fur Trade History, American Voyage of Discovery History, all the various re-inactment groups of Mountain Men, Santa Fe and Oregon Trail Riders, and now, health food nuts who hate beef for some reason, but love natural-organic (what ever that means) protein like BISON. I'm sure you could put together a palatable product with pleanty of health and nutritional benefits advertising, yet still have a tasty, unique , calorie loaded -vitimen packed- no refrigeration need for a week outdoor, food product that sustained the Native American Indians-First Nations Peoples of Canada for thousands of years along with the French-Canadian-Scottish Voyageurs and Metis. In addition you probably would have the blessing of such powerful and rich individuals as Ted Turner, who Hollywood listens to, and who has a special place in his heart for the American Buffalo (Bison bison). 
I mean, the Bison is on our coins, in our movies, sought after in our National Parks, is the ultimate symbol of power, freedom, resurrection from near extinction, and individuality. You can't get much more AMERICAN than the Buffalo. Get some imfamous celebrity like Tiger Woods, or Lady Gaga to endorse it and I would buy your stock certificats. 
Looking forward to trying the Bison Jerky and Rib Eye steaks just ordered. 
Posted @ Saturday, May 04, 2013 9:34 AM by Rick Willging
I am curious as to what temperature the pemmican is dehydrated at?
Posted @ Thursday, June 13, 2013 10:34 PM by BT
Didn't know anyone sold real pemmican anywhere online. Thought I'd have to make it myself--haven't found any time to actually do that yet though. Really excited to have stumbled across this website! The recipes I've seen for pemmican though used suet instead of tallow. And the beef wasn't cooked, but simply dried into a jerky using a dehydrator. Is tallow the same thing as suet? Or is using suet the way to make the "shelf-stable" version? And how is the beef "cooked"? Thank you!
Posted @ Wednesday, September 18, 2013 6:51 PM by Michael
Good questions! Suet is the raw fat, and tallow is rendered suet. To make our pemmican, we start with the raw suet, render it down into tallow, and then mix that with our dried jerky. There is still a very small percentage of moisture in the jerky, which is why its not quite shelf stable. If you have any other questions please let us know.
Posted @ Thursday, September 19, 2013 8:19 AM by US Wellness Meats
I have very narrow food choices (right now meat and vegetables) and I love these!It's a quick snack, and if I feel myself getting shaky, I grab one of these and it does the trick. I'll definitely buy more!
Posted @ Saturday, October 12, 2013 6:42 PM by Dianne
I am just curious why the nutrition label for the salt-free pemmican bar lists 1g of carbohydrate. Shouldn't the pemmican be "zero carb" because it consists only of beef jerky and tallow? Before ordering, I would just like to verify that the beef jerky is 100% pure beef and that no sugar or carbohydrate-containing substances are added. Thank you very much for your help!
Posted @ Wednesday, October 23, 2013 1:07 PM by Peter
Thanks, you helped make another great hike ultra light due to your pemmican. Two weeks in the Bear Tooth Mountain wilderness area with pemmican and trout. I almost felt like a explorer of old, except when I opened the plastic wrap. Ha Ha Oh and three weeks hiking in Norway with pemmican. Its become a habit that I can live with. Lost 80 lbs last year my blood work is excellent and my sedentary friends recovering from triple by pass surgeries just cant believe it. SHHHH don't let it out. Last thing, 1 gram carbs come on paleo is 80/20 anyway if you do better great don't stress and minutia the world.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:39 PM by allan collins
I'm confused. I thought the pemmican was supposed to last indefinitely. So why the short shelf life?
Posted @ Tuesday, October 29, 2013 6:56 PM by Vic
I was wondering if you are still trying to get to the point that you can offer shelf-stable pemmican?
Posted @ Sunday, December 01, 2013 1:40 PM by B
Make the shelf stable pemmican please! I also liked the idea of the buffalo pemmican. I would buy that in a heart beat.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:34 AM by William
I noticed the nutrition label for the pemmican has trans fat on it. I was wondering what that was about? I thought that trans fat was a man made fat. Can you clarify?
Posted @ Friday, December 13, 2013 5:32 PM by Keleah
Keleah, I came here with the same question about trans fats. But since I didn't find an answer I looked around and found this from Chris Kresser (whose opinion I respect): 
These naturally occurring trans fats in ruminant animal products are not at all harmful to our health, and may actually reduce the development of many different chronic diseases.
Posted @ Saturday, January 11, 2014 1:49 AM by Karl
Is this stuff intended for human consumption? I will give it to my dog.
Posted @ Thursday, January 16, 2014 4:28 PM by James Mc
That's some expensive dog food, think your pets.worth it....personally, I keep it for my consumption on the trail.....otherwise a waste of good money IMHO.......Live Your Own Life though !
Posted @ Thursday, January 16, 2014 4:37 PM by Coastal
Pemmican is indeed intended for human consumption! We start with our grass-fed beef jerky, mix it with the grass-fed tallow, and form it into bars. Your dog will probably like it also! 
For more information on trans fats, see our blog post on the subject:  
Posted @ Friday, January 17, 2014 8:27 AM by US Wellness Meats
How much longer till you have a long shelf live version? 
The original purpose of this was a long distance nutritional food, if you got this with a 1 year shelf life you wouldn't be able to keep up with the orders from preppers and survivalists. 
Seriously you might not understand how big the prepper market is world wide but this product is the prepper holy grail, and the armed forces market would have a field day, I dont know if you have ever eaten a MRE, i hope you never have :P but seriously you want to grow your buisness then sought out the shelf life issue, even if its not ready to eat and requires a bit of cooking ect that wont matter.
Posted @ Sunday, January 19, 2014 12:04 PM by Daniel
So ultimately, all I would have to do is to dry the jerky more to make it shelf stable? This consists of making our own of course. There are so many people here wanting shelf stable pemiccan. Maybe it is best for them to buy the meat and tallow and make it. Would save on plastic and money. Maybe you all don't trust yourselves? Does your farms ever worry about not having enough cattle?
Posted @ Sunday, July 13, 2014 7:35 AM by Jrny4wrd
Curious - what is the casing made from? Couldn't tell from the label since it's not listed separately on the label like "beef collagen casing".
Posted @ Thursday, July 17, 2014 2:10 PM by Cathy Raymond
Where are the transfats coming from? are they something to be concerned with?
Posted @ Sunday, August 24, 2014 1:44 PM by jonathan
Jonathan, all grass-fed beef has naturally occurring transfats. It is not the same as a partially hydrogenated trans fat and is nothing to be concerned about.
Posted @ Tuesday, September 02, 2014 2:55 AM by Karl
Could you please post the answer to the observation that was submitted on March 11, 2013? What account for the difference? 
"I'm having a hard time understanding how salt alone can account for a difference of 100 calories, 14g of fat, and 7g of protein between the honey/cherry-free and the salt-free varieties." 
Posted @ Friday, September 12, 2014 8:38 PM by Cathy
I read where some people create their own "bars" by putting pemmican on waxed paper, and forming as they wish, then re-freezing. What do you suggest: storing the "bars" in plastic freezer bags, or in ice cube trays (on or off waxed paper), or ... I ran out of ideas. Do you have any? I would like to avoid "freezer burn" taste, that's what is prompting my question for freezer storage. Thanks!
Posted @ Friday, October 03, 2014 11:11 AM by Jackie
Are you still planning on offering shelf-stable pemmican at some point? It would be fantastic if you did!
Posted @ Thursday, November 13, 2014 5:16 AM by Becky
Can the beef pemmican be given to dogs?
Posted @ Sunday, December 14, 2014 6:36 PM by Theresa`
PLEASE make a shelf stable product!!!!! I have 11 kids and not enough time to make my own and not enough freezer storage for this type. I would like a LARGE amount for emergency food storage!!!!!! Good to be prepared for long term power outage and food scarcity! Thanks
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