pemmican bar feat image

Pemmican Recipe

posted in: Recipes

Made from the most essential ingredients for human health, meat and fat, pemmican is extremely satiating and very nourishing.

In a simple, straightforward process, hot tallow is mixed with dry meat and left to set. The final combination is a long-lasting, nutrient dense, nonperishable food.

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What Herbs and Spices are Best?

pemmican recipe 1

The answer to this question is really up to you!

What flavors do you enjoy most? A spicy Mexican blend of cilantro, onion, and cumin? An Italian blend of oregano, basil, and garlic?

I favor the mesquite seasoning from Mountain Rose Herbs that features rosemary, marjoram, and sage in combination with spicy accents of paprika, cumin, and garlic.

If you’re following a Carnivore Diet, herbs and spices aren’t on your radar. In this case, use the simple combination of meat, tallow, and salt.

Use what you like, taste, and adjust as needed.

Want to give pemmican a try without the work?

US wellness offers a variety of flavors and sizes of pemmican to choose from if you want to test it out before committing to making your own.

No pemmican recipe needs to be heated or cooked again after its made. This is part of it wonder, pemmican is completely shelf stable and, when prepared correctly, does not go rancid.

pemmican recipe - kids

Tips for your Pemmican Recipe

  • Use equal (1:1) proportion (by weight) of meat to tallow. I usually combine 400 g each of meat and tallow. You can double or half the recipe easily, as you see fit.
  • Add your own Home Rendered Tallow to the meat or source from US Wellness (they have individual pails and large 5-gallon buckets).
  • Dry meat with a food dehydrator
  • Dry meat in the oven with a baking sheet at the lowest setting, approximately 155°F (70°C) for a few hours until dry, flip once. Use thin strips.
  • Ground beef is easy to work with, affordable, and blends into a fine powder well. You may also use thinly cut loin, sirloin, or other lean part of choice.
  • Tracking macros can be done by calculating the amount of meat you use correctly, 6 pounds of fresh meat makes 1 pound dry, ground meat.
  • If making a half batch, use muffin or mini muffin tins to mold the “dough”.
  • Want more fat? I have tried different levels of fat to meat, sometimes going up to 75% fat, 25% meat…in the end, it was a little too much but you are encouraged to experiment and find a ratio that works for you.

The Carnivore Cookbook cover

Do You Love Meat Like We Do?

Grab a copy of The Carnivore Cookbook from our shop!

The preparation of animal foods is completely demystified in The Carnivore Cookbook with a focus on nutrient density and nose-to-tail variety.

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pemmican bar feat image

Pemmican Recipe

A good Pemmican Recipe makes the ultimate keto and carnivore “protein bar”, perfect for travel and long-term storage. It won’t smush, squish, or spill.
3.37 from 11 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Traditional
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 pieces
Calories: 564kcal



  • Combine the dry meat and salt. Add optional herbs and spices, mix well.
  • Warm tallow in a heat safe container until melted in a double boiler or at low temperature in the oven. At 350 degrees F, it takes about 10 minutes.
    tallow for pemmican recipe
  • Pour tallow over meat and stir well, until combined. There should be just enough tallow to completely cover the dried meat. Mix it up with a sturdy spoon.
    pemmican recipe 2
  • Transfer to an 8x8-inch baking dish (or roll into balls between the palms of your hand) and leave to harden, score into squares, and store in an air tight container. Keep in the fridge or pantry.
    pemmican recipe rolled


Dry your meat ahead of time in a food dehydrator or bake thin strips on a baking sheet in the oven at the lowest setting, approximately 155°F (70°C) for a few hours until dry, flip once. Ground beef is easy to work with, affordable, and blends well. You may also use thinly cut loin, sirloin, or other lean part of choice.

Macros and Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Pemmican Recipe
Amount Per Serving (50 g)
Calories 564 Calories from Fat 477
% Daily Value*
Fat 53g82%
Saturated Fat 31g194%
Cholesterol 132mg44%
Sodium 1834mg80%
Potassium 311mg9%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 1250IU25%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @PrimalEdgeHealth or tag #pehrecipe so I can repost my favs!

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keto/carnivore Pemmican Recipe

19 Responses

  1. Kay
    | Reply

    Looking for keto recipes for hiking foods suitable for multi-day hikes. This looks great!

    • Jessica
      | Reply

      Pemmican would surely be a good choice. We’d love to hear how it works for you.

  2. Alyssa
    | Reply

    This recipe looks great for my husband who travels a lot. My question is, do I cook the meat then dry it? Or dry it raw?

    Thanks, love your recipes!

    • Tristan
      | Reply

      We put in the dehydrator raw ,no need to precook it

  3. Rachel Gates-Smith
    | Reply

    Sounds great! Working on my first batch.. Wondering what temp I should set the dehydrated at for drying raw ground beef and organ meat?

    • Tristan
      | Reply

      I set mine at the meat setting, 155 F/68 C

  4. Dave
    | Reply

    How much Pemmican is needed per day to sustain an adult in moderate activity?

    • Jessica
      | Reply

      Depends 😉

  5. Robert Patterson
    | Reply

    My son is leaving to walk the AT next week. Saw this and plan to make some to send with his other packages going out. You say is good for at least two weeks. If we ship in air tight packaging, week it be good for a little longer?

    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      So cool! Yes – in an airtight container = longer storage. I’ve stored pemmican for a long time… two months I think was the longest. It usually gets eaten up pretty quick. You should be good! My favorite is eating it with avocado and sauerkraut. Hard cheeses and canned sardines are also great foods for long backpack trips. I hope he has a great time!

  6. Robin
    | Reply

    What do you recommend as the best way to grind the dried meat into a powder?

    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      Blender for sure. I’ve also learned to dry ground meat rather than strips of meat. I think it is even easier to powderize.

  7. Robert Larsen
    | Reply

    I want to clarify something that may be confusing to people. At top of recipe it says to use 400gm tallow and 400gm dried meat for 8 servings, which comes to 100gm per serving. However in the nutrition box at the bottom of recipe it states serving size at 50gm. Each serving contains 50% tallow and 50% meat so a single serving contains 25gm of each which is approx 489 kcal (225 kcal tallow + 264 kcal 90/10 ground beef). Therefore 1 lb of pemmican provides approx 4,430 kcal (1 lb = 453gm). I can’t think of anything that comes close to the nutrition and caloric density of pemmican, especially as a long term survival food. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I use a 6:1 ratio of raw meat to dried meat for calculation.

    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      Thanks for this clarification Robert! It can get a little confusing with all the metrics of measurment involved. You are correct to use a 6:1 ratio.

  8. Andreas Pontvik
    | Reply

    How about a fruit based pemmican for all us fruitarians huh, are you fruit(r)acist not adding that?! Jokes aside having had fruitarianism kill my teeth, now mostly carnivorous, looking to my local nature not that much animal fat is available calorie wise in the wild(i prefer wild foods), however berries moreso, so im thinking like 50/50 berries to meat with maybe a…. 10-20 of that 50 meat being fat, mirroring what i could actually forage and hunt here in midsweden over a year… any references to books or resources on these subjects? Looking for all and any information regarding pemmican making and actual native diets of different climates, preferably wild ones. I google on, peace be with you all!

    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      I’ve never added fruit to the pemmican. It would just take a bit of experimentation to discover the ratios you enjoy. I have added honey (which is amazing). I always use 50/50 fat/dry meat by weight and add in enough honey to taste while also keeping an eye on the texture. Don’t want it to get too sticky. I find with this recipe, it’s really a process rather than an exact science.

    • Charles
      | Reply


      Have a read of Arctic explorer and anthropologist Vilhjamur Stefansson’s great book, The Fat of the Land, which has several chapters on the history of pemmican and why it has to have at least 50% animal fat to be the nutritional powerhouse it is. The book is free to read and download on several sites including

  9. Mark
    | Reply

    Want to make this dish for backwoods canoeing trips. Thanks. I’m looking forward to it!

    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      It would be great for canoeing especially because the boat could tip and the pemmican will survive 😉 It’s virtually water proof. Have a good trip!

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