Pemmican was a traditional food of many Native American Hunter-Gatherer tribes. It is a wonderful travel food, as it is very heat-stable and can last for many months outside of refrigeration without spoiling. Many veterans of an All-Meat diet have made and used Pemmican. The traditional recipes included wild fruits such as currents and blueberries, but these are omitted by those who follow the Zero Carb way of eating. For general information and a short history, please see the Wikipedia article on Pemmican about this unique food.

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to make Pemmican at home, please click on the link below:

How to Make Pemmican

If you would like to order Pemmican ready-made, the best product I know of is made by U.S. Wellness Meats. I have been told that it is not as good as homemade, but that it still the real deal. To learn more or place and order, please click on the link below:

Salt-Free Beef & Tallow Pemmican



23 thoughts on “Pemmican

    • That is an EXCELLENT question. I think if you make your own from freshly slaughter beef and dry it in 24 hours, then it would not be high in histamines. However, if you by beef that has been aged, it might me a problem. Therefore, it would be best to make you own with a source of beef that you already know is histamine-free. Dried fresh wild game meat or bison might be a good choice too, if you have access to that. The tallow itself should be fine, as the histamines are located in the muscle tissue only.


  1. Hi Esmee,
    I’d be very curious to see how you’d do with pemmican. Have you made any or tried US Wellness pemmican?


    • Joe, I so want to try making my own pemmican with beef that I know is fresh. Most beef is aged and high in histamine, so I cannot use just any beef (so I am not sure the pemmican from US Wellness would work for me?). But this is in my plans for the future. I love the ease and freedom it would provide. I think it could be very healing too.


  2. I just watched a youtube video on pemmican preparation by Carolina Kipnis. We used to be on the same zero-carb forum.The video is quite old but the instructions are very clear. I don’t travel and my one meal a day (meat/fat) eliminates any other food so pemmican is not on my to-do list.


  3. Pingback: A kako i šta se to jede na Antarktiku? – Learn, travel, eat – repeat

  4. The kind of fat used matters. Pemmican should be made with kidney fat/suet not muscle fat. Different fatty acid profile, melting point, water content etc. If you use muscle fat the pemmican may not be solid at ‘room’ temperature if you live in a warmer climate. I’ve seem some otherwise good pemmican instructions which don’t spell this out. Rendering at low heat is also essential. This produces a mild tasting fat end prevents the fat from oxidizing. Historically I’ve wondered how the ratios work out as there is clearly not enough kidney fat to prepare pemmican for an entire animal. Either muscle fat must have been used or there would have been a lot of waste.


    • According to Stefansson, the two most highly prized fats for pemmican were suet (kidney fat) and back fat. If an animal is harvested in the fall and is older (5-7 years), it can have a nice thick pad of back fat weighing approximately 100 lbs. we do not see this in cattle today because tet are harvested year round and quite young, so they never have a chance to accumulate this special fat. The name of this Native American attests to in value placed on back fat.


  5. I love the US Wellness Meats pemmican sticks but I don’t have the histamine issue that you do so I can’t speak to that. They are not solid at room temp in San Diego in the summertime but I eat them straight out of the freezer. I call them meatsicles.


  6. My butcher sells beef fat. Could I just melt some of the beef fat from the butcher instead of going through the rendering process?


  7. I make bone broth from beef bones and there is a lot of fat which I skim off when cold. Could I use that for making pemmican as it’s already been rendered in 48 hours of gentle simmering.


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