Of salt, salt mining and preservation

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
20,648
Reaction score
15,540
Location
Republic mo
I made a small batch of salt pork to use at events. Used my last last week, and dumped and cleaned my jar.
Much of the history of the frontier ran around enough salt to see a setter through the winter.
Salt ran at about the same price powder ran. Both sold in Saint Louis for .10 per pound in 1821
As I was cleaning my jar today I was thinking, could this not be dried and reused? After all it’s sterile
Waste nought want nought
Yet I don’t think I ever saw references to boiling ‘used salt’ for fisheries or frontiersman.
 

NeilMacleod

45 Cal.
Joined
Apr 18, 2017
Messages
732
Reaction score
132
After its been filtered, could re-dry it, might have funky flavours.
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
740
Reaction score
1,290
Creek I live on runs into Salt River in N.E. Missouri. Salt licks were valuable property. Indians "made" salt here by digging a hole, lining with deer hides and evaporation. Frenchmen arrived, used kettles to boil down salt water. Indians killed Frenchmen. Location changed hands several times in early times until finally some one built a water powered grain mill, small store, and salt production in the area was secured by entrepeneurs.

Water on my farm tested when I had a well drilled is "saltier than the ocean". Salt was a valuable commodity in early times - people were killed over it. "Mineral Water" was thought to have health benefits.

It smells and tastes awful. Not much grows around my salt licks, but deer love it. Wanna be historically correct? Find a salt lick, start boiling, and hold your nose.
 

Brokennock

75 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
5,171
Reaction score
5,204
Location
North Central Connecticut
I made a small batch of salt pork to use at events. Used my last last week, and dumped and cleaned my jar.
Much of the history of the frontier ran around enough salt to see a setter through the winter.
Salt ran at about the same price powder ran. Both sold in Saint Louis for .10 per pound in 1821
As I was cleaning my jar today I was thinking, could this not be dried and reused? After all it’s sterile
Waste nought want nought
Yet I don’t think I ever saw references to boiling ‘used salt’ for fisheries or frontiersman.
Maybe don't reuse it for food. Dissolve it, evaporate the water, use the salt on your steps or walkways if you get icy weather.
Or use it to salt the base of some squirrel tails to sell to Mepps. 😉
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
20,648
Reaction score
15,540
Location
Republic mo
Creek I live on runs into Salt River in N.E. Missouri. Salt licks were valuable property. Indians "made" salt here by digging a hole, lining with deer hides and evaporation. Frenchmen arrived, used kettles to boil down salt water. Indians killed Frenchmen. Location changed hands several times in early times until finally some one built a water powered grain mill, small store, and salt production in the area was secured by entrepeneurs.

Water on my farm tested when I had a well drilled is "saltier than the ocean". Salt was a valuable commodity in early times - people were killed over it. "Mineral Water" was thought to have health benefits.

It smells and tastes awful. Not much grows around my salt licks, but deer love it. Wanna be historically correct? Find a salt lick, start boiling, and hold your nose.
Yes and a pia, at an event one time for tourist I was one of Nathan Boone’s Employees boiling salt cr 1810. It was a big operation
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
740
Reaction score
1,290
Salt has always been a valuable commodity. Roman soldiers received part of their pay in salt. Hence the term "salary" (or so I recall from World History class decades ago). Without refrigeration, preserving food was a problem until Napolean used canning to provide grub for his troops. Food-borne disease killed lots of folks, even in towns and cities. Both sides of our families salt-cured hams every year, quit when Pop died. Still buy a cured ham from Burger's Smokehouse on occasion. Red eye gravy from country ham - good breakfast stuff.

Living day-to-day on a diet of smoked/dried/salt cured meat as people did back in the day is not a lifestyle most would find enjoyable nowadays. Preserving hides was another use for salt.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
20,648
Reaction score
15,540
Location
Republic mo
I find salt pork very good, and corned beef to. I think I could be happy on a diet of preserved meat.
No my question was about reusing salt. Is there any reason one can’t boil off the sat one used.
Salt pork is made with a layer of salt, meat, salt meat and so on. Then cover with brine as strong as needed to float an egg
Remove the meat you still have a container of salt and water. I’m sure they could reuse this salt. It’s sterile, and should be clean.
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
740
Reaction score
1,290
Don't know about doing salt pork that way, we just did hams. Doing brine in anything other than a ceramic crock or glass might not work real well. Trichinosis (sp?) has always been one malady we were warned against when butchering hogs. Salt might take care of it, don't know.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2021
Messages
306
Reaction score
388
Location
Missouri
I would not think the left over brine in your jar would be sterile. There would be blood and tissue residue mixed in. Maybe you could dissolve all the salt into brine and then dry it again.

You raised an excellent question. The answer is probably above my pay grade.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
20,648
Reaction score
15,540
Location
Republic mo
I would not think the left over brine in your jar would be sterile. There would be blood and tissue residue mixed in. Maybe you could dissolve all the salt into brine and then dry it again.

You raised an excellent question. The answer is probably above my pay grade.
It’s steril because the salt concentration is so high bacteria or any other living thing can’t survive it.
sugar works the same way. You can leave salt and sugar out and it stays clean.
The meat won’t rot as no bugs can eat it.
Ham and bacon also salted or sugared but dry with the smoking.
Salami or Cherizo is fermented
 

Latest posts

Top