Recipes that survived the Oregon trail that you can still make today

In the early days of the Oregon trail, pioneers often did whatever it took to survive. Improvising on the spot with what limited supplies they had became a necessity or else they would risk starving in the unforgiving wilderness. Self-sufficiency was tantamount to survival. Preppers can learn a thing or two from these pioneers. When SHTF, it is good to stay resourceful and learn how to make these Oregon trail recipes you can still do today: (h/t to

Coffee Roast

Coffee was highly valued by the pioneers. It could be taken on its own or used to add flavor to dishes. In this case, they used it to cook a roast.


  • 3–5 lbs of beef brisket
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 2 cups of strong coffee
  • 2 cups of water
  • Garlic and onions, to taste


  1. Score the brisket.
  2. Insert the onion and garlic cloves into the slits.
  3. Pour one cup of vinegar over the meat, taking special care to work it into the slits.
  4. Let it marinate for 24 to 48 hours.
  5. After marinating, place the meat in a Dutch oven.
  6. Pour two cups of strong coffee and two cups of water over the meat.
  7. Allow it to simmer for four to six hours.
  8. You may add more water during the cooking as necessary.

Quick fry doughnuts

The early pioneers used to fry their food using fat but using cooking oil makes for a more convenient alternative.


  •  Half a kettle of cooking oil
  • 1 pound of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • Half a salt spoon full of grated nutmeg
  • Half a pound of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Sour milk, to taste


  1. Heat the half-kettle of cooking oil over an open fire.
  2. Shift together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, and nutmeg.
  3. Beat the butter to a cream and add to the first-named ingredients.
  4. Separate the egg yolks and the egg whites.
  5. Beat the egg yolks  to a cream and add to the first-named ingredients.
  6. Beat the whites to a stiff froth and save them for later.
  7. Mix with the first-named ingredients enough sugar and sour milk to make a soft dough.
  8. Quickly add the egg whites.
  9. Roll out the paste and shape them into doughnuts.
  10. Fry the doughnuts in the cooking oil.

Sourdough Cornbread

The pioneers used to bake cornbread using a cast iron skillet. Cornmeal is also very useful to preppers as it can be used to make cornbread, pancakes and muffins. (Related: Prepper food: Two breads you can stockpile and make in your own home.)


  • 1 cup of bread starter
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup warm melted butter, or fat
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon soda
  • Enough cornmeal to make a beatable batter


  1. Beat the eggs.
  2. Mix together the starter, cornmeal, milk, sugar, and eggs and stir them thoroughly in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in the melted butter, salt and soda.
  4. Pour out the mixture into a 10-inch greased frying pan or a Dutch oven.
  5. Bake the mixture for 25 to 30 minutes.

Fried apples

Fried apples make for a great breakfast, snack or desert.


  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 6 to 8 Granny Smith apples
  • Crumbled bacon, to taste
  • Butter or cream, to taste


  1. Fry 4 slices of bacon in a Dutch oven.
  2. Remove the bacon but leave the bacon grease.
  3. Peel and slice the Granny Smith apples.
  4. Put apples in the Dutch oven with the bacon grease.
  5. Cover the Dutch oven and cook the apples, but not to the point of mush.
  6. Serve the apples topped with butter or cream and crumbled bacon.

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