How Did Pirates Store Food?


5 Answers

Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered
Pirates often spent long stretches of time at sea, which meant that one problem they faced was an effective way to store food.

It was usually stored in the hull of the ship, and would often rot or become infested before the pirate had time to eat it.

Even fresh water turned foul in the squalid and unsanitary environment of a pirate ship hull!

However, pirates (and other seafarers) did have several clever ways of prolonging the life of their food

Pirates keeping their food fresh

Nowadays, we would usually put our groceries inside a refrigerator or freezer to stop them from spoiling.

Refrigerating or storing food at a cool temperature works to keep food for longer because a low temperature means that the bacteria (present in all food) find it harder to reproduce to harmful levels.

In fact, once the temperature inside a fridge reaches 5 degrees Celsius, bacteria becomes 'dormant'.

Unfortunately, pirates didn't have refrigerators on board their ships, so they had to come up with different ways to keep their food fresh (or even just edible).

How pirates stored food Until the advent of refrigeration units, people struggled with different ways of keeping food fresh. Before fridges became widely available in the early 1900s, the use of an 'icehouse' was the only way to cool food to safe levels for storing.

Luckily, there were other ways of preserving food that people could use - and all the following methods would have commonly be employed by pirates in an effort to keep their food lasting longer:
  • Drying
  • Curing with salt or sugar
  • Pickling (in brine, alcohol, vinegar)
Pirates would also attack other ships with the intention of stealing the fresh food from aboard the victim ship. When edible food supplies were running critically-low, it often meant it was time for a pirate ship to find land.
Mel Brandle Profile
Mel Brandle answered

Thankfully we do not have to suffer like how the pirates did back in those days before refrigerator was a common appliance in the kitchen. Now, food storage is an ease which is to everyone’s pleasure. We don’t have to worry about food going bad even before their stipulated shelf life.

Dance like a gypsy Profile

I believe that they had barrels

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Salting and pickling were also good options to make it last, or as regards meat in the form of live animals when they could afford it.

The term Buccaneer comes for a group of settlers who made a dried meat called bucan, already popular with privateers and pirates, who were forced into piracy by the depredations of the spainish, so that was also an option.

Pirates were also known to be fond of eating turtles and would generally take a pot-shot at anything reasonably edible looking to keep up their supplies, mainly eating these things as and when they appeared, or preserving them as best they could.

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