Curing Chamber Buy
For one, no separate DIY fermentation chamber is necessary. The temperature of the dry-curing chamber from The Sausage Maker can go up to 99 degrees F and the relative humidity can go up to 90%, so you can ferment your sausages within the same unit and then simply change the temperature and humidity settings once the fermentation is done.
curing chamber buy
Also, no more fiddling with temperature probes, thermostats, fans, humidifiers and dehumidifiers and constantly having to go out and check on the contraption to make sure everything is okay. Everything is already built in and digitalized. All you have to do is turn the power on, pour in some water in the bottom chamber, set LCD screen to the temperature and humidity level you want, and the dry-curing cabinet does the rest. Heaven!
Our dry-curing cabinet arrived well-packed in a wooden crate. The stainless steel unit has wood panels on both sides for a higher-end look. On that note, with the real wood panels we recommend storing it in a dry area to avoid moisture damage.
How Much Does a Curing Chamber Cost? A normal fridge can be used for certain meat curing projects or building a curing chamber costs $100-300 USD. Main costs are fridge, controller & humidifier. Lastly, you can purchase a professional curing chamber.
Drying certain spices & vegetables is only possible because I put a decent heating source in the curing chamber (flat panel heater at the back). Also, the heat source allows me to increase the temperature for fermenting dry-cured salami.
For my curing chamber, I went for the full hard wiring of the meat curing chamber in a controller box rather than the easy plug-in option which is now very common. I had to get an electrical engineering friend to help out with the hard-wired control box.
These may have similar temperature and humidity settings to what is needed for curing meat, and sometimes it just takes minor tweaks to get that 70% humidity / and around that 52/F 11C that could suit a controlled environment.
Depending on the curing chamber, If you have control over the main environmental factors for an effective curing chamber (temp, humidity, airflow). You can store meat for years. Certain Classic Italian Prosciutto is sold after 4 years of air curing. Intense!
Salt is the most important aspect, either by salt dry curing or brining. Then you need a cool moist (70% approx) area to allow the meat to cure. Depending on the project whether the final outcome will be cooked or not, Nitrates may be necessary.
Hey Chris, Check out the courses page at the top of each post, there is a booklet you can get. I would look at a refrigerated shipping container or large commercial fridge. Then get electrical expertise to hardwire controllers for temp and humidity. I think something like commercial mushroom humidifier could work. Yes commercial charcuterie chambers start from $20-30k for sizes suite for that. Cheers Tom
Are you aware of any smaller professional units? I am trying to decide if I want to put a small meat curing chamber or dry aging unit in our basement. Regardless of which one, I am hoping to do something that is sized more like a mini-fridge. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I have been curing meats at home for almost two years. My initial results were encouraging, but then it all went downhill. The biggest problem was the high humidity. I tried many ways to fix it, but nothing worked. About 4-5 months ago, I made another change to my meat curing chamber. This change finally helped me start getting consistent and predictable results. I am now in charcuterie heaven! My curing frustrations are officially over.
My first meat curing chamber was exactly how I described above. I also added a digital Extech 445715 Hygro-Thermometer for easy monitoring of internal temperature and humidity. The controller I picked was the analogue C.A.P AIR-2 temperature/humidity controller.
Then I realized what the problem was. It was the changes in the ambient humidity that affected the humidity inside the meat curing chamber. When the ambient humidity is right, the internal humidity in the fridge stays in the desired range, and I get perfect results. If not, I would get junk.
The Internet is full of information and misinformation. Sometimes the information is correct, but does not necessarily apply to your conditions. As a result, you take someone's advice, but it does not work for you. You probably have been through that many times. I followed various recommendations. I also tried controlling the meat curing chamber humidity with wet salt. That did not work at all.
This worked for a short period of time. The humidity would still be fairly high when I would add new sausages but would come down a few days later. Unfortunately, two months later this system started to struggle. Humidity would not get below 85%, and the fan would be running almost all of the time. A couple of weeks later, I noticed that when the fan would start running, the humidity in the meat curing chamber would increase. What the heck?
Now, some have been saying that 85% RH is perfectly fine for curing meats. I can tell you that it's not what my experience has been. Sticky goo and nasty molds would attack my meats at high RH. I also noticed quite a bit of case hardening. That was surprising as you are more likely to get case hardening at low RH. I kept looking for other methods. Some are using ceramic heater lamps, which is discussed here. This method can be dangerous and, frankly, does not make much sense to me. Why would you want to heat the fridge to make it circulate more often? I also noticed that as soon as the fridge stops running, the RH would shoot back up within 20 seconds. Somehow the moisture needs to be removed. That seemed like a more practical solution for lowering RH inside the curing chamber.
This all led me to look into installing a dehumidifier into the meat curing chamber. I thought that maybe that would be the solution. Any small size dehumidifiers I was able to find were using Peltier technology. I've seen numerous posts on various forums stating that these types of dehumidifiers don't work at curing chamber temperatures. Darn!
A new batch of sopressata just finished drying in my upgraded meat curing chamber. I took some pictures of the final product for those who might be interested. I put it in on October 3, 2015. Now, 26 days later, the sausage has lost 30% of the weight and is ready for consumption. 30-35% weight loss is ideal for this type of sausage. I plan to keep a few sausages a little longer to get to 35% weight loss as I like it a little drier. My kids love softer sausage.
I think what happened is, at some point, the humidity inside the chamber became too high for efficient moisture removal from the surface of the salami. This affected moisture removal from the inside of the sausage, making diffusion rate > evaporation rate. The diffusion rate is the rate at which moisture inside the sausage travels toward the surface. The evaporation rate is the rate at which moisture is removed from the surface of the sausage. In other words, higher humidity means slower drying. Too high humidity can lead to inferior results, not just slower drying.
Auber controllers seem to be optimized for the curing temperatures of around 55F, while Inkbird seems to be more accurate at higher temps and vice versa. Both Auber and Inkbird humidity controllers are not perfect and need to be calibrated. The deviations that they show are significant enough to cause major impact on curing results.
I've received quite a few emails over the past year asking me if I were still continuing with my curing and what my curing chamber looks like now. I am very much so! I never really stopped, but there were some breaks here and there. My meat curing chamber hasn't changed much, with the exception of adding a heating source and the Hanna hygrometer that I mentioned above. The heat source is a 10" x 20" seedling heating mat.
A short while ago, Auber released two new controllers, Auber HD220-W humidity controller and Auber TD120-W temperature controller. Both are Wi-Fi enabled, while the HD220-W is programmable with up to 8 stages where you can specify humidity and duration. This opens up new possibilities (see update #8). I've been playing with both over the past few weeks and I like them. My plan is to build a separate fermentation/drying chamber which will be equipped with these controllers.
Check my new preferred curing method, which starts with a week of intensive multi-stage drying, followed by maturing at high humidity levels. It greatly reduces the risk of case hardening, results in more even drying and improves the flavor. Examples:
Good EveningI have been doing smoking and making Salami from wild game for almost 10 years and trying to get into curing of some of the meat that I harvest. Thank you for your very informative post here. The frigerator that you use, is it a working fridge and do you run it to keep the 55-degree temp? Appreciate your help.Thank you.Ken
I have looked at alot of sites about these issues for curing. To-date yours has been the most straightforward and yo the point. I want to thank you for all of your time you spend sharing this information. I have been wanting to dive into curing for at least 2.5 years now. I feel like I can finally get started. Thank you so much and I wish you an even better future in curing. Michael G
Michael, this is a very exciting hobby, good luck to you. I've had many hobbies over the years that came and went but this one has stuck with me for many years and I still enjoy it as much as I did in my first year. Thank you for the kind words. Curing cab be straighforward and relatively easy, I think I can say that by now, if you 'crack the code' so to speak. There is a lot of limited information and misinformation about curing on the Internet and many books too. I followed them and my results were hit or miss. It shouldn't be like that. The biggest thing that helped me produce consistent results was understanding the process. The second was to have the right equipment to support that process. Once I had both down, the rest of the pieces just fell in place. 041b061a72