Homemade Curing/Aging Chamber

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by agustinodavalos, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. agustinodavalos

    agustinodavalos

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    Hello,

    So I'm making my own meat Curing/Aging chamber at home, and had a quick question.

    As a bit of background, I have a Mini Fridge with a humidifier and dehumidifier inside (as well as a Mini fan for air circulation), all controlled by two Temperature and Humidity controllers.

    I plan on dry aging a rack of meat, for my first attempt, and I understand that ideal conditions are 34-36 F and a relative humidity of 80%-90%. My only issue is that the mini fridge I have has a bit of trouble maintaining that low a temperature and usually fluctuates between 35-42F (humidity is not an issue). Taking that into account, I was wondering if I should should keep a bit lower humidity to avoid any bacteria from the higher temp, possibly 70/75-80/85%, or if the few degrees won't be a big deal.

    Appreciate the help!
     
  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    You need a good capacity fridge so you can maintain temp by putting a gallons of water jugs inside. The mass helps with keeping the temp down, or getting it down after you've opened to door.

    I can't say whether lowering the humidity would have an effect or not except that you'll get too much shrinkage before it ages properly.
     
  3. agustinodavalos

    agustinodavalos

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    Hmm, that's an interesting thought. I imagine by adding water, that has a lower conductivity than air, you reduce the volume of air in the fridge, which could possibly cool that circulating around the meat better. Only problem would be if the water bottles settle at a temperature higher than ideal.

    The mini fridge I have is 5 ft3, or about 37 gallons (if my math is right); so I have some space to throw a couple gallons in water bottles inside. Will give it a shot and see how it goes.
     
  4. maryb

    maryb

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  5. agustinodavalos

    agustinodavalos

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    Yeah I have to controllers already, but they're not going to help with controlling the fridge temp, if the fridge doesn't consistently maintain a temperature below the minimum required temp. I'm going to try adding the water bottles to see what happens
     
  6. maryb

    maryb

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    By setting th fridge to the coldest it can go and letting the outboard controller cycle it will keep it very close to set temp. I do it for beer brewing and see +- 2 degrees and could set it to +-1 if I wanted.

    It is the fridges internal thermostat that is so wide range... set to max cool it will ALWAYS be on letting the outboard controller maintain temps.