Is There a Way to Make a Simple Curing Chamber?

Discussion in 'Curing' started by mneeley490, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    ...i.e. without all the modern and complicated controllers and electronics? Surely, dry cured sausages were invented before the microchip? Mini fridge? Wine cooler? Cardboard box?

    What I'm looking for is some inexpensive, old-school way to hang and cure some salami or soppresetta without making it into another project. I have too many projects as it is. (And I don't have a spare bathroom to use as curing chamber, either.)

    Thanks, all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I think you could move to Genoa and find one of those old stone houses.... about 400 years old.... that should work perfect... Mediterranean climate... classical food... probably find someone who was making the stuff 80 years ago and I'll bet he/she would share the recipe....
     
  3. smokin phil

    smokin phil Smoking Fanatic

    Search Interweb for "Umai Dry Bags". Great salami and sopressata, no curing chamber needed. Just your normal fridge. I've used it, great stuff!!!!
     
  4. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You dont need all the fancy controls and stuff to make great dry cure. Just use what ya have. And yes the Umai bags work great.
     
  5. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, since I already have the Cabela's kit that includes the casings, I'll wait on the Umai bags until I have time to experiment.

    In the meantime, I picked up a wine cooler for cheap off of Craigslist, which I think will work fine as a curing chamber for now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  6. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Would this

    make a decent dry curing cabinet? It is a working wine cooler on CL.
     
  7. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    sorry, double post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  8. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would think so, unless someone knows different. I think the trick is to get consistent humidity. I'd want to take out that metal shelf, though.

    I think you'd also want one that allows you to control the temp.
     
  9. Have to be careful with the cheaper wine coolers. They are designed to work off the ambient temperature in the location where they are kept. I don't know of any that are designed like a refrigerator, where you can set the temperature range from 34-38, or whatever range you are seeking. The wine coolers decrease the ambient room temperature by a preset delta, generally in the 20-25 range. So if you are using it a location that maintains a steady 70-75, it should work fine. Once the temperature begins to rise or fall, so does the wine cooler's internal temperature.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  10. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    thanks for the info!

    I think the one pictured is a Frigidaire model. I'll have to look into it further.
     
  11. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's fine for me. Mine was a more expensive unit (I just got a good deal), and has temperature controls. It will be in the downstairs den where it rarely exceeds 65°.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Make a great curing chamber.... The humidifier could fit in the bottom along with a small reptile heat bulb or something... may have to cut some holes in that shelf looking thing... humidity / temp controller for safety's sake... don't want to ruin 10-20#'s of home made $20 per pound meat....

    Evan M Brady, who is a member here, has a meat business where he dries/cures meats... This is the controller he put in his chamber.....


    http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=377
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  13. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Some not so good pics of the cooler. Doesn't look much different than a MES40. Even has a lock so I don't have to worry about in-laws getting into it. [​IMG]

      

    The guy I bought it from said he cured some type of sausage in it (can't remember what kind he said), hanging from a bottle neck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  14. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Dave, that's something I'll consider later, if this proves difficult to control humidity. But at $130, that's way more than I paid for the cooler.
     
  15. artguyla

    artguyla Newbie

    Do you think the umami dry bags will work with making ndjua?  I do have a temperature-controlled wine frig that I can get to the right temperature and use, but have been trying to figure out the humidity thing without having to buy or make a curing chamber.

    Thanks!
     
  16. U really dont need anything at all in some cases(other than the obvious cultures and cures)In the springtime my basement(and many basements lol)is/are close enough to the right twmps and humidity for curing.Not to mention the smell when u walk in:)Do your research,dry curing is pretty complex and if not done correctly has serious consequences.When i first started i ordered the Marianskis brothers book on charcuterie....excellent instruction!Good luck!and i cant think of anymore oldschool than ur basement or attic if available:)Just one hillbillys opinion:)
     
  17. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd love to do it in my basement wine cellar, but I have rats that sometimes get in there now. The smell of charcuterie would bring them in droves!
     
  18. Lol i hear ya there!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016

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