Lets see how this looks
Prep Time 3 hours
Active Time 3 hours
Additional Time 5 hours
Total Time 11 hours
Estimated Cost $250
- Second hand Fridge (Frost-free ideally, see notes)
- Temperature Controller
- Humidity Controller
- Ultrasonic Humidifier (with no standby power, see notes)
- Dehumidifier (Optional, see notes)
- Wall or Bathroom Fan
- Expandable Drawers Rack (optional for hanging meat)
- Food Grade Silicon Sealant
- HEPA filter (optional)
- Piggyback Timer plug for Fan (optional)
- Small Low Power Desk Fan for Inside Fridge (optional)
- Maybe a caulking gun for silicon, depending on what silicon you buy
- Extension power plugs, maybe power boards/double adaptors depending on your design
- Drill for wall hole
- Drill attachment - bimetal hole saw
- Choose a fridge based on a plan to upcycle it with the components
- Plug the fridge into the temperature controller, and set to 55F /12.8C with 35-40F/2-4C variation (place probe sensor inside fridge through the door to test)
- Plug Humidifier into the humidity controller, and set to 75% humidity with 7% variation (place the probe sensor inside the fridge through the door to test)
- Test (Without meat) -You can place some paper towels with some water splashed on them, or a sponge in a bowl to mimick the freshly cured meat, which will be 70% water content to start.
- The goal of between approx. 70-80% Humidity, and 50-59F/10-15C for dry curing meat.
- May be necessary to also install a dehumidifier, if fridge cycling is not dehumidifying
- CAREFULLY MAKE PENETRATION for Internal Fan, use food-grade silicon sealant around the gap / low air volume can be piggybacked onto a humidity controller plug to turn on, or can be plugged in to work at the same time as an exhaust fan (testing will need to be done to see if necessary).
- Ideally, a sealed hole for probes also through the wall could be combined to use a hole for a fan in step 7 below BE CAREFUL WITH MAKING PENETRATION, DAMAGING COOLANT PIPE WILL STOP FRIDGE WORKING
- Ideally with wiring plans for the fridge, cut a hole in the side for extraction fan placement to extract air
- If the fridge does not have good airflow from fridge cycling, another hole for intake may be needed on the opposite wall inside the fridge (again be aware of coolant pipes/insulation/wires in the walls of the fridge. This can be simple mesh covered, HEPA or just a hole (depending on where fridge will be located)
- Re-Test as per Steps 4 and 5, if within thresholds, continue
- Setup Racking System with existing shelving, L brackets, correct length rods, or expandable rod
- Hang Dry Cured Meat
- Check the humidifier every week (dependent on size)
- Every month of use, check the humidifier for growth, and clean with 10/90 Vinegar and Water Mixture.
- Fridge - Ideally whole fridge, no freezer compartment, and vegetable cooling boxes on the bottom can be helpful for humidifier placement
- The hanging rack system should be worked out prior to obtaining the fridge
- Heating for Fermentation (Optional) - Using a ceramic bulb, you can plug a heating lamp into the temperature controller, this allows you to create a warmer environment for fermenting before drying the cured meat (although you need to either have to ferment salami/meat or drying), can't do both at the same time.
- Buy an ultrasonic humidifier (small size), that has no standby mode, so when the humidity controller switches the circuit on or off, it works