I figured I’d post this in case anyone’s interested. This method works good for me. I’ll explain it the best I can:
When I started Dry Curing meat, 6 years ago, I read that the temp should be between 34° and 40°. Any lower than 34° could slow the curing process, and any higher than 40° could be a problem with spoilage. I decided to hold my temp right in the middle of that range.
So I didn’t like checking the temp by opening the door, because that just lets warm air into the fridge, and if you look at a thermometer in the fridge, it might say 30°, because that may be the air temp at that time, or it could say 45°, because that could be the air temp at that time.
So what really is the meat temperature??-----Who knows???
So I figured since the best way to monitor your smoker is with a wireless digital thermometer, why not use that same system to get accurate Refrigeration temps. So for the air temp of the inside of the Fridge, I just hang my Maverick smoker probe on a Fridge rack, but that just tells the air temp as it cycles from the low temp to the peak temp, as the cold cycles on & off in the Fridge.
Then to get the temp of the inside of the meat that’s curing in the Fridge, instead of sticking a probe in a piece of meat, I filled a bottle about 3/4 full with water, and dropped my Maverick Meat Probe in the bottle.
It takes awhile, and some adjustments to the setting to get it to where you want it, but I had the water temp holding between 37° and 38°, and for quite some time now I’ve had it holding exactly 37°, which I figure is also the temp of the inside of the meats, and the air temp of the Fridge just continues to cycle from a Low of 31° to a High of 43°.
So this is how I’ve been doing it for 6 years, and using the curing times calculations that I use with my Dry Curing, I have never had anything that wasn’t cured to center, and nothing has ever been too salty. I think the temperature while curing is one of the factors in proper curing.
Below are a few pics of what I just explained. I’m sure there are other ways of doing this, but this is the way I’ve been doing it.
Here’s a shot of the inside of my Basement Meat Fridge:
At this time I had Pork Loin curing for CB on the top shelf, and Pieces of Pork Butt curing for BBB on the shelf below that.
However the thing I want to show here is the Maverick ET-73 probes on the right side of the lower shelf.
The one hanging is monitoring the Air Temp of the Fridge all the time.
The Meat Probe is in water inside the Gatorade Bottle.
At the point I have that fridge set, the air temp cycles from 31° to 43° continuously, and the one in the bottle holds exactly 37° at all times.
I keep the receiver unit upstairs on the Hutch in my Dining Room, so I can see what the temps are whenever I pass by.
Here is a shot of my receiver showing the low point of the Air Temp cycle at 31°, and the Water temp in the bottle is at the 37°.
Here I got the camera out a couple seconds too late to get the Air Temp peak, which was at 43°, and the Water temp was at 37°.