Originally Posted by scarps23
Are the older fridges better for humidity control? I've always wanted to make something for charcuterie with humidity control. These umai bags seemed to be an easy way to use my fridge and easily controlled. My fridge is at 35 for temp. Have been afraid of taking the plunge on something without researching more.
On your link you mentioned doing some venison dry aged. Could you expand on your experience with venison and what you used?We usually bone out meat and put in tubs in fridge. Usually it sits for a few days or up to a week. Then I clean up the meat and process. I've been thinking about trying to dry age a deer loin if this beef goes well, but not sure if I would be doing any good. Haven't read up on it at all.
The fat difference is what concerns me. Wondering if I would be doing much good. I'm not a big fan of fat from venison. Also might have some elk meat to try something on this fall. Fingers crossed.
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There is no dial for humidity control in my fridge that I am using. But nearly all fridges should have an adjustment for temperature. But I would say yes in many ways the older fridges are better.The components were built better back then before all the greats started outsourcing. I think the refrigerant that was used in them is different than what is used now (Freon to R134 perhaps?) Don't get me started on a rant about how appliances are a commodity now days that are only expected to live 5-10 years at the most!
The #1 important thing is to just get a humidity meter and stick it in your fridge and watch it. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HDW58GS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) That will tell you if you need to try and humidify (humidifier) or dehumidify (salt or desiccant) your refrigerator. But if your condensate drain system is working correctly I don't think it will be an issue. Log your findings (temperature and humidity) a few times a day over several days and also note that along side the external (ambient) temp and (relative) humidity.
#2 Clean your coils and sanitize your condensate system. This is an area behind the back panel of your fridge. This is a really icky part of your refrigerator that gets neglected where the air is circulated and moisture in the air is collected (condensed and is allowed to either drain into a large pan where it can evaporate or is connected to an external drain. Most all of them go to a large evaporative drain pan. It will likely be full of scum and mold. Also look very closely at the drain tube or orfice where it comes in. Might be a duckbill one-way valve, that often gets clogged or partially clogged. Go online to find the manual or youtube for instructions.
As for the venison... I completely agree about deer fat. I process my deer very similar to the way you describe. It all gets chiseled out and all silver skin and fat removed in the final processing. But it does hang for a bit after it is dressed and skinned and cooled as quickly as possible. How long it hangs depends on how soon I bag it during hunt camp and when I go home and also the weather. So it may be 2 weeks at a minimum, before I get it home to process. however it also depends on where I got the deer. We have Western Blacktail west of the Cascades and Mule deer in central and eastern Oregon (high desert), the weather and ambient temperatures can vary dramatically that time of year particularly in Central and Eastern Oregon. It will get well below freezing and/or hot and dry- even in the same day. Here in the valley (Western Oregon) it is pretty consistently raining and cool that time of year so it will hang wrapped in a sheet or cloth my garage until I am ready to get to it, and gauge based on what the weather and temperature has been like before it gets quartered and into the fridge. If the weather has been cooler, I feel comfortable letting it hang longer to age in the whole. Then however long in the refrigerator having quartered till I get it process in the evenings and weekends. But in the end, the packaged meat is 100% lean and clean and no gamy taste at all. I have noticed that the longer aged venison is kind of sweeter, but not gamier. Next time you get your kill, try hanging a 1/4 of your game in your refrigerator or in the open air for longer before you process it. But I DO recommend lots of extra trimming out of 100% of the fat, sinew and silver skin, Then slice each muscle across the grain into 1/4" to 3/8" thick medallions or miniature steaks. That is the very time consuming part, but SOO worth it!