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Meat Curing Chamber Question

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So I got a nice GE Refridgerator/Freezer that I want to turn into a curing chamber. I have all the humidity, temp, airflow controls as well. Do I need to cut the space that separates the freezer from the reefer out or can I just turn the freezer up as high as possible while letting the temp control and humidifier keep the conditions in the reefer space correct? Thanks in advance! -Chris
post #2 of 22

There is a good write-up on the Sausagemaker website on how to do this exactly.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I just want to eliminate that part if possible for a variety of reasons. I'll check it out! Do you have a link? I can't find it
post #4 of 22
This site has a wonderful search feature... here's some reading for ya...

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/newsearch?search=mini+fridge+curing+chamber
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
It does and I searched it thoroughly before I posted. No results to the question I asked which is do I need to cut the freezer "floor" out or can I leave it alone? I don't need the space
post #6 of 22

Get a temp controller and put it in the refer...  there is only ONE compressor....  leave the freezer door closed...   be sure to set the "compressor delay" when setting the temp....

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
post #8 of 22

It will work....  HOWEVER, it does not have a delay to prevent the compressor from starting during a "normal" off period....   I read in the question section where 1 person fried the compressor by adjusting the thermostat during the run cycle...  what happens is, the coolant is circulating then stops, then immediately starts up again hydraulicing the compressor and burns up the motor because it can't rotate....   using extra room in the refer and having filled jugs with water, for thermal mass, will prevent "quick" cycling and help maintain even temps...  which is a good thing...   One additional safety precaution against quick cycling is....   Have the temperature measuring probe in a container of water...  The temp fluctuation of say6-8 ounces of water will be slow, VERY SLOW, and also provide a very stable temperature in your fridge... 

I think I read where the controller has a cycle "zone" of 3.5 degrees which is very adequate....

There are controllers out there that have logic and allow for a compressor "lag" setting...    I have used Johnson controls and found them to be very good and reliable....  

If you are inclined to move into the electronics age, Auber....  http://www.auberins.com/?main_page=index&cPath=1  ...   has some amazing stuff on the market and they have an impressive reputation... 

 

FWIW, I've looked at some of the modern electronic controllers and I can't figure out how they work or how to make the work...  So, I lean toward the old stuff....  It may be I don't understand their language or acronyms or symbols or who knows what.....   I do understand a mechanical dial with numbers on it....  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...... 

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hahah yeah the simpler the better for me because I'm just beginning this journey but I won't half step either. Could you please provide me with a link for the temp controller you're talking about and I'll send the other back? I'm in no rush and want the right stuff. Thanks again for your help!
post #10 of 22

Your curing chamber....  are you planning on "fermenting sausage"...    dry aging meats like pancetta....   or needing temp control for hams, bratwurst etc..... 

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Fermenting meats and sausages. Mainly salami and snack sticks. I would like to do prosciutto, bacon, possibly a ham at some point too and I built a nice cold smoker so anything that lets me use that as well
post #12 of 22

The controller and humidifier below are simple enough...  I have read where one person has used them for a few years and has had no problems...  I'm still into simple...   for a heater, I was planning on an aquarium heater in some sort of thermal mass absorber...  They do have an internal thermostat..   wattage is dependent on insulation of the chamber...  the "vaporizer" seems simple enough... I was planning on using a timer to adjust the vapor on-off sequence and have the humidity monitor to turn the vaporizer off as needed....     

 

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0019IHK9Q/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I3ROLDPOG6U8I4&colid=2AG9BERGSHLMN

 

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00PAK21WU/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I3FILU0432FX1H&colid=2AG9BERGSHLMN

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0184CG9K0?ref%5F=oh%5Faui%5Fsearch%5Fdetailpage&redirect=true&psc=1&pldnSite=1

 

As far a the Auber stuff goes...  You need someone that knows stuff...   out of my circle of knowledge...

 

Try a search for fermenting chambers....  

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Great thanks! This is the build I was going off of http://mattikaarts.com/blog/meat-curing-at-home-the-setup/

I literally have the exact of everything he used except my fridge has a freezer too. Forgot to add that I'm putting this in my unfinished basement that's 70 degrees or less year round so I won't have to ever heat. I don't think the fridge will run much either to keep it around 57
post #14 of 22

Some fermenting cultures need a higher temp and humidity to get a good start...   your smoker, with a pan of water, can be a great substitute....

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Funny you say that. I just read a recipe that recommends hanging salami at 75 degrees for 36 hours with bactoferm t-sp which is what I'm using. But the main guy who I am following never mentions anything above 58 and uses the same culture
post #16 of 22

usually at those higher temps, a RH of about 90% is recommended for the first 36-48 hours to prevent case hardening...  Then a RH of 78-80% for the duration...

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Awesome! I'm looking at it now and am thinking about cutting the majority of the space between the freezer and fridge before moving it to my basement. Is there any reason why I shouldn't? I'll have to leave a strip so the doors seal and the controls run across right there anyway but I can get a good hunk out. Just plastic so I was going to use a dremmel with a small circular blade real shallow then dig out the insulation to see where the wires go. And cut out as much as possible from there
post #18 of 22

If you don't need the room, why cut the opening...  It will just leave surfaces that are hard to clean and sterilize to keep your creations pathogen free.....     Seems like a big can of worms to me....

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
I don't need the room and don't need anymore cans of worms!! Haha. I'll leave it be
post #20 of 22

I agree with that. if it ain't broke, no need to go and try fixing it. and it doesn't seem like it'd do any harm to let it alone.. and hell.. use it as a storage cabinet for some of your gear. it'll be right there and handy when you need it, so you don't have to go hunting it. 'where'd I leave that cure... oh yeah, big tin in the storage' kinda thing.

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