Dried Cured Italian stuff?

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I'm in the process of getting a old stand up fridge from my parents to convert into a curing cabinet. It will be temp controlled and humidity controlled with cigar humidor beads (placed somewhere the juices cant get them).

My goals is to make different kinds of prosciutto the first probably being pork obviously but also lamb.

Then I would like to do some of the dried cured sausages that are fermented and such.

Anyone else planning or doing this already?
 

HexKrak

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Planning! Prosciutto and something along the line of spanish ham are high on my list of meat curing todo's. Unfortunately my project list has grown a little out of control and this is probably a little ways down the page yet. I'm keepin my eye on craigs list for that special fridge though :)
 

Steelers77

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We make sopressata, copa, and prosciutto. We wait until January so it is cold enought to hang (dry) meat in the garage on in a cold cellar (if you have one). I learned from my father and other old Italians. This is the way all of them do it, I don't know anyone who does it in a temp controled fridge.

I think Rytek Kutas discusses this in one of his books.
 

Edcculus

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I'm also planning, and also debating what location (my apt or large barn on inlaws property). I'd probably do a fridge setup similar to this link. Temp and humidity controlled.
 
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My cousin and I are planning on utilizing the fridge. I figure you can use the cooling capacity of the fridge and the humidity control the beads. That way you can have a good fermentation temp then once the ferment is over you can cool it down a bit and keep the chamber's humidity down using the beads. Using a few pounds of those and a timed computer fan to circulate the air would set you up nicely. If you wanted to drop money there are these very accurate humidity control kits . I wouldn't put the money into that though because they will essentially accomplish the same thing those beads will.

When I get the set up finalized I'll take pics. I might get the freezer out of my parents house and bring it to my cousin's over Christmas break. The only thing will be buying the beads, and temp controller. The circulation fans will be a homemade circuit that runs off a powersupply or even just a timer hooked up to a big ass lantern battery or two that way the fan can run for a long time and there's no AC to dick with.
 

CrankyOldLibrarian

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I've been looking into making a curing cabinet, and for humidity control, I've decided to go with Cigar Oasis (http://www.cigaroasis.com/index.php/cigar-oasis-xl-plus). I got mine off ebay since it is a bit cheaper. It also has a built in fan so that should take care of the circulation

Later this week, I'm picking up a used wine fridge off craigslist for $40. I thought I'd go the wine fridge way since it already has the temp control built in and I got a narrow one that won't take up much room.
 
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You might also look into getting some beads. If you want to remove humidity the cigar oasis will not do that. The product I linked to will absorb humidity out of the air and hold it in the beads. I use them for my cigars and they're great for humidity control. The
 

Steelers77

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If your making a dry cured meat why do you have to go through all this work to make a cabinet. As long as your garage stays above freezing and below 40 degrees you should be able to do this in there during the winter. Our family has always done this and the only adjustments that are made is to the salt level if it's going to be a little warmer.
 
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I would compare it to temp control of your beer. Plus this way I can do it all year round in one single location with consistent results. That way if something seems not just right and you change it you know what your changing. Maybe I'm over thinking it but it makes perfect sense to me in order to have controlled and predictable results.
 

CrankyOldLibrarian

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You might also look into getting some beads. If you want to remove humidity the cigar oasis will not do that. The product I linked to will absorb humidity out of the air and hold it in the beads. I use them for my cigars and they're great for humidity control. The
Thanks for the tips! I'm going to order some after the holidays.
 
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Just make sure nothing but distilled water hits those beads. Other than pulling moisture out of the air and distilled water they will get ruined by water minerals, and other soluble compounds.
 
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