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Dry curing, meat charcuterie


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My wife and I have been looking at this. 

There are several forms of curing I know. There was a past archived thread I note for differing methods. Smoking not viable for me. Wet curing we will give a go. It is dry curing most of interest.

Anyway I realise you need a stable environment and tight control of humidity and temperature. I had a look on the net and there are several ideas. I have a cellar. No I wouldnt randomly put meat out down there. It is however cool.

The idea is a large fridge. You have to drill through to get wires in for a small fan, dehumdifiyer and a temp/humidity gauge.

This then leads to an elctrical component that then siwtches the fridge and other electricals as needed.

As the temp is above a fridge temp and already in cool place, it limits the electricity cost.

Just wondering if anyone has done this after the last thread? I am just a bit nervous drilling into a fridge to be honest.

Edited by The Grey Man
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On 19/07/2020 at 00:45, The Grey Man said:

My wife and I have been looking at this. 

There are several forms of curing I know. There was a past archived thread I note for differing methods. Smoking not viable for me. Wet curing we will give a go. It is dry curing most of interest.

Anyway I realise you need a stable environment and tight control of humidity and temperature. I had a look on the net and there are several ideas. I have a cellar. No I wouldnt randomly put meat out down there. It is however cool.

The idea is a large fridge. You have to drill through to get wires in for a small fan, dehumdifiyer and a temp/humidity gauge.

This then leads to an elctrical component that then siwtches the fridge and other electricals as needed.

As the temp is above a fridge temp and already in cool place, it limits the electricity cost.

Just wondering if anyone has done this after the last thread? I am just a bit nervous drilling into a fridge to be honest.

Mrs Toasted and I have done jerky and biltong in a fan oven: slices of beef hanging from skewers suspended on a rack, a tray to catch drips, oven door propped ajar to prevent condensation, oven thermometer to monitor temperature.

It works well as long as no one turns the oven up "just to be sure" :)

I've considered building a box with a fan and some kind of condensing mechanism, but the oven works perfectly well so laziness wins.

 

 

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I used to make biltong for a guy ‘Brian’ in SA: Big long silversides of beef, ‘pickle, salt and spice about 10 of em at a time in plastic boxes for 48hours  - age them for a few weeks - hanging on hooks from chicken wire in a garage with fan on 24hrs non-stop to stop the flies laying eggs on them - moisture dripping from it for weeks - they’d shrink to 25% of size  - slice them ....and vacuum bag it in 50g bags and sell it as ‘Brian’s Biltong’ back in 1994 (as a 21 year old) just outside Johannesburg in SA.

The best ones had the fat running through them - I’ve tried Biltong in U.K. - utter shite - dry leather compared to the stuff I used to make.

Loved the stuff. Put on at least 2 stone in 3 months on a diet of Biltong and cans of Castle and Elephant beer. I remember a can of beer was 15p and the best surf and turf steak and lobster with sides in a classy restaurant in Cape Town was under £10. A waterside penthouse apartment overlooking the bay was less than £100k.  I was getting 5 rand to the £ back then.....

Mind that was 26 fucking years ago! How mad is that! 

I need to dig out the special spices and method recipe.

FB2FFDBF-A36A-4A62-B093-56082CF5FC0D.jpeg

Edited by Vendetta
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3 minutes ago, Vendetta said:

I used to make biltong for a guy ‘Brian’ in SA: Big long silversides of beef, ‘pickle, salt and spice about 10 of em at a time in plastic boxes for 48hours  - age them for a few weeks - hanging on hooks from chicken wire in a garage with fan on 24hrs non-stop to stop the flies laying eggs on them - moisture dripping from it for weeks - they’d shrink to 25% of size  - slice them ....and vacuum bag it in 50g bags and sell it as ‘Brian’s Biltong’ back in 1994 (as a 21 year old) just outside Johannesburg in SA.

The best ones had the fat running through them - I’ve tried Biltong in U.K. - utter shite - dry leather compared to the stuff I used to make.

Loved the stuff. Put on at least 2 stone in 3 months on a diet of Biltong and cans of Castle and Elephant beer. I remember a can of beer was 15p and the best surf and turf steak and lobster with sides in a classy restaurant in Cape Town was under £10. A waterside penthouse apartment overlooking the bay was less than £100k.  I was getting 5 rand to the £ back then.....

Mind that was 26 fucking years ago! How mad is that! 

I need to dig out the special spices and method recipe.

FB2FFDBF-A36A-4A62-B093-56082CF5FC0D.jpeg

Please do 😊

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Posted (edited)

We made some Thai Sausage during May. Cured fine for a few spells outside and then into the kitchen.

Jerky. Wife puchased what looked like keep nets to me. The strips of beef then placed inside and flies kept at bay. She also did a pork version. Out the back during the sunny spell. A day or two. Weather broke so finished in the oven. Similar to above posts.

Havent brined yet. Aim for autumn so can use the cellar to dry off after they have soaked.

The biggie though remains...dry curing.

Asked the household to keep eyes open for any commercial fridges coming to sale. Likely I suspect in coming months. Notably the glass door versions.

Would have a go then of converting a fridge for dry curing.

Edited by The Grey Man
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  • 3 months later...

Close to finishing my home work.

I am going to ditch the modified fridge method.

Its the cold months. I have a fair idea of the humidity and temperature in my cellar.

In the next week or two I will set of with some dry cured meats.

Fairly certain I can get some belly pork for bacon going.

Wife already does sausages..no pun...but we really need a  meat mincer and a sausage machine. Doing it by hand is a pain on any scale.

My wife wont eat beef. She has lots of pork skins but think I will need some larger non beef skins.

I can try some smoking. Living in an urban area I will have to do at night. Plus I have to build so this aspect will have to wait.

So...put some long term dry curing in..a year..some medium term..such as saucisson..short term bacon.

I can do some kettle drum smoking so if I get some reduced beef..pastrami.

Largely will try to avoid nitrite ...but the longer term drying...I will use..I dont fancy an Immediate Clostridium issue. Other shorter term stuff.....not bothered as it will be ate as produced.

Negotiations at home on mincer/ sausage pump.

 

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1 hour ago, The Grey Man said:

Close to finishing my home work.

I am going to ditch the modified fridge method.

Its the cold months. I have a fair idea of the humidity and temperature in my cellar.

In the next week or two I will set of with some dry cured meats.

Fairly certain I can get some belly pork for bacon going.

Wife already does sausages..no pun...but we really need a  meat mincer and a sausage machine. Doing it by hand is a pain on any scale.

My wife wont eat beef. She has lots of pork skins but think I will need some larger non beef skins.

I can try some smoking. Living in an urban area I will have to do at night. Plus I have to build so this aspect will have to wait.

So...put some long term dry curing in..a year..some medium term..such as saucisson..short term bacon.

I can do some kettle drum smoking so if I get some reduced beef..pastrami.

Largely will try to avoid nitrite ...but the longer term drying...I will use..I dont fancy an Immediate Clostridium issue. Other shorter term stuff.....not bothered as it will be ate as produced.

Negotiations at home on mincer/ sausage pump.

 

See Kitchenaid thread, has an an auxillary for for attachments one of which is a sausage stuffer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After what seems an age I have finally got all the gear together.

Been reading for months..you tube vids..you name it. Nothing is bloody consistent re methods.

Anyway final gear gained today. Put down a tester of back bacon and streaky bacon. Keeping my records on this as the science is sound...the practicalites...err..no.

I have set off a de boned pork shoulder ..hope to air dry. Suddenly I finished and realised the books dont talk of cheapo Asda cuts. An issue with later taste.

I dont know if my drying plan and environment will be successful. Punting large amounts of dosh into the best rare breed meat eati g acorns  dosent make sense at this stage.

So...I plan to marinate...with my flavours first..also make acidic to keep the bad guys out and then do a few trials with adding extra time on to the salt drying after before drying.

The fermented sausage stage will be a dual effort with wife from next weekend...again another experiement.

I foolishly didnt have a set reciepe for both today, figuring I had read enough..just take one from a book.

Half the info is nitrate/nitrite free..the other uses...and to complicate issues further I was choosing to use the Polish version of Prague No1, 10 percent weaker re Nitrite. Back to basic maths then to reclibrate the percentages.

 

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This is just 24 hours after starting. There is double the amount shown here. Back and streaky bacon. The bags already show the water being drawn from the meat.

They will be out over the next 7 to 10 days. Will then air dry them for a few days.

Shoulder of pork is now salting, sat under about 25kg of weight,  after an initial cure with Prague #2.

Out next weekend when it needs netting for drying. 20201122_165234.thumb.jpg.e3e6ae805775e0ea9223714fd5abedcd.jpg

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