Upgraded Control of a Meaty Environment

I am not a carpenter.

But I have managed to finally finish building my walk-in cooler. It is seemingly solid, definitely well insulated,  provides plenty of storage room for holding meat, and it keeps good control of the temperature and humidity in the box.  Below are a few picture of the 95% finished cooler.

There’s an insulated door, but no door handle yet. You can’t have everything on day #1.

Door removed.

The AC. Thanks Craigslist! The small black box on the bottom of the air conditioner is the humidity and temperature control, courtesy of the reptile department at the pet store.  Salami and lizards both need precise humidity and temp controls….or they can get ruined.

The humidifier and a light. I don’t have to work in a dark closet anymore!

The current collection of drying meat, including duck breast prosciutto (wild duck from Eastern Washington…Thanks Jay!), Duck salami (same source), cured pork loin (Tails & Trotters pig mentioned in my earlier blog post), “Herschel” (prosciutto #1 from Sea Breeze Farm in Vashon Island), “Hazel”, the newest prosciutto (from Tails & Trotters in Portland), and a few bunches of rosemary from my front yard.

A second picture of the two prosciutto legs. “Herschel” on the left is 5 months old. One full month of aging has occurred already, and the color and texture are obviously very different from “Hazel”, on the right. This picture was taken on the first day of drying after 30 days of salting were complete. Right after this photo, “Hazel” was wrapped in a bug tent, to prevent flies or other critters from exploring and/or declaring this fresh meat their new home. That would be very bad.

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9 Responses to Upgraded Control of a Meaty Environment

  1. matt says:

    WOW, what a fantastic setup. I am so incredibly jealous. Great looking meats there too. I would be really interested to hear the taste difference between the seabreeze and tails+trotters meats.

  2. Pat Lin says:

    Very impressive! Way to go!

  3. Evan says:

    I’m definitely envious! The best that I can do is use an old refrigerator with a humidity control. Looks like I need to work on convincing the wife to let me upgrade!

  4. Aaron says:

    Think about sticking a small fan in there as well for air circulation. When the a/c is going there will be plenty of air movement. During the down times you’ll still want air movement.

    Looks great!

    • David says:

      Thanks Aaron. Would you recommend cutting an outward vent hole to allow air to escape too (to avoid minimal increase in air pressure), and to increase air flow?, or is a fan pushing the air around the box sufficient?

      • Aaron says:

        It wouldn’t be a bad idea. You’ll know pretty quickly if it’s too humid/stale in there as things will take on a slick feel and molds will start to colonize. It’s tricky, keeping temp & humidity controlled while still allowing for plenty of air circulation!

  5. mario says:

    Hi, do you know any company who makes those in UK??

    Many Thanks

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