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Commercial Curing Chambers

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:53 am
by Smokingpig
Hi All,

I'm seeking a bit of advice, or perhaps even a lot of advice!! I have for some time now been operating a converted fridge as a curing chamber for the development of some great charcuterie products. This has been very successful and has prompted my next move into operating as a Charcuterie business. Here is my challenge! I need to upscale the quantity of products I can produce, but it doesn't seem as simple as building a walk in fridge and get larger humidifiers/heat sources/etc. It seems there is a bit of an art to being able to monitor more accurately, and this is important especially when ensuring Health and Safety requirements. I have spoken to a few producers of charcuterie but their responses have been fairly cryptic so I am no further along in understanding what I need to do to make a large fermentation and curing chamber.

I am seeking advice from anybody that may have attempted making a professional type fermentation and curing chamber? What did you do, and what equipment was needed. I am looking at a room which will be 1m wide x 2.5m deep x 2.1high as a fermentation chamber, in addition I will have a drying room which is 3.4m w x 2.5m deep x 2.1 high.

All advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks all and happy curing

Re: Commercial Curing Chambers

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:24 pm
by NCPaul
Welcome to the forum. :D Smokingpig could you please add your location to your profile as advise can be tailored to the regulations in different countries. I would start with meeting the Health and Safety people to get an idea of what they would want.

Re: Commercial Curing Chambers

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:43 pm
by Swing Swang
I will read this thread with interest as I am currently doing a small farming course and am very keen to bring an artisan food product to market over the next 3 to 5 years. Hopefully some of the professionals on this site will post pictures of their set ups and give away a few details too.

I've also picked up a lot of useful information from farmers' markets and have had two offers of being shown around different set-ups (yet to take them up on it). One of them is using a number of large fridges as curing chambers so it can be done that way on a small/artisan scale.

My feeling is that you'll probably end up using two cold rooms - one to store meat on the hook, the other to cure, and you'll need a dedicated cutting room too that's not used for any other process (i.e. cooking/hot processes - these will all need to be kept separate and this will extend to vac packers (so you won't be able to use the same vac packer that you use for uncured/raw meats that you'll use for the finished/cured product)).

There will be a lot of hoops to jump through if you're going down the raw/air-dried charcuterie route, and if you are in the UK it would be great if you could document your journey for the benefit of someone like me!

The one consistent message that I've got from some of the farms that I've visited as part of my course is to get the H&S people on your side at a very early stage in the proceedings and certainly before you start to invest in modifying premises/purchasing equipment. They are civil servants and they are there to serve the public, and most are incredibly helpful and actually like coming-out to see well run, professional, small producers as it's different from their run of the mill work.