Turning a walk-in fridge into a curing room

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Turning a walk-in fridge into a curing room

Postby arielschor » Tue May 25, 2010 3:37 am

I recently became co-chef of a restaurant in my city. The two of us split the duties of running a 220 seat restaurant that serves refined casual fare with some high-end ingredients. We have both always had the same dream of being able to cure salumi and dry-age beef in a professional environment. Due to our re-structuring in the kitchen, we now have the possibility of turning our smallest walk-in refrigerator (approx 10'L, 6'W, 8'H) into an aging or curing room. I understand that these processes require specific sanitary controls, and that is something that I have to speak to our local health authorities about...but i'm mostly curious to see if anyone has done this, and has any advice on the matter.

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Postby BriCan » Tue May 25, 2010 9:14 am

I have not done it per say with a cooler, done it with a reefer trailer inside a building. :D

I run my cooler at work (very much the same size as yours) as a drying room. Aging beef try and get the temperature down to 30 deg F. (right on the freezing point) believe it or not this is a better temp than the 32 deg. they call for. Also this is also a good temperature for drying salami and such. If you are making your own salami, Schinken and such you will need a separate room to do the initial first stage drying. Make the salami, cold smoke for six hours, place in room with 75% humidity and 65 deg F. for one to two days then transfer to cooler/aging room..

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Postby DZimmerman » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:05 am

I am the chef of a steakhouse at which we dry age some of our beef. BriCan is right for temp 30-32 works just fine. Also we installed anti-bacterial UV lights. This does wonders.

I also just recently converted one of our wine cellars into a salumi room. i keep the temp at 60f and rh% 65-68 its been working great.

My suggestion is to go to a local restaurant supply store or refrigeration company, and ask if the have any old reach in's. I got an old one for free and converted it to a proof box with terrarium equipment. All in all cost like 180 dollars. ill post some pics.
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