Turn A Mini Fridge Into A Sausage Vault
For centuries, Europeans have cured sausages and whole cuts of meat by hanging in damp caves, stone walled cellars, and other dark confines that were appropriately cool and humid. For the rest of us, a small refrigerator, just like the one you had in your college dorm can be adapted into a serviceable chamber for curing meat. Here are the step by step directions.
TO GET STARTED
Look for refrigerator models in the 3.2 to 4.5 cubic foot range, which is tall enough to hang and cure sausages. Be sure the fridge features an adjustable thermostat. You’ll also need an inexpensive combination hygrometer-thermometer unit in order to monitor humidity and temperature, along with four to six 1 inch cup style screw hooks and a small tray that will fit in the bottom of the refrigerator.
Using a 3/22 inch drill bit, drill a pilot hole in the ceiling of the refrigerator (or the plastic tray below the freezer) for each screw hook, spacing the holes 2 inches apart. Install the screw hooks, which are where you will hand the sausages or meat.
With double sided tape, stick the hygrometer-thermometer to the inside of the door or the back interior wall. Adjust the thermostat to it’s highest (warmest) setting. This should bet the temperature to around the 55-60 degree mark.
As for the humidity, fill the small tray with kosher salt and add distilled water until the salt is fully saturated. This mixture will release or absorb moisture accordingly to maintain a relative humidity of 60-70 percent, creating the perfect place to dry-cure your meat.
GET GOOD RECIPES
There are many good sources to get wonderful recipes for curing various meats and sausage on line as well in books. Follow recipe instructions carefully and experiment until you become proficient in preserving various meats.