Busy day today, besides starting my dry cure sausage, I just got around to putting my ham in a cure, and soaking some cow tongues; which I hope to smoke in a couple of days.Click on pictures to enlarge.
Here is my basic Dry Curing Cabinet setup, not shown in this picture are the remote receiver for the Thermo-Hygrometer, and the Ranco ETC-111000-000 (Line Voltage Thermostat with Probe). They are on top of the refrigerator. The heater is for when I want to ferment (incubate bacteria) sausage in the refrigerator instead of the Bradley. So that piece of equipment is optional. It is placed in the refrigerator for illustration. The fan is a variable speed fan that I found in Wal-Mart a couple of years ago. Though most Dry Curing Cabinets don’t have this in their design; I feel it is important to keep the air slowly circulating. I’m currently working on hooking up a computer fan, and in the future I will us that instead of the current fan. That fan will also have a variable speed. Note: after taking this picture I swapped the positions of the fan and humidifier.
Here is my setup for fermenting (incubating the bacteria) sausage in the Bradley. The bottom is a hot plate with a pan of water on top. I taped some foil in the back to protect the wiring of the Bradley heating elements. The hot plate is being controlled with the DigiQ II. The wire for the hot plate is run out the generator opening. To keep the heat in and wind out, I use the cold box propane adapter plate and some aluminum foil.
The double rack above the hot plate holds 5 pounds of Spanish Chorizo, the next double rack hold 5 pounds of beef pepperoni, and the top rack is a highbred of 5 pounds of Tuscan/Hungarian salamis. They were placed in there at 7:00 AM this morning, and I will take them out of the Bradley around 8:00 PM, and hang them in the Dry Curing Cabinet.
What can I say; I’m a gadget freak. To check on the humidity inside the smoker I used the Extech 445713 Thermo-Hygrometer. If you look at the previous picture you can see the white probe hanging through the vent. The humidity stayed between 92% - 99%; the latter reading is the maximum reading for this instrument. I may try salt water next time in an attempt to keep the humidity down. At first the readings from the DigiQ II and the Extech were about 14°F off, with the Extech sensor located at the top, with the higher readings. That had me worried for a while, but after about 30 minutes the temperatures stabilized and were only 2°F – 3°F, with the Extech having the higher readings.
Here is a composite of two photos taken within seconds of each other.
In a couple of hours I will be hanging my sausage in the cabinet. I was hoping to have the sausage ready by Christmas, but that doesn't look good.