Curing cabinet location

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dpeart
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Curing cabinet location

Post by dpeart » Mon Mar 18, 2013 16:44

I"m in the process of building a curing chamber controller out of a raspberry PI using the DHT22 temp/humidity sensors. I have things running well enough now that I need to do some testing in a chamber instead of on my test bench. Kind of hard to increase humidity on the test bench :)

Can I put the chamber in the house? I really don't have any room in the garage and here in Texas there are no basements. My wife is sensitive to fragrances so if it is stinky then it can't go into the house. One good thing is that the house is pretty consistant temp/humidity so I can use it to reduce humidity if needed. If not in the house anyone put it in a shed, on the back porch?

My plan is to modify a refridgerator, use the cooling of the fridge, put in a humidifier for humidity and a light bulb for heat. I can then get everything I need to ensure I maintain the proper settings. My main issue is where does it go?

thanks,
dave
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Post by Cabonaia » Tue Mar 19, 2013 05:48

I made one pretty much exactly like yours. You will be happy! Didn't have room in my garage either, so I just made some room. Why give up living space for storage space. If your wife is sensitive to smells (as mine is), she is not going to like it when you open the fridge door in the house several times a day to admire your handiwork, or at the least to let in some fresh air as necessary. It's a smell you will love...not so sure about the management. Outside is not so great because you'll use more electricity. So I say, garage.

My 2 cents, since ya asked. :shock:

Don't forget to block the light from the bulb. Or buy a screw-in, lightless bulb. That's in my Amazon shopping cart....
dpeart
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Post by dpeart » Tue Mar 19, 2013 14:11

Well the wife shutdown the "inside the house" idea . . .

I was looking on Craigslist for a fridge/freezer and saw a small 5.5ft^3 chest freezer. It is 27" wide, 21.5 " deep and 34" tall. I can fit that in my garage. I would place the equipment outside the freezer so that the entire inside would be available for hanging food.

Would this be large enough to work with? I would place dowels across the top to hang the meat from. I'm not looing to make a ton of food, just enough for myself and family. I'm thinking that it would be large enough, but wanted to get a second opinion.

The main concern is if I can control the humidity in such a small enclosure.

thanks
dave
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Post by Cabonaia » Tue Mar 19, 2013 15:00

The humidifier is what takes up room, and you could put that outside the unit and pipe in the humid air. But you will wish you didn't have to stoop down to look into it, and once you clear a footprint for the fridge, you'll have room for a taller one. I have a typical size fridge that I got for free from a lady who was remodeling her kitchen. Tell all your friends you are looking for a free fridge - lots of people have one they don't want. Anyway, I didn't plan for it, but my fridge has turned out handy for other charcuterie uses when I am not curing. I've turned it down to normal fridge temp and wet cured hams, kept pork butts in there when there was no room in the house for them, and so on. You will find use for the extra space. Also, you are correct that it is harder to control humidity in a smaller space. Humidity is harder to control than temp.

Cheers,
Jeff
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Post by Devo » Wed Mar 20, 2013 20:24

I have mine in a spare bedroom that I don't use anymore. The little bit of smell if any from opening and closing the door is no worse than when your cooking your dinner. I say move the wife to the garage and keep the curing chamber inside. :mrgreen:
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