Steak Locker can be used not only for the smart dry aging on large sub-primal cuts of beef and other meats, it can equally smart cure your cheeses, fish and charcuterie. In this article we are going to be exploring the benefits of using Steak Locker as a Charcuterie fridge.
History of using a Charcuterie Fridge
The word Charcuterie originated in France and translates to “pork butcher shop” but has evolved to referring to a board with many options including cheese, pate, crackers, nuts and so on. Charcutier refers to a person with expertise in this art form of curing meat, animal fat and salt. Small-batch cured meats with artisan craftsmanship are good options that move away from the fillers and preservatives that are found in some meats. Salumi is a similar practice that comes from Italy, where the traditional process of using salt to cure meats dates back to the Roman empire nearly 2,000 years ago.
Charcuterie fridge dry aging technique
The drying of charcuterie is backwards of the dry aging process in the sense that with dry aging you want lower temperature settings, 35-39 degrees and higher humidity, 60-80%. With charcuterie the temperature would be set between 45-55 degrees and 50-70% humidity.
The key to successfully dry curing meat and getting extraordinary flavors from quality meat is following a process accurately. We recommend starting with a small batch to test and perfect your process before continuing on with a large batch.
This king of cured meats is the Parma Ham that uses only two ingredients, pork and sea salt, but time, temperature, humidity and craftmanship are just as important to a successful end result.
Salt is an integral ingredient in making charcuterie but all salt manufactures use different sizes that will contribute to different volume. Using accurate kitchen scales that goes to 1 or 2 decimal places to measure exact quantities is essential compared to using measuring spoons. There are two common salts used, No. 1 is for cured meat that will be fully cooked in under a 30 day project like dry-cured bacon or pastrami and No.2 is used in long term cured meats like prosciutto where nitrates slowly breakdown over time into nitrites, so by the time (weeks or months) the transition has occurred, there aren’t any nitrates left in the meat.
Finally, always trust your sense of smell. The penicillin or powdery white mold that is on cured meats is a good sign because it protects the meat from foreign bodies. This will emit a pleasant smell letting you know that the final product is edible.