What I've learned is that if you put red meats like beef, mutton or venison on a rack in a cool, dry room with good air circulation they actually get better instead of going bad. If you leave them long enough they just form a harmless mold rind like a cheese. And you can buy beef they do this with but at a large markup. (I mean, I'd heard of dry aged beef long ago and might've even had some at some point, but never really thought about what it meant.)
So, what's the best way to create a place like this without a huge electricity bill? I saw one guy on youtube who had a root cellar lined with huge blocks of salt and just a fan. That's the best solution for me I've seen so far. Just how much would those blocks of salt cost?
I have a general notion that people in the past had something like this called a "larder" which is now just used to mean any meat storage, usually freezers. But I don't quite understand what these larders were or how they worked. It's one of those old timey things it's hard to find information on, where it seems they just wafted from common sense to forgotten by all but a few.
I also suspect meat somehow improves nutritionally from this process, I've always had difficulty digesting grocery store meat and find it just generally unpalatable. Part of that might be the diet and lifestyle of the animal but I feel like there's this key part of traditional meat processing being left out.
Oh yeah, ham. Good ham is still cured something like this I think? But I'm not planning on ever raising pigs so I'll leave any ham related questions out.
This Video (although i've seen similar examples elsewhere) discusses a dedicated refrigerator set as low as possible ,with a small fan inside and vent for dry-aging meat, monitoring humidity to ensure proper reaction.
I haven't tried it, but it seems pretty feasible?
Experimenting and growing on my small acre in SW USA; Fruit & Nut trees w/ annuals, hoping to get Chickens, rabbits, and in-laws onto property soon.
Long term goal - Furniture & Luthier Stay-at-home farm dad.
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