I've been a combination of busy and lazy. Haven't really started any projects, just daydreaming about them. Mr. Dave has been working on Frankenfridge (a curing chamber) and that has gotten me rethinking the curing box that has been rattling around in my head. I don't really have the space or the desire to jackass a fridge or vertical freezer into the basement. And the new super basement dehumidifier has rendered my old setup useless. The air temperature in the basement is pretty much in the curing wheelhouse year round. July and August might get a little hot for curing but not by much. Really all I need down there is a space where I could control the humidity.
Here's where the plan is currently: Get some cheep wood. Right now cheapest is pine shiplap from Home Depot. Thirty five bucks should buy enough shiplap to make a 2' by 2' by 4'high box. I'd find something cheap and clear for the top. The inside of the box gets covered with a few coats of this mineral oil. There are also a few racks that support dowels (for hanging salami and other projects) attached to the walls of the box. At the floor level, the box is held up with small shims to allow for airflow. Near the top of one wall of the box, there is a hole with a small fan. The fan will come on every so often to move the air around. The fan will also come on if the humidity gets too high. Finally, the humidity: I looked at this in a Pet Smart and liked it. The price is better here though.
Drill a small hole in the side and the hose from a fogger can get piped inside. It looked like you could upgrade the 1 liter bottle to a 2 liter bottle. I like this controller that handles the temperature and humidity by itself. With this particular setup, I wouldn't need the temperature control.
But the controller is $100. Humidity controllers without the temperature control run in the $80s. I think with scrounging, stuff I have, stuff sitting in my father-in-laws barn, and a well-timed trip to Rochester to avoid shipping on the mineral oil...the combined cost of everything else is less than the controller. Probably close to it, but less. On the plus side, the controller would still work if I ever moved to a fridge or vertical freezer.
The cost of this system is just too damn close to the price of one that includes temperature control too. There are cheaper controllers, but the one I saw at Pet Smart looked like a piece of junk. I wonder how many lizards it has killed or at the very least made very uncomfortable for weeks at a time. If I'm going to throw $200 at a half assed curing chamber, why not throw $250 at it and do it right? And then if I'm going to throw $250 at it, why not throw a little more money in and get something with a glass door? It is a very slippery slope.
The answer to these"Why?" questions is because I'm too cheap to buy this toy. Somehow I rationalized the overpriced pressure cooker (which I use at least once a week including earlier tonight). A curing chamber...if I had the right plan, I think I would steal some of my brick oven savings from myself. I'm not there yet.