Dry Curing Question
I'm in the middle of my first stab at dry curing with some lardo. It's been lazily hanging in an emptied out, cleaned up and unplugged refrigerator in my basement. The temperature seems to be doing quite well - hovering between 50 and 60ºF.
I'm a bit worried about the humidity, though. It hasn't really dropped below 80%. I was hoping that once the surface of the fat back dried a bit, that it would drop down to the 70% prescribed in the intro to the chapter on dry curing from Charcuterie by Rulhman and Polcyn. I had originally intended to keep a container of salted water assuming that I would need some more moisture in the air (again, as recommended in Charcuterie), but that is obviously unnecessary.
I'm no expert, but in my limited experience with curing meats, low humidity is more a problem than high. If your cure was successful, the higher humidity will just mean longer hanging time. You'll know you have a problem if nasty green stuff starts growing on the lardo.
For humidity that high you probably should try plain salt, not salt water to reduce it. I have not found a saturated salt solution to be very effective.
Huh. I'll give that a try... I was also thinking stale bread or something.
Most importantly, I wonder if the humidity being that high is even a problem. It's been about two weeks and there's no foul smell or anything. Time (or some knowing Chowhound sage) will tell. Botulism! Here I come!