Did your friend tell you that a wine fridge is perfect for curing meat, veggies, and other stuff, and you are looking for a good one?
Well, wine fridges are more versatile than you think, and besides chilling wines and aging cheese, you can use them for curing food items.
However, choosing a fantastic fridge for curing meats and vegetables is pretty daunting because the temperature, airflow, and humidity matter a lot. To ease things up for you, I have curated this list of the best wine fridges for curing food items.
There’s also a detailed buying guide that’ll help you pick the right fridge for your needs.
Table of Contents
Can You Use a Wine Fridge for Curing Meat and Vegetables?
Curing is a process to preserve the natural flavor and color of food items. The process helps retain the moisture in the food and is done by cooling or throwing cool air on the food items.
A wine fridge serves as the best place for curing cuts of meat and veggies because of the optimal temperature. The adjustable temperature helps you keep the right temperature depending on the food items you want to cure.
Best Wine Fridge for Curing Meat, Vegetables, and More: Top 5 Picks
All the wine fridges reviewed in this article are a result of hours of research, comparison, and asking several chefs. In the reviews, I will tell you everything you should know about these fridges to make an informed choice.
|Nutrichef 15 Bottle Refrigerator
|FOVOMI 20″ Wine Cooler Refrigerator
|Best High-capacity Fridge
|SCHMECKE 18 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator
|Best Value for Money
|Ivation 18 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator
|Best Stylish Fridge
|BLACK+DECKER Thermoelectric Wine Cooler Refrigerator
|Best Quiet Fridge
1. Nutrichef 15 Bottle Refrigerator
Nutrichef 15 Bottle Refrigerator is my favorite for plenty of reasons. The fridge maintains a temperature of around 55°F (12.8°C), which is perfect for dry curing meats and vegetables.
There’s plenty of space inside the chamber, and you can easily place big cuts of meat and other food items in it.
Apart from curing, you can use it to chill wines and other beverages.
To control the humidity inside the fridge, you need to put a bowl of salt mixed with water to continue the drying process.
It would be great to use a humidity level monitor such as DOQAUS Digital Hygrometer to ensure that the fridge has decent humidity levels required for curing foods.
The door feels robust and comes with a huge steel handle for ease of operation. However, it makes a sound when you close it because of its big size.
The airtight seal maintains the humidity and temperature, so the meat and vegetables remain fresher for longer. On the door, you’ll find a digital display with illuminated touch buttons. You can easily control the temperature, lock the fridge, and keep an eye on the current temperature inside the chamber.
There are multiple racks lined one over the other, so I recommend removing the centermost rack to maintain the airflow. Lastly, the UV-resistant glass door ensures the meat and vegetables remain fresher for longer.
2. FOVOMI 20″ Wine Cooler Refrigerator
If you often throw parties, you need to cure a large quantity of meat and vegetables, which is only possible with a fridge like FOVOMI 20″. The giant can easily cure big cuts of meats, while you can put wines and beverages in the second compartment.
The best part about this wine cellar is the flat racks, and you don’t need to replace them.
Moreover, the racks are removable, so you can clean them on the go.
Different types of foods need different curing temperatures, and you can adjust them using the digital control panel.
The display ensures that you can set the exact temperature, while the illuminating buttons let you operate the fridge in the dark hours. Some users said this fridge is a bit noisy, and that’s because of its big cooling system.
I loved the big handle, and you can easily open/close the fridge with one hand. No more hassles of carrying the key, as this fridge features a smart lock you can operate with a touch of a button.
The bigger fan circulates the air properly inside the chamber, and that is essential for curing meat. The only thing you might find difficult is moving this fridge because of its footprint and weight.
Lastly, the airtight seal maintains the humidity even during a power outage, so the stored items remain fresh.
3. SCHMECKE 18 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator
Folks that aren’t looking to spend a fortune on a wine fridge should have a look at SCHMECKE 18 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator. This cellar possesses all qualities of a good wine fridge for curing meats, vegetables, and more.
The footprint may look compact, but there is decent storage, and you can store a good amount of meat and vegetables.
The racks are wavy, therefore, you need to change them with flat racks.
On the bottom, the fridge features a bottle holder for bigger wine bottles, and you can chill your beverages along with curing eatables.
The control panel is simple and straightforward to use. It lets you adjust the temperature, control the interior light, and lock the fridge if required. In addition, the UV-resistant glass pane ensures the stashed things remain fresher for longer.
If you have big hands, you may feel that the handle is a bit small, though you can open the fridge without much hassle.
SCHMECKE claims that this wine cellar can maintain the right temperature for longer, and you can even use it in your RV or tent. I wish this wine fridge would have adjustable legs, and you can only place it on a flat surface.
Overall, if you need an affordable, energy-efficient, and quiet wine fridge for curing meats and vegetables, you can consider the SCHMECKE 18 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator. It comes in two amazing color options, including black and stainless steel.
4. Ivation 18 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator
Contact with moisture and humidity isn’t good for curing eatables, and this fridge keeps these elements out, thanks to its airtight seal. This is a sleek fridge from Ivation with a tall design for better storage.
The overall aesthetics look amazing, and it could be a perfect fridge to keep in your living area.
There are multiple steel racks inside the fridge, and you can remove them to get good storage.
The UV-resistant double glass panel keeps the interior insulated for curing the meat and vegetables properly while keeping the stored items protected from harmful UV light.
Ivation 18 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator is a single-zone fridge, but you can use it to store wine as well, thanks to its capacity.
The handle is on the side of the door and maybe a little disappointing because of its size. Just like all modern wine cellars, this one also offers touch-sensitive controls with a digital display. You can also lock the fridge on the go just by pressing the lock button.
In a nutshell, this Ivation 18 Bottle Fridge should be your choice if you want to cure a decent quantity of meat and vegetables.
The fridge looks stylish, so you can keep it anywhere in the house. However, its size may restrict its placement, and you cannot use it in an RV as well.
5. BLACK+DECKER Thermoelectric Wine Cooler Refrigerator
Usually, wine fridges are a bit noisy, but that’s not the case with BLACK+DECKER Thermoelectric Wine Cooler Refrigerator. Equipped with an efficient cooling system, the fridge reaches your preferred temperature quickly to cure the meats and other vegetables.
It also comes with wavy racks, but they are big, so you don’t need to replace them. The capacity is decent and ideal for small families.
Inside the fridge, you’ll see a big fan that blows air directly on the racks, so the cured meats and vegetables remain fresh for longer.
You’ll love the intuitive controls, and the display tells you the exact chamber temperature. Under the fridge, there are four adjustable legs, so you can install it anywhere. The mirrored glass door conceals the stashed item, and no one can see what you have stored in the fridge.
BLACK+DECKER has used a thermostatic cooling system that consumes less power and helps maintain the temperature for longer.
Overall, this wine cellar from BLACK+DECKER is a good choice for small families and people who want to cure meat and other foods occasionally.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Fridge for Curing Meat, Vegetables, and More
The curing of meat and vegetables requires perfect temperature, airflow, and humidity. Besides considering these factors, you need to look for size, footprint, and more. I’ve explained every factor you should look for in a wine fridge below.
Do you often throw a party and want to cure a big batch of meat and vegetables? You need a big wine fridge with decent capacity.
On the other hand, if you have a family of two, a small capacity fridge will do the job. Consider your needs, and then choose the right capacity for it.
If you are unsure about your requirements, I’d suggest buying a wine fridge with standard capacity, which is between small and big fridges.
The temperature varies depending on the foods you want to cure. For meat, it is different, and for vegetables, you need a different temperature.
Always choose a wine fridge with an adjustable temperature range. If you want to learn more about temperature wine fridges then make sure to read this full guide.
It would be good if you choose a fridge with a digital display, as it shows you the exact temperature.
Illuminated buttons and dual-zone cooling can be some essential features of an amazing wine fridge for curing foods.
To cure meat and vegetables, the fridge should have good airflow.
Stagnant air lead to the growth of mold, whereas air that circulates quickly can pull moisture out from the foods.
There is no such way to determine the airflow of a wine fridge, so you can pick a good fridge from the list I have reviewed in this post.
Go through the customer reviews to know more about the airflow and whether a particular model is good for curing foods.
For curing meats and vegetables, you need a maintained temperature inside the fridge. Power outages can be a problem and can lead to the growth of mold if the fridge loses the optimal temperature. Go for a wine fridge with an airtight seal that keeps the moisture locked inside the compartment.
If you are looking to keep the fridge near your bedroom, ensure that it has a silent compressor. Some wine fridges can be noisy, which may hinder your sleep. A silent fridge sitting on the side of your living room always looks good.
A soft interior light, a big handle, and a built-in lock are not necessary features of a wine fridge for curing foods.
However, you can look for fridges with these features if you find them helpful. For example, a fridge with a lock is good for households with pets.
Do you have a figure in your mind? If not, it is essential to make your budget when looking for a wine fridge for curing food items.
The price of these fridges can range from 250 to 500 bucks, so make your budget, and it’ll save you money.
How to Cure Meat, Vegetables, and More in a Wine Fridge
After selecting the best wine fridge for curing meat, vegetables, and more, you might be interested in knowing how to cure these food items. The process is easy but involves a series of steps that I’ve explained below.
- Select the Appropriate Size and Weight
Selecting the right size and weight is essential, depending on the size of the fridge. Moreover, smaller cuts are better for curing as compared to bigger cuts.
- Create the Salt Cure
You don’t need a container filled with salt to cure meat or other foods. Instead, use this calculator, and you can determine the right quantity for curing foods.
- Weight the Food Items and Record Starting Weight
Before you stash the food items into the fridge, weighing them is essential. Record the weight on a notebook or your smartphone for future reference.
- Put the Foods into the Fridge and Record the Date
Now put the meat and vegetables into the wine fridge. Place the foods in such a way as to maintain a good airflow inside the fridge. Make sure those big cuts of meat don’t block the air duct of the fridge.
- Remove the Meat and Vegetables
Once the meat and vegetables reach 65% of their starting weight, you can remove them from the wine fridge.
Note: You should cook the cured meats and vegetables before consuming them to curtail the risks of food-borne illnesses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I use a wine cooler to dry age meat?
A: Yes, you can use a wine cooler to dry age meat. However, you need to be careful about the temperature and humidity. Also, don’t put wine or other beverages inside the fridge when curing meats.
Q: How to change wine fridge racks?
A: You can remove the racks by pulling them out of the fridge. Now slide in new racks, and you can put in meat for curing.
Q: How long will cured meat last in a wine fridge?
A: It depends on several conditions, but typically, cured meat can last around 2-3 weeks when stored in a wine fridge.
That’s everything you need to know to choose the best wine fridge for curing meat, vegetables, and more. Choose a fridge with ample capacity, multiple racks, and a control panel to adjust the temperature.
If you are looking for a recommendation, I’d suggest Nutrichef 15 Bottle Refrigerator. It’s a fantastic wine cellar with good capacity, smart temperature controls, and a big handle for ease of use.