Catering equipment supplier, Euro Catering, has introduced dry-ageing equipment suitable for butchers, upmarket restaurants and artisan food producers wishing to make their meat a talking point.
The new Italian-manufactured Klima meat ager is available as either an 800litre capacity unit, or a 1,500litre cabinet and can function as a meat ager, cheese ripener, dehydrator and prover. Furthermore it is designed to defrost food more hygienically than with other methods.
The Klima works with the natural processes within the meat. Fundamentally, muscle contains cells that the dry ageing process can break down into amino fatty acids and sugars, and this should create more flavoursome steaks or other cuts.
The unit comes complete with long bars fitted with triangular-shaped teeth, meaning no meat hooks are required and the available space should be maximised. Salami frames are also included and an external pH gauge allows different foods to be monitored simultaneously. This provides the choice of slow or fast ageing.
Additionally its patented air recirculation system is designed to prevent products from being affected by direct airflow, which means they should not have to be moved during the ageing process, within the precise micro-climate that the Klima creates.
Humidity is electronically controlled at between 10 and 99%, which helps to reduce weight loss in the meat. The temperature in the cabinet can be adjusted between -2 and 40˚C, with all instructions to the machine being delivered by programmable touchscreen controls. Furthermore there are no LED lights to cause adverse effects inside the cabinet.
The patented Sanity Bio system is designed to disable micro-organisms and facilitates oxygenation. This prevents mildew forming, which can affect the colour of food that has undergone an ageing process.
Maturing cheese in this equipment, on the other hand, should strengthen its structure and help develop its taste and flavour. Water, air and temperature are all controlled to help create exceptional tasting cheese, without unpleasant smells.
Drying fruit, vegetables and herbs at under 30% humidity is claimed to enable the taste and aroma to be that of fresh food. When it comes to fermentation, the unit can produce leavened products, allowing bakers to cut out inconvenient work rotas. Defrosting is said to be accomplished without oxidisation and colour change.
Euro Catering’s director, Tim Charlton, said: “The exceptional four-in-one functionality of this equipment saves on space and capital outlay, whilst providing its owner with a means with which to distinguish their wares.
“It can create flavoursome and incredible food for the plate, but also assist in the manufacture of other ingredients, whether that is dried fruit and vegetables, herbs or pasta. It can even be used in complementary medicine, by those using natural herbs for medical purposes. Given this capability, it’s an exceptional purchase for those serious about high quality food, textures and taste.”
For those not requiring all of this functionality, Euro Catering also has the DX 1000 Dry Ager, which comes supplied with its own Himalayan salt block, to enhance the flavour of the meats and cheeses aged within it. With a bottom-mounted compressor, this piece of equipment is suitable for establishments with low ceilings, where a compressor could overheat if fitted to the top of the cabinet.
This dry ager refrigerator can take two to three beef saddles and a 40kg load per shelf, though the advice is to mature the beef on the saddle, whenever possible, so that less meat is exposed to the air and weight loss reduced.
Charlton added: “We believe we will see more butchers, farm shops, charcuterie specialists and cheese makers turning to these dry-agers over the next few years, along with a higher proportion of restaurateurs, as we have a highly competitive eating-out market place and many chefs are doing exactly the same things as counterparts just a few hundred yards away. The trick is to get in now and set the trend, rather than trying to follow it.”