Williams has received a boost for its recently-launched Meat Ageing Refrigerator.
The manufacturer asked award-winning butcher Arthur Howell to test the cabinet. His family have been involved in the industry since opening a butcher’s shop in the North Norfolk town of Wells-next-the-Sea in 1889.
Howell commented: “Dry meat ageing is a centuries-old method and the reason it’s back in fashion is all about quality.
“The process delivers more flavour and tenderises the meat. Having said that, it’s also about theatre – if you want to stand out you need to be different and the more you display, the more you sell.”
The Williams Meat Ageing Cabinet features a full length glass door and internal display lights to ensure the meat is eye catching, while the stainless steel construction is designed to balance style and hygiene. The Pink Himalayan Rock Salt Williams supplies with the cabinet also helps the meat ageing process.
Howell added: “It’s a real conversation starter. People will ask about the darkness of the meat, and they’ll say things like, ‘Dry aged meat – wow! That’s different.’ There’s no doubt it’s had a positive impact on business.”
The cabinet comes with either a hanging rail or shelves. “We prefer shelves – we have four and the meat looks very good, and there’s plenty of space,” said Howell.
Regarding the results, he analysed: “We’ll keep the meat for 4-6 weeks and all the joints are expensive cuts of meat – mainly sirloins and ribs. So we need to be confident that the cabinet will look after it! And it does: all the meat ages really well.
“As the meat loses moisture it shrinks a little – over 4 weeks in the Williams cabinet we’re losing less than 10%. Also, with dry aged meat there can be an issue with mould. We’ve had none of that with the Williams cabinet. I can’t fault it!”
The Williams Meat Ageing Cabinet is designed to hold meat in suitable conditions, so it operates at a temperature of 1-6°C and controls relative humidity at 60-90%. The refrigeration system’s CoolSmart controller should ensure it always operates safely and as energy efficiently as possible, by only switching the system on when it’s required – so during quiet periods, such as overnight, power consumption is minimal. It’s also available in a wide range of colours and textures, thanks to Williams’ Chameleon vinyl wrap service, to match a site’s décor.
Made of stainless steel throughout, the cabinet has a capacity of 620 litres and measures 727mm wide by 824mm deep and 1,960 high. It runs on eco-friendly natural refrigerant (R290) with low GWP and zero ODP. The insulation foam is injected, high density 80mm thick polyurethane, said to deliver maximum thermal properties with low GWP and zero ODP.