BEST WAYS TO COOK BLACK AUSTRALORPS

shastersa

In the Brooder
Nov 29, 2021
2
5
11
Hi Guys and Gals, I'm pretty new at raising chickens and figured Black Australorps would be the best starter...Needless to say, they have been incredible so far.

Truth is, they're not pets and they are being raised for their eggs, but the day will come when we'll need to start thinking about dinner.:D

So my question really is, what is the best way to cook Black Australorps? I've heard they can be really tough...does that mean roast chicken is off the menu?
 

shastersa

In the Brooder
Nov 29, 2021
2
5
11
:welcome
If you're not raising them specifically for meat, then you're gonna be stuck cooking them in the crock pot. The older the chicken is the tougher they're gonna be. But fear not! They will taste amazing, you just have to slow cook them all day.
Thanks @pony007, what would be the best age for slaughtering if we intended raising for meat? The long term plan is to essentially stock both meat and egg birds as we slowly make our way to becoming self sufficient.
 

Molpet

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 7, 2015
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My Coop
My Coop
I harvest around 16 weeks

Cooking methods by age

Screenshot_20201124-175957.png
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
11 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,569
3,739
476
NEK, VT
For rotisserie and grilling cull cockerels 12-14 weeks of age.
Fried chicken- up to 18 weeks of age.
Roasted- up to 9 months is best but can do year old.
Older than a year your only cooking options are crock pot or stewed on stove. Don't let water come to boil- max water heat is simmer or meat will get tough.

You have very little time to start cooking before rigor sets in. If you cook a stiff bird it will be tough. Let rest in fridge for up to 48 hours to let rigor pass- legs will move freely.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,259
23,457
907
Southeast Louisiana
they're not pets and they are being raised for their eggs, but the day will come when we'll need to start thinking about dinner.:D

So my question really is, what is the best way to cook Black Australorps? I've heard they can be really tough...does that mean roast chicken is off the menu?
what would be the best age for slaughtering if we intended raising for meat? The long term plan is to essentially stock both meat and egg birds as we slowly make our way to becoming self sufficient.
Are you just talking about the hens after they have dropped off on laying eggs at a few years old or are you also talking about hatching and raising them for meat only? If the second would you eat both cockerels and pullets? You can get different answers for these scenarios.

As a chicken ages they develop texture and flavor. The boys do this a lot faster than the girls but an old hen can be pretty tough and flavorful. There are several traditional ways to cook an old hen and have a gourmet meal. These generally involve cooking them at a relatively low temperature and using wet methods. To me, chicken and dumplings is pure comfort food. Old hens make amazing chicken soup. Coq au Vin is how the French developed a recipe to turn an old rooster into a gourmet meal, an old hen works too. Some people use them to make broth and pick the meat to use in chicken salad, on tacos, or in soup. Some people pressure cook them. You have lots of different options for old hens.

When cockerels hit puberty their hormones become really active. In addition to behavioral changes these hormones quickly add texture and flavor. Some people don't like that flavor, it can be gamey. Some of us like it. If you are talking about butchering cockerels we could have a long discussion on what is the best age to butcher them and how to cook them. The pullets also develop texture and flavor as they age but they don't get that hormonal rush the way cockerels do.

In any case, as Egghead said they need to all be aged to get past rigor mortis. How you cook them depends a lot on age but if you don't age them you are probably going to be really disappointed.
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
9,206
41,359
983
Belding, MI
I harvest around 16 weeks
I'll just toss this into the mix... Mine didn't start laying until 19 weeks, and that was on the early side. So if you want them for both eggs and meat, you will be looking at the "long, slow, moist" cooking methods.

:oops:Now I gotta get off this thread before my Black Australorps get the idea I'm thinking about eating them...
 

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