follow up to my own question on very tough meat after butchering.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by fiddlebanshee, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    I asked a couple of years ago (I didn't check exactly when) about a rooster we butchered and which was inedible because he was so tough. I thought I'd share what I have since learned was the cause of that.

    We butchered, processed and then put the bird in the crockpot over the timespan of a half a day. I have since learned that you should either freeze or prepare chickens within the first hour after butchering or let them rest for a couple of days in the fridge before you do anything with them. This makes that rigor mortis has dissipated and the meat is tender. If you process while the bird is in rigor, the muscle will be very tough.

    I just thought I'd pass this along as someone else my have the same experience/question.

    Our last batch of meaties was delicious and I let them sit in the fridge for 3 days before freezing/throwing some legs in the frying pan.
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Yep, this is too true. If I can get a cockerel from the yard to the BBQ in 10 minutes he's always tender as can be, otherwise you gotta wait a couple days. Course the time depends on the bird - 1 or 2 days for the CX and the little gamebirds, 2 or 3 for the cockerels and pullets, 3 or 4 for the roosters. I give my turkeys a good 4.
  3. varidgerunner

    varidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2013
    Rule of thumb, if it's still kicking cook hot and fast, after it cools, it needs to cook low and slow, aging will make them more tender, the longer the more tender. Of course they will get really tender if you go too long. (Ewww).Meat is at it's toughest from about the time it chills until bacteria and enzymes start breaking down the muscle fibers. These things I have learned from all sorts of meat, not just chickens. Things like marinating and brining can extend the aging process by slowing down the bacteria .
  4. mossyroo

    mossyroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 23, 2014
    Mossy Head, FL
    So should you wait for rigor to pass before you actually start processing (plucking, eviscerating)? How long should that take?
  5. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    No, no, you'd be waiting a few days for that! I always skin/pluck and gut as soon as the bird's done draining and/or scalding. It's actually a good idea to try to beat rigor if you can, since it makes it harder to pluck and bag the bird.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by