How long to cool off carcasses?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bigcountry1009, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. bigcountry1009

    bigcountry1009 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2013
    Clinton, SC
    How long should carcasses be cooled off? I put them in a cooler of ice water for about 6 hours and the skin seemed to get very rubbery and the legs stiffened and were straight. Made them hard to wrap for freezing. Did I wait too long?
     
  2. Elke Beck

    Elke Beck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2011
    Sunny So Cal
    I know what you mean about legs sticking straight out. Last year I waited until after I finished all the birds I was processing, and there was a long-legged Rhode Island Red that I could not get into a bag. I finally had to have someone hold the legs down while I sealed the bag.

    I now stick the carcass into a zipper bag immediately after I finish it, then bury the bag in ice to chill. I prefer to dry chill, and by bagging immediately the chick goes into rigor in the shape of the bag. The carcasses are chilled through within an hour this way.
     
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  3. lokua

    lokua Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2011
    The stiff legs are just rigor mortis. That goes away after a day or 2 in the fridge. I keep mine in ice water for a few hours then stick em in the fridge for 2 days. I cut up most of my birds, so fitting in bags is not an issue. For birds to be frozen whole I cut a slit in the skin over the cavity and tuck the legs. They still stiffen but the skin holds em back enough to fit in bags.
     
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