Packaged or not packaged?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Wegs813, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Wegs813

    Wegs813 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
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    Today is the day that we will be butchering our 8 meaties, but I have a quick question.....we plan on vacuuming sealing the chickens, do we do that before or after they rest in the fridge for a couple of days??
     
  2. Mervin

    Mervin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2010
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    I would package them after they rested for a couple of days. The rest period is actually to get decomposition started. It's kind of like dry aging beef. The enzymatic action starts to break down the connective tissues and tenderize things. If you don't do it prior to packaging and freezing, you'll have to thaw it out and restart the decomposition process over again. I don't know about you, but I'm certainly not going to want to get chicken out to thaw four or five days prior to using it. I'd rather do the aging on the front end myself.
     
  3. Wegs813

    Wegs813 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
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    Perfect....thanks for the quick reply! Wish us luck [​IMG]
     
  4. BackyardAR

    BackyardAR Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2010
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    Not trying to hijack, but it follows this line of thought...

    For those that vacuum pack, do you freeze beforehand, or do it raw then freeze? I know in the past in processing different things the juices could sometimes keep me from getting a good seal on the first attempt, so I went to freezing some things beforehand.
     
  5. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    Quote:This is good advice, i do the same thing,

    When i have many birds to package i place wax paper between the birds while they are freezing , this keeps them from sticking together
     
  6. Mervin

    Mervin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Again, I think it's a matter of preference. I've never really thought about it, but I like the idea of freezing (maybe not solid, but enough to solidify the juices) prior to packaging. Kind of like individually quick frozen (IQF) seafood. I am actually a bit ashamed b/c I do actually employ that technique with a lot of other food stuffs, like sausage and burger patties. I do it to prevent them from freezing into one solid mass. Butcher's paper and other separators don't always do the job.
     
  7. tsarge

    tsarge Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2010
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    I just finished processing my 24 CX. I also vacuum sealed them. We let them chill in ice water for a couple of hours. Then we vacuum sealed them and put them in the fridge. 36 hours later I moved them to the freezer. The one we ate 36 hours after processing was AWESOME! Very tender and juicy.

    I used my foodsaver and their 11" wide rolls. We double sealed each end of the bag. We took a bird out of the ice water, pat it dry with paper towels, then in the bag to seal. Patting them dry eliminates some of the excess water and juice that can cause the bag not to seal.

    The only issue I can see with freezing ahead of time is getting the bird into the bag would be tough. My birds were 5, 6, 7+ lbs and some barely fit in a bag made from the 11" wide rolls. We needed to squeeze and bend and tuck wings and legs to get them to slide in. I imagine that would be tough to do with an already frozen bird.
     
  8. Raiquee

    Raiquee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In response to the difficulty of getting them in the bag, what I do is place them in the bag just how i'd like them, lay them flat in my freezer and let them freeze for an hour or two to get solid, then vaccum and seal. I found that not freezing them a bit draws the liquid out, and even if you get a seal, that juice doesn't seem to go back in [​IMG] I've eaten a lot of disappointing beef while learning the tricks of the foodsaver.

    Mervin) don't feel silly! I do the same thing! Who wants to unthaw 12 hamburgers when you only need 2? I do that with fruit too, all individual on a cookie sheet, so we can take out a handful for smoothies/yogurt. [​IMG] It's a pain for awhile, but it really does pay off in the end. Now, If I know i'll be using it for jam, then they can all go and freeze in a solid mass [​IMG]
     
  9. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    I sealed my birds after they had been in an ice bath. I let them drain for 10 minutes, then wiped them off to remove any excess liquid. After putting them in the bag I put a strip of paper towel about 2" tall and the width of the bag just below where I will seal. It doesn't have to be perfect. As the last air is being drawn out of the bag, the fluid starts and is collected in the strip of paper towel. Works very well.
     

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