Pre-chilling? Chilling prior to evisceration?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Bluff Country Chicken, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Bluff Country Chicken

    Bluff Country Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I just watched a YouTube video in which the processor chilled his chickens prior to eviscerating. Anybody know what the benefit of this would be?
     
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] I don't see any benefit to doing this. The aim is to get the parts of the chicken you intend to eat chilling as soon as possible to prevent spoilage. This is best done with everything you don't want to eat, the feathers & skin if you choose off the outside of the meat, and all those warm organs out of the inside of the bird. This is why most folks put the finished -- eviscerated -- chickens in ice WATER, not just ice cubes, so that the coldness is touching every part of the bird inside & out, for quicker cooling of the meat.

    Leaving the organs in would mean that the inside of the bird would stay warm for longer than necessary.
     
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Can you post the link to that YouTube video? Now you've got me curious. I'd like to say that there are a lot of videos on YouTube showing folks doing things incorrectly, but who knows? They may have a good reason for what they're doing.
     
  4. Bluff Country Chicken

    Bluff Country Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    SE MN
    Quote:You bet. Here's the address. He also uses a pre-wash prior to scalding. I won't put bleach in mine, but I will use a pre-scalding rinse tub so my scalding pot stays cleaner longer. I figure for the pre-wash I can use some hot tap water, whereas the scalding water obviously needs more time to reach the proper temperature over my burner. My thought is this might save time in my small operation due to the fact I won't need to swap out the scalding water quite as often.

     
  5. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Due to the fact I can kill, scald, and pluck faster than my wife can eviscerate, we keep a tub of ice water on the table to chill the birds in until she can get to them. I am usually 6-8 birds in front of her. It's surprising how chilled they are after sitting in there for only 5-10 minutes.
     
  6. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    We do this. We generally have a few volunteers when we process, giving us a total of 6 people. Since the kill, scald, pluck, neck and feet removal moves faster than evisceration, we put the birds in a cooler with running well water while they wait for evisceration. This keeps everyone busy and keeps the skin from drying out. The two eviscerators pull the birds from the cooler, eviscerate and then put them in another cooler. When the people at the top part of the line are done with all the birds, they can start either cleaning up or moving to evisceration. We were taught to do it this way by an old farmer and it works for us. I love the workflow. We can process about 100 birds in 3 hours and there is still room for improvement (for example evisceration could go faster...)
     
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Well, it's apparant that this guy knows what he's doing there, but I still would like to learn just why he does that pre-chilling step. I would also be concerned about the possibility of feces leaking out of a bird into that water. [​IMG] Maybe it isn't as crucial to eviscerate before chilling, but I will still continue to clean my birds out before putting them into the ice water to get cold.

    I also wonder about the advisability of getting the meat cold, then taking it back out into the warm air to eviscerate, then chilling again. Maybe it's not such a problem in climates like this YouTuber enjoys, with cool fall temps and beautiful autumn foliage in the background. But I'm usually butchering in my steaming hot South Florida backyard where the meat almost pre-cooks itself while I work.

    I love the set-up this guy has with the killing cones set between the rungs of a ladder. But I would try to raise that ladder up more, so I wouldn't have to bend down to cut necks. I have my cones attached to the top bar of a metal yard swing, so I can work standing upright.

    Other folks have mentioned a pre-wash before scalding their chickens, saying that it then takes less time to scald a bird that's already wet. This may be true, I haven't tested by timing dry vs wet birds. Sometimes I'll just use the hose to wet a bird before scalding. I'm not so worried about the scalding water getting dirty, it's just to make the bird easier to pluck, and it gets washed off several times afterwards before going into the refrigerator.

    I do disagree with this guy about hand-plucking. Certainly it's nice if you have a machine, but not necessary. I can pluck a chicken clean in just 5 minutes, it's not such a bad chore if you get a good scald, then it's like wiping the lint out of your clothes dryer trap.
     
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRF4EFOW2Vk

    This
    is a great video showing a quick & easy way to eviscerate. I think there's another one with this man showing off how quickly he can eviscerate, counting to ten or something as he completes the job. Does anyone know where that can be found?
     
  9. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Quote:Our health inspector has been at our farm and doesn't have a problem with us "pre-chilling" the birds. The time it takes to eviscerate does not allow the bird to increase that much more in temperature, at least it doesn't appear to, I've never done before and after temps during that stage of processing. I'm also not in Florida, having grown up there, I would not want to be processing during the summer months!

    Again though, I don't think about it as pre-chilling (though it does chill) we use it as a holding tank so no one in the processing line has to mill around waiting for others to catch up.

    I agree that hand plucking isn't that big of deal. It moves fairly quickly. However, I love the plucker we rent when we are processing a 100 birds as I can pluck 3 or 4 chickens in under 3 minutes. I just can't hand pluck them that quickly.

    We also prewash our birds before scalding. When I'm on scalding duty, I use the pressure of the hose near the vent to push that last bit of fecal matter our. I also hose down the feathers. I use to get pretty sick from the wet feather smell, but since someone told me to prewash them, I've found I can tolerate it now.

    Bending down to cut necks sucks.
     
  10. deanawo

    deanawo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2009
    I put very cold water and salted ice in a cooler. I have to do it all myself so I pluck then put in cooler. When all are plucked & in the cooler I do the rest. Never had a problem.
     

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