Tough meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by abbey2140, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. abbey2140

    abbey2140 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 11, 2008
    North Branch, MI
    We have found that our meat chicken often come out to be tough or almost grainy when we eat them any advice on how to get them more tender? We love to cook them on the grill but they are tough without basting or cooking in a bag
     
  2. MysticScorpio82

    MysticScorpio82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Maine, USA
    How long do you let them sit/rest after you process them until they are cooked?
     
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Quote:When you say meat chickens, do you mean birds specifically bred for meat and butchered at 6-12 weeks old, or dual purpose breeds you raised for meat, butchered anywhere from 16 to 25 weeks old? What breed(s), and how old are they when you butcher?
     
  4. abbey2140

    abbey2140 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 11, 2008
    North Branch, MI
    These are Cornish X. As for sitting, they are butchered, packaged and frozen all in the same day. Is that bad?

    As for feeding them, we have fed 3 different feeds and they haven't changed the outcome.

    We butcher at about 10 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  5. Slinkytoys

    Slinkytoys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Black Forest
    Well, that's the problem. The birds need to "rest" for preferably 3 days before being frozen. I don't brine mine, some do. Mine are processed, put into the cooler for three days, packaged then frozen. The meat is incredibly tender and flavorable.
    Slinky
     
  6. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    We have rested ours anywhere from 24-48 hours. NEVER had an issue.
     
  7. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    That's the problem, you're freezing them while they're in rigor mortis. They need to age in the fridge, (or in coolers w/ice, as long as they're cold) until rigor passes and the meat relaxes. Some say this only takes 4 hours, but most let the meat rest at least 24 hours before freezing. I age mine at least 3 days, longer for DP's.

    If you have a bunch already frozen, try thawing them a couple of days before you plan to eat them, so they can age in the fridge at least 24 hours before you cook them.
     
  8. abbey2140

    abbey2140 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 11, 2008
    North Branch, MI
    Thank you every one. I think the longest they have ever set is about 2 to 4 hours. Gonna try the 2 day method. It sure wont hurt.
     
  9. Corporate Farmer

    Corporate Farmer New Egg

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    May 4, 2010
    Plymouth, MN
    What's the proper order of "processing," and "resting?"

    In another words, (1) should one pluck the feathers, clean the guts and then "rest" the whole chiken in the fridge before cutting the chicken into pieces 24 to 72 hours later?

    Or (2) can the bird be plucked, gutted and then cut into pieces immediately and then "rest" the cut up chickens in the refrigerator?

    (1) or (2), which is preferred method for tender meat?
     
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Process it, definitely! You don't want it sitting around with the guts in it for a couple of days. It makes no matter if you cut it up or not before you rest it.

    Good luck and let us know if the next batch is more tender? [​IMG]
     

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