What is your favorite scalding temp?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Kelsey2017, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Kelsey2017

    Kelsey2017 Songster

    Jan 30, 2011
    Two Harbors, MN
    Well I was not planning on butchering any birds today, but the time is near and I had one starting to look gimpy and not walking around normally so I decided it was time for her to go. Last year when we did the scalding (our first time) I was cautious and used Gail Damerow's suggested temp of 135 degrees. I thought it went okay but sure did take a long time. How was I to know though? We did have beautiful birds with nice looking skin even though there were a few feathers I gave up on. SO then my DBF finished up the last few while I was away and he said that he did it a little hotter, like 140 deg. and they went much quicker with the finished product still looking nice.
    So then today, granted I only did the one bird, I scalded at 150 degrees. The feathers practically just rubbed off, I think I was done in like five mins tops and I was not trying to hurry at all. I loved that temp for getting feathers out, especially the wing feathers, but the yellowey coating to the skin came off as well. This resulted in a rough looking bird, which I don't mind for my table but I think it would be much more appealing to customers to not have a peeling sunburn look to the bird. Also I wonder if that coating has something to do with the crispiness of the skin when roasted, as our birds from last year were simply fantastic- crispy, perfect roast birds.

    What have all have you used for a scalding temp? I like things about each one I have tried so far, but don't want to keep experimenting until I find the best balance of quick feather removal and leaving the coating on the skin. Please share your stories with us all!

    Also the bird I did today had eaten because I was not planning on butchering, I found that the bird did not seem to bleed out as easily with a large full crop. I knew I was going to just break the birds neck to kill it, so I thought I would hold it upside down for awhile to calm it down. I think that all the blood that went to its head made it harder to snap its neck and I actually tore its head clean off quite by accident. I have used that method many times to cull birds quickly, and it was always a clear dislocation without any trouble at all; this was weird. Most likely it was my error, but I had to see because that never happened on a bird that was not upside down for any longer than it took to pick it up. Just an observation but I don't think the bird bled out as well because the head was not cleanly removed. [​IMG]
  2. NancyP

    NancyP Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    We scald between 140 -145.
  3. itsy

    itsy Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    You ripped it's head off?? [​IMG]

    I scalded my first bird at 150, but will do a little cooler next time. Yes, the feathers just wiped away, but I think it cooked the first layer of meat. I didn't have the yellowish skin thing that you're speaking of - but my bird was a 3 year old hen. I'll have more to report in about 8 weeks.
  4. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    We scald around 145-148.
  5. Kelsey2017

    Kelsey2017 Songster

    Jan 30, 2011
    Two Harbors, MN
    I promise it was an accident! (the whole head business) It really turned my stomach! [​IMG]

    I am going to do a dozen more today and I will try the 145ish temp to scald. The one I did yesterday is now sitting in the fridge and the peely looking skin is not as noticeable now that the skin is moist.

    I am also going to leave my cockerals for last, it seems that even though the pullets are a bit smaller, it is the larger girls that are getting the leg issues.
    I want to be able to see the difference in weights between sexes as well because it is impossible to tell them apart once they are cleaned.

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