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Trouble with Pounding Chicken Breasts

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beggsy Nov 7, 2010 09:23 AM

I have not been able to pound chicken breasts successfully without them falling apart. I try to be gentle and pound them between two sheets of saran but they seem to tear just as they get thin enough. Would love any tips. (I use a flat, round pounder-thing). Thanks so much.

  1. n
    nemo Nov 7, 2010 09:40 AM

    I've got one of those batte carne pounders, too. Yes, to the plastic wrap. I've found a downward pound in the middle and then a slide to the edge of the chicken, all in one motion, works best for me.

    1. chefj Nov 7, 2010 09:41 AM

      Oil the plastic so that the meat can slide easily
      Heavy plastic like a zip lock bag works better than thin plastic wrap
      Do not go too fast or hard till you get the hang of it
      You really can not make it any thinner than 1/16 of an Inch especially at first.

      1. Hank Hanover Nov 7, 2010 09:44 AM

        They start out quite thick. I often cut mine in half horizontally then pound them between plastic. Don't forget to add a few drops of water to the plastic, too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Hank Hanover
          chefj Nov 7, 2010 09:50 AM

          Horizontal slicing is a great way to get started, I forgot about that.

          1. re: chefj
            m
            Mother of four Nov 7, 2010 09:58 AM

            I also stick them in the freezer for a while ... much easier to slice.

        2. ipsedixit Nov 7, 2010 10:05 AM

          Get thicker slices of breast.

          Or if you breasts are too thin, fold them over before pounding.

          If that still doesn't work, pound a few times, and then roll it out with a rolling pin. Works like a charm.

          1. blue room Nov 7, 2010 10:49 AM

            Start with the thickest part, go slowly out to ends. I use a rolling pin, but I've heard of simply using the heel of your hand for better control.

            1. mattstolz Nov 7, 2010 12:18 PM

              i think its easier if you are starting with thinner breasts. if you butterfly them first you may have more luck with it. also, make sure that as you are striking the meat, you arent just applying pressure straight down, you want more of a glancing blow, kinda sliding towards the outside of the meat as you strike

              1. iL Divo Nov 7, 2010 04:37 PM

                I do it between two pieces of waxed paper myself.
                Also although I have many pounding vices, I use for this my cast iron 6" fry pan, it's a flat surface that's all big enough to get the size I want for the thinness of the chicken. If you think you're going to thin though, why pound it out that much?

                1. f
                  fourunder Nov 7, 2010 09:04 PM

                  I use old plastic shopping bags or the clear produce bags.....they do not tear during pounding and there is zero splatter to be concerned with. Also, use a little water as a lubricant. It works wonders.

                  * start gently on the side where the breast meat came off the bone, or the underside that is dull, not shiny and smooth. It makes a difference as well.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: fourunder
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                    beggsy Nov 8, 2010 04:51 AM

                    Thanks all! Much appreciated. Will definately try out your tips...

                    1. re: fourunder
                      danna Nov 8, 2010 07:32 AM

                      yes, water. I sprinkle the chicken, cover w/ saran, sprinkle the saran, then pound.

                      1. re: danna
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                        Bryan Pepperseed Nov 9, 2010 04:09 AM

                        +1 Spraying the saran really helps a lot.

                    2. justanotherpenguin Nov 8, 2010 05:44 AM

                      you may want to check out the thread below. i posted some information that i think is important when pounding chicken. also posted a couple of photos.

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7047...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: justanotherpenguin
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                        beggsy Nov 8, 2010 05:52 PM

                        Beautiful! Thank you.

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