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Oct 13, 2012 09:19 PM

Air chilled chicken vs. regular

I go out of my way to buy air chilled chicken. I feel it's "denser," tastes better, is moist, and has more flavor. It also does not retain any of the chlorinated water that regular chicken is dunked in. BTW, organic does not necessarily mean "air chilled." Does anyone else have opinions on this subject?

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  1. I've never heard the expression "air chilled chicken". What does it mean, please?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      This is an explanation from Bell & Evan's website, but I buy air chilled chicken through other vendors. The process is the same though.

      1. re: Tudor_rose

        Thanks for the information. Our legisiation can't require producers/retailers to state which method they use as chickens are never labelled one way or the other.

        1. re: Harters

          You're welcome.

          True, but you can find chickens labeled 'air chilled.' However, always assume water chilled if it's not labeled. Air chilled also costs 2 to 3 times more than water chilled, so air chilled chicken should always be labeled, so you know why you're paying the higher price.

          1. re: Tudor_rose

            No, as far as I can see, chicken here is never labelled about chilling method (which is probably why I'd never heard the phrase until your post).

            Perhaps air chilling is simply the norm here, as I see a report from 2008, saying several American producers were changing to air chilling as it may help with importing into the European Union.

    2. I raise ducks,geese,turkeys and capons on a small scale for a short list of restaurants and individuals.My killer,slaughter house of choice (I refuse to modernize to "retired" or "re-purpose")
      is an air chilled operation.You get a better texture and taste in return for the extra cost.

      1. Skin is different. No difference in the meat.

        6 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          I disagree.Most if not all of the processors using the wet method submerge the birds in chlorinated water long enough to know the difference.

          1. re: lcool

            That's why you see something on the package stating that "such and such percent of the weight is water." If they were just dunked in quickly, then I would assume there would be no added extra water. You do not see this comment on air chilled birds.

            1. re: Tudor_rose

              It is the water "content" and how much chlorine used and time in solution has a WIDE variable.Often they have to cover the odor with minimally processed and "natural" ingredients etc.
              Hell our cats and mynahs know the difference AND WON'T EAT IT.We had some family visiting last week and SIL Sue decided to be helpful,take the pressure off one night by purchasing good chicken.Out on the counter,for room temperature prior to seasoning, all checked it,all rejected.This was a revelation to her,now a convert.We had my farm birds and her purchase 50/50 on the table,all 10 adults discerned a difference.

              1. re: lcool

                It has a denser texture too. Some chicken is so engulfed with water, it tastes wierd. Good chicken should have a tender steak like texture.

          2. re: ipsedixit

            What is the difference you notice in the skin?

          3. I started buying the air chilled a few years ago and now that's all I buy. I feel is has better flavor and texture.

            1. I concur. Air chilled is definitely better both in flavour and texture. I never buy anything else; luckily it's very easy to find :)