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#62013 - 11/01/08 06:04 PM Cool Down Time before Freezing
Martin Gutzmer Offline
Feather

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Illinois
Some one told me that puoltry that is not chilled for 24 hours before freezing gets tough.
True? False?
Thoughts?
Please advise,
Thanks,
Martin smile

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#62014 - 11/01/08 06:21 PM Re: Cool Down Time before Freezing
Bushman Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 1046
Loc: Wisconsin
The carcass needs time for rigor mortis to subside. I think 24 hours would be the minimum amount of time to wait before freezing.
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#62015 - 11/02/08 12:42 PM Re: Cool Down Time before Freezing
IPF Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Canada
Most sources I've seen (and my own experience) suggest that 6-8 hours is sufficient for rigor mortis to pass in poultry; some sources say 4 hours is enough.

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#62016 - 11/02/08 06:00 PM Re: Cool Down Time before Freezing
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
After plucking and cleaning, we submerge the birds in cold water until no body heat remains. They heat up the water and we add more cold. I don't think we do this for rigor mortis reasons. We feel it compromises the safety of the meat to throw it in the freezer without first removing as much heat as possible. Plus it makes the freezer work really hard to put 10 or 12 birds in that are still warm. So for the sake of freezer efficiency and cold meat being safer meat, we cool, cool, cool. But we cool for an hour, maybe hour and half, sometimes less if bird is smaller. Have never waited 24 or even 4 hours to get a bird in freezer.

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#62017 - 11/08/08 05:38 AM Re: Cool Down Time before Freezing
Chickie Mom Offline
Bantam

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 60
Loc: Kansas
Me neither, we chill them in cold water as well, and into the freezer or pot they go. I have had tougher birds from the store than chilling/freezing them at home.

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#62018 - 11/11/08 08:17 AM Re: Cool Down Time before Freezing
BC Breeder Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada
If you are dealing with those smelly white birds, it really doesn't matter. THey are chicken "veal" and any toughening from rigor can only give them some badly needed texture.

That said, we sell them but do not eat them ourselves. Our neighbor and customers swear that our on-farm processed birds are superior to the neighbor's that are processed at a local processor. Apparently, our's are juicier with better texture and flavour. I scratch my head on this because both batches of chicks come from the same place and are fed the same food. The only difference is the processing procedure.

Is it the stress of the car ride that is reducing the meat quality? The killing method? Or is it the difference in refrigeration times? They use an electical stunner and bleedout, I use decapitation. The licenced facility birds flash cool and go in the freezer the same day they were processed. Mine are cooled slower and sit in the fridge (0.5'C) for 24-48 hours before freezing.

I suspect all three factors play a role and there are plenty of meat quality reports out there that support this notion. I do know from first hand experience that heritage birds are palatable when processed as I do, but not worth eating when processed according to the regulations. That is unless you want to give your teeth a workout!
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#62019 - 11/11/08 12:16 PM Re: Cool Down Time before Freezing
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
BCBreeder:

I have always maintained that you can raise a superior product and render it a waste product if you do not kill it properly. Hats off to the Meat Inspection Regulation and their forced cruelty and inhumanity. Yes I DO feel that shipping live animals to be killed in strange surroundings by strangers is the ultimate form of cruelty. And panicked meat is dog food if you ask me.

Once we sent our tenderly raised meatbirds out to be butchered by someone else. He was good at butchering, but you could tell immediately by how he handled the birds that there was no CARE involved. Just killing. He grabbed those huge birds so roughly and stuffed them in cages. We could hear legs breaking. It was sickening. mad While hubby and I handled each one like a 10 pound baby, cradling then gently and speaking to them quietly. When those birds came back they stunk. Instead of the wonderful aroma of roasting chicken, there was this rank, sour odour. I warned people about it when I gave a few away. They were good to eat, but there was just this smell that was very off- putting. Fear. Panic. Strangers grabbing and handling roughly. Does it make a difference? You bet your Sunday dinner it does! eek

By the by, good to see you throwing in your two bits, haven't seen you around for a while. Hope all is well with you.

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#62020 - 11/30/08 12:15 PM Re: Cool Down Time before Freezing
Maria Ricardo Offline
Past Moderator
Coop Keeper

Registered: 03/26/05
Posts: 434
Loc: Hawaii
I have put my lovingly processed rooster in the ice water for 4 hours, then into the refrigerator for a day and a half and still when I hold his leg and try to flex it, it is very stiff. He was born in Feb of this year. I haven't had a tender home grown bird yet. What am I doing wrong?

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#62021 - 12/01/08 08:27 PM Re: Cool Down Time before Freezing
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Question #1 How old was your rooster?

Question #2 What breed was your rooster?

If you have an 8 week old meat bird and he is tough, then you have done something wrong in raising or butchering him. If you have a 6 month old or 1 year old rooster of any other breed, darn right he's going to be tough because that's the way the coyotes like em!

There is going to be an avalanche of opposing opinions saying that people eat their 1 and 2 year old RIRs or Barred Rocks and they are tender and juicy. Perhaps if you have pulverized said rooster by cooking him in a pressure cooker and submitting him to enough steam to run a locomotive, he may be tender. Or slow cooked him for 11 days in a slow cooker, he may be tender. Or canned him, in effect cooking him once then opened the can and cooked him a second time, then he may be tender. But let's face it, roosters can be eaten but how easily they can be eaten is a subject of much debate!

This is the same as people who raise dairy animals for beef and call them beef. WRONG! A Hereford and a Holstein on a plate will NEVER be the same thing! And a meatbird and any other rooster on a plate will NEVER be the same thing!

To happily consume a rooster you must be a wizard in the kitchen and I take my hat off to the many, many people here who do just that. But I would never roast any old rooster and expect him to be a tender Sunday dinner. Let that idea go! frown While you can indeed eat your rooster, you are likely to not exactly enjoy your rooster if you are roasting him. In my opinion you must do something much more aggressive to get him to be tender, like soak him in lye or battery acid for a few days. (don't actaully DO this, it is a figure of speech eek ) But you get my drift.

I admire the idea of eating surplus roosters. Lots of people do. They are brave. They are pioneers. They are more skilled in the kitchen. But I simply refuse to bother. I have wonderful, tender meatbirds in my freezer, raised for the very purpose of eating. I doubt that your problems are related to butchering or cooling. I believe that roosters is roosters is roosters and coyotes have the teeth for eating them. But us....not so much.

I shall now brace for the backlash...or at least hope there will be backlash considering some of the posting problems there have been lately. Hope others can get on and tell us how they eat nothing but tough old roosters, how only one will keep the family eating for a week or more. I believe this to be true. laugh

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#62022 - 12/02/08 11:59 PM Re: Cool Down Time before Freezing
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
To get a tough rooster tender, you first pound him with a river rock. (after you kill him, please) :rolleyes:
Then you put him in a large pot with enough water to cover, and hold him down with the river rock. Simmer for enough hours to make the river rock tender. You then discard the rooster by feeding him to the dog and eat the river rock, which by now has taken on the flavour of chicken. laugh
Well this has been said before about how to cook a NZ Pukeko, so it ought to be the same with tough old roosters!

I think the secret to cooking non meat bird roosters is to stew very slowly in a crock pot. They don't have enough meat or fat on their bones to roast satisfactorily and will end up tough and dry.
You could also bone them out and marinade with kiwifruit and spices for 2 or 3 hours. Roll them up around stuffing and secure with skewers paint with a mixture of butter and olive oil and wrap in tinfoil and bake very slowly in low oven.

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