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Air Chilled Chicken

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  • BriggsBBQ
    Club Member
    • Feb 2016
    • 300
    • Dallas

    Air Chilled Chicken

    Is there a process that can be done to a water chilled chicken to make it like a air chilled chicken that anyone has tried?

    Like maybe put it in the fridge a certain number of hours or something before cooking. I heard the air chilled skin is much more crispy.
  • Huskee
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    #2
    I usually store mine either overnight or for a few hours uncovered on a rack in the fridge after dry brining it. not sure if that's what you mean, it's not really a process per se.

    Comment


    • BriggsBBQ
      BriggsBBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      I guess I am looking for something like what you have done then comparing that to a store bought air chilled chicken without doing anything.
  • klflowers
    Club Member
    • Sep 2015
    • 2133
    • Tennessee

    #3
    Not sure what a water chilled chicken is, but try dry brining with salt uncovered in the fridge overnight. That helps dry the skin out and makes it more crispy. Some recommend adding a bit of baking soda to help with drying the skin - I tried it once and didn't like the results, but I may have messed up the technique. Here is a pretty good post about it:

    https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...cken?pp=632016

    Comment


    • ComfortablyNumb
      ComfortablyNumb commented
      Editing a comment
      Most chickens are dumped into a chill tank of ice water after slaughter to get them down to temp. Air chilled are chilled with air. https://www.organicauthority.com/eco...the-difference

    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      ComfortablyNumb, will you be my new daddy? Hold up, you would want me to work on the farm, so lets forget about that...

      Thanks for the knowledge though. So now I am going to be in Publix going is that chicken air dried???

    • ComfortablyNumb
      ComfortablyNumb commented
      Editing a comment
      @klfowers LOL, well at least if you came to visit I'd know how to get you to leave! ;-) The previous owner's son came last fall to show me how to winterise the irrigation. He told me growing up he had to water the orchards with hand lines. Just before he went to college his dad made him put in micro sprinklers because the dad was going to have to take over irrigation. Now that's just plain cold!
  • Bkhuna
    Club Member
    • Apr 2019
    • 321
    • Merritt Island Florida

    #4
    I have used this technique and it works well. YMMV. https://www.seriouseats.com/2016/10/...ng-powder.html

    Comment


    • pkadare
      pkadare commented
      Editing a comment
      I've also done this. Just be aware that some find this adds a bitter taste to the bird. I'm fine with it, but SWMBO isn't so this technique is no out of my repertoire.

    • Thunder77
      Thunder77 commented
      Editing a comment
      You must use ALUMINUM-FREE baking powder. That usually eliminates the bitter taste.
  • HouseHomey
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    #5
    Stand it up. Try the beer can rack we all know you have laying around. 😃🤔🤔

    Comment

    • pkadare
      Club Member
      • Jun 2019
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      #6
      So if you buy a chicken that has been water chilled, while the methods listed above will help to ensure crisp skin, you're not going to be able magically transform that bird into an air chilled one. The damage, absorption of water (anywhere from 2 to 12% of the weight of the bird when sold), reduction of flavour, etc. is already going to have happened and can't readily be reversed.
      If air chilled chicken is what you're seeking (and I buy them exclusively) then that's really what you need to source.

      Comment

      • Troutman
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        #7
        To answer the OP's question, air or water chilling probably has little to do with the crisping of the skin. I've found that salt brining, drying overnight in the refrigerator and little tricks like using baking powder, all help in getting that skin ready to crisp up as the guys have said. Then hitting it with high heat, like over 300*, will be necessary to complete the technique.

        The main reason I prefer air chilled over water chilled is the amount of moisture the chicken takes on while in it's chilling vat. That vat is also a probably heavily chlorinated to remove bacteria, so that jacuzzi brew is being trapped in the bird. Not a very savory thought. Air chilled, on the other hand, avoids the vat dip and gets cooled down to temperature via large chilling rooms. The same thing is accomplished, but you end up with a bird that isn't as full of unnecessary moisture, moisture you pay for and just runs out all over your cutting board.

        Of course to close the circle, air chilled chickens are usually much smaller and a heck of a lot more expensive. My justification is like buying prime meat for its superior quality and end result.

        Comment


        • Jerod Broussard
          Jerod Broussard commented
          Editing a comment
          Are you aware of any plants using chlorine? The reason I ask is the plants I work in haven't used it in almost 15 years.

        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          Just from what I’ve read. How else would you disinfect the water?

        • Jerod Broussard
          Jerod Broussard commented
          Editing a comment
          They use potable water you could drink (city water I drink at home). It's about utilizing an antimicrobial during the chilling process. These days most use PAA (approx. 5.6% peracetic acid, 26.5% hydrogen peroxide, the rest inert ingredients) in specific ppm. Plants with air chilled and water chilled found more pathogenic bacteria on the air chilled at the completion of chilling, which they attributed more to the physical actions of water chilling since both had antimicrobials applied.
      • mountainsmoker
        Club Member
        • Jun 2019
        • 1449
        • Bryson City, NC

        #8
        In one of my smoking books they say to refrigerate until the skin is tacky to the touch 2-3 hours. They recommend some kind of rack to expose the bird on all sides to the air. Then cook at heat of 325-350. The tackiness does two things allows smoke to adhere better and the skin to crisp.

        Comment

        • Spinaker
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          #9
          I will pat the bird dry on the surface. Then I add salt to dry brine and place that bird on an elevated wire rack. This allows for airflow under the bird. (I also place a small fan in the fridge to help dry out the surface.)

          I will leave it in the fridge for a good 24 hours and then add my rub and cook it hot and fast, or fry it up in the RV Works. The results are amazing. Crispy, flaky skin that is truly amazing to eat.

          Comment

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