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Chicken breasts were tough

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    Chicken breasts were tough

    Tried sous viding boneless/skinless breasts. Plain, 145 deg for 3 hours. They seemed tough.
    Searched the net, and found comments about 'woody chicken breasts', due to hormone usage.
    Should I be buying organic?
    Last edited by SmokingPat; August 16, 2020, 07:04 PM. Reason: Clarify cooking method.

    #2
    3 hours is to long for a whole chicken. I do boneless indirect until 155* internal.

    Comment


    • Dewesq55
      Dewesq55 commented
      Editing a comment
      It's not too long if you are sous vide cooking like the OP. Just saying.

    • HawkerXP
      HawkerXP commented
      Editing a comment
      Ooops, not a sous vide cooker. Didn't see any reference to that. Thanks. Dewesq55

    #3
    Seems way too long. I do them at 250 until 160 internal. Takes about 40-50 min. Depending of thickness of the meat.

    Comment


      #4
      SmokingPat is talking sous vide here. My go to is 149 deg for 45-60 minutes. I've had the "odd" one seem a bit tough but 95% of the time I get tender and juicy results.

      I can't speak to going organic as I've never tried them.

      Comment


      • Jfrosty27
        Jfrosty27 commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh. My bad. Never did them SV. Sorry.

      #5
      I've never done chicken using my sous vide cooker, and not to such low temperatures. I know it was probably safely pasteurized after 3 hours at 145, but just don't know that I would want to eat chicken breast only cooked to 145. I know they say temp is doneness, and time is tenderness for sous vide, but gotta wonder if chicken wouldn't be off cooked to 145 for 3 hours.

      This article seems to indicate that 1 hours is sufficient at 149F in the bath:

      https://www.chefsteps.com/activities...chicken-breast

      Comment


      • Potkettleblack
        Potkettleblack commented
        Editing a comment
        Thickness determines minimum time... This recipe notes 1" thickness. If you have the full airline breast with the tenderloin attached, might be thicker.

      #6
      I agree - I cook hot and indirect until internal temp is 158°. Boneless can be cooked hot and direct as long as you keep flippin'. 158° produces 7-log10 lethality instantly. At 155°, it takes 23 sec to reach that point.

      Comment


        #7
        Since this is in the Sous vide channel, i'lll assume you meant you SVed them for 3 hours. Let's break this down.

        First off, time is tenderness, temp is doneness (not mine, I think it's Potkettleblack 's). Meaning you just need to cook them all the way through to your doneness temp. Extra time is ok to degree, but esp with lean meats, you don't need a ton of extra time. And chicken breast is very lean.

        So, I'd do $TEMP for about 1 hour where $TEMP is whatever temp you want them done to.

        I actually find 145 chicken to be underdone in texture terms but it's fine if you're then searing them. How did you finish these? Did you put anything in the bag with them (butter, etc?

        For some good insight into this, read https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/07/...en-breast.html which has a lot of great info on SVing chicken.First off... time is tenderness, temp is doneness (not mine, I think it's
        Last edited by rickgregory; August 16, 2020, 11:56 AM.

        Comment


        • SmokingPat
          SmokingPat commented
          Editing a comment
          Nothing in the bag, no searing. It was a 'dry run', if I can use the phrase. 😉

        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          add some fat to the bag (butter, olive oil, duck fat) and aromatics. And don't go more than an hour.

        #8
        The other thought is that if you buy these big bags of frozen boneless skinless breasts like I sometimes do at Sam's Club or Costco - those breasts are HUGE. And TOUGH. I am not a big fan, and mostly buy them as my wife puts them on the shopping list. For the same reason, I prefer cooking whole chickens that are down around 3 pounds, versus 5-6 pound monsters. The smaller chickens (and breasts) are just much more tender.

        Comment


        • Ahumadora
          Ahumadora commented
          Editing a comment
          Smash the crap out of those breasts until they are 1/2" thin. Then hot n fast on the grill

        • SmokingPat
          SmokingPat commented
          Editing a comment
          Chicken was from a smaller grocery chain (Smart & Final), under their house brand. A family pack. Almost sounds like a big package from a big-box store.

        • Steve R.
          Steve R. commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm Team Ahumadora. A ziplock bag and a rubber mallet works wonders with those thick ones. I'm about to do this now and make some adobo chicken on my griddle for burrito bowls.

        #9
        I find organic poultry seems dry and tough when cooked. I stopped buying organic.

        Comment


        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          The problem is not in the meat. It's how you're cooking them. (same for non-organic). Skinless chicken breast is especially easy to overcook since there's basically no fat there and some people are afraid of underdone chicken, so they take it to too high of a temp for too long.

        • EdF
          EdF commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep, I like skinless breasts around 150F for about an hour. But my wife wants 'em _cooked_!!!

        #10
        You might try lightly pounding boneless/skinless breasts. It both makes them a more even thickness so they cook more evenly and breaks down some of the meat fibers and makes them more tender, at least IMHO.

        Comment


        • Ahumadora
          Ahumadora commented
          Editing a comment
          Aggresively pound them. can't mess it up much.

        • Dewesq55
          Dewesq55 commented
          Editing a comment
          Ahumadora - I actually agree with you, but again, Barbara doesn't really like them pounded so I have to be careful.

        #11
        I do 140 for 1.5 hours max if I am serving them hot. I do 150F for the same time if I am going to chill and chop up for chicken salad (the only thing i recommend for that cut of meat). I personally HATE boneless skinless chicken breasts to serve hot as they are intrinsically too low fat content. If tough then cube into SMALL pieces (like dice) and serve in something like chicken salad.

        double check the temps on your sous vide, especially if you never have..

        Comment


          #12
          Clint did achicken breast SV test between some different temps, his article is an interesting read, check it out: https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...hicken-breasts

          Me, I tried SV chicken a couple times (albeit not very many trials) and never found it worth my time. In the end it was still a grilled chicken breast. [shrug].

          Comment


          • Dewesq55
            Dewesq55 commented
            Editing a comment
            I did airline breasts SV once, seared the skin side quickly in cast iron and finished with a Jacques Pépin mustard sauce. They were amazing. The breast meat was most and tender. Of course the sauce was amazing because Jacques Pépin.

          • Dewesq55
            Dewesq55 commented
            Editing a comment
            Kenji did a similar test. His method and results can be found here:
            https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/07/...en-breast.html

          #13
          I like to SV chicken during the week and refrigerate them until I’m ready to grill on the weekend. That way I don’t need to stand over the grill while the guest are there.

          Comment


            #14
            Did you dry brine before SV? I put salt and some spice on the chicken a couple of hours before SV. Watch out if the meat is already brined.
            I put the chicken into the SV bath at about 153 F for 2 hours. I tried 145 F once but the chicken seemed flabby and greasy so I go a little hotter. Might go less on the time if you really want, but you need to make sure that the meat sits at the target temp long enough to pasteurize. After 2 hours, the bagged chicken gets chilled in cold tap water then 15 minutes of hot smoke on the Smokey Joe for color, texture, and flavor.
            I generally get good results using 1/2 to 1 lb breasts though now and then you get a tough one. Keep trying...you’ll get there.

            Comment


              #15
              Originally posted by SmokingPat View Post
              Tried sous viding boneless/skinless breasts. Plain, 145 deg for 3 hours. They seemed tough.
              Searched the net, and found comments about 'woody chicken breasts', due to hormone usage.
              Should I be buying organic?
              Woody breast is not from hormone usage. Woody breast was in chickens decades ago, it just wasn't as pronounced years ago. Hormone and steroid use is prohibited and has been for decades.

              Comment

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