Air chilled chicken offers many benefits over alternative chicken options:
- It's tastier
- Easier to cook
- Better for the environment.
Now, let's explore what "Air Chilled Chicken" means, and why your chicken needs to be chilled in the first place:
Chicken Chilling Processes
Once a chicken has been defeathered, the body temperature must be quickly lowered to prevent the spread of nasty pathogens. (Unless you want a side of salmonella with your herb-crusted chicken breast…)
There are two main methods for bringing down the body temperature:
- Water chilling
- Air chilling
This process involves submerging a chicken in a communal chlorinated ice bath. The chickens bob around in the water, pool-party style, until the desired temperature is reached. The liquid you may see at the bottom of chicken packages at the grocery store is likely this leftover bath water. (Yum?)
No chlorinated water here! This process involves blasting the chicken with cold air or chilling the chicken in a cold-air chamber.
Why Air Chilled Chicken Is Best
1. Air Chilled Chicken Is The Tastiest
Water chilled chicken absorbs between 2-12% of its weight in water as it sits in the ice bath. All that water and salt dilutes the naturally delicious chicken flavour. (Not to mention, it also dilutes your wallet – since chicken is sold by weight, you are paying the price for that water!)
With air chilling, the natural chicken flavours remain intact, and the chicken is better able to absorb any tasty marinades or rubs.
2. Air Chilled Chicken Is Easier To Cook
Without the added water absorption, the skin of air chilled chicken can get nice and crispy. Water chilled chicken, on the other hand, shrinks as it cooks - the water evaporation may cause a rubbery texture and shrunken appearance.
3. Air Chilled Chicken Is Better For The Environment
Water chilling requires a lot of, well… water. Air chilling methods save a least half a gallon of water per bird. That would be a cool 4.5 billion-gallon water savings, if all the chicken sold just in the US was air chilled.
If the label on your chicken does not explicitly say air chilled, it is likely water chilled.
Order Air Chilled Chicken
Want to order aired chilled chicken? Don't worry, we have you covered! Shop all of our delicious air chilled chicken options now!