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What's the Deal with Air-Chilled Chicken? - Tips from The Kitchn

What's the Deal with Air-Chilled Chicken? - Tips from The Kitchn
From The Kitchn - September 13, 2017

Take a look around the meat case in the grocery store and it's pretty likely that you will notice packages of chicken labeled "air-chilled." But what exactly is air-chilled chicken, and what makes it so special?

Air-Chilling Is a Method for Cooling Chicken During Processing

Air-chilling refers to a specific method for cooling chickens during processing. The USDA mandates that all poultry must be cooled to a temperature of 40F or lower within four hours of slaughter, to prevent the growth of bacteria causing food-borne illness, like salmonella. Air-chilling, which can take up to three hours, works by blasting the chickens with purified cold air or rapidly cooling them in cold air chambers to reduce body temperature.

Air-chilled chicken has been widely available throughout Europe for decades, but only relatively recently in the U.S.

Air-Chilling Versus Water-Chilling

Tip: Do not see any mention of air-chilling on the label? It's pretty likely that that package of chicken was chilled using water.

The Benefits of Air-Chilled Chicken

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