These tips on buying chicken in bulk will help you stock your freezer with quality chicken.
There are many good reasons to purchase chicken in bulk. You can stock up when you find a good deal and freeze the chicken for later use. Maybe you just need to make a bulk purchase to cook a large meal for an event. If you are buying chicken in bulk, there are some things to keep in mind to make sure you are really getting a good deal. Here are some tips for buying chicken in bulk to help you choose on quality poultry.
Tips for Buying Chicken in Bulk
Guide to USDA Poultry Labels
Always look at the labels! No matter which part of the chicken you are buying, each package is labeled with key terms. If you need a little help deciphering them, here is a quick rundown.
- Hormone Free. This simply means that the chickens were not given any sort of steroids or hormones.
- Natural and All Natural. This has nothing to do with how the chickens were raised, or what they were fed. These terms simply mean that the chicken is strictly that. Chicken! There are no synthetic substances added to the meat.
- USDA Organic. If you see this seal on your package of chicken, it means that the chickens were raised with access to the outdoors, and their feed is organic and did not consist of any animal byproducts.
- Air Chilled. This is the process in which the chickens were chilled. Air chilled means that they chickens hang and circulate in a cold room, as opposed to being chilled in a chlorinated bath, which allows them to absorb moisture.
- Antibiotic Free. Though the rules on antibiotics and poultry are not strictly enforced, this label simply means that the chickens are not directly given antibiotics.
What to Look for When Buying Bulk Chicken
When purchasing chicken, be sure to look for plump, pink meat. If the chicken still has skin attached, look for it to have a yellowish tint to it. Also, smell the package. Don’t worry about looking silly while putting it up to your nose. You definitely don’t want to get home with foul-smelling chicken that is no longer any good.
When buying in bulk, you want to keep in mind the size of the chicken pieces, particularly if you are buying chicken breasts. If you are portioning them and freezing for a later date, it will not matter much. However, if you plan to use it right away, consider the size of each breast in the package. If they vary in size, they will not cook evenly, so you may have to do some extra prep work so that they all get done at the same time.
Buying your chicken in bulk doesn’t have to be hard. If you pay attention to these tips for buying bulk chicken, you’ll be able to keep your freezer and family’s tummies full and save money in the process.