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valdasta's avatar

What causes chicken to feel rubbery?

Asked by valdasta (2091 points ) July 23rd, 2011

I grill out often during the summer. I’ve grilled boneless skinless chicken breast many times, but a few times I have been puzzled about the texture of the chicken. “Rubbery” is the best way I can describe it. Even before I cook it, I can tell that there is something different. The meat seems to separate in strands. I know that muscle is made up of strands, but this is different. The meat breaks up (after cooked) in groups of strands – if that makes sense. When you bite into it it is not tender, but rubbery.

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16 Answers

marinelife's avatar

You have overcooked it.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Does it look like this prior to cooking?

I have noticed this when I try to be thrifty about buying poultry. Do you notice it with all cuts, or only specific parts of the bird?

incendiary_dan's avatar

Crappy diet of the bird is probably a big factor.

john65pennington's avatar

Too many hormones?

intrepidium's avatar

Marinating the chicken before grilling could help – I use acid-based marinades like vinaigrette or sometimes yoghurt. I’ve also heard that grilling chicken with the bone in helps to keep it moister and hence more tender, so maybe you could try that too. I’m not sure but I think rubberiness is due to protein not being broken down (or not broken down enough) – pounding the meat (not too much!) before marinating would also help to break down the muscle fibers…

anartist's avatar

overcooking, prolonged overheating—trying to join the “rubber chicken” circuit?
[overheated and overlong-waiting chicken to be served at civic and political functions]

woodcutter's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Ha! the rubber chicken always a classic.

valdasta's avatar

@woodcutter
@ANef_is_Enuf
I knew the ole rubber chicken bit would make it in somewhere.

valdasta's avatar

You know, my wife bought the boneless skinless breast “fresh” then froze them. Would this be a factor?

woodcutter's avatar

Its very easy to overcook boneless especially if you are used to cooking real chicken

incendiary_dan's avatar

I freeze chicken all the time and I don’t have problems with it getting rubbery.

Zaku's avatar

Removing the feathers.

CWOTUS's avatar

I use boneless & skinless breast of chicken for many things, but never for grilling. For grilling it’s good to have the skin, I think, to add some fat and protection from the direct heat. But I’m not much of a chicken griller, anyway, so what do I know?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I couldn’t resist.

CWOTUS's avatar

If the chicken was the one that didn’t make it across the road, then it might be two-tired, and therefore rubbery (and with lots of broken bones).

Young56's avatar

What causes chicken to be rubbery and stringy after cooked?

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