Pre-Cut Chicken

Junior Burger
2012/12/30 20:27:16
HI, I own a concession business and was wondering if anyone had any insight on buying pre-cut chicken? Last year at one event we went through 200# and it is a lot of work to cut and marinade all that chicken. Was wondering if it is economically feasible to buy chicken pre-cut, what kind of pricing, etc. We get random chicken breasts for ~ $1.50/# and it takes me ~90 minutes to clean a case depending on quality. Does anyone know any poultry companies in NC? Thanks!
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Pre-Cut Chicken 2012/12/30 23:45:50
What are you doing with the chicken?
You speak of pre cut chicken, which refers to cut up fryers. Then you say it takes you 90 min to clean a case of chicken breast.
How much does that case weigh?
Filet Mignon
Re:Pre-Cut Chicken 2012/12/31 09:26:50
Georgio, you can buy Chicken any way you want it, bone in, boneless skinless, cut 8, IQF legs, thighs, breast, wing. It sounds like you are breaking down a random size bone in chicken breasts. If you are looking for the meat of the breast, and are make something like Chicken strips, you can buy a 40 lb case of chicken tenders. I use to buy these, at one time I could even get them fresh.........Let us know how you use the chicken so we can give you the best options..........................take care....pnwc
Junior Burger
Re:Pre-Cut Chicken 2012/12/31 21:17:54
random boneless skinless breasts 40# case usually cut into 3/4" cubes, marinade, grill off on flat top for gyros, shwarmas, wraps, etc. The quality of the chicken this year was not so good. I had to cut out a lot more tendon than last year it seemed like and I averaged almost 10# of waste per case. So my cost was really like $2/# plus labor. I asked my rep at US Foods and he didn't know anything, but I will ask about the tenders. But is this a relatively common thing? Should I go straight to a poultry distributor? Thanks and Happy New Year!
Dr of BBQ
Filet Mignon
Re:Pre-Cut Chicken 2013/01/01 07:47:35
A lot of the processing done today on chickens is done by machines. It's a pretty amazing process to watch. And machines don't know tendons and fat from good meat. The processor and distributor both know there is a certain amount of waste being sold and they don't care, so don't let your salesman BS you.
200 lbs of meat being cleaned and trimmed in 90 minutes doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Nor does the amount of waste you described. It's just part of the process.
And if you think the chicken  processing adds cost try smoking a brisket or pork shoulder with 42% weight loss in the process. The cost goes from $1.52 per lb to $2.89 per lb. Plus the time and cost involved in injecting, smoking, pulling, and finally prep to serve. 
If you want to cut prep, waste, and general work go to all deep fried, preprocessed, food products like a heck of a lot of other vendors do. And you'll become one of many.I doubt you want to do that.

Or think about buying a good set of kitchen shears like these:
Joyce Chen Scissors have been featured in Weight Watchers, Food & Wine, and Country Living & Gardens Magazines as the most versatile household, garden and kitchen tool available. The combination of chrome molybdenum stainless steel blades and a precision engineered torque cutting motion allow these scissors to cut through chicken bones, lobster shells, rubber, flower stems, and shrubs with incredible ease and comfort. The Joyce Chen Unlimited Scissors feature our exclusive soft, flexible handles, eliminating pressure points. Perfect for anyone with arthritis, carpal tunnel, or weak hands. These specially designed scissors are an efficient kitchen tool that has unlimited uses. 
Just my thoughts.
post edited by Dr of BBQ - 2013/01/01 08:54:34
Filet Mignon
Re:Pre-Cut Chicken 2013/01/01 11:09:32
Georgio, Happy New Year hope you have a great 2013..........The Chicken tenders should work, I don't see very much waste, you should get a better yield. the last time I bought tenders they were in the $150 range for a #40 case. There maybe a something like cut up Chicken pieces, that people use for Fajitas, ask US Foods. If your Salesman doesn't know tell him to find out, or call the company and find someone who does know, don't let him brush it off. It looks like you are pretty particular on how clean your chicken is processed. I use the Chicken tender for Chicken strips, cut up Chicken pcs, Sweet and sour Chicken, and so on. It is very low cost with a very small amount of trimming, if any at all. At one time there was a company named "Georges" you could get the tenders fresh. In most cases I always bought them frozen, they come in cases of either 4x10 lb or bulk pack 40 lb. I would stick with US Foods, I think everyone else's cost would be higher.................pnwc
Re:Pre-Cut Chicken 2013/01/01 12:52:55
Have you ever considered using chicken thighs if you're making Shawarma?

Lower cost...won't be dry as a bone if you have to make in large quantity for an event.

Waste is when you have something that can serve a great purpose(s)...but you do use it...or decide to throw it away.
post edited by CCinNJ - 2013/01/01 13:04:04