How To Pat Dry Chicken Or Meat [Inc. Without Paper Towels]

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It's common knowledge to pat your chicken dry before cooking it to prevent the skin from becoming soggy. But is there another method besides using paper towels? For your convenience, we brought you the answer. Let's take a look at other viable options below.

Instead of using paper towels to pat your chicken dry, you can use the following:

  • Fridge
  • Fan
  • Cloth towel
  • Heat
  • Momentum
  • Paper bag
  • Air dry

As you can see, there are other ways to pat dry your chicken, some more efficient than others. Nonetheless, in this article, we will discuss each of the methods to help you decide which is the best for you. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about patting chicken or other meat dry.

Raw meat steak drying up excess moisture with paper towel, How To Pat Dry Chicken Or Meat [Inc. Without Paper Towels]

Picking The Best Method For Drying Your Chicken

The purpose of patting the chicken dry is to remove any excess moisture before cooking. This is important because the wetter the chicken is, the more likely it is to steam instead of roast, leading to a soggy finished product.

By patting the chicken dry, you will have a crispier chicken that is less likely to stick to the pan. Also, placing the wet chicken in a hot pan will cause splatter, so it's important to eliminate as much moisture as possible.

One of the common ways to pat your chicken dry is by using a paper towel. The downside of using paper towels is that they can get expensive and be wasteful.

There are a few different ways to pat your chicken dry, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Let's take a look at each.

Fresh raw chicken fillet from supermarket

Fridge

One option is to put the chicken in the fridge for 60 minutes or overnight before cooking. This will allow the moisture to evaporate, making it easier to pat dry.

The main downside of this method is that it takes time. So if you are short on time, this may not be the best option for you.

Fan

Another option is to use a fan to help dry the chicken. This can be done by placing the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet and placing it in front of a fan.

The advantage of this method is that it is relatively quick. The downside is that it can be messy if the fan is too powerful. In addition, if your fan isn't clean, it can blow dust and dirt onto your chicken.

Cloth Towel

If you have a clean cloth towel, you can use that to pat your chicken dry. This is a good option if you don't have time to wait for the chicken to air dry in the fridge. Plus, this is an environmentally-friendly option.

The downside of this method is that you will need to wash the towel afterward. In addition, you could risk transferring bacteria to your chicken if the towel isn't completely clean beforehand.

Heat

Another option is to use heat to help dry the chicken. This can be done by using a microwave, oven, or stovetop.

The advantage of this method is that it is quick and easy. The downside is that you are starting the cooking process of the chicken with excess moisture. This can lead to a soggy finished product.

Momentum

Lastly, you can use momentum to help dry the chicken. This can be done by swinging the chicken in a circle or moving it up and down.

The advantage of this method is that it is easy and doesn't require any tools. The downside is that it can be messy, and you may not get all of the moisture out. You could also be spreading bacteria onto other parts of your kitchen.

Paper Bag

An alternative to patting your chicken dry with a paper towel is to put it in a paper bag. This will absorb any excess moisture. The advantage of this method is that it is quick and easy.

The downside is that you will need to discard the bag when you are finished, just like you would with a paper towel. In addition, if the bag isn't clean, you could be introducing bacteria to your chicken.

Air Dry

Lastly, you can put the uncovered chicken on your counter to air dry. The chicken will be fine for a couple of hours as long as your kitchen is clean. You can also sprinkle salt on the chicken to speed up the process.

The advantage of this method is that it is free and doesn't require any special tools. The downside is that it takes time if you are in a hurry to make dinner.

Picking the best method for drying your chicken is a personal decision. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each method to decide which is right for you.

Fried chicken breasts on vegetable oil, iron cast pan

What Does It Mean To Pat Dry Meat?

Patting dry meat means removing any excess moisture from the surface before cooking. As mentioned earlier, this is important because wet meat will not brown properly and can lead to a soggy finished dish due to steam.

In addition, the term refers to lightly touching the meat and not putting too much pressure on it. If you do, you risk releasing the moisture from inside the meat. As a result, you'll end up with a finished product that is tougher with less flavor.

Do You Pat Chicken Dry After Marinating?

The purpose of a marinade is to add flavor to the chicken and to tenderize it. However, you still need to pat the chicken dry before cooking it. This is because the marinade will have added moisture to the surface of the chicken.

If you don't pat the chicken dry, then you run the risk of the chicken not browning properly and/or being too wet. However, the chicken will still have flavor after patting it dry, so don't worry!

Another great method is to apply a dry rub after the chicken has been marinated. This will add even more flavor to your dish and give it a nice crust.

Marinated chicken breasts

Should I Rinse My Chicken Before Cooking It?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that you not rinse your chicken before cooking it.

This is because water can splash bacteria onto other surfaces in your kitchen. As a result, you could end up making yourself sick.

In addition, rinsing the chicken will not actually remove any bacteria. The best way to kill any bacteria on the chicken is to cook it properly.

If you are still concerned about bacteria, you can use a food thermometer to ensure that the chicken has reached a safe internal temperature.

Instead, remove your chicken from its packaging and pat it dry using one of the methods described above. This will help to remove any bacteria that may be on the surface of the chicken.

When it comes time to cook your chicken, make sure to wash your hands and all surfaces that the chicken has touched. This includes cutting boards, knives, and countertops.

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy a delicious and safe meal!

What Is The Liquid In Raw Chicken?

The liquid in dry chicken is usually just water. However, when chicken is butchered and packaged, it is then chilled, and the moisture in the meat will start to evaporate. As a result, you will often find that packaged chicken has a lot of liquid in it.

The liquid may have a pink tint, which is normal from the myoglobin in the meat. But, again, this is a normal part of the butchering process and is nothing to be concerned about.

However, if you see any redness or the liquid smells bad, you should discard the chicken. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to raw chicken!

Woman choosing packed fresh chicken meat in supermarket

Why Do They Add Water To Chicken?

Fresh chicken is often injected with a saltwater solution to add flavor and to help keep it moist. This is a process that the chicken processors do, and it is not something that you have to do at home.

The solution can add a significant amount of weight to the chicken, so check the label before purchasing.

If you are concerned about sodium, you can look for "free-range" or "organic" chicken, as these will not have any added solution.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to chicken, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First and foremost, be sure to pat the chicken dry before cooking it. This will help remove any bacteria that may be on the surface of the meat.

In addition, you should not rinse your chicken before cooking it. Rinsing the chicken can actually increase the chance of bacteria spreading in your kitchen.

Finally, make sure to cook your chicken properly. The best way to do this is by using a food thermometer to ensure that the chicken has reached a safe internal temperature.

Before you go, be sure to take a look at these other related articles:

How Long To Cook Chicken In A Pressure Cooker?

What Flour To Use For Fried Chicken?

How Long To Cook Chicken On Cuisinart Grill?

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