SCIENTIFIC REASON: Why Does Chicken in Chicken Pickles Get Hard?


If you've ever made or eaten chicken pickles before, you may have noticed that the chicken itself can sometimes end up with a very tough, rubbery texture. This is a common issue with this type of pickle, and there's a scientific reason behind why the chicken gets so hard.

The Pickling Process The pickling process, in general, involves submerging food in an acidic brine solution. This brine is usually made from vinegar, water, salt, and sometimes other spices or flavorings.

The acidity of the brine helps preserve the food by killing off harmful bacteria. It also causes some chemical changes in the food itself that give pickles their signature tangy, crunchy texture.

Why Chicken Reacts Differently When it comes to pickling chicken, the process works a bit differently compared to pickling vegetables like mango, tomato etc.

Vegetables like tomato contain a lot of pectin - a natural plant compound that gives them their crisp texture. The acidity in the brine helps break down the pectin, resulting in that signature pickle crunch.

Chicken, on the other hand, is primarily composed of protein, not pectin. And the acidity in the brine actually has the opposite effect on protein compared to pectin.

The Denaturing Effect The acidic brine causes the proteins in the chicken to denature, or unfold and become more rigid. This is the same process that happens when you cook chicken - the heat causes the proteins to toughen up.

In the case of pickled chicken, the acid acts like a gentle form of "cooking" the chicken over time as it sits in the brine. The longer the chicken is submerged, the more the proteins will denature and the tougher the texture will become.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.