Purpose of wrapping the chicken in plastic in Step 1?

For ecological/landfill/ocean reasons, I try to find alternatives to using plastic wrap; what is the purpose of wrapping the chicken in plastic in Step 1? Thanks in advance.

  • Posted by: Carol
  • October 1, 2021
Hot Honey Fried Chicken
Recipe question for: Hot Honey Fried Chicken


702551 October 1, 2021
Many of today's recipe authors (like this one) choose to withhold *WHY* they do things and only give direct actions to follow (they also don't mention what *NOT* to do and why not).

I found the use of plastic wrap with the wire rack/sheet pan puzzling so I watched the first part of the video.

The recipe author/video host explains that the wire rack is to help the chicken dry out. There was no statement about the plastic wrap.

As someone who has long experience dry brining various meats (including tons of poultry since I despise what wet brining does to poultry texture), I know that when applied topically to meat, some moisture will seep out from the first 6-12 hours. However with additional time, that expelled moisture will be reabsorbed as the salt penetrates into the meat. Salt penetrates meat about 1 cm per 24 hrs.; nature abhors an imbalance so the salinity will eventually reach an equilibrium given enough time.

Thus I don't wrap with plastic. I just salt the meat, refrigerate and turn every 12 hours for a couple of days. I understand the use of the wire rack in this case, to provide extra air circulation but the plastic wrap to me appears to be counter productive.

While I haven't made this specific recipe my guess is that you could omit the plastic wrap and you'd end up with a good result.

Best of luck.
Carol October 1, 2021
702551, thank you, your comment is very helpful, and not just about the plastic wrap but also, I hadn't understood that a wet brine would result in different texture of the meat - a lightbulb turned on in my head. I, too, watched the video and found no reason for, or even depiction of, the chicken being wrapped in plastic for the dry brine. I sometimes suspect cooks are just conditioned to wrap things in plastic instead of using alternatives; though if asked I'm certain they'd say they care about the environment, plastic in the oceans, etc. Anyway, the chicken looks mouthwateringly delicious and I'm forging ahead with this recipe. Without plastic wrap.
Nancy October 1, 2021
From the recipe, sounds like aim is to keep salt rub on skin of chicken during chilling period.
There really is no need for the wire rack and sheet pan during this step, as there is no aim to drain the chicken.
Instead of plastic-rack-pan, you could put the chicken with rub on it in a tightly covered bowl or pot for the fridge chill. Depending on how long you chill it, turn once or twice to make sure all chicken stays covered in the rub.
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