Read This Before Buying Chicken Breasts At Aldi

As you scan the fresh chicken breasts in the meat cooler of your local Aldi, you probably think all chicken breasts are the same — but that's where you'd be wrong. Picking your fresh or frozen chicken breasts carefully, even if all of the available options look identical at first glance, can make a huge difference in the quality and taste.

Just take it from one Reddit user, who related a recent Aldi experience: "I bought two of the family packs via Instacart right before Christmas, and was shocked at how massive the breast[s] were. There were only four breasts in these packs, which weighed between five and six pounds per pack. I tried to be optimistic and I butterflied and pounded one breast out, and it was still tough and inedible."

They took to Reddit to see if anyone else had noticed an extreme decline in the chain's quality when it came to its boneless, skinless chicken breasts (maybe something related to supply issues with the COVID pandemic), and wondered if they could possibly return them. But what fellow Redditors had to say in response revealed something every shopper should consider before buying chicken breasts at Aldi or anywhere else.

Stay away from "dinosaur-sized" chicken breasts

According to other Reddit comments, the user had received what they called "woody" chicken breasts, a term that applies to chicken breast meat that's often tough, pale and poor quality in texture. The National Chicken Council reports that woody chicken breast is not a health or safety concern, but merely a texture and taste issue (via Chicken Check In). The issue stems from a muscle abnormality in a small percentage of chickens and the abnormality is not a sign of the chicken being treated poorly. While the National Chicken Council says the cause of woody breast is unknown, Poultry Digital Magazine points out that, the larger the chicken, the more likely it is to develop woody breast.

While chicken processors are becoming better over the years at identifying woody chicken breasts and preventing them from getting to consumers, some still slip through the cracks. To avoid accidentally picking up some woody chicken breasts on your next trip to the store, it's recommended that you stay away from "dinosaur-sized breasts," as one Redditor said, and to check for a white line down the center of the breast. If the white line is big and easy to spot, it's likely the breast is too large and could be woody. Other Redditor users on the thread recommended opting for Aldi's organic chicken breasts for a higher overall quality.