If Your Chicken Is More Woody Than Normal, You're Not Alone

You may have tasted woody chicken without even knowing it. According to Chicken Check In, woody chicken breasts taste bad, feel hard to the touch, and have a paler color than a typical breast. This rare phenomenon stems from a muscle abnormality in the chicken, but doesn't it pose a health threat to anyone who ends up eating one of these subpar cuts of meat.

Some Redditors have noticed an uptick in this kind of meat hitting the market. In fact, users over at r/Cooking gathered around a post that addressed this very concern. The original post explained how the chicken meat at Walmart started to get extra woody after the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, with the original poster stating, "I don't have money to spend and pretty much have to buy chicken from Walmart. Started to notice it months into the pandemic that each pack of chicken breast that I bought. One to two pieces in the pack had a tougher feel, would have a distinct feel when you cut it, and when cooked, would be tough and stringy. Just wondering if others are noticing this or if this is just a Walmart or regional thing. I am in Virginia btw."

An uptick in woody chicken

Redditors everywhere also noticed this chicken condition becoming more prevalent. One user replied with, "I started only getting chicken from the farmers market because I kept making dishes and being like ... what's wrong with this? Never experienced woody chicken before this past year either!" Another said, "I noticed it even before the pandemic, and I'm sure it's even worse now. So gross." Anyone who has encountered the meat can't stand the texture, and one reply captured this sentiment: "Yeah, it is seriously putting me off chicken breast. Cause now you will get a piece, and it looks fine, but the meat is tough and stringy."

Another user noticed this ongoing problem continued to get worse during the pandemic and replied to the thread with, "As others have said, this has been a problem for years and seems to be getting worse. It seems the best way to avoid this problem if you really want breast meat is to just buy the whole bird. I've never had this problem with a whole bird. Or just buy thigh meat." If you love scoring a deal on chicken at Walmart, exercise caution next time you go shopping and stay on the lookout for this kind of meat.