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View Full Version : What the heck is "rib meat"?


Liberal
03-20-2006, 01:58 PM
I gave up after checking links from eight pages of Google. A lot of places advertise it and say that it's in their products. But only two people in the links guessed at what it is. Chicken breast with rib meat — that means I get chicken breast plus what? Does anyone here know?

Dolores Reborn
03-20-2006, 02:00 PM
I think it means the way they butcher the chicken. The breast is bone in, plus it has some ribs attached.

Bippy the Beardless
03-20-2006, 02:20 PM
I think it means the way they butcher the chicken. The breast is bone in, plus it has some ribs attached.
I asked the butcher at a local good quality store the same question when I saw their chicken Kievs were advertised as with rib meat. It does seem to be that the somewhat unappertising ribs are left attached to the breast.

Liberal
03-20-2006, 02:23 PM
Do you mean bones? There are no bones at all.

Thudlow Boink
03-20-2006, 03:21 PM
You know how, when you get yourself an order of barbecue ribs? They're usually not chicken ribs, cause they'd be too small. But I would suppose chicken ribs have some meat on them, and the chicken processing plants don't want to just throw that meat away, so they have some method of getting it off the bones and mixing it in with the breast meat. Anyway, that's what I've always assumed the references to rib meat meant.

Lemur866
03-20-2006, 03:24 PM
Well, the classic way to cut up a chicken is: cut off the wings, cut off the legs, cut off the thighs at the thigh joint, and cut off the breasts into two pieces, right and left. Now you're left over with the back where the thighs attached, and the ribs, which is just like it sounds, the vertebra, ribs, and scapula. The ribs and back could be saved for making stock because the ribs and back are mostly bones with only a little meat compared to the other parts. Often nowadays the ribs are split in two and left attached to the breasts, and the back is split in two and left attached to the thighs. That way there's no leftover parts of the carcass.

If you've got some prepared chicken product and it says "Breast and rib meat", I imagine that means it's 98.7% breast meat with a few tiny scraps of meat from the ribs. And it probably says "breast and rib meat" because of FDA regulations...if they claimed "breast meat" and it had 1.3% rib meat they'd be lying on their packaging. The ribs do have a little bit of meat on them after all.

RogueRacer
03-20-2006, 04:19 PM
"With Rib Meat" is code meaning it's minced up and reformed chicken parts, not full muscle breast meat. That's not really what you asked, but it is how the term is used in practice.

Liberal
03-20-2006, 06:06 PM
That's possibly true, but it tears like muscle. Maybe they know how to make it that way?

devilsknew
03-20-2006, 09:59 PM
Is it back meat? Isn't it from behind the ribs, near the spine?

WhyNot
03-20-2006, 11:45 PM
Sorry, but it's not ground, not pressed and formed, not bone in. I have boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen), which are labeled "with rib meat" in little letters, like this:

Chicken Breasts
with rib meat

Turek
03-21-2006, 08:22 AM
Do you mean bones? There are no bones at all.

"If we took the bones out, it wouldn't be crunchy, now would it?" :)

RogueRacer
03-21-2006, 10:09 AM
We're talking about different stuff then. If it's a boneless, skinless chicken breast, I would think the rib meat is going to be exactly what it says, a little meat from along the ribs. The ribs are right next to the breast after all.

If it's processed or in some way coated (think Tyson products, but they come in many brands), it's my experience that the "with rib meat" means that it's not one piece, full muscle. I was incorrect with including the word minced above. It might be minced, but not necessarily. Some of the more upscale ( :smack: ) frozen products seem to use strips of muscle that are somehow bonded together inside the nugget/patty/kibble/whatever. Sadly, I've eaten way too much of that stuff over the years.

Anyway, this is my experience. YMMV.

Bippy the Beardless
03-21-2006, 11:37 AM
Sorry, but it's not ground, not pressed and formed, not bone in. I have boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen), which are labeled "with rib meat" in little letters, like this:

Chicken Breasts
with rib meat

What does the rib meat mean then?

Are they unprocessed breasts, or pressed and formed breasts made with breast meat? Are they completely boneless or are the breasts boneless whilst there is attached boney non-breast ribs attached.
It was a similar packaging that I saw and asked about, though quite possibly got an incorrect answer from the butcher. In UK it was common to find processed breasts which were really pressed chicken meat formed into breast shaped pieces, which as you can guess were terrible. Like one big McNugget, stuffed with cheese or garlicy oil.
So what do you get in one of your frozen Chiken Breasts with rib meat?

WhyNot
03-21-2006, 11:43 AM
What does the rib meat mean then?

Are they unprocessed breasts, or pressed and formed breasts made with breast meat? Are they completely boneless or are the breasts boneless whilst there is attached boney non-breast ribs attached.
It was a similar packaging that I saw and asked about, though quite possibly got an incorrect answer from the butcher. In UK it was common to find processed breasts which were really pressed chicken meat formed into breast shaped pieces, which as you can guess were terrible. Like one big McNugget, stuffed with cheese or garlicy oil.
So what do you get in one of your frozen Chiken Breasts with rib meat?
unprocessed, completely boneless and skinless. They're flash frozen and availabe in 3 pound bags. I only noticed the "with rib meat" notice recently, and I've been wondering about it myself.

Lemur866
03-21-2006, 11:48 AM
Look, it's very simple.

"Rib meat" is just the meat from around the ribs. I imagine there is some specific legal definition of "breast meat". If you cut your boneless breasts off the chicken in such a way as to include a few extra grams of meat from the ribs, then you don't have "Chicken breast" any more, you've got "Chicken breast with rib meat".

All it means is that there's a few extra grams of chicken meat attached to the breast cutlet that might or might not meet the FDA definition of breast meat.

See this image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:USDA_poultry_cuts.png

Bippy the Beardless
03-21-2006, 12:45 PM
found

POULTRY BREASTS: When poultry breasts with ribs are boned and the resulting product contains portions of the scapula (shoulder) muscles and/or muscle overlying the vertebral ribs, they must be labeled to indicate that fact. Proper names for such products are “Boneless Breast with Rib Meat,” White Chicken Meat or White Turkey Meat,” or if the skin is left intact, “White Boneless Chicken or White Boneless Turkey.” Product labeled “Boneless Breast” without further qualification may not contain scapula or rib meat.

from this PDF (http://foodprotect.org/doc/04_issues/FOLDER_ATTACHMENTS/I-010bRetailMeatPoultryReferences/Reference16/Reference16PolicyBook.pdf) which is the Food Standards and Labeling policy book circa 2003. So it means poorly trimmed chicken breasts as several have said above.

WhyNot
03-21-2006, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the cite, Bippy. That supports what I've noticed - the breasts "with rib meat" are not nice and neatly trimmed, they contain an extra flap of mostly fat with a bit of meat on the back of the top of the breast. That must be the "rib meat."

Liberal
03-21-2006, 02:10 PM
Thanks, Bippy! :)

Bippy the Beardless
03-21-2006, 02:41 PM
Cheers to you.

Does anyone know of a good maker of frozen Chicken Kievs and Chicken Cordon-Bleau (sp?) that are made with well trimmed nice chicken breasts? There is just something I find icky about poorly trimmed chicken.

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