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Proudly Australian Made and Owned

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you smoke Chicken ?

The chicken is injected with a brine solution. This contains the salts and Nitrites necessary to cure the meat. The Chicken is then placed into the smokehouse and undertakes the cooking process which includes the natural smoking process.

The Natural smoking process involves the smoke generator actually lighting the wood chips to produce real natural smoke. In our case we use specially imported beech woodchips. This smoke then fills the cabinet and permeates the meat to give it a Smokey colour and flavour.

As this is a natural process their will be some slight variation in the colour of each batch due to the humidity of the day amongst other things.

How do you cook smoked Chickens ?

All products at Pioneer Poultry are cooked in a computer controlled over to a core probe temperature of 68 degrees Celsius and held there for a minimum of 11 minutes. The Food Standards Code states for a product to be fully cooked it must reach 65 degrees for a minimum of 10 minutes. Every cook features 3 core probes. One as the controller of the oven, one as a safety back up which verifies the probe placement and master probe accuracy. We also use a 3rd probe as a data logger which we print out each day as a record of the cooking temperature for each batch.

In accordance with NSW Food Authority every fortnight random samples are also sent to the laboratory for independent verification of their microbiological status against well published industry norms.

Is it usual for smoked chicken meat to be “Pink” ?

The Chicken we purchase for smoking is the same as the chicken you would purchase at your local supermarket – they have been dressed and fully bled at time of processing. We inject our chicken in this brine – which is a mixture of the Nitrites and salt to allow the curing process to occur.

Chicken like Pork is a white meat with a fairly bland taste. Chicken meat when smoked will turn a pinkish colour just like Ham. This is a result of the haemoglobin in the meat reacting with the Nitrites in the brine. This pinkness of the meat will generally be more pronounced in the leg meat and towards the bone of the bird. Sometimes people are concerned by the colour of this flesh that the chicken is undercooked. This is not the case; it is purely a result of the curing process.

What is Modified Atmosphere Packed?

Modified Atmosphere Packed (MAP) is a style of packaging using a specialised tray and film on a specific machine using a particular process. The product on the tray is loaded into the machine. The tray enters the chamber and a vacuum is drawn. This removes the oxygen from the tray. A gas is then inputted into the tray. This gas contains Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide. This is simply air without the Oxygen. The tray is then heat sealed with the film fusing with the tray. This creates a sealed tray with a very low oxygen environment (usually around 1%). Due to the low oxygen environment the bacteria can not reproduce as quickly and thus the product has a longer shelf life.

MAP has been around for a long time and is the preferred method of packing shelf ready meat, fish and poultry all around the world.

What is Thermoformed ?

Thermoformed is simply a type of Vacuum packaging. A special thermoforming machine is used. Film is feed into the machine and heated. A pouch is then blown into the film at the appropriate depth. The product is placed in this pouch and it moves into the chamber. A vacuum is then created which reduces the amount of oxygen in the packaging. The top and bottom films are then heat sealed creating a tight sealed pack with a low oxygen environment. Due to the low oxygen environment the bacteria can not reproduce as quickly and thus the product has a longer shelf life.

What is Chicken Bacon and how is it made ?

Chicken Bacon is simply a bacon style product made from Chicken. It cooks and tastes just like real bacon.

It is made from premium Chicken Breast Meat which has been cured in the same way as traditional bacon. It is then naturally wood smoked and sliced into rashers. It contains no artificial colours or flavours. It is 95% fat free and Pork Free.

Chicken Bacon can be eaten anywhere in place of regular bacon. – its great for Breakfast, Pasta dishes, Gourmet Pizzas, Quiches and Salads.

Where can I buy your products ?

Pioneer Poultry sells its products to retailers and distributors all around the Australia. As many of our products are packed under the retailers brands you may not even know you’re eating one of our products. For a comprehensive list of where to purchase our products please contact us for more information.

Do you grow and process your own chickens?

Pioneer Poultry is not a processor of Chicken. We are a further processor that only manufactures value added products. Poultry processing is a significant process that requires sizeable scale.

Where do you purchase your poultry meat?

Pioneer Poultry purchases its fresh poultry from the major industry suppliers which are the same ones that supply most of the supermarkets, retailers and fast food outlets around Australia. All poultry meat suppliers to Pioneer Poultry must be HACCP and NSW Food Authority approved. Pioneer Poultry also conducts quality checks upon receipt of meat to ensure the product always meets our strict specifications.

Are Chickens in Australia fed Hormones or Steroids?

Australian Chickens are not fed or administered hormones or steroids in any form, in fact it is prohibited by law and has been for many, many years.

The increase in chicken sizes and faster growth patterns has been driven by improvements in breeding techniques and selective breading plus enhanced nutrition by optimising the ingredients in chicken feed.

Chickens are not genetically modified – it is simply a process of selective breeding to improve the output from the bird.

Why are Antibiotics given to Chickens?

Antibiotics are only used when necessary to prevent or treat a clinical disease. They are not growth hormones. Only approved antibiotics by the relevant Australian bodies are allowed to be used and their usage is strictly controlled. Like all meat consumed in Australia there are enforceable withholding periods to restrict the antibiotic residue in the meat prior to human consumption.

Is imported raw Poultry meat sold in Australia?

No – all raw poultry meat sold in Australia is Australian grown.

It is prohibited under Australian law to import live birds or raw poultry meat. This is to protect the local industry from imported diseases.