Poultry Scalder in the field
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The Only Poultry Scalder You’ll Ever Need

November 30, 2022

Posted under:   poultryhow toHomesteading

Having the proper equipment makes any job easier, and poultry processing is no exception. If you've processed your poultry with a homemade DIY scalding system, you'll appreciate the benefits of a purpose-designed Poultry Scalder. And if you're new to processing, it just makes sense to have what you need to make your first experience successful.

A scalder is one of the most important items for successful home poultry processing. You spent time and money raising your backyard birds. Why not ensure the results of that effort are perfectly plucked, attractive birds you'll be proud to serve to family and friends?

What is Scalding?

Scalding is done by dunking freshly harvested birds into hot water. Doing so opens the skin's pores and loosens the quills so that the feathers — including tiny pin feathers — can be pulled quickly and easily.

Experienced home processors know that the difference between a clean pluck and a difficult one lies in the scald. The feathers on a properly scalded bird readily release from the skin, making plucking fast, easy, and thorough. Plucking an improperly scalded bird, on the other hand, is frustrating, time-consuming, and often results in a bird with torn skin and loads of tiny pin feathers.

The Key to Successful Scalding

Water temperature must stay between 145° to 150° F. Any cooler than that and you won't achieve a proper scald. Any hotter and you risk damaging the skin and cooking the flesh. This precise temperature must be maintained during your entire processing session.

Benefits of a Purpose-Designed Scalder

The Roots and Harvest Poultry Scalder is expertly designed for one purpose: to accurately heat and maintain the ideal water temperature for scalding. It eliminates the need to fiddle with burners, stoke fires, or haul hot and cold water — as well as the hassle of difficult plucks and poor results due to under- or over-scalded birds.

Features include:

  • Double-walled, stainless steel tank and lid hold in heat, reduce temperature fluctuations, and is easy to clean.
  • Adjustable temperature setting maintains the perfect scalding temperature.
  • Indicator light illuminates when the water reaches the desired temperature.
  • Easy-to-read digital display lets you monitor temperature.
  • Powerful heater plugs into a regular, grounded 120V outlet (no need for a 240V power supply)
  • Spigot lets you safely drain water, eliminating the chore of hauling and dumping a heavy pot of hot water.

The scalder may also be used to shrink-wrap birds after plucking, and it includes detailed instructions for a variety of game and domestic birds.

The Challenges of Homemade Scalders

Although it's possible to cobble together a DIY system, it's often inconvenient and the results can be less than ideal. You'll need several components:

  • Very large, heatproof pot with lid
  • Heating system (propane burner, electric burner, wood fire)
  • Fuel or power supply
  • Thermometer 

With a DIY scalder, you need to monitor the water temperature carefully and frequently to ensure every bird achieves a proper scald — not an easy feat! Each time you dunk a bird the water cools down, so you'll need a way to accurately adjust the water temperature during processing. If you're using a burner, you can repeatedly turn the heat up or down; however, it can be tricky and time-consuming to maintain the necessary temperature. You'll likely need to keep a supply of hot and cold water on hand to fine-tune the temperature. And you may experience interruptions and delays as you wait for the water to heat up or cool down.

Considering the hassle of a DIY scalder, it makes sense to consider an appliance designed specifically for this task!

For a helping hand with your backyard poultry and other homesteading activities, look no further than Roots & Harvest.