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In a few days I'll be cooking for my grand parents. Now I want to make it special so I decided to brine some pieces of chicken fillet before going there. But they live an hour traveling by bus from where I live, so I would have to carry the chicken in my bag. I was thinking of putting the pieces in a tupperware box along with some of the brine and wrap it in foil so that it won't spill in my bag. But I don't whether or not it will be still safe after I'll arrive. Any comments on this?

Thanks

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6 Answers 6

If you cook it immediately on arriving, an hour is a safe period. Remember the chicken will take a little time to heat up. Usually 2 hours is the limit for meat at room temperature.

On the other hand, there's no harm in playing it safe, with both spillage and spoilage. I'd suggest you put the brine and chicken in a zip-seal bag, then put ANOTHER bag around that to protect against leaks, then throw the whole thing in a larger tupperware container with ice packed around it.

This way you're not going to worry about leaks, and if you get stuck in traffic for longer than expected, the chicken will still be fine to cook and eat.

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Put the tupperware box in a cooler with some ice. Everything should arrive fine.

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Just from a spilling point of view, not a refrigeration aspect ...

Put the bag of briny chicken in the tupperware, with the bag sealed. If you're really paranoid, wrap the whole thing in a second plastic bag, and tie that off, then put the whole thing in whatever container to carry it ... possbly yet another bag.

The idea is, the bag holds the brine in, and the tupperware protects the bag from punctures or abrasion. The bag should squish to fit the container, but you might need to let out enough liquid out so it fits. You want the bag to fill the container as well as you can, so it doesn't rattle around inside the tupperware.

I wouldn'tbother with foil ... it's only good for liquids if you fold over the edge multiple tmes, and then crush it down well ... and it tears and punctures easily, so I don't think it would give you real protection ... maybe slow a leak, but not stop it.

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Theoretically it should go OK, but you are cutting it tight. As the others said, it is best to cool the chiccken while transporting.

The problem is that if you put it in tupperware and the whole tupperware in a bag with some ice, you are not doing much, especially if the chicken is still warm (got cooked just before traveling) and/or you are travelling in a hot climate. A big bag packed with ice will be OK coolingwise, but will be very heavy and it will melt enough to leak water. A small bag with a single tray worth of ice cubes won't cool the chicken enough because the tupperware itself and the air pockets in it are good insulators.

I think that your best option is to freeze your brine or stock into cubes. Then put these together with the cooled chicken into the tupperware. Pack that into a small ziploc bag to contain leaks, you can throw some normal ice cubes into it for good measure. Put this bag into one of these isolating bags supermarkets sell for the transport of frozen goods. It will both keep things cool and serve as an additional containment for leaks. Make sure to put the tupperware in the fridge as soon as you arrive.

You can prefreeze the chicken itself too, but then you'll need time to thaw it completely after arrival. And if you are talking raw marinated chicken to be cooked at your grandparents', the meat will also dry out when cooked. I wouldn't do that unless absolutely necessary.

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If you don't mind if the chicken freezes, and you don't want to worry about spills, go ahead and pack in a double plastic bag like several people have mentioned. But, instead of using ice, use some dry ice. That will keep it MUCH colder, and dry ice evaporates instead of melting. Wrap all of that in paper (newspaper, brown paper bag), to protect yourself against the cold. (Wrap it really well -- dry ice freezes skin very quickly.) A chunck of dry ice the size of a fist or two should last for more than an hour, if it's wrapped up well. Plus, it's light, and it gets lighter (as it evaporates away).

The challange, of course, is finding dry ice. Our grocery stores have started carrying it, but only allow adults to buy it.

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1  
And bring gloves and a suitable container ... you don't want to be moving dry ice without them. (and unfortunately, my local grocery store stopped carrying it, as I think I was the only person buying it) –  Joe Jul 28 '11 at 0:30
    
Oh, and be careful not to put the dry ice in a sealed container or it will blow the top off. –  BobMcGee Jul 28 '11 at 0:38
    
Talk about OVERKILL. OP needs to move the chicken for about one hour (+/-). No dry ice, no gloves, no frozen ice cubes of brine are needed. –  Cos Callis Jul 28 '11 at 13:27

Put the chicken in a sealable plastic bag (or double wrap it if you're really that worried about it), fill a small cooler with some ice, and put the bag into the cooler, burying it in the ice. That will keep the meat below 40f, which is all you need to do to keep it safe.

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