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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kitchen Tip: Shredding Chicken

Today’s Kitchen Tip is SO AWESOME. Brace yourselves. No really, you might want to sit down.

The other night I was bopping around Facebook and couldn’t help but notice my friend Malerie’s status update, which claimed that using your KitchenAid stand mixer is the best way to shred chicken. I’ll admit, I was not totally convinced. I couldn’t really see the chicken coming out shredded and it just seemed like more dishes to wash in the end. But I decided to trust Malerie…I told myself that next time I needed to shred chicken, I must give this trick a try.

Well, the need for shredding chicken arose just days later, so I tossed the chicken breasts into the KitchenAid, grabbed the paddle attachment, turned the mixer up to about medium high and let ‘er have at it.

HEAVENS TO BETSY it worked like a charm! And I have never used the phrase ‘heavens to Betsy,’ so that tells you how awesome it was. TOTALLY worth washing the mixer bowl and paddle attachment.

Thank you, Malerie. You’ve changed my life…well, at least when I need shredded chicken.


  1. 1

    Did you shred it while they were still warm? I did, but I was curious if that was necessary for good shredding…

    • Jane Maynard

      my cooked chicken breasts were straight out of the fridge cold – worked fabulously! between you and me, we now know hot or cold doesn’t make a difference. yay!

  2. 2

    I came across this tip on pinterest awhile back and was amazed it worked. Now it’s the only way I shred chicken! Definitely a kitchen life changer!

  3. i’ve heard of this but never tried it…thanks for the reminder!

  4. 4

    This is exactly we shred any meat for big catering events…it works great! At one of the wineries I worked at we used it a lot to break up corned beef for hash!

  5. 5

    I can’t wait to try this!!!!

  6. Wow! Who would have thought? I love my Kitchen Aid and this will just give me another reason. I cannot wait to try it…. and my boys will be happy because that will mean enchiladas.

    Thanks for the tip,


  7. 7

    Any ideas on how to quickly shred chicken if you don’t own a KitchenAid mixer?

    I’d appreciate any tips. Thanks!

    • Jane Maynard

      so, I have never done this, but maybe try using a hand blender? who knows? maybe that will work too!

      other that, I got nothin’. Until now it was just me, two forks, and a lot of curse words. 😉

    • Elle

      Ha! Your previous method sounds a lot like my current one!

      Thanks for your suggestion. I’ll try a hand blender or maybe a potato masher.

      I haven’t commented on your site until now, but I’ve been visiting for a while. I just wanted to say that I love your blog! Beautiful photography, delicious recipes, brilliant concept. Truly my favorite blog. Bravo!

    • Jane Maynard

      if you try another method, do come back and let us know how it goes!

      and thanks so much for your super sweet comment…I really appreciate it! 🙂

    • Elle

      Hi Jane! I’m back to report that I took your advice and used a hand mixer, and it worked well. It’s much quicker than using two forks, but I’m sure not as fast as a KitchenAid. However, the hand mixer saved me about 45 minutes over my old manual method. Thanks so much for your tip! I would never have thought of a hand mixer if you hadn’t suggested it. I’m officially retiring the two forks!

    • Jane Maynard

      yay! so glad you reported back – glad to hear that the hand mixer worked!!

  8. 8

    So going to try this! Have been burning my hands trying to shred hot poached chicken for years… am alwsys in a hurry…. boy do I feel silly now. Enchiladas tomorrow night!

  9. 9
    Lisa S.

    Hi Jane,

    I’ve been following for a couple of months and enjoy reading your blog. I am about ready to take the plunge and buy a KitchenAid mixer! Is there a particular size you recommend? Also any suggestions on who has the best price? Sam’s, Costco or coupon at BBB?

    Can’t wait to shred chicken this way.

    Lisa S.

    • Jane Maynard

      I have the Professional KitchenAid from Costco – they had a great price. I know my friend liked the classic better (smaller version) because she likes how the top tips up rather than lifting up and down like the professional…but I do love how robust the professional is.

      my biggest tip is…bigger bowl is super nice…and get a second bowl! mine came with a second bowl as a special. I wouldn’t have ever thought to actually buy a second bowl, but now that I have one, I’m always so glad I do!

      you are going to love it no matter which one you get!!!!!

  10. 10
    Ashley P

    I found this tip online a few months ago, and couldn’t be happier about it! I hate washing dishes, but I will do it anytime it involves the KitchenAid mixer 🙂 Especially in this case!

  11. 11

    I have to say, I didn’t really believe it except that you did post it–but i had to try it tonight. thanks for making my life that much easier from here on!

    • Jane Maynard

      glad I got you to try it! so funny…I definitely didn’t believe it either. it was almost magical as it worked when I did it. couldn’t believe my eyes! 😉

  12. 12

    Seriously? I admit to being kind of skeptical, too…but, I have some thawing breasts in the fridge- I might give it a shot tomorrow!

  13. 13

    Thank you for this great tip Jane! I will definitely try this method. You always make mt life a bit easier!

  14. I too was a skeptic when I first read this but you have convinced me and I will definitely be using this method.

  15. 15

    Thanks for the tip! Excited to try it soon.

  16. what a great tip, I’m going to have to give it a try. I shred beef, chicken or pork every week.

  17. 17
    Erin O.

    HEAVENS TO BETSY! Shredding annoys me. Dishes annoy me less. 🙂

  18. 18
    Susan D.

    This tip makes the prospect of making tortilla soup, pot pie, or whatever you desire a lot less daunting! I’ll have to tell my daughter!! I spent 40 minutes fork shredding the chicken for her buffalo chicken dip recently……never again!! Thanks for sharing!

  19. 19

    And now I need a KitchenAid… (been on my list for years anyway) 🙂

  20. 20
    Auntie Barb

    Woo Hoo! My life is changed forever! I was literally complaining loudly to my daughter about the chore of shredding chicken the day you made this post. She later saw the post and waited three whole days before telling me! It totally works in a Bosch! I did two batches…medium was better than high. I haven’t been this happy about a household tip since I discovered the Magic Eraser!

    Dancing around the kitchen, literally!

    • Jane Maynard

      I can’t believe sara withheld the information from you for three days! naughty girl! 🙂 glad that it worked and that I could make you dance around the kitchen! 🙂

  21. Have never seen this before. I’m always double fisted with my fork. Will have to give this a try!

  22. 22
    Happy =)

    OMG! I have never heard of that! I burn my fingers all the time on hot chicken! I am so going to try this! Thank you!!

  23. 23

    I just learned this last week myself, and it is my new favorite trick. Shredding chicken is one of those things I just hate doing.

  24. How did you cook the chicken in the first place? Shredding chicken with two forks after the slow cooker is a cinch, but I never know the best way to cook it without the slow cooker to get easy to shred chicken. I just happened on your site, I think I’ll be reading all of the kitchen tips! Thanks!

    • Jane Maynard

      So, this particular chicken had been grilled – I had grilled chicken for another recipe and had leftovers. When I normally want chicken shredded for something, though, I boil the chicken breasts – just put in boiling water ( not rapidly boiling, but still boiling) until cooked through. Makes for great, tender chicken every time – super easy!

  25. 25
    Lori H

    Count me as another skeptic. I just shredded 5 chicken breasts in less than a minute! I am so excited, and can’t wait to share this tip with my mom.

  26. 26

    Wow! Thanks so much for the great tip for shredding chicken with a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Worked like magic! I needed to shred 12 chicken breasts for a party recipe and it was done in no time. I boiled the chicken, drained the water, and cooled for about 15 minutes.
    P.S. Kitchen Aid’s a “must”. I’ve had mine for 28 years and it’s still works like new!

    • Jane Maynard

      12 chicken breasts – this tip would definitely come in handy!!

      it’s funny you commented because I used this trick the same day you did and was just so grateful (once again) for it! 🙂

  27. 27
    Tom Kaiser

    Will this work with a Cuisinart mixer as I am not a fan of Kitchenjunk I mean Kitchenaid.

    • Jane Maynard

      I’m sure it will work on any stand mixer! it might even be worth trying with a hand blender, too! 🙂

  28. 28

    I just tried this and it worked like a charm! Thanks for the great tip!!!!!!!

  29. 29

    Genius! Thanks! That save me at least 45 minutes.

  30. 30

    I am so happy I found this! Did you cut the chicken breast up a bit before tossing it into the mixer? Or just the whole breast?

    • good question! you can just put the entire cooked chicken breast in at once and it works fine. You could also tear the breast into 2 or 3 and then put in the bowl, but not necessary. You definitely don’t need to dirty a knife and cutting board to cut it up before hand! 🙂

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