How To Clean Chicken Feet Before Cooking?

Last Updated on October 15, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers

Cleaning chicken feet for cooking involves removing the outer layer of skin and nails, washing thoroughly and blanching in boiling water. Chicken feet may not be the most appetizing part of a chicken, but they are considered a delicacy in some cultures.

They are loaded with collagen, protein, and minerals, making them beneficial for skin, bone, and joint health. However, before cooking chicken feet, it’s important to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned to remove any dirt and bacteria. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to clean chicken feet before cooking, step by step.

We’ll also share tips on how to store and freeze chicken feet for future use. Ready to learn? Let’s get started!

How To Clean Chicken Feet Before Cooking?


Why Clean Chicken Feet Before Cooking Is Vital

The Importance Of Cleaning Chicken Feet Before Cooking

If you are looking to cook chicken feet, you should always ensure that they are clean before use. Here are some reasons why cleaning chicken feet before cooking is vital:

  • Bacteria and dirt: Chicken feet often come with dirt, bacteria, and excess feathers that could be harmful to your health. Cleaning them before cooking is essential to ensure that they do not contaminate your food.
  • Better taste: Cleaning chicken feet helps remove any leftover feathers or debris that could affect the taste of your dish. It also helps to keep the feet’s original flavor intact.
  • Safe handling: Handling uncleaned chicken feet can increase your risk of infection or food poisoning. Cleaning them helps reduce this risk.

The Potential Health Hazards Of Not Cleaning Chicken Feet

Chicken feet are often a breeding ground for bacteria, and not cleaning them before cooking can lead to several health hazards. Here are some of the potential health hazards of not cleaning chicken feet:

  • Bacterial infections: Chicken feet can harbor harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses such as salmonella and campylobacteriosis.
  • Parasites: Eating uncleaned chicken feet can lead to parasitic infections such as helminths, which can cause severe health problems.
  • Allergies: Chicken feet can trigger allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to poultry products.

What Makes Chicken Feet Different From Other Parts Of The Chicken?

Chicken feet are different from other parts of the chicken in several ways, and cleaning them requires special care. Here are some of the ways that chicken feet differ from other parts of the chicken:

  • Texture: Chicken feet have a unique texture that requires thorough cleaning to remove excess dirt or debris.
  • Joints and crevices: Chicken feet have numerous joints and crevices that can harbor bacteria and dirt, making cleaning them a delicate job.
  • Nutritional value: Chicken feet are rich in collagen, nutrients, and minerals that make them a popular ingredient in many cuisines. However, ensuring that they are clean before cooking is essential to avoid any health risks.

Step-By-Step Guide To Clean Chicken Feet Before Cooking

Chicken feet are a delicacy in some cultures and an excellent source of collagen and protein. However, before cooking them, you must clean them correctly to remove dirt and bacteria. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to clean chicken feet before cooking.

Remember to always wash your hands before and after handling raw chicken or any other poultry.

Step 1: Preparing The Chicken Feet

Before you start cleaning the chicken feet, you need to prepare them by removing the nails by using poultry shears or a sharp knife. Cut off the tip of each toe, leaving only the fleshy part. Rinse the chicken feet under cold water while rubbing them to remove any dirt or debris.

Step 2: Removing Dirt And Debris

Once you’ve prepared the chicken feet, the next step is to remove any remaining dirt or debris. Use a soft-bristled brush or a toothbrush, and gently scrub the chicken feet while holding them under running water. Make sure to remove any dirt or feathers trapped in between the toes.

Step 3: Peeling The Outer Yellow Skin

After removing dirt and debris, you need to remove the outer yellow skin on each chicken foot. Use a small sharp knife or vegetable peeler to peel off the outer layer of skin on the chicken feet. Don’t worry, the skin comes off easily.

Step 4: Scalding And Scraping The Chicken Feet

Scalding the chicken feet helps to remove any remaining dirt or feathers and also helps to loosen the skin. Place the chicken feet in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, and then remove them. Use a sharp knife or a spoon to scrape the chicken feet gently.

Pay attention to the crevices between the toes.


Step 5: Cleaning The Chicken Feet With Vinegar And Salt

After scraping, place the chicken feet in a mixture of water, vinegar, and salt. Use 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt for every cup of water. Let the chicken feet soak for 30 minutes. This mixture helps to remove any bacteria and neutralize the odor of the chicken feet.

Step 6: Rinsing The Chicken Feet Thoroughly

After soaking the chicken feet in the vinegar and salt solution, rinse them thoroughly under cold running water. Make sure each foot is rinsed thoroughly. You’re now ready to cook them!

Cleaning chicken feet before cooking is a simple process that involves removing the nails and dirt, peeling off the skin, scalding, scraping, and cleaning with a vinegar and salt solution. By following these steps, you’ll have clean and ready-to-cook chicken feet that taste delicious.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Clean Chicken Feet Before Cooking?

Why Should I Clean Chicken Feet Before Cooking?

Cleaning chicken feet before cooking helps remove dirt, bacteria, and odor that could cause foodborne illness.

How Do I Clean Chicken Feet?

Wash the chicken feet thoroughly with water, then soak in hot water with vinegar, salt, or lemon juice for 10 minutes.

Can I Cook Chicken Feet Without Cleaning Them?

It is not recommended to cook chicken feet without cleaning them as they may contain harmful bacteria.

What Are The Benefits Of Cooking Chicken Feet?

Cooking chicken feet adds flavor, texture, and nutrients like collagen, which is good for the skin, hair, and joints.

What Dishes Can I Make With Chicken Feet?

Chicken feet can be used to make broth, stock, soup, and sauces. They can also be stir-fried or braised with spices and herbs.



After reading this post, you should feel confident about cleaning chicken feet before cooking, a delicious delicacy often found in asian and african cuisine. The process may seem intimidating at first, but with these simple steps, you can easily clean the chicken feet in your own kitchen.

Remember to first remove the outer yellow membrane and then blanch them before using them in your dish. It’s essential to clean them properly as chicken feet are one of the most lymphatic parts of the chicken, containing a high amount of connective tissue.

By cleaning them correctly, you can ensure a hygienic and flavourful experience. With these tips, we hope you feel more equipped to take on the challenge of preparing chicken feet in your own home and discover a new and exciting dimension to your cooking.

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