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Nothing beats a juicy, crispy piece of fried chicken, but no matter what you try, it never seems to come out as good as at a restaurant. So what is the secret to the perfectly crispy fried chicken? What pot is best for frying your bird? We researched this topic to solve your dilemma and help you choose the best tools to get your fried chicken finger-licking perfect every time!
The best pot for frying chicken is a lidless, cast iron dutch oven. Cast iron is the best for evenly distributing heat, which helps maintain the perfect temperature for getting that batter and skin a perfect golden brown every time while still cooking the meat thoroughly. Other options are:
- Deep cast-iron skillet
- Stainless steel pot
- Electric skillet
Knowing what pan to use is crucial to making perfect fried chicken. It can also prevent damage to your equipment or even yourself. Keep reading to learn more about this and information on deep frying or frying in little or no oil!
Best Way to Fry Chicken
Crispy, golden fried chicken is the perfect dish to pull your ever-elusive family away from their screen to the dinner table! But how to accomplish this seemingly simple dish? It really is quite easy, with the proper recipe, tools, and supplies.
Choosing the correct pan is the first step, as maintaining the cooking oil's temperature makes the difference between a crispy crust and a soggy, greasy mess. You will use an oil with a high smoke point, like canola, vegetable, or peanut oil, which can withstand temperature up to 500 degrees F. This makes it important to choose a heavy pan with good heat conductivity and that is deep enough to prevent spills and overflow as you cook. If deep-frying, your pan should be at least five inches deep; otherwise, a standard dutch oven or deep skillet will be sufficient.
Best Pans for Frying Chicken
There are many options out there, but the best choice for frying chicken is cast iron, followed by stainless steel, then an electric skillet, as they allow for the best heat conductivity and temperature management.
Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Easily the best option due to its depth, when used properly, a cast iron dutch oven will result in delicious crispy chicken every time!
Lodge Enamelled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Preseasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven/Skillet
Deep Cast Iron Skillet
If you don't have a dutch oven, a properly seasoned, deep cast-iron skillet is the next best option. They are not quite as heavy as a cast iron dutch oven but still have the ability to hold a high temperature steadily.
Back Country Cast Iron Skillet
Lodge Cast Iron Deep Skillet
Stainless Steel Dutch Oven
If you don't have or want to deal with cast iron cookware's upkeep, then a good quality stainless steel dutch oven or pot with a heavy bottom is a great choice for frying chicken. Stainless steel cookware is very good at conducting heat evenly and will result in perfect frying results!
Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Dutch Oven
A staple of your grandma's kitchen is the electric skillet. Maybe you have not considered one of these because they seem old-fashioned or unnecessary, but it is time to rethink this handy kitchen appliance! An electric skillet is fantastic for frying chicken as it is designed to distribute heat across its base evenly and has a handy thermostat so you can maintain the temperature as you cook.
It is portable by nature, so take it with you in the RV on your next camping trip. What could be better than home-cooked fried chicken deep after a long day of hiking? Not much!
Presto Foldaway Electric Skillet
Can I deep fry in a non-stick pot?
It is possible to deep fry in a non-stick pot, as long as you do not do it too frequently. Overuse can damage your pot's non-stick qualities due to the high temperature of oil needed for deep frying. Deep frying takes place at 300 to 375 degrees F. Maintaining the temp is critical, or you might risk burning your food without cooking it through or even causing a fire. So once you have heated your oil, turn your flame down to low or medium, and use a cooking thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Choose a pot or pan that is at least five inches deep to help prevent dangerous splatters or potential grease fires, and do not overcrowd or overfill the pan.
Can I deep fry in an insta pot?
Instant Pots are a marvelous kitchen invention designed to make your cooking life so much easier. When it comes to deep-frying, however, it does not bill. While it is possible to shallow fry a small amount of food if set on the saute function, the Instant Pot just will not reach the temperatures needed to deep fry food.
How do you fry with little oil?
Shallow frying, also known as pan-frying, is great for cooking foods that you want to get crispy without submerging them in oil. To pan-fry, follow these steps:
- Heat a small amount of oil in the pan until water sizzles and evaporates when dropped in the pan.
- Add food, allow it to sear, then reduce heat to medium, so the food cooks without burning.
- Be sure not to crowd the food in the pan.
- Allow to cook on one side undisturbed for the appropriate amount of time for your recipe, then flip to cook the other side. The cooked side will be well-browned and crispy.
- Use a thermometer to test the doneness of your food.
- Drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
- Eat and enjoy!
How do you make crispy food without frying it?
If you are concerned about the health risks of fried foods but love crusty chicken and crispy french fries, then you are not alone. Thankfully there is a sure-fire method to get foods delicious and crispy without dunking them into a vat of sizzling oil. You can get foods crispy in the oven!
To oven fry foods, roll them in oil, or spray a metal pan with non-stick spray. Getting your foods crispy requires a higher temperature than required for baking many foods, so this method works best with foods that cook through relatively quickly, like fish sticks, french fries, and chicken tenders. Set your oven to 400 to 450 degrees F, depending on the food, then cook until deliciously golden brown on one side, then turn with a metal spatula or tongs to brown the other side. Just be careful not to over cook.
There are many ways to get foods crispy, but when frying chicken, a cast iron dutch oven or skillet is the gold-standard! Now that you know what pot to use, all you have to do is get your Southern granny to divulge her secret recipe! Good luck!
For more information on choosing the right pans for your different cooking needs, check out these posts at Kitchenseer.com!