How Long to Fry Chicken in a Deep Fryer: Expert Timing Tips





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When it comes to preparing fried chicken, deep frying is a popular cooking method that results in crispy, flavorful chicken. However, getting the perfect fried chicken can be tricky, especially when it comes to determining the right cooking time. So, how long do you fry chicken in a deep fryer?

The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including the size and cut of the chicken, the type of oil used, and the temperature of the oil. In general, it is recommended to cook chicken in a deep fryer for 6-8 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C). However, it is important to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right oil and preparing the chicken are crucial steps in achieving the perfect fried chicken.
  • Deep-frying techniques and cooking times and temperatures can vary depending on the type of chicken and the equipment used.
  • Serving and presentation are important aspects of enjoying the perfect fried chicken, while cleanup and oil disposal should be done safely and responsibly.

Choosing the Right Oil

When it comes to deep frying chicken, choosing the right oil is crucial. The oil you use will not only affect the flavor of your chicken, but it will also impact the cooking process and the healthfulness of your meal. In this section, I will cover the types of oil that are best for deep frying, their smoke points, and flavor considerations.

Types of Oil

There are several types of oil that are suitable for deep frying chicken. Peanut oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil are all popular choices. Peanut oil is a great option because it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. Canola oil is another good choice because it is heart-healthy and has a mild flavor. Vegetable oil is a versatile option that can be used in a variety of cooking methods, including deep frying. Sunflower oil is also a good choice because it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. Olive oil, while not commonly used for deep frying, can be used in a pinch. However, it has a lower smoke point than the other oils mentioned and has a distinct flavor that may not be desirable for deep frying chicken.

Smoke Points

The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which it begins to smoke and break down. When an oil reaches its smoke point, it can release harmful compounds and create an unpleasant flavor. That’s why it’s important to choose an oil with a high smoke point when deep frying chicken. Peanut oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, and sunflower oil all have smoke points that are suitable for deep frying. Olive oil, on the other hand, has a lower smoke point and should be used with caution when deep frying.

Flavor Considerations

The flavor of the oil you choose will impact the flavor of your chicken. Peanut oil, canola oil, and vegetable oil all have neutral flavors that won’t overpower the taste of your chicken. Sunflower oil has a slightly nutty flavor that can add a pleasant depth to your chicken. Olive oil has a distinct flavor that may not be desirable for deep frying chicken, but it can be used in small amounts to add a unique flavor to your dish.

In conclusion, choosing the right oil is key to achieving perfectly fried chicken. Peanut oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, and sunflower oil are all great choices with high smoke points and neutral flavors. Olive oil can be used in a pinch, but it has a lower smoke point and a distinct flavor that may not be desirable for deep frying chicken.

Preparing the Chicken

When it comes to deep-frying chicken, preparation is key. Properly preparing the chicken ensures that it cooks evenly and comes out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Here are some steps to follow when preparing your chicken for deep frying.

Cutting and Trimming

Before frying, you need to cut and trim the chicken. You can use a whole chicken, chicken wings, or chicken thighs. Cut the chicken into pieces of the desired size, making sure they are all roughly the same size. This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly.

Trim off any excess fat and skin from the chicken. Leaving too much fat and skin on the chicken can cause it to become greasy and make the coating less crispy.

Marinating for Flavor

Marinating the chicken is optional, but it can add a lot of flavor to the chicken. To marinate the chicken, season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any other seasonings you like. Then, place the chicken in a plastic bag or container with the marinade and refrigerate it for at least an hour, or overnight for best results.

Coating Options

Coating the chicken is what gives it that crispy outer layer. There are several coating options to choose from, but the most common is all-purpose flour. To coat the chicken, place the flour in a large bowl or bag and add any additional seasonings you like.

Once the chicken is coated, it’s ready to be fried. Remember to preheat the oil to the recommended temperature before adding the chicken. Following these steps will help ensure that your chicken comes out perfectly crispy and delicious.

Deep-Frying Techniques

As someone who has deep-fried chicken many times, I have learned a few techniques that can help ensure that the chicken is cooked through and has a crispy exterior. Here are some tips that I recommend:

Controlling Temperature

The temperature of the oil is crucial when deep-frying chicken. If the oil is not hot enough, the chicken will absorb too much oil and become greasy. If the oil is too hot, the chicken will burn on the outside before it is cooked through on the inside.

To ensure that the oil is at the correct temperature, I recommend using a fry thermometer. This type of thermometer is designed to withstand high temperatures and can be clipped onto the side of the pot. The ideal temperature for deep-frying chicken is between 350°F and 375°F.

Determining Doneness

Determining when the chicken is fully cooked can be tricky, especially if you are new to deep-frying. The best way to ensure that the chicken is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken, making sure that it does not touch the bone. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165°F.

If you do not have a meat thermometer, you can also determine doneness by cutting into the chicken with a knife. The juices should run clear, and the meat should be white all the way through.

Safety Measures

Deep-frying can be dangerous if proper safety measures are not taken. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always use a pot that is deep enough to hold the oil and the chicken. The oil can bubble up and overflow if the pot is too small.
  • Never leave the pot unattended while the oil is heating up or while the chicken is cooking.
  • Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the oil. Do not use your hands or a fork, as this can cause hot oil to splatter.
  • Allow the chicken to cool for a few minutes before serving. Hot oil can cause severe burns if it comes into contact with skin.

By following these deep-frying techniques, you can ensure that your chicken is cooked through and has a crispy exterior. Remember to always take safety precautions when deep-frying to avoid accidents.

Achieving the Perfect Crust

When it comes to deep-frying chicken, achieving a perfectly crispy exterior is key. Here are some tips to help you fry with confidence and create a delicious, crispy fried chicken.

Golden Brown and Crispy

One of the hallmarks of great fried chicken is a golden-brown, crispy exterior. To achieve this, it’s important to make sure your oil is hot enough before adding the chicken. A temperature of 350°F (175°C) is ideal for frying chicken. If the oil is not hot enough, the chicken will absorb too much oil and become greasy and soggy.

Another important factor in achieving a crispy exterior is the breading. A mixture of flour, cornstarch, and seasonings is a classic breading for fried chicken. To ensure a crispy crust, it’s important to coat the chicken thoroughly in the breading mixture, pressing it firmly onto the chicken to create a tight seal.

Avoiding Soggy Breading

Soggy breading is a common problem when frying chicken. To avoid this, it’s important to make sure the chicken is dry before adding it to the hot oil. Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry and remove any excess moisture.

It’s also important to avoid overcrowding the fryer. Adding too much chicken at once can cause the temperature of the oil to drop, resulting in soggy breading. Fry the chicken in small batches, and allow the oil to return to the proper temperature between batches.

In conclusion, achieving a crispy fried chicken is all about getting the right temperature and breading. By following these tips, you can create a delicious, crispy exterior that will make your fried chicken a hit with everyone.

Cooking Times and Temperatures

When it comes to deep frying chicken, getting the cooking time and temperature right is essential to achieve a crispy, golden brown exterior and juicy, tender meat on the inside. In this section, I will discuss the ideal cooking times and temperatures for deep frying chicken, as well as how to adjust for different chicken cuts.

Chart for Poultry

According to the deep frying temperature chart by Taste of Home, the normal temperature range for deep frying is usually between 350 and 375 °F. However, when it comes to chicken, the ideal temperature is around 375°F. This high temperature ensures that the chicken cooks quickly, creating a crispy exterior while keeping the meat moist and tender on the inside.

When it comes to cooking time, the general rule of thumb is to cook boneless chicken breasts for 8 to 10 minutes, bone-in chicken for 13 to 14 minutes, chicken tenders for 5 to 6 minutes, and chicken strips for 7 to 8 minutes. However, it’s important to note that cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken. To ensure that the chicken is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check that the thickest part of the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Adjusting for Chicken Cuts

Different chicken cuts require different cooking times and temperatures. For example, boneless chicken breasts cook faster than bone-in chicken, while chicken tenders and strips cook even faster due to their smaller size. To adjust for these differences, it’s important to monitor the chicken closely and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

When cooking boneless chicken breasts, I recommend cutting them into smaller pieces to ensure they cook evenly. Additionally, if you’re cooking chicken tenders or strips, be sure to pat them dry with paper towels before coating them in batter or breadcrumbs. This will help the coating adhere better and create a crispier exterior.

In summary, when deep frying chicken, it’s important to maintain a temperature of around 375°F and cook the chicken for the appropriate amount of time based on its thickness and cut. By following these guidelines and monitoring the chicken closely, you can achieve perfectly fried chicken every time.

Serving and Presentation

After frying the chicken to perfection, it’s time to serve and present it in the best way possible. Here are a few tips on how to do that:

Resting and Draining

Firstly, it’s important to let the chicken rest for a few minutes after frying. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it juicier and more flavorful. Place the chicken on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to allow excess oil to drain off. You can also use a paper towel to blot any excess oil.

Sides and Accompaniments

Fried chicken is delicious on its own, but it’s even better with the right sides and accompaniments. Some classic sides include mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and corn on the cob. For dipping sauces, ranch dressing and hot sauce are popular choices. You can also get creative with your sides and sauces to make your fried chicken meal even more exciting.

When it comes to presentation, you can serve the chicken on a platter with the sides arranged around it. You can also serve it in individual baskets or plates for a more casual feel. Don’t forget to garnish with some fresh herbs or lemon wedges for a pop of color and flavor.

Overall, serving and presenting delicious fried chicken is all about attention to detail. Take the time to let the chicken rest and drain properly, choose the right sides and accompaniments, and present it in an appealing way. Your guests will be impressed and satisfied with their meal.

Cleanup and Oil Disposal

Handling Used Oil

After frying chicken in a deep fryer, it is essential to handle the used oil properly. You should never pour the oil down the drain as it can cause clogging and damage to the plumbing system. Instead, wait for the oil to cool down completely, then use a funnel and a fine-mesh strainer to strain the oil into a container. This will remove any food particles and debris from the oil, making it reusable.

It is important to store the used oil in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You can use a clean, airtight container or a sealable plastic bag to store the oil. Make sure to label the container with the date and type of oil, so you can keep track of how long it has been used.

When it is time to dispose of the used oil, you can either reuse it for frying or recycle it. Many cities and towns have recycling programs for used cooking oil, so check with your local waste management department for disposal options.

Deep Fryer Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your deep fryer is crucial to ensure it lasts long and functions well. After each use, allow the oil to cool completely before removing it from the fryer. Once the oil is removed, use a paper towel or a clean cloth to wipe down the inside of the fryer, removing any residue or splatters.

For a deeper clean, you can disassemble the fryer and wash the removable parts with warm, soapy water. Make sure to dry the parts thoroughly before reassembling the fryer.

Regular deep fryer maintenance will not only improve its lifespan but also prevent oil splattering during frying.


In conclusion, knowing how long to fry chicken in a deep fryer is essential to achieve crispy, juicy, and flavorful results. With the information provided in this comprehensive guide, you can confidently fry chicken with ease and precision.

Remember to always preheat your fryer to the recommended temperature range of 350-375°F, depending on the type of chicken you are frying. Use a thermometer to ensure that the oil is at the right temperature before adding the chicken.

When it comes to cooking times, boneless chicken breasts and thighs usually take around 6-8 minutes to cook, while bone-in chicken takes longer, around 10-12 minutes. However, it’s always important to check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure it has reached a safe temperature of 165°F.

In addition to the cooking times, it’s important to follow proper safety precautions when frying chicken in a deep fryer. Always use long tongs to place the chicken in the fryer to avoid splatters and burns. Also, make sure to let the chicken rest on a wire rack for a few minutes after frying to allow excess oil to drip off.

With these tips and cooking advice, you can become a knowledgeable and confident cook when it comes to frying chicken in a deep fryer.

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