What Temperature You Should Really Be Frying Chicken At?

You can always visit a restaurant to get fried chicken, but there's nothing like making it yourself. This protein is extremely popular in the U.S., with Americans consuming about 99lb of it yearly (via BBC). With its crunchy coating, it's easy to understand why fried chicken is so beloved. According to a 2015 research article published in the Flavour Journal, the crispiness of this dish is arguably its most important component because hearing the crunch of the crispy coating can work with other senses, like taste, to magnify the enjoyment you feel when eating the chicken.

Many people struggle with frying chicken at the correct temperature. Cooking any type of chicken — whether or not it's fried — is a bit difficult. If the temperature is too low, the meat may be undercooked and cause illness; if it is too high and you fail to let the chicken rest, then it may be dry, per MasterClass. Therefore, if you're planning to fry this protein, you need to know the correct frying temperature.

The temperature you should fry chicken at

According to Southern Living, your oil needs to be about 360 degrees Fahrenheit when you first place the chicken into your pan. After submerging it into the oil, you should lower the temperature to about 300 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you don't cook fried chicken at the correct temperature, a number of problems could arise. For one, if the oil is not hot enough, the meat will absorb it, resulting in a soggy and unappetizing texture, per Frymax. Conversely, if your oil is too hot, you risk burning the crispy outer coating. As mentioned, this crunchy crust plays a crucial role in the joy people experience while eating fried chicken, so you definitely don't want to compromise this component of the dish. Keeping the oil at 300 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit will ensure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly, eliminating the risk of potential illness while also providing a delicious, crispy crust that isn't burnt.

Other tips for frying chicken

While frying chicken at the right temperature is one of the most important things to do, there are several other things you can do to ensure the final result is perfect. According to WebstaurantStore, the type of oil you fry your chicken in can take your dish to the next level. There are a variety of oils that you could use, but one of the most popular options is lard. Lard is beloved for its neutral taste, which allows it to highlight the flavor of your breading. Other common oils for frying include coconut oil, which, like lard, has a neutral taste, and peanut oil, which has a high smoke point.

Another thing you should always do when frying chicken is season your flour, per Southern Living. If you don't do this step, you will be left with a flavorless crust. Therefore, you should always be sure to season this protein with something, whether it's just salt and pepper or spices with a little more kick, such as paprika or cayenne pepper. On the other hand, some people would argue that seasoning your chicken doesn't matter if you don't fry it at the right temperature. So, always make sure that your oil is between 300 and 325 degrees Fahrenheit.