Frying a Chicken in a Turkey Fryer: The Ultimate Guide to Crispy Perfection

My mom is a legend when it comes to southern fried chicken. I’ve witnessed family members go through up to seven pieces of her southern fried chicken over the years. I pinkie swear!.

Yes, it’s that good. My spouse became enamored with my cooking after trying my mom’s southern fried chicken for the first time!

I’ve watched my mother fry chicken for 75 people over the years, and she never bats an eye. Ultimately, when it came to frying chicken, she was in her element. Of course, mom doesn’t have a recipe. Since I’ve watched her so much over the years, I believe I have her technique down pat. After all, what southern cook follows a recipe?

Frying a chicken in a turkey fryer is a delicious and easy way to cook a large amount of chicken at once. This guide will walk you through the entire process, from choosing the right chicken to serving the finished product. With these simple steps, you’ll be frying perfect chickens in no time!

Preparing the Chicken

  1. Choosing the Right Chicken:

    • Size: Opt for a 10-12 pound chicken to fill the fryer basket without overcrowding.
    • Freshness: Always choose fresh, unfrozen chicken for optimal texture and flavor.
  2. Brining the Chicken:

    • Ingredients:
      • 1 gallon water
      • 1 cup salt
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 1 tablespoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried thyme
      • 1 bay leaf
    • Instructions:
      1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.
      2. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
      3. Cool the brine completely.
      4. Submerge the chicken in the brine for 4-8 hours or overnight, ensuring it’s fully covered.
  3. Drying the Chicken:

    • Pat dry: Remove the chicken from the brine and thoroughly pat it dry with paper towels or a hairdryer.

Preparing the Fryer

  1. Filling the Fryer with Oil:

    • Amount: Fill the fryer to about 3 inches deep with high-quality oil like peanut or canola oil. Avoid olive oil or butter due to their low smoke points.
  2. Preheating the Oil:

    • Temperature: Preheat the oil to 350°F. Allow at least 15 minutes for the oil to reach the desired temperature.

Frying the Chicken

  1. Carefully place the chicken in the fryer basket, avoiding overcrowding.
  2. Lower the basket into the oil and fry for 15-20 minutes per pound.
  3. Check for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The internal temperature should reach 165°F.
  4. Remove the chicken from the fryer and let it rest on a paper towel-lined platter for a few minutes before serving.

Caring for the Fryer

  1. Clean the fryer: Pour hot water and dish soap into the fryer and scrub it with a brush. Rinse thoroughly.
  2. Store the fryer: Place the clean fryer in a dry, well-ventilated area, covered with a lid or tarp.

Tips for Frying a Perfect Chicken

  • Use a high-quality oil with a high smoke point.
  • Preheat the oil to the correct temperature.
  • Season the chicken generously before frying.
  • Don’t overcrowd the fryer basket.
  • Cook the chicken for the recommended time.
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the best way to fry a chicken in a turkey fryer?

A: Follow the steps outlined in this guide: choose the right chicken, brine it, dry it, prepare the fryer, fry the chicken, and let it rest.

Q: How long does it take to fry a chicken in a turkey fryer?

A: Approximately 15-20 minutes per pound. The exact time depends on the size of the chicken and the temperature of the oil.

Q: What temperature should the oil be for frying chicken?

A: 350°F is the ideal temperature for even cooking and preventing overcooked chicken.

Q: What type of oil should I use for frying chicken?

A: Peanut oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, or safflower oil are all suitable options due to their high smoke points.

Q: How do I season a chicken before frying it?

A: Use salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, or your favorite dry rub or marinade. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes before frying.

Q: What should I do if the chicken is sticking to the fryer basket?

A: Ensure the oil is hot enough, use cooking spray, gently shake the basket, or carefully remove the chicken and place it on a paper towel-lined plate.

Q: How do I know when the chicken is done frying?

A: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should be 165°F.

Q: How do I rest the chicken after frying it?

A: Let the chicken rest for a few minutes on a paper towel-lined platter to allow the juices to redistribute for a more flavorful and juicy result.

Frying a chicken in a turkey fryer is a simple and rewarding experience. By following these steps and tips, you’ll be able to consistently produce crispy, juicy, and delicious fried chicken that will impress your family and friends. So grab your turkey fryer, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy the ultimate fried chicken experience!

Additional Resources

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Mom’s Southern Fried Chicken

frying a chicken in a turkey fryer

  • 2 small broiler/fryer chickens, cut up
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Brine (4 cups water, 4 Tablespoons salt)
  • Self Rising Flour
  • Salt, Pepper to taste
  • Soak chicken overnight in the salt water brine.
  • Before frying, remove chicken and rinse. Pat dry.
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil to 350º F.
  • Coat the chicken pieces with self-rising flour while the oil is heating.
  • Cook dark meat in a deep fryer for 15–17 minutes, or until it turns golden brown. Chicken breasts cook faster, about 10-12 minutes. Place on a towel-lined platter to drain.
  • Pan Fry: Heat 1/2″ oil over medium-high heat. Cook, skin side down, until chicken is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cook for a further fifteen minutes after flipping the chicken, or until golden brown.
  • Drain on a paper-towel lined platter.

The Oil for Frying

When it comes to frying chicken, I only use peanut oil. Peanut oil has a high smoke point and neutral taste. It’s perfect for frying foods. It also has a low saturated fat content and a high mono- and polyunsaturated fat content.

Heat Oil to 350º F. The temperature of the chicken will drop to 325 degrees Fahrenheit when it is placed in the hot oil, which is ideal for frying chicken.

Deep-Fry Method: If using a deep fryer, cook the chicken until the dark meat is golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Chicken breasts cook faster, about 10-12 minutes. Place on a towel-lined platter to drain.

In order to cook chicken, heat 1/2 cup oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, skin side down, until chicken is golden brown, about 10 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the chicken over and continue cooking until it turns golden brown.

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