what is better to fry chicken in a skillet or a deep fat fryer.

  • 7391 views
  • 11 Comments

11 Comments

Pegeen June 28, 2013
Electric skillets are also great for potato pancakes (latkes). They're great for plugging in outside so that the frying doesn't smell up the house.
 
Sam1148 June 28, 2013
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the electric skillet which was what we used in our house---we didn't have gas cook tops and the skillet was perfect for chicken; square shape for easy loading and a adjustable thermostat for temp control.
I think that was only time I saw that device used...it's was great for fried chicken and must be Avocado Green.
 
dymnyno June 28, 2013
I have used an electric skillet a lot...but not for cooking. I used it to melt wax and keep it at a temperature for batik(back in the day when I taught art).
 
ChefOno June 28, 2013

Definitely an issue of preference. Neither process is better than the other for the simple reason each technique actually produces a different end product. Maybe not as different as baking, but noticeably different nonetheless.

The techniques are actually quite dissimilar. Immersion frying uses convection to transfer heat through the oil and then into the food. Pan frying uses mostly conduction -- direct contact with the pan bottom. Such contact allows for deeper browning and thus more flavor in the crust, the hallmark of the technique.

So why would you want to deep fry? Speed, but not just time on the clock. Immersed in oil, moisture has a difficult time escaping. It's a physics thing, the result is juicier chicken. And less splatter.

A third method is pressure frying (used at KFC and similar places) which reduces cooking time even further resulting in even less moisture loss.

 
pierino June 28, 2013
And as Susan Sarandon, the "Baseball Annie" in "Bull Durham" said, "Oh, my!"
 
dymnyno June 28, 2013
I have always been in the deep cast iron pot camp of frying chicken, but, I don't have a deep fryer to try that method.
 
ChefJune June 28, 2013
I disagree that baking the fry-prepped chicken is healthier. If the fat is the proper temperature, the chicken absorbs little to none of it. And the texture of "real" fried chicken is superior, imho. If I'm going to do it, I'll do it right.. However, I prefer roast chicken to fried, anyway.

To answer OP's question, the two methods produce quite different results. Home fried chicken has been done in a frying pan for a couple of hundred years, at least! Either way is messy.
 
pierino June 28, 2013
I share ChefJune's point of view. But really neither method is "better". Myself I use a well seasoned, cast iron "gumbo" pot and a fryer basket. Who does not love fried chicken when it's done right?
 
bigpan June 28, 2013
Chicken has been fried in skillets long before home deep fat fryers were invented; but, you say which is "better" - I would have to say I bake chicken in the oven on a rack after the usual flour/egg/panko coating.
Healthier.
 
Matt W. June 28, 2013
okay thank you
 
sdebrango June 28, 2013
I am sure that you will get many different answers to your question and it really is a personal preference. My Grandmother always made her wonderful fried chicken in a cast iron skillet. The great genius recipe from Michael Ruhlman http://food52.com/recipes/19368-michael-ruhlman-s-rosemary-brined-buttermilk-fried-chicken has you deep fry.
I find that when you deep fat fry the chicken is more crispy and the crust develops better than when you skillet fry but the result might be because of technique. My personal preference is deep fat fry.
 
Recommended by Food52