Become a Fried Chicken Expert This National Fried Chicken Day | The MeatStick

In honor of National Fried Chicken Day – which sadly is not a day when the government hands out free fried chicken – The MeatStick blog is teaching you how to achieve the ultimate fried chicken in your home. We’re answering some honestly Google-worthy fried-chicken-related queries such as:

How to get crispy fried chicken?

How to not get chicken burnt outside or raw inside?

and

Can I deep fry with The Meatstick?

But first, let’s talk about how wonderful it is that there are millions of glorious variations of fried chicken.

From Korean-style chicken with its thin crusty outer shell to Belacan Fried Chicken that relies on a batter coating of shrimp paste, there is no  right way to make fried chicken. 

Generally speaking though, people usually want to be served fried chicken that’s not raw on the inside and has crispy skin on the outside. And so this post will use The MeatStick’s very own Fried Chicken Recipe  as a starting point to teach you the most basic frying tips. Once you’ve mastered our classic buttermilk recipe, you can then move on to more exciting and gustatorily colorful fried chicken recipes. 

Fried chicken with tongsHow to get a crispy chicken?

Heat the oil before frying

  • One basic mistake that people often make is that they put the chicken in room temperature oil and bring that to a boil. However, by doing so, the slow temperature rise makes it harder to effectively draw moisture out of the meat and you end up with overly greasy and soggy skin.
  • To remedy this, heat the oil to about 350°F  and try not to exceed this temperature lest the exterior cooks too fast. You can measure the oil temperature using an instant-read thermometer. If you're looking for convenience though, all MeatSticks come equipped with ambient sensors so they can measure your chicken's internal temperature and oil temperature at the same time. 
  • The oil temperature will drop slightly when you place your chicken pieces in, but that minor change won’t affect much – don’t worry! Fry until the MeatStick App notifies you that the chicken is cooked et voila! Our basic recipe will be completed.

Don't crowd the pan

  • While it is a lovely sight, too many pieces of chicken make it harder to maintain a consistent temperature and that can affect the cooking time as well as make it harder to get crispy skin.

Fry twice!

  • If you really want to step up your fried chicken game, another way of achieving ultimate crispy fried chicken according to J. Kenji López-Alt comes from frying twice at different temperatures. 
  • When preheating the oil for the first fry, you want to make sure it reaches 300°F, whereas the second fry’s temperature usually is at 350°F. The reason for double frying is to ensure that the chicken is cooked through the first time and to crisp-ify the skin at the second fry. This type of double fry method is generally seen when cooking Korean fried chicken.

    Don’t rest chicken on paper towels after frying

      • Per our recipe, you can drain your chicken with paper towels after frying to get rid of excess grease. However, do not leave the fried chicken to cool down on the paper towels after that. Opt for a clean wire rack instead, as there is no chance for steam to collect and make your chicken soggy.

        fried chicken closeup

        How to get a perfect fried chicken crust?

        Sprinkle flecks of water into your dredge or breading

        • Try sprinkling little drops of water in your dredge or breading to form those chunky crispy bits of crust like the ones on fast food menus. After that, pack it onto your chicken before frying to achieve that crunchy coating. 

          Don’t disturb the chicken when cooking

            • Do not agitate the chicken with tongs or other cooking utensils during the first 3 minutes of cooking the chicken. This will prevent the crust from getting destroyed before fully setting during the cooking process and will also stop it from bumping into other pieces of chicken in the pan. 

              Season the crust after frying

              • As soon as the chicken is lifted from the oil, fresh out, hit it with a sprinkle of your seasoning of choice (usually just salt will be enough). This will make your crust even more flavorful and the hot oil will help absorb the salty flavor better.

                chicken frying with MeatStick

                What is the best internal temperature for fried chicken?

                How to get batter or dredge to stick to the chicken?

                Rest the chicken after the breading process

                • A good way to get the batter or dredge to stick to the chicken is to temporarily rest it so the exterior coating has time to rehydrate and stick. Be careful though! Resting for too long will create a gluten-y crust and your end result will likely taste more bready than crispy. 

                How to get juicy chicken?

                Brine or marinade prior before coating with a dredge

                • These high concentrate juices essentially use osmosis to draw out the moisture within the protein and tenderize it while packing in the flavor, so you end up with juicy and savory fried delights. 
                • There are two types of brine and your decision to use which depends on the fat content of your chicken:
                1. Wet Brine: This brine is in a liquid state. Popular examples that people submerge their meats in are salt water or buttermilk. This type of brining works better on leaner meat with low fat content like white meat (e.g. chicken breasts). 
                2. Dry Brine: On the other hand, meats with high fat content like dark meat (e.g. chicken thighs) would benefit from a dry brine that brings more flavor. These are dry mixtures of salt and other spices you would rub onto your chicken. 

                Cooking oil

                What oil to use to fry chicken?

                Choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point and neutral flavor.

                • A high smoke point ensures that the oil won’t burn when you’re frying, which is a relatively high-heat cooking process, and neutral flavors won’t leave an aftertaste on the fried items. 
                • Some good choices for frying oil would be canola oil, vegetable oil, or peanut oil. The latter produces crispier chicken but is pricier. But perhaps on National Fried Chicken Day, a little splurge is worth it!   

                How much oil to use when frying chicken?

                Depends on if you're going for color, time, or flavor.

                • Halfway up the sides of the chicken if you're doing a shallow fry although ideally, you want a deep-fry where the oil covers the top of the chicken for faster cooking. 
                • The main difference between the two is that the shallow fry produces better browning but the deep fry creates a crispier texture and juicy interior.

                Do I need to cook chicken before frying it?

                No, trust the process!

                • As long as the internal temperature shown on The MeatStick mobile app reaches a minimum of 165°F, the fried chicken will be safe to consume.

                Fried Chicken with the MeatStick

                How to not get chicken burnt outside raw inside?

                Use room temperature chicken.

                • Most rookies are so focused on oil temperature they forget to factor in the temperature of the chicken. Prior to frying, remove the chicken 30 minutes from the refrigerator and allow it to rest until room temperature. This ensures that the chicken is able to cook evenly and solves the problem of a raw center.

                  Cut the chicken into smaller pieces if it’s too thick.

                    • Thicker pieces take too long for the heat to penetrate the interior of the meat and the outside may burn while the insides are still uncooked. As such, try cutting your chicken into even sizes that are not too big to avoid undercooked chicken.

                    Can I deep fry with The MeatStick?

                    Yes.

                    • The MeatStick is completely deep-fryer safe and is the trustiest piece of wireless meat thermometer that you will need to ensure that your chicken is fully cooked with an extended range for more freedom and flexibility. 

                    With these answers and tips, you have now become the Fried Chicken Expert. Go forth into the world and serve up America’s favorite comfort food as is your duty now. 

                    Sources: 

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5nKYqvu29w 

                    ​​https://cooking.nytimes.com/guides/25-how-to-make-fried-chicken 

                    https://www.smoking-meat.com/wet-brining-vs-dry-brining

                     

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