Fried Chicken > Can I use egg instead of buttermilk for fried chicken

Can I Use Egg Instead of Buttermilk for Fried Chicken?

Fried chicken is a beloved comfort food in many parts of the world. Getting that perfect crunchy yet juicy fried chicken requires just a few key ingredients – chicken, flour, and buttermilk. The buttermilk is essential for getting the right texture on the fried chicken. But what if you don’t have buttermilk on hand? Can you use egg instead?

Can I Use Egg Instead of Buttermilk for Fried Chicken?

Yes, you can absolutely use egg instead of buttermilk when making fried chicken. The egg will serve as an excellent substitute and provide very comparable results in terms of taste, texture, and crunchiness.

The key benefit to using egg is that it contains protein that will bind the flour coating to the chicken similarly to how buttermilk does. When frying chicken that has been dipped in egg and then dredged in flour, the egg protein will help adhere the flour tightly to the meat. This gives you the light, crispy and crunchy crust you want in great fried chicken.

To substitute the egg for buttermilk, simply beat 1-2 eggs in a shallow bowl. Make sure the eggs are well-whisked and smooth. Then dip each chicken piece in the whipped eggs, coating all sides. Let any excess egg drip off, then transfer the chicken directly into the flour mixture. Press the flour onto the egg-coated chicken to get a nice even coating.

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Once floured, you can proceed to fry the chicken as you normally would. The egg will seal the flour to the chicken just like buttermilk does. As it fries, you’ll get that ideal crispy exterior locking in all the hot juicy flavor inside. The taste will be delicious and very similar to using buttermilk.

So in summary, yes – substituting egg for buttermilk is an easy and extremely effective way to make scrumptious southern-style fried chicken, even if you don’t have buttermilk on hand. The egg produces nearly identical results in terms of crunchy breading and moist, tasty chicken.

Does fried chicken need buttermilk?

No, buttermilk is not an essential requirement for making fried chicken. Though it’s the traditional ingredient used, buttermilk merely serves to help the flour stick to the chicken and give a tangy flavor. There are other common kitchen ingredients that can provide the same as adherence and moisture, such as egg, yogurt, broth, etc. So don’t worry if you lack buttermilk – your fried chicken will still turn out delicious.

Using Egg as a Buttermilk Substitute

The good news is that egg makes an excellent buttermilk substitute when making fried chicken. Eggs work similarly to buttermilk to help the flour coating adhere to the chicken. The protein in the egg binds the flour to the meat, creating that crispy exterior when fried.

To substitute the egg for buttermilk, simply beat 1 or 2 eggs in a shallow bowl. Then dip the chicken pieces in the egg wash before dredging them in the flour mixture. Make sure the chicken is fully coated in the egg for maximum crunchy results.

The egg will provide a very comparable result to using traditional buttermilk. The chicken will become crispy and golden brown when fried. The interior will remain moist and juicy.

Which is better for fried chicken, egg or buttermilk?

Overall, buttermilk produces a slightly superior result – an extra crispy exterior, tangy flavor, and super moist chicken. However, the egg makes an excellent stand-in and also yields delicious, crunchy fried chicken. It’s more convenient as eggs are common to have on hand. Either buttermilk or egg will let you make heavenly fried chicken. Here’s a quick comparison:

Buttermilk Pros:

    • Very tender and juicy chicken
    • Provides a tangy flavor
    • Creates a crispier crust

Egg Pros:

    • Bind the flour well for a crunchy coating
    • Often more convenient – eggs are more commonly on hand
    • Imparts rich, eggy flavor

For ideal fried chicken, buttermilk is slightly preferable. It produces an extra crispy crust and adds a pleasant tang. However, egg creates very respectable fried chicken too. So if you don’t have buttermilk, egg is an excellent plan B.

Fried Chicken Without Buttermilk – Other Substitutes

Aside from egg, there are a couple of other common ingredients you can use in place of buttermilk:

    • Plain yogurt – The yogurt mimics the acidity of buttermilk for juicy meat and a crunchy coating.
    • Milk – Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to curdle. The acidity helps the flour stick.
    • Chicken broth – Offers savory flavor and moisture for the chicken.

While egg and buttermilk work best, in a pinch you can get decent results with any of the above substitutes. Don’t let a lack of buttermilk stop you from enjoying crispy homemade fried chicken.

Can you make fried chicken without buttermilk?

Yes, you absolutely can make delicious fried chicken without using buttermilk. While buttermilk is commonly used, there are several excellent substitutes that allow you to get very similar results in terms of juicy, tender chicken and a light, crunchy crust. Some of the best options are beaten egg, plain yogurt, curdled milk, or even just using plain old milk. Any of these will still let you achieve tasty homemade fried chicken.

Can I use buttermilk instead of egg to coat chicken?

No, you cannot substitute buttermilk for egg when breading chicken. The egg provides the protein and binding qualities needed for the flour to adhere and get crispy. Buttermilk on its own will not effectively coat the chicken.

Which is better for frying chicken – buttermilk or egg?

Buttermilk is considered slightly better, as it produces an extra crispy crust and adds a tangy flavor. However, egg also works very well and yields delicious, crunchy fried chicken. It offers a convenient substitution when you don’t have buttermilk.

What can I use if I don’t have buttermilk for fried chicken?

If you don’t have buttermilk, some easy substitutions are:

    • Beaten egg
    • Plain yogurt
    • Milk curdled with lemon juice/vinegar
    • Regular milk
    • Chicken broth

Any of these will still let you make flavorful, crunchy fried chicken without buttermilk. Egg is the closest replacement for binding the flour like buttermilk. But yogurt, curdled milk, broth, or plain milk will also get the job done deliciously.

Can I use egg and buttermilk together to make the best fried chicken?

Yes, using both egg and buttermilk is an excellent way to make superior fried chicken. The buttermilk marinated the chicken, while the egg provided a binding agent for the crispiest coating. Using both yields incredibly juicy, crunchy fried chicken.

Do I need buttermilk for fried chicken?

Buttermilk is not needed to make great tasting fried chicken. While it adds a signature tang and crunch, fried chicken can certainly be prepared without buttermilk. You can easily substitute egg, plain yogurt, curdled milk, broth, or even regular milk as your wet ingredient for breading the chicken. These all allow the flour to adhere and the chicken to fry up crispy and juicy. Don’t let a lack of buttermilk deter you from enjoying yummy homemade fried chicken.


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