Fried Chicken > Can you reuse flour for fried chicken

Can You Reuse Flour for Fried Chicken?

Fried chicken is a delicious, crispy treat that many people love. However, frying chicken can go through a lot of flour for dredging. Some home cooks wonder if it’s possible to reuse leftover flour from a previous frying session to save money and reduce waste. Here’s what you need to know about reusing flour for fried chicken.

Can You Reuse Flour for Fried Chicken?

Yes, you can reuse flour that has already been used for dredging chicken to fry another batch, but there are some caveats. The reused flour should be stored properly – in an airtight container in a cool, dry place – and used within 4 months for best quality and safety. Flour absorbs moisture, so sealing it up tightly prevents mold growth and bacterial contamination.

Before reusing flour that coated raw chicken, it should be baked at 300F for 10-15 minutes to ensure any bacteria from the raw chicken is killed. Otherwise, you risk cross-contamination. Only reuse flour a maximum of 1-2 times. The more it is reused, the less effective it becomes at adhering to the chicken and forming a crispy coating. The flour loses its potency to coat and fry optimally.

Related post: Can you reheat Kentucky fried chicken?

Check that reused flour does not smell odd or rancid before using. Any sign of spoilage means it should be discarded and fresh flour used. Rancid flour can impart unpleasant flavors. When dredging chicken in reused flour, some cooks recommend sifting it first to remove any clumps and evenly redistribute the oil and seasonings. This helps the coating stick better.

Letting floured chicken sit out too long before frying will cause the coating to become gummy and slide off. Fry immediately after dredging for the crispiest results when using reused flour. The nominal cost of new flour with each fry is worth it for optimal texture and taste. Reusing flour just 1-2 times can help reduce waste without sacrificing too much quality.

How Long Can You Save Used Flour?

In general, flour that has been used for dredging can be saved and reused for up to 4 months if stored properly. Here are some tips for storing used flour:

    • Let the flour fully cool after frying before storing it. Warm, moist flour will grow bacteria faster.
    • Store the flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. The fridge or freezer helps prevent moisture buildup.
    • If the flour was used with raw chicken, bake it for 10-15 minutes at 300°F first to kill bacteria before reusing.
    • If the flour smells odd or rancid, throw it out and use fresh flour.

Reusing flour for an extended period is not recommended for people with compromised immune systems. For maximum safety and quality, limit reusing flour to 1-2 times only.

Why Does Flour Fall Off When Frying?

There are a few reasons why flour can fall off chicken when frying:

    • Not dredging properly – The flour coating needs to fully adhere to the chicken. Dredge in flour, dip in buttermilk or egg, then dredge in flour again.
    • Too much time between dredging and frying – Letting chicken sit too long after dredging causes the coating to loosen. Fry immediately after breading.
    • Too much flour used – Packing on extremely thick flour creates a loose coating. Use just enough to coat the chicken.
    • Old or stale flour – Flour that is past its prime doesn’t adhere as well. Use fresh flour each time for best results.

Should You Let Floured Chicken Rest Before Frying?

It’s best not to let floured chicken rest or sit before frying. Letting it sit will cause the flour to absorb moisture from the chicken, get gummy and slide off. For crispiest results, fry the chicken immediately after dredging in the flour coating. If you must let it sit, do so for no more than 5-10 minutes and keep floured chicken in the refrigerator.

Can You Use Dredging Flour for Gravy?

Yes, the leftover flour from dredging chicken can be repurposed to use for making gravy. Add the oil or pan drippings to the flour to create a smooth roux. Just be sure to use flour that was kept sanitary and has not gone rancid. Flour used to coat raw chicken should always be baked first before using it for gravy.

The bottom line is that flour can be reused for frying multiple batches of chicken if it’s stored properly in between. Follow basic food safety guidelines, look for signs of spoilage, and limit reuse to 1-2 times only. With the proper technique and care, reusing flour is an easy way to save money and avoid waste in the kitchen.

FAQs
How do you know if reused flour has gone bad?

Signs of spoiled reused flour include an off smell, rancid odor, visible mold, or a change in texture and color. Discard immediately if expired.

Can you reuse flour after breading fish?

Yes, the same flour can be reused for breading fish and chicken. Store properly between uses.

Is it safe to use flour dredging multiple times?

It’s best to limit reusing flour to 1-2 times maximum for food safety. Discard old flour after a couple uses.

Should you sift reused flour before frying?

Sifting is a good idea to remove any clumps in stored flour before dredging more chicken. It helps distribute the oil and seasoning evenly.

 

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