Fried Chicken > How Long Does Fried Chicken Take to Cook?

How Long Does Fried Chicken Take to Cook?

Fried chicken is a beloved comfort food enjoyed around the world. When prepared properly, fried chicken has a crispy, crunchy exterior coating surrounding juicy, tender meat. Getting that ideal texture requires frying the chicken for the right amount of time.

Factors That Affect Fried Chicken Cook Times

Several key factors impact how long you need to fry the chicken:

    • Size of the chicken pieces – Smaller cuts like chicken tenders or nuggets fry faster than larger pieces like bone-in chicken thighs.
    • Temperature of the oil – The oil needs to maintain a temperature between 350-375°F. Hotter oil will cook the chicken faster.
    • Breading – Chicken coated in a wet batter followed by breadcrumbs will take longer to fry compared to plain chicken dredged in flour. The extra batter adds time.
    • Amount of chicken – Frying a few pieces at a time enables the oil to reheat faster compared to overloaded batches which will increase cook time.
    • Bone-in vs boneless – Chicken cooked on the bone takes longer than boneless pieces.

Related post: How long do you fry chicken in a deep fryer?

Average Fried Chicken Cook Times

Here are general guidelines for how long different cuts of chicken need to fry:

    • Chicken tenders or nuggets: 2-5 minutes
    • Boneless chicken breasts or thighs: 6-8 minutes
    • Bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks: 12-15 minutes
    • Whole chicken cut up: 15-18 minutes
    • Whole chicken: 45-60 minutes

The best way to test doneness is by using a meat thermometer. Chicken is safe to eat once it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, look for the exterior to turn golden brown and the meat near the bone to start separating.

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Fried Chicken

Let chicken pieces sit for 5-10 minutes after breading to allow the coating to adhere.

    • Use a thermometer to verify the oil temperature before frying.
    • Work in batches and don’t overcrowd the pan.
    • Flip the chicken halfway during cooking.
    • Check temperature and color before removing the chicken.
    • Let chicken drain on a wire rack or paper towel after frying.

So, How long does it take to fry a piece of chicken?

The frying time can vary quite a bit depending on the size and cut of the chicken. Smaller boneless pieces like nuggets or tenders may only take 2-5 minutes to fry since there is less meat to cook through.

For bone-in cuts like drums or thighs, you typically need 12-15 minutes to get the meat fully cooked with a crispy crust. Larger pieces like a whole cut up frying chicken could take 15-18 minutes depending on thickness. Be sure to use an instant-read thermometer to check doneness – the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Is 8 minutes enough to fry chicken?

For small boneless cuts of chicken like nuggets or tenders, 8 minutes is often sufficient. The breading will become crispy and golden brown while the meat cooks through in that short time. However, bone-in chicken parts or larger pieces may need a minute or two longer, up to 10-12 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer before removing chicken from the oil.

Is 10 minutes enough to fry chicken?

Ten minutes should be adequate frying time for boneless thighs, thinner chicken breast cutlets, or smaller nuggets or strips. Thick bone-in pieces like a chicken thigh or drumstick would likely need 12-15 minutes for the meat near the bone to fully cook through to 165°F. For best results, use an instant-read thermometer to test doneness instead of solely relying on cook time.

How can you tell when chicken is done frying?

The best way to determine doneness is by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken to check it has reached 165°F. Also look for an exterior coating that is crispy and deep golden brown. The meat around the bones should start separating a bit when fully cooked. Let the chicken drain briefly then check for juicy meat when you bite into it. Use both visual cues and temperature to determine when fried chicken is ready.


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