The satisfying, toothsome crunch of a crispy, home fried chicken wing is incomparable on game day or for any other gathering of friends and family.
However, if you want to deep fry mouthwatering chicken at home correctly, it requires that you possess the best tools to get the job done right!
Importantly, I include tools to fry food with and without an electric countertop deep-fryer.
You can ignore getting the first and third items if you want to go that route.
If you’re choosing to take a more rustic approach to frying chicken at home, then kudos to you! You’ll need a heavy-duty pot that can handle the intense heat required to fry crispy chicken on your stove top.
Importantly, since we’ll be frying for an extended duration, like when double-frying chicken, we’ll want to use a non-reactive pot so we don’t pollute our oil.
Moreover, we want our pot to be high-walled and to hold heat well, because cleanup can take forever when you splatter oil all over the kitchen (not to mention the dangers of grease fires).
For starters, you need to know that neutral oils are preferred to non-neutral oils for frying because they don’t impart flavor to your chicken. For a list of oils to use and not to use, see the below table.
Oils to Use and Not to Use
All you have to do is make sure you don’t use an oil with a low smoke point (trust me on this, your house will reek and all of your fire alarms will go off, guaranteed).
All of the oils listed in the “Use” row above should be fine to use. Just beware if you are getting up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, because some of them may not be good for temperatures that high.
Skimmer (Spider Strainer)
After scalding your hand on fiery droplets of burning hot oil, you’ll wish you had purchased a skimmer, also known as a spider strainer, to facilitate the inserting and removing process for your chicken.
If I have a biggest mistake, it’s not having purchased one of these sooner.
They keep your hands far out of reach of the splattering oil, while providing a sieve-like escape route for the oil.
This not only allows your chicken to drain better, letting them dry to a crispier crunch. But it also protects you from dropping your chicken in when inserting it into the oil.
All in all, spider strainers are not to be slept on.
Moreover, you can use it like a regular strainer as well!
Meat and Oil Thermometer
Another quality addition to any home chef’s repertoire of goodies, a thermometer that can accurately tell the temperature of both your meat and your oil will suit you well in your fried chicken endeavors.
Not only will this thermometer keep your chicken crunchier by helping maintain your oil at a consistent temperature.
But, it will also prevent you from over, or more dangerously, under cooking you chicken!
Chicken is safe to eat at an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. So get yourself a meat thermometer that can keep you and your loved ones safe!
I personally use the ThermoPro TP03 Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer. I highly recommend it, as I’ve never had any problems with it.
It’s instant read, plus, it even has magnets so you can stick it on most metal surfaces when you aren’t using it to save counter space.
However, you can use other thermometers just as well. Here are a couple you should check out if the ThermoPro TP03 isn’t for you.
Wire Cooling Rack
When you pull your chicken out of the oil, you’re going to need somewhere to place it where it can dry out, cool down, and drip off it’s excess oil.
The best place to do this is on a wire cooling rack placed above some absorbent paper towels on top of a baking sheet.
You can get paper towels at any convenience store. Also, absolutely do not try to use a kitchen towel to catch the grease drippings unless you want to buy new linens.
The hot grease will destroy your nice towels.
Not so common, however, the cooling rack has to have a special grid formation which allows the grease to drip out, resulting in even crispier chicken.
Air flow underneath the chicken and grease dripping off the chicken prevents sogginess. Not to mention the added benefit of cooling it down before you scald your mouth!
A highly underestimated purchase, I highly recommend buying a wire rack. Plus, it’s useful for other things, like baking, as well!
Just make sure you get one that fits the size of your baking sheet!
In order to ensure the cleanliness of your deep frying process, you’ll want to use more than just paper towels on your countertop.
That’s why I recommend procuring a baking sheet which you can line with paper towels before placing your wire rack atop of both items.
Believe me when I say that you’ll end up with a better end product with less hassle when you use a baking sheet for cleanup!
Stainless Steel Nested Mixing Bowls
Perhaps the most versatile item in any home chef’s arsenal is a quality set of stainless steel cooking bowls.
Not only can you use it to mix various concoctions in, but it acts as a saucing bowl, a storage container and much more.
Plus, they’re hearty as they come, and you won’t have to worry about damaging the strong stainless steel.
Lastly, when you go to mix your chicken in your favorite wing sauce, you’ll want one of these bowls handy because they make the job quick, easy, and clean.