Deep Fry Whole Chicken: What To Do… and What NOT To Do!

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Looking to deep fry whole chicken? Doing so isn’t hard though it may seem like a daunting task at first. However, with just a little know-how and the right tools, you can create a marvelous deep-fried whole chicken that is sure to beckon those you love to the dinner table.

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Join us as we explore how to deep fry whole chicken the quick and easy way.

Deep Fry Whole Chicken: What To Do… And What Not To Do!

Table of Contents

How to Deep Fry a Whole Chicken

You may want to deep fry more than just chicken breasts. Deep frying a whole chicken isn’t as hard as it seems.

You do need a few tools, however, to keep this task from turning into a catastrophe. Therefore, we recommend that you purchase a turkey fryer and a meat thermometer.

Both of these pieces of equipment will help you achieve perfectly fried chicken in only a short amount of time.

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Note: If you don’t have a turkey fryer, don’t panic. But do seek to use a pot big enough to submerge your entire chicken in with plenty of room remaining at the top.

If you put the chicken into a pot that is too small for frying, your oil won’t reach the top of the chicken which will cause parts of your chicken to be underdone.

Moreover, by filling your pot with oil too close to the brim, you are risking your oil splattering or overflowing onto your hot surface while cooking which is extremely dangerous.

You will also want to have a fryer basket so that you can safely lower and remove your chicken from the hot oil. This is a must to safely fry a whole chicken.

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Deep Fry Whole Chicken: What To Do… And What Not To Do!

Crispy Deep Fried Whole Chicken

Now, let’s get down to how you can fry your whole chicken! The general recipe and procedure will be the same whether you choose to fry your chicken inside or outside.

However, the equipment used when doing so may change a bit.

We will detail more information about how to fry your whole chicken indoors without a turkey fryer in the next segment. But for now, let’s dive into the general recipe for frying a whole chicken.

Equipment Needed


  • Whole Chicken
  • Peanut Oil, Vegetable Oil, or Canola Oil
  • 2 Cups Italian Dressing
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Additional Dried Herbs (optional)
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Deep Frying a Whole Chicken

Prep chicken and oil

Start with a thawed whole chicken. Submerge your chicken in your turkey fryer (or very large pot) and fill the pot with water until it reaches a couple of inches over your chicken with a few inches still remaining between the water and the brim. Then, remove the chicken and mark the water level. This will be the level of your oil.


Place your chicken to the side and pat it completely dry (allowing the chicken to remain wet will cause oil to splatter excessively when frying and also will lead to soggy skin rather than crispy skin when frying ). Pour out the water and dry the pot thoroughly.

Heat oil

Now it is time to heat your oil. Carefully pour oil into your pot until it reaches the level you marked with the water after the chicken had been removed. Heat the oil until the oil reaches about 350 °F to 360 °F.

Clean chicken

In the meantime, prepare your chicken by first ensuring that it is completely dry. Then, remove all of the innards (giblets and more) if you haven’t already done so to ensure uninterrupted flow from inside the bird on through the neck of the bird. There should be no obstructions to the neck of the bird; the neck hole should be empty. Trim away any fat or excess skin that is undesirable to you.

Season chicken

Once your bird is prepared, it is time to season it. To do this, take the aforementioned seasonings and combine them with the Italian dressing. Spread this over your entire bird and let sit for about 10-30 minutes. The longer the marinating time, the better. You may also marinate your bird overnight if you wish.

Cook chicken

After you’ve seasoned your whole chicken, go ahead and begin the frying process. Assuming that your oil is ready, go ahead and load your chicken into the frying basket, and carefully place the chicken into the oil. Leave it there according to your turkey fryer’s operating instructions and the size of your chicken. Generally speaking, it will take anywhere from 7-9 minutes per pound to fry a whole chicken completely. Therefore, you can expect a 3-pound whole chicken to take about 25 minutes to cook. 

Determine done-ness

After cooking time is complete, go ahead and lift your fried whole chicken out of the oil with your frying basket. Use a meat thermometer to determine doneness, but be sure to steer clear of the bone when doing so. The internal temperature should register anywhere between 165 °F and 180 °F. If your chicken doesn’t register at between 165-180 °F you’ll need to resubmerge the chicken in oil and allow it to keep cooking. Never consume raw or undercooked whole chicken

Sit and carve

Allow the chicken to sit to rest a bit before carving. 

Deep Fry Whole Chicken: What To Do… And What Not To Do!

Deep-Fry Whole Chicken on Stove

To deep fry whole chicken on the stove, follow the same method detailed above but ensure to use a deep pot and frying basket instead of a turkey fryer. Take care to ensure that your frying basket fits in your pot, as well as that the pot is deep enough to hold your oil with the chicken in it, as well as leave a few inches at the top to spare to prevent spillage while frying.

To ensure that your oil is deep enough, use the water method detailed in the above segment to submerge your chicken so that there is no guessing how much oil you need.

From there, follow the same method you would use with a turkey fryer, but ensure that your oil is hot enough (but not too hot, as this can cause a fire) before frying your whole chicken.

Remember, the target temperature for your oil is between 350-360 °F. You can achieve this by placing your oil on medium or medium-low heat until it reaches the desired temperature. And always supervise your oil while heating!

Deep Fry Whole Chicken Outdoors

Deep frying a whole chicken outdoors is a rugged experience that has many benefits.

By frying outside, you aren’t worrying about frying in the heat of your kitchen, especially if it’s already nice outside.

In addition, you won’t have to worry about smells of hot oil emulating around the house. Or potentially spilling hot oil (which is very dangerous) all over your kitchen stove.

To deep fry chicken outdoors, you’ll want to use the turkey fryer we mentioned earlier.

A turkey fryer allows you to submerge your chicken in hot oil safely to be cooked quickly and easily. Moreover, a turkey fryer already comes with a fryer basket, so this makes lowering and removing your fried whole chicken that much easier.

Deep Fry Whole Chicken: What To Do… And What Not To Do!

Deep Fry Whole Chicken: Details

Deep Fry Whole Chicken Time

The amount of time it takes to deep fry a whole chicken will be about 7-9 minutes per pound, with a three pound chicken taking about 25 minutes to cook through fully.

Deep Fry Whole Chicken Temperature

Ensure that your oil is at 350-360 °F before frying. You want your chicken’s internal temperature to reach 165-180 °F before being considered safe to eat.

Deep Fry Whole Chicken: Simpler Than You Think!

Deep frying a whole chicken does take a little know-how but it isn’t nearly as difficult as some might think. You simply need the right tools and to follow a few extra steps to ensure that your whole chicken is not only safe to eat, but is also deliciously crispy and juicy as well.

If you want an alternative way to cook your entire chicken, you can try this smoked whole chicken recipe!

I hope this has helped!

Want more chicken? Thought so…


How to deep fry a whole chicken without oil?

Typically you can deep fry food without oil in an air fryer, however, it is never recommended that you air fry whole chicken in an air fryer. The results will be unevenly cooked meat and you run the risk of consuming raw meat when you choose this cooking method. 

How long does it take to fry whole chicken?

A whole chicken will take about 25-30 minutes to fry at 3-4 pounds, with frying times being about 6-8 minutes per pound. This assumes you are frying at an oil temperature of around 350-360 °F.

How long to deep fry a whole chicken at 350?

It will take about 25 minutes for a 3lb whole chicken at this temperature. 

How long does it take to deep fry a 6lb chicken?

It may take about 1 hour to deep fry a whole chicken this big. Be sure to use an internal meat thermometer to check for doneness. Otherwise, you will need to resubmerge your meat.

How long to deep fry a whole chicken in peanut oil?

Cooking times shouldn’t change with the type of oil used. Therefore, it should only take about 25 minutes for 3 lb whole chicken.

How long to deep fry whole chicken legs with batter?

Most whole chickens will take 7-9 minutes per pound whether they are battered or not. 

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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