It’s pretty likely that you have some frozen chicken in your freezer right now – I know I do! Chicken is a super versatile food that’s tasty in every cuisine and is widely liked, even for picky kids.
Unfortunately though, chicken doesn’t last too long in the fridge. To make matters worse, you usually get packages that are too big to eat all of it before the chicken goes bad. So what do you do with all of the chicken you can’t eat? You freeze it of course!
Just as frozen chicken in your freezer is common, so too is the need to defrost it. But now with our lives being so busy, you may not have the time to defrost the chicken, or you just simply forgot. But, no worries! If you’re hoping to deep fry your frozen chicken and you’re wondering if it’s safe, I have the answer for you!
Is it Safe to Deep Fry Frozen Chicken?
Yes! It’s safe to deep fry frozen chicken, but it also depends. There are some instances in which it’s advised to not deep fry frozen chicken at home – like if it’s a whole large chicken.
If you have deep-fried something before, you’re probably pretty familiar with the splatter of the oil and this is what can be dangerous about deep frying a frozen chicken.
The oil splatter can get very violent, depending on how much ice and water content there is. If you’ve seen a small drop of water react with oil on a hot pan, then you can only imagine what it would be like with lots of ice and moisture on a whole chicken being dropped into the oil.
This is why sometimes, sadly, people’s homes are damaged or burned down. They attempt to deep fry large pieces of meat without knowing how to properly do it.
While deep frying chicken can pose a threat in the form of damage to your home, or skin (oil burns), you can also get sick.
If you don’t cook chicken thoroughly then it’s very possible to get salmonella from undercooked chicken. This is particularly possible when you are cooking larger pieces of chicken.
Safety Precautions You Must Take
While you should be cautious, you don’t need to be deathly frightened at the prospect of burning down your house.
These instances usually only happen because people do many things wrong and they’re not prepared for the oil reactions and they also don’t take any precautions as well.
So, to bring some peace of mind, you should make sure that you take safety precautions. Here are some guidelines to follow to keep you and your kitchen safe.
- Make sure to use the right oil. Not all oils are equal when it comes to deep-frying. The lower the smoke point then the easier it is for an oil fire to start. I recommend using a vegetable oil that has a high smoke point like canola oil or sunflower oil. Olive oil has a low smoke point, so it’s not recommended. I personally like to use canola oil. It has the lowest saturated fat, it’s cheap, and the smoke point is quite high.
- Cook the chicken at the right temperature. You don’t want to cook it too hot as it could surpass the smoke point of the oil and also overcook the chicken. You should aim to for about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove as much ice and water from the skin of the chicken as possible. Water is what causes the violent reaction in the oil so you should remove any residual ice crystals on the chicken before frying it.
- Don’t use too much oil. You should plan on it doubling in volume with bubbles and steam that can be dangerous if it overflows. So you should fill whatever you are cooking in, only about halfway with oil.
- Cook the chicken long enough. A meat thermometer is important when deep-frying frozen chicken because if you don’t cook it all the way through then you are at risk for salmonella.
Can You Deep Fry Frozen Chicken Wings?
Yes! You can certainly deep fry frozen chicken wings. It’s my favorite way to cook them actually! I try to keep a bag of frozen wings in my freezer at all times. They’re great for a snack, as a part of a whole meal, for sports games, you name it, chicken wings are great! They’re super convenient to deep fry as well.
I would only recommend not deep frying frozen wings if you’re worried about eating too much oil. Otherwise, you should deep fry frozen chicken wings to your heart’s desire!
As I said before, it’s super easy and convenient to deep fry frozen chicken wings, you just need a small bit of preparation before. Let’s check out how to deep fry frozen chicken wings.
- Fill your fryer, pot, or dutch oven with oil. Don’t overfill it, and allow for some expansion and to not overflow. And remember to use a recommended deep-frying oil!
- Preheat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare a wire rack that can allow for oil drippings. You will place the cooked wings on it after they’re done cooking to allow residual oil to drip off.
- Remove the chicken wings from the freezer and try to separate them to allow for even cooking.
- Remove any ice particles that you can. It’s more common if they’ve been in the freezer for a longer period of time.
- Fry the frozen chicken wings for an appropriate amount of time to allow for thorough cooking. There may be instructions for how long to deep fry them on the package. But if there isn’t then you can expect frozen chicken wings to take about 15-20 minutes to fully cook. Which is about 50% to double the amount of time if they’re defrosted (raw).
- Take the chicken wings out of the fryer and place them on the wire rack, allowing the excess oil to drain.
- Don’t overfill the deep-fryer! I’ve already mentioned not using too much oil but you should also not put too many chicken wings in at the same time. It’s dangerous for multiple reasons. If you put too many chicken wings in at the same time you can cause the oil to overflow, which can start a fire. Or, it can cause uneven and/or undercooked meat. Because the wings are frozen it can dramatically lower the temperature of the oil.
- If you don’t have a meat thermometer you can check to see if the wings are done by checking the color of the meat or poking it. When you check the color, it should be the creamy white color that you expect from cooked chicken. If there are any pink, gelatinous, or see-through parts that it means that the meat is not yet cooked. Alternatively, by poking it you can check the color of the juices. If there are red or pink juices, then the chicken wings aren’t finished yet. A clear juice signifies that the wings are done.
Can You Deep Fry Frozen Chicken Nuggets?
Another classic freezer staple and children’s favorite are chicken nuggets. While baking may be a classic way to prepare them, you can boost the flavor and texture and get restaurant-style chicken nuggets by deep-frying them. And yes! You can deep fry frozen chicken nuggets.
The process of deep frying frozen chicken nuggets is quite similar to chicken wings. Except you’ll notice that it doesn’t take quite as long. This is because they’re usually not as thick as chicken wings. So here’s how you do it.
- Add a recommended deep-frying oil to your fryer – but of course, not too much. And like wings, I recommend using canola oil for deep frying chicken nuggets.
- Preheat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare a wire rack to place the cooked nuggets to let the oil drip off. Alternatively, you can place them on a plate covered with paper towels.
- Remove the frozen chicken nuggets from the freezer and remove them from the package and separate any that are stuck together, and also brush off excess ice.
- Fry the frozen chicken nuggets. Depending on how many you put in the fryer will determine exactly how long. But it can take between 6-10 minutes. They should be cooked until they have a golden brown color and the inside temperature of the nuggets is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them to drain the excess oil.
- Enjoy your chicken nuggets! Serve them with fries and your favorite dipping sauce!