How to Deep-fry Whole Chicken in Peanut Oil

Everybody loves chicken. No matter how it’s cooked, we can’t resist a good piece of chicken recipe. But nobody can deny that fried chicken is one of the best and tastiest chicken dishes of all time. If you have the resources, you can deep-fry too. Deep-frying a whole chicken is different from deep-frying separate small parts. With a whole chicken, it becomes an exciting event as you watch it cook fully submerged into the hot oil. Ever wonder how to deep-fry whole chicken in peanut oil? Know in this article.

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A whole chicken or turkey deep-fried in a large container is always a spectacular way of cooking. It’s different from traditional frying as you need a large cast iron container that can take up more than 375°F. Deep-frying has increased in popularity over the years. As long as you have the equipment, you don’t have to go to fast food chains anymore.


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Why Peanut Oil?

Using the right oil for deep-frying is a crucial task. You don’t want an oil that is easily burnt, or you will need to add another batch from time to time. This is also called oil having a low smoke point. An example of this is the extra virgin olive oil. When it comes to frying, it isn’t advisable to use it as it gets quickly burnt starting at 350°F.


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Vegetable oils having a high smoking point and monounsaturated are right choices when deep-frying. Oils like avocado oil, coconut oil, peanut oil and many others are the top choices. For this article, we will focus on peanut oil. Peanut oil has a smoking point of 446°F and has a neutral taste. An oil like extra virgin coconut oil can degrade in its flavor quality when it’s oxidized from the high heat. Peanut oil also has its benefits as it can be reused after deep-frying the whole chicken as it doesn’t absorb flavor from the previous dish. It is also one of the healthiest oils as it contains antioxidants, vitamin E, and other compounds good for the heart.

What happens when you use oils that are polyunsaturated like corn oil, canola oil, sesame oil, etc.? They’re not healthy choices when you do deep-frying because, at high temperatures, these oils oxidize large amounts of fatty acids especially trans fats, and other harmful compounds.

Deep-frying at hot temperature with a good oil keeps the outside of the whole chicken crispy, but the inside will surely be moist and tasty!

The Right Equipment and Tools to Use

  • Turkey Fryers

In deep-frying, people typically use turkey fryers. They are of two types: propane turkey fryers and electric-powered turkey fryers. There a few similarities and differences but at the end of the day, it depends on you, the consumer on what you will buy that suits your preferences.

First off is the energy source. As the names explicitly say, the first one is for propane, and the other one is electric-powered. You have the choice to control the temperature with the built-in gauge if you choose the latter, and it also has a timer. Next is the location where it’s more apt to use. For propane turkey fryers, they are conventionally used outdoors as they come gigantic, up to 40 quarts. As for the electric-powered turkey fryers, you can either do with outdoors or indoors as the size is smaller, up to 28 quarts.

As for the heating of the oil, with propane fryer, the oil heats up at least 30 minutes. The electric-powered one takes longer, some models at a minimum of one hour.

But for your safety, as we’re dealing with a lot of hot oil, it’s better to do the deep-frying outside where there are no combustible things around that can catch fire. You can use an extension cord if the turkey fryer uses electricity. Of course, this also gives you ample room to take cover when the oil splashes out. You should have a fire extinguisher ready should there be any mishaps. Remember that once you have turned on the turkey fryer, you should not leave it unattended until you finish cooking.

  • Deep-Fry Thermometer

This is a thermometer that is used to measure the temperature of the oil. It is designed to be long so you can submerge the bulb into the boiling oil. This is only applicable for propane turkey fryers.

  • Instant Read Thermometer

This is a thermometer when you want to check if the chicken is thoroughly cooked inside. The ideal temperature for the inside is 165°F to 180°F.

  • Flavor Syringe

As the name says, if you want to inject marinade or any flavoring into the chicken, you can do so with the syringe. You may want to inject the parts that can handle flavor more appropriately like the thighs, legs, wings, and breast.

  • Apron and Oven Mitts

Of course for safety reasons as you’re in front of boiling oil, avoid splattering to your body with an apron.  The oven mitts will be handy as you can’t touch a piping hot turkey fryer with bare hands.

Preparation Before the Execution

First, pick your chicken at your local meat shop. The chicken that you want to deep-fry should be a good-looking one. If you have it refrigerated, completely thaw the chicken first. There should be no ice crystals inside the cavity once you start cooking, as water reacts violently with hot oil causing splattering. Also, it may result to half-cooked insides of the chicken.


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Next, you will want to measure how much oil you are going to pour into the turkey fryer. The amount of oil must depend on the size of the chicken. You don’t want the oil to be close to the lid because as you lower the chicken, the liquid may overflow that might result to fire accidents. Then, if the oil is too small, the chicken will not properly cook. The solution to this is to place the chicken in the turkey fryer first. Never turn on anything! As the chicken is fully seated inside, pour tepid water until the chicken is fully submerged in water about 2 to 2 1/2 inches above the chicken body. Mark the line where the water is and take note to pour peanut oil up to this line when you start.


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After the submersion of the chicken in the water, dry it first. You can use paper towels to speed up the process. Remember also to pat the inside cavity dry. Now, you will prepare the chicken as if you’re roasting it. Tie the legs closer. Remove neck and giblets. Remove any unsightly fat that you see, and clean the cavity thoroughly. It’s also advisable that you cut the skin open where the thigh meets the breast. This is to avoid the sudden release moisture while cooking.


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Next step is applying the flavorings and seasonings. As soon as the chicken is dry, season the chicken with herb and spices that you prefer such as salt, pepper, paprika, etc. Rub the seasonings inside and outside. You should do this a lot of times to make the chicken absorb the flavorings deeper and not only the outer layer. If you want to inject the flavors, puncture holes spreading the whole chicken. This step is to ensure that the flavors aren’t stocked up in only one place.


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However, you can ignore the rubbing of seasonings if you want it to be plain. Deep-fried unflavored chicken is not a bad idea.

The last step for the preparation stage is the heating of the oil. Heat the turkey fryer first to thoroughly dry it from water that was used to measure the line. Then, you can now pour the peanut oil into the vessel. Pour the exact amount of oil that you did so earlier with the water. After that, cover the turkey fryer with a lid and wait until it boils.


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After 30 minutes or so until it reaches the optimum temperature of 350°F to 375°F or more, depending on what turkey fryer you are using, next step is to submerge the chicken to let it deep-fry. Prepare to lower the chicken through a basket or skewers. For the latter method, you must secure the chicken with the hooks so that there wouldn’t be mistakes such as oil splattering when the grip of the hook isn’t tight.

Now, depending on what turkey fryer you’re using is the method of lowering the chicken. First, for the propane turkey fryers, the burner should be turned off. Now, you can slowly reduce the chicken until it sits just right on the bottom of the container. After doing so, you immediately turn on the burner to start the cooking. For electric-powered turkey fryers, set the temperature at 375°F from the control gauge. You can now slowly lower the chicken until it is fully submerged. Cover the lid and time the cook.

The cooking time of the chicken depends on its weight. As you already know the weight of the chicken from purchase, calculate the time needed to complete the cooking process. The formula to use is 4-5 minutes per pound weight of the chicken. Never let the oil’s temperature lesser than 350°F.

Once the cooking time is up, bring the chicken up. Let the oil drain completely and then you can place the chicken on a surface. With your thermometer, check the inside temperature of the chicken so you know if it’s cooked. The ideal temperature is from 165°F to 180°F for the breast and thigh parts. If it’s lacking, let the chicken back into the turkey fryer.

Before consuming, let the chicken sit at room temperature from 10 to 20 minutes. Cut up into small pieces and get ready to enjoy your best-tasting deep-fried whole chicken.

Saving the Oil

Of course, it’s only a one-time cook so you can store the peanut oil away once it cools down to room temperature. But before pouring the liquid into a container for future use, you have to filter the oil to remove unnecessary floating things until the oil becomes clean and clear again.


It is definitely easy to deep-fry whole chicken in peanut oil. Everyone can try it, and you can appreciate the wonderful experience of cooking your own food with maximum satisfaction. Remember though to proceed with caution.