Dutch Oven Fried Chicken

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Dutch oven fried chicken will make amazing crunchy, golden fried chicken!  The key to make a  brine with buttermilk, cornstarch AND a secret oil temperature!  Perfect with creamy mashed potatoes, or southern candied yams!

Fried Chicken Recipe


  • Dutch oven chicken makes perfect crispy golden fried chicken.
  • The brine makes the chicken so flavorful.
  • The buttermilk make it nice and tender!
  • A combination of corn flour and flour is used to make it extra crispy! 
  • Unlike most fried chicken recipes, this one uses a lower cooking temperature which doesn’t burn the chicken and helps makes it golden in color.
  • Using a meat thermometer to monitor the oil temperature will help to keep the temperature steady. 

Just hearing someone talk about fried chicken can make a person hungry. When it’s made right it’s so darn good!


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This dutch oven fried chicken is super easy to make. It’s so good and seasoned just right. You will be sinking your teeth into it in no time!

When I was a kid my mom and southern grandmother showed me how to make their southern fried chicken.  We used a brown paper bag. We would add the chicken pieces to the bag and shake the bag to coat the chicken with the flour.

Back then we didn’t use a  meat thermometer. These days, I still use my brown paper bag, Ziploc, or a large plastic container with a lid. And of course I ALWAYS use my meat thermometer. A thermometer will take all the guesswork away. 

Fried Chicken Recipe


Please do not brine chicken overnight using the salt measurement in this recipe because the chicken will turn out salty.  If you must brine it overnight use way less salt.


I always use buttermilk when I brine the chicken. Soaking the chicken in buttermilk helps tenderize it and it will keep the chicken nice and tender while it is frying. The brine is simple. It consists of salt and sugar and buttermilk. The sugar will not make the chicken sweet. I brine the same day I make fried chicken.


If you have time, ONLY brine the chicken for 3-4 hours AND use 1/4 cup of salt and sugar. If you are short on time then only 2 hours. I can’t recommend brining the chicken in buttermilk enough though. It will make the best-fried chicken so don’t skip out on it.


To make the best fried chicken seasoning first let the chicken sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Please do not fry chicken cold.

Season both the flour and the chicken before you fry it.

To achieve a nice golden color and crunch add cornstarch to the all-purpose flour. It makes the chicken crunchy and gives the chicken a nice golden color.


Just discard the buttermilk and brine marinade then pat the chicken dry. Coat the chicken in flour first, then dip it in the egg then back into the flour. The egg helps in making super crunchy fried chicken.


A  lot of recipes say to use canola oil or peanut oil.  Peanut oil works well but I usually use vegetable oil.  Whatever oil you choose, make sure it’s a very high smoke point oil. Vegetable oil or peanut oil will make great fried chicken!

Fried Chicken Recipe


Like most recipes, this dutch oven fried chicken recipe also takes about 15-20 minutes to fry it. After you coat the chicken in the seasoned flour, shake off the excess flour and leave the coated chicken alone for 10-15 minutes so that the flour can absorb some.

Do not overcrowd the dutch oven or deep fryer. Overcrowding the dutch oven/deep fryer will reduce the oil temperature and your chicken will end up greasy and soggy.

Fry the chicken flipping occasionally to prevent dark spots until golden brown for 15-20 minutes or the meat temperature reads 165 F on a thermometer. Fyi, smaller chicken pieces will cook faster.

Cast Iron, Dutch oven or a deep fryer? I love to use a large dutch (I use a 6qt) oven or a hard bottom aluminum frying pan does the job.  Fill the dutch oven with 2 1/2 quarts of vegetable oil.

Deep fryers are great too if you don’t have a dutch oven then use a deep fryer. Refer to your deep fryer manufacture manual for frying information.


Use a Thermometer: I always check the temperature of the oil every 3-5 minutes. If you don’t have a meat thermometer then please purchase. Use it to maintain and track the oil temperature. You will know exactly what the oil temperature is. You’ll also know when your fried chicken is done.

With a thermometer, there is no need to play the guessing game. No chance of undercooked meat. No chance of getting food poisoning. If you are a pro at frying chicken then you probably already know whether your chicken is done or not, but it’s still good to use one. I’ve been making fried chicken for years but I always use a meat thermometer.


Adjust the heat every now and then to maintain the temperature. Keep the oil temperature at 300 F. If you happen to check the meat and it’s higher than 300 F, reduce the heat immediately.

Once you get the oil temperature at 300 F, check it a couple minutes later because you may need to adjust the heat again to a higher temperature.  The key is to try to keep the heat to at least 300 F.


Do not drain on paper towels or the chicken will end up soggy. To keep the chicken crunchy and crisp, drain the chicken over a wire rack set over a baking sheet for about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 and place the wire rack set over the baking sheet into the oven. Carefully remove the hot chicken from the dutch oven onto the rack inside the oven until you are finished frying all of the chicken.

So there you have it, follow these tips and you will have perfectly golden and crunchy southern fried chicken.

A plate of golden crispy fried chicken

Dutch Oven Fried Chicken

April Boller Wright
This dutch oven fried chicken recipe will make easy crunchy, golden chicken.  The key to make a  brine with buttermilk, cornstarch AND a secret oil temperature! 
5 from 21 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine soul food, Southern, Southern American
Servings 5 people
Calories 483 kcal



  • 5 lb whole chicken cleaned and cut into 10 pieces
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Seasoned Flour

  • 1 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs

For the chicken pieces

  • 1 3/4 tsp salt plus


  • To a large Ziploc bag add buttermilk, salt, and sugar.  Gently mix well. Add the chicken pieces. Refrigerate for 2- 4 hours.*See notes. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. 
  • Remove the chicken from the brine. Pour the brine down the drain. Pat the chicken dry then place the chicken on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.
  • To a large brown bag or Ziploc add 1/2 tsp of pepper to the flour and the rest (except for the salt) of the flour ingredients. Mix the flour and seasonings together. Season the chicken with the salt.
  • To a bowl, add 3 eggs and whisk. Add the chicken pieces to the flour and shake the bag to coat the chicken. Remove the chicken and place it the chicken into the egg mixture then flip the chicken to coat the other side in the egg mixture.
  • Place the chicken back into the flour and shake to coat again then place it on the parchment lined bake tray. Let the chicken sit to absorb the flour for 10-15 minutes. 
  • To a Dutch oven over medium-high heat add the oil. The oil is ready once the temperature reaches 300 F. Use a thermometer to maintain and track the temp.  Add the chicken pieces to the dutch oven but do not overcrowd it. Flip the chicken a couple times as it cooks. Fry the chicken for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and the temperature of the fried chicken reaches 165 F. Fyi, smaller pieces of chicken will cook faster. 
  • To keep the fried chicken crunchy and crisp, drain the chicken over a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet for about 10 minutes. To prevent soggy chicken, do not drain on paper towels. 




Calories: 483kcal
Keyword dutch oven fried chicken, fried chicken, southern fried chicken
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  1. This chicken looks mouthwatering. I make a similar recipe and brine in the mixture of buttermilk and milk, this one looks even easier. Will definitely include in our dinner rotation for the next week. Thank you for reminding about this one!5 stars

  2. Thank you so much for this recipe, which is the only one I have ever found that solves the problems of temperature and breading that sticks. I brined the chicken overnight and used less salt and sugar, as you suggested, The chicken was very crispy and meltingly tender. My wife and I agreed it was the best fried chicken we’d ever had,5 stars

    1. Really? Well, I’m glad you found my post! That’s such AWESOME news! I’m jumping for joy for you! I’m glad I could help you. Thank you so much Theodore!

  3. It’s 6 in the morning for me and you are making me want some fried chicken. That’s my ultimate comfort food. Seriously, imagine coming home after a long day and the only thing you want is homemade fried chicken. Your pictures make me want to eat the right off the screen. 🙂5 stars

    1. It sounds like you need to make some fried chicken in your immediate future haha! Thank you Mirlene!

  4. I have never tried that buttermilk brining method before.. I am always learning so many new tricks from your blog 🙂 I am going to dream about this chicken because it looks so GOOD!5 stars

    1. I love sharing everything I know. Thank you for you kind words Heather!

  5. Kids really love fried chicken. It’s okay to them if we always eat fried chicken but I only serve fried chicken every Saturday night. I can’t wait t0 surprise them with your fried chicken recipe. Thanks for sharing,5 stars

  6. This chicken looks amazing – I can’t believe how crispy it is. I have never made my own fried chicken but I may just try out your recipe!5 stars

  7. Camila Hurst says:

    Yes absolutely yes to brining the chicken in the buttermilk!! Thanks for sharing this crispy deliciousness!! And I don’t think it’s weird at all to serve this delicious chicken with that salad! I’m actually very intrigued by it and I would love to try that meal right now!5 stars

  8. I’ve been wanting to make friend chicken for so long but there are always so many options in how to do it! I love how you laid out your whole process!5 stars

  9. Stine Mari says:

    Thank you so much for this. I honestly thought that drying chicken on paper towels was the way to go, but I guess not. I will totally have to try this one, it is so mouthwatering (and I am saying this on a full stomach!)5 stars

    1. Yeah I was taught to dry it that way too. Thank you so much Mari!

  10. Who does not love these! Fried chicken is heaven and I know for sure I won’t be able to stop myself from finishing it all! Looks soooo goood!5 stars

    1. Yes I can never get enough of fried chicken. I haven’t had it in a while but now I’m in the mood for it. Thank you Jyothi!

  11. This looks FABULOUS! I can’t wait to try this out 🙂 As always, your photos are fabulous too!!5 stars

  12. This combined with your macaroni salad makes me long for summer. At least I can make these and pretend it is not -5 where i am!

    1. Oh my! Where do you live? It’s been cold everywhere. I’m in the DC area and the schools closed at 11:45 yesterday and then today they had a two-hour delay because of icy roads. I can’t wait for warm weather!

  13. Finally a new recipe for fried chicken I can try. Here in Italy, we do it differently, and I always heard about the southern style of fried chicken. This goes to be prepared just this evening.

    1. How do they do it in Italy? I would love to know. Thank you, Edoardo!Let me know if you try it!

  14. Your fried chicken looks scrumptious and beautifully golden and crisp! I’ve been looking for a fried chicken recipe for a long time and am glad I found it on your blog, pinned it for later!5 stars

    1. Patty thank you so much! The key to good fried chicken, I think anyway, is to have the meat flavorful so I always brine it. It makes a huge difference even if you only use minimal seasonings.

  15. Leandi Archer says:

    This looks so delicious! Definitely going to try it this weekend. Love your blog BTW 😙5 stars

    1. Sweeeeet! Leandi, thank you for your kind words. I’m so thrilled that you like my blog and you’re going to try my recipe! You’ll love it! I hope you have a great week!