Can You Use Olive Oil to Fry Chicken?

Can You Use Olive Oil To Fry Chicken

Got a craving for crispy, golden fried chicken but unsure about the right oil to use? You’re not alone; many cooking enthusiasts often ponder if olive oil is good for frying chicken.

Intriguingly, USDA experts confirm that it’s safe to fry chicken in olive oil, specifically recommending extra virgin olive oil.

Journey with us as we delve into this culinary topic further, offering safety guidelines, temperature recommendations and tips for achieving that perfect crunch.

Ready to unlock the secret of frying succulent and flavorful chicken? Let’s dive in!

Can You Use Olive Oil to Fry Chicken?

Olive oil can be used to fry chicken, but it is important to maintain the correct temperature to prevent burning and potential health risks. The recommended temperature for frying chicken in olive oil is between 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit (175-190 degrees Celsius) to achieve a crispy exterior and thoroughly cooked interior.

While olive oil has a lower smoke point compared to other oils, such as canola or peanut oil, it can still be used for frying if proper precautions are taken. Other oils with higher smoke points are also suitable options for frying chicken.

Can You Fry Chicken in Olive Oil?

Yes, it is safe to fry chicken using olive oil, according to experts from the USDA.

Safety of frying chicken in olive oil

Despite common misconceptions, frying chicken in olive oil is perfectly safe and even recommended by USDA experts. The key to doing it safely lies in maintaining the correct temperature—extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point which means it should be used at a lower heat.

This prevents both burning of the oil and potential health risks from overheating.

Moreover, recent studies have further reinforced that this cooking method is generally safe for frequent use.

So go ahead and get your pan ready for some delicious fried chicken cooked in heart-healthy olive oil!

Recommended temperatures for frying

To ensure a perfectly fried chicken, it is important to maintain the right temperature throughout the cooking process.

Experts recommend frying chicken at a temperature of around 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit (175-190 degrees Celsius).

This allows for a crispy exterior while ensuring the inside is cooked thoroughly. Avoid frying chicken at temperatures lower than 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius) as it can result in greasy and undercooked chicken.

On the other hand, avoid frying at temperatures higher than 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) as it can lead to burnt or overcooked chicken.

Remember to use a thermometer to accurately monitor the oil temperature and adjust the heat accordingly.

Is Olive Oil the Best Option for Frying Chicken?

Olive oil may not be the best option for frying chicken due to its lower smoke point compared to other oils, but it can still be used if proper precautions are taken.

Smoke point of olive oil

The smoke point of olive oil is an important factor to consider when frying chicken. The smoke point refers to the temperature at which the oil begins to break down and produce smoke.

Extra virgin olive oil, which is commonly used for frying, has a lower smoke point compared to other oils like canola or peanut oil.

This means that if you heat olive oil too much, it can release harmful compounds and create an unpleasant taste in your fried chicken.

To avoid this, it’s recommended to maintain a lower heat when frying chicken in extra virgin olive oil and be mindful of not exceeding its smoke point.

Other oils suitable for frying

There are several other oils that are suitable for frying chicken, in addition to olive oil. Canola oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil are all great options for achieving a crispy and delicious fried chicken.

These oils have higher smoke points than olive oil, which means they can withstand the higher temperatures needed for deep-frying without breaking down or smoking.

So if you’re looking for alternatives to olive oil for frying your chicken, these oils should be at the top of your list.

Tips for Frying Chicken in Olive Oil

Maintaining the right temperature

Maintaining the right temperature is crucial when frying chicken in olive oil. A lower heat is necessary to ensure that the oil doesn’t reach its smoke point and burn.

This not only prevents the chicken from getting overcooked but also helps retain the flavor of the extra virgin olive oil.

It’s important to keep a close eye on your heat source and adjust it as needed, making sure it stays at an optimal temperature for frying.

By doing so, you’ll achieve perfectly crispy and delicious fried chicken every time without compromising on taste or quality.

Using the right amount of oil

To ensure deliciously crispy fried chicken, it’s important to use the right amount of oil.

While you don’t want to skimp and risk ending up with dry chicken, using too much oil will result in a greasy mess.

It is recommended to fill your frying pan or pot with about one inch of olive oil for shallow frying, or enough oil to completely submerge the chicken if deep frying. This allows for even cooking and browning without an excessive amount of oil.

By finding the perfect balance, you’ll achieve that ideal golden crust while keeping your chicken juicy and flavorful.

Proper seasoning and coating

To achieve the perfect fried chicken, proper seasoning and coating are key. Before frying, make sure to season your chicken with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices or herbs.

This will infuse the meat with flavor as it cooks in the olive oil. When it comes to coating, a classic flour-based breading works great for achieving that crispy exterior.

Simply dip your seasoned chicken pieces into beaten eggs or buttermilk before coating them in a mixture of flour and seasonings.

The flour helps create a golden brown crust when fried in olive oil. Remember to shake off any excess flour before frying to prevent clumping and uneven cooking.

With well-seasoned chicken and a perfectly coated exterior, you’ll be one step closer to enjoying delicious homemade fried chicken using olive oil.


1. Can you use olive oil to fry chicken?

Yes, olive oil can be used to fry chicken. However, it is important to choose the right type of olive oil for frying, such as light or refined olive oil, as extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point and may not be suitable for high-heat frying.

2. What is the smoke point of olive oil?

The smoke point of olive oil can vary depending on the quality and refinement process. Extra virgin olive oil typically has a lower smoke point around 375°F (190°C), while light or refined olive oils have higher smoke points around 410°F (210°C) or higher.

3. Are there any alternatives to using olive oil for frying chicken?

Yes, if you prefer not to use olive oil for frying chicken, other options include vegetable oils like canola or peanut oil which have higher smoke points and are commonly used in deep-frying recipes.

4. Is it healthier to use olive oil instead of other oils for frying chicken?

Olive oil is considered a healthier option compared to some other oils due to its monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. However, when heated at high temperatures during frying, these beneficial properties may degrade. It’s important to moderate consumption and consider using alternative cooking methods like baking or grilling for healthier preparations of chicken.


In conclusion, while it is generally safe to fry chicken in olive oil, there are some considerations to keep in mind.

The lower smoke point of olive oil means that it may not be the best option for high-temperature frying.

It’s important to maintain the right heat and use a higher quality oil with a higher smoke point for optimal results. Consider exploring other oils like canola or vegetable oil for deep frying chicken at higher temperatures.

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