There is not much that comes close to home fried chicken. Done right, it is one of the most wholesome and delicious meals around. Knowing how to make a good batch of fried chicken at home is not just a skill, but it takes getting to know which flour works best, and which gives you that taste you want.
With quite a few options around, which is the best flour to use to make fried chicken? There are a few great flour options to choose from when you are making fried chicken. The most popular choice is all-purpose flour, which consistently gives the best results. You can also choose to use semolina, rice flour, rye or barley flour, and chickpea flour.
Keep reading to learn more about the different flours you can use to make fried chicken and why some might be better than others.
The 5 Best Flours for Fried Chicken
Below is a list of the best flours to use to make fried chicken, their taste and textures, and which products you should use.
|1.||All-Purpose Flour||Best choice overall, neutral flavor and golden-brown coating|
|2.||Semolina Flour||The best choice for extra crunchy chicken|
|3.||Rice Flour||Lighter, tempura-like coating, gluten-free|
|4.||Barley Flour||Tastes best with dark chicken meat|
|5.||Chickpea Flour||Earthy, deep flavor, gluten-free|
By the way, if you’re searching for a better pot to deep fry your chicken in, we have an article you might be interested in reading: The Best Pots For Deep Frying
1. All-Purpose Flour
All-purpose flour is by far the most popular to use to make fried chicken. It gives a golden-brown coating and has a fairly neutral flavor that can be dressed up with your favorite herbs and spices.
It is a great option for fried chicken, as all-purpose flour can withstand the prolonged heat that is needed to cook chicken pieces through. It is able to give an even, all-over coat, and infuses well with different herbs, spices, and flavors.
Central Milling Company Organic Whole Wheat All-Purpose Flour
Made from premium flour and grain, this 100% Organic Whole Wheat All Purpose Flour is as good as it gets.
The Central Milling Company works with farmers to grow a sustainable crop in a way that ensures exceptional flavor, color, and nutrient content, which directly translates to tasty, golden fried chicken.
The grains are laser sorted, cleaned and milled using a slow and cool process which helps to keep all the best features of all-purpose flour intact.
Being 100% organic, it is a great option for those who are environmentally-conscious, and who still want a great flour for fried chicken.
Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
Trader Joe’s has a great gluten-free all-purpose flour option which is suitable for just about anyone. The whole grain all-purpose flour is made from brown rice flour, potato starch, rice flour, and tapioca flour.
The flour still performs well when being used to coat chicken for frying, just without the gluten that other all-purpose flours hold.
The 1 lb bag is big enough for a few uses and will give you a crispy, light coating time and time again.
Robin Hood All-Purpose Original Flour
The Robin Hood all-purpose flour is milled from high-quality red spring wheat and soft wheat and is the perfect blend for cooking, and for when it comes to fried chicken.
It is an all-round flour that is great to keep in the kitchen and is sold in 25kg bags, which is more than enough to fulfill the needs of a bigger kitchen.
Ceresota Unbleached Forever All-Purpose Flour
The Ceresota Unbleached Forever All-Purpose Flour has a high-tolerance that allows for exposure to higher temperatures while cooking, such as when frying, without burning or breaking down.
The all-purpose flour has a high protein content and has good mixing, fermentation and proofing tolerance.
On its own, it has a good flavor and texture but also has the ability to hold different flavors and spices well.
You should opt for semolina if you place more importance on texture. Semolina gives a crunchy finish to fried chicken, without being grainy.
Semolina and ground wheat flour are both wheat flours, but they come from different kinds of wheat. Semolina is not as finely ground as whole wheat flour, so it has a more textured, crunchy finish.
The crunchy fried texture you will get from semolina will hold up well if you are dipping your fried chicken into sauce, and will not piece apart and fall off the meat.
You are still able to add spices and herbs to the semolina flour before dusting it onto the chicken, and the semolina flour holds these flavors well.
Caputo Semolina Flour
Caputo Semolina Flour is 100% all-natural and is additive-free. Durum wheat is finely ground, and the semolina flour has the signature yellow tint.
The yellow tint of the flour helps to add an extra gold-brown to the fried chicken.
The semolina is double milled and crafted carefully to have a durable texture and deep, rich flavor.
The coarser texture helps to add an extra crisp to the fried chicken, which is what some people prefer.
Land Of Wood Semolina Flour
Kept simple, the semolina flour from Land of Wood is milled from durum wheat to a fine texture.
It is high in gluten, which allows it to stick more easily to the chicken, which prevents it from slipping off during frying.
The thicker texture holds well to the chicken while allowing for a crispier finish and a richer tasting coating.
3. Rice Flour
Rice flour is very popular in Asian cuisine. It is lighter than traditional all-purpose flour, and this allows it to crisp up more than other flours when it is fried.
Rice flour is commonly used in tempura batter, which does have a beautiful golden crisp, and this does allow for a great coating on fried chicken.
As it is made from finely milled white or brown rice, rice flour is gluten-free, which is perfect for those who are on a gluten-free diet, who still want to enjoy some crispy fried chicken.
Add some salt and spices to the rice flour and you have a light, yet crispy, fried chicken coating.
Big Green Organic Food White Rice Flour
This 100% all-natural white rice flour is a perfect gluten-free option to use for fried chicken.
Not only does it give a great coating to chicken, but it is a good source of energy and even helps with healthy digestion.
It is certified kosher and organic, while still offering a great option for coatings.
Thai Rice Flour
Thai rice flour is traditionally used to make fresh rice noodles, sweets, and pastries, but it is also good to use for fried chicken.
The lighter consistency holds up to a good coating and can absorb the flavor of spices and herbs well.
The crispy texture you will achieve with rice flour will win you over, and this Thai Rice Flour will give you as crispy of a coating as you could want.
Erawan Brand Rice Flour
This resealable bag of pure Thai rice powder is so handy to keep in your kitchen.
The Erawan Rice Flour is water-milled, which gives it a coarser texture, which adds a crunchier finish to fried chicken.
It can be easily substituted for wheat flour when making fried chicken, and is one of the better gluten-free options around, especially if you are looking for a crispier coating.
4. Rye or Barley Flour
Rye or barley flour give the fried chicken a very rich, mouth-filling flavor. Rye and barley flour are both heavy tasting flours and go well with darker chicken meat such as the thighs and drumsticks.
The deep tasting flour gives the fried chicken a richer dimension, and some simple salt and spices can create a powerful coating that manages to go golden-brown when fried for the right amount of time.
Barley Flour By Angelina’s Gourmet
This barely flour is made from finely ground whole barley grains, and has a subtly sweet and nutty flavor, with an additional boost of fiber.
The sweet and nutty flavor adds a new taste to fried chicken and gives it a richer flavor.
It is a good substitute for wheat flour in sweet and savory dishes, so it will fit well being used to coat fried chicken.
It is Kosher certified and non-GMO.
Joseph’s Grainery Freshly Ground Flour
All-natural, this barley flour is naturally gluten-free and free from preservatives and additives.
It is a good choice to use for fried chicken if you are wanting to stay clear from gluten, and it still gives a golden, brown and crispy finish.
Being a little coarser than normal all-purpose flour, the barley flour has a crispier finish, so you do not have to overdo it when coating.
Organic Sprouted Barley Flour
This sprouted barley flour tastes better than unsprouted flour, as it has never been bleached or refined.
It maintains its nutritional benefits and raw, nutty flavor which helps develop a richer flavor profile that goes well with fried chicken.
Kauffman’s Dark Rye Flour
This dark rye flour is for those who are a little more adventurous in the kitchen. Due to it being dark rye, the fried chicken will be a different color to what you are used to.
However, there are some benefits. It is a high-quality rye flour that holds up well when used for fried chicken. It has great nutritional benefits and helps with improved blood glucose.
5. Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour is commonly found in cooking in the Mediterranean and India but is gaining popularity all over.
It is a finely-ground flour which gives a deep, earthy, warm flavor to fried chicken, and it is also packed with great nutritional value.
Made from chickpeas, chickpea flour is gluten-free and suits a gluten-free diet. It also contains fewer calories and carbohydrates than all-purpose flour, which is good for those who are watching their waistline.
While chickpea flour has a dense texture, it can create a beautifully light batter when combined with some club soda.
You also have the option of making your chickpea flour at home, by placing some dried chickpeas in a food processor and blending them until it is a fine powder.
Coarse Split Chickpea Flour
Coarse chickpea flour is one of the more unusual coatings for fried chicken, but it does work.
It is usually used to thicken dishes but used as a coating for fried chicken, it adds a crispier, deeper flavor to the chicken.
This is a coarser flour, so it will provide more crunch to fried chicken.
Molino Guido Chickpea Flour
This convenient packaging of the chickpea flour is resealable, so it can be used over again and stored away easily when not in use.
The chickpea flour will give a more golden coating to chicken, and can also be used in other meals in the kitchen.
A small coating is all you need to cover the chicken, as the coarser chickpea flour crisps up easily in hot oil.
Which Is The Best Flour To Use?
When it comes to fried chicken, keeping it traditional is the best option. This is why all-purpose flour is still the best flour to use for a golden, crispy fried chicken.
All-purpose flour holds up well to prolonged heat, and it is still able to hold onto the flavors, spices, and herbs you add into it. It coats the chicken pieces well and does not slough away when cooked.
Being a plain-tasting flour, you really can explore different tastes and flavors when using all-purpose flour, and it is so readily available at all supermarkets that you should never have any trouble finding a packet to keep stocked in your pantry.
All-purpose flour really stays true to its name, not only does it make incredible fried chicken, but you can use it in other cooking and baking in the kitchen as well, such as making our brownie recipe.
Should you season the flour?
Some people like to season their chicken, but you should also season the flour of your choice before using it to coat the chicken. Add the spices, herbs, and salt into the flour and place it into a plastic bag.
Add in your chicken spices, close the top and shake. This evenly distributes the spices and flour all over the chicken and keeps the mess inside the bag, to avoid more cleaning up once cooking is done.
Can I use self-raising flour to coat chicken?
You can choose to use self-raising flour for fried chicken if you wish, but just remember that as the name suggests, self-raising flour contains ingredients that cause it to rise when cooked. When used for fried chicken, it will cause the coating to fluff up a bit.
If cooked for too long, it might end up burning the flour, which can give an unsavory taste to the chicken. It is best used for smaller chicken pieces that require less frying time, and if you want a puffier coating instead of a crispier one.
Does baking powder cause the fried chicken to be crispy?
First off, you should understand that baking powder and baking soda are different. Baking powder is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate, cream of tartar and some cornstarch.
When mixed with some salt and coated on chicken, it dries out the skin, which makes the skin crispier and crunchier, which is a good result for fried chicken!
The Best Flour For Fried Chicken
There are a good few options to choose from when deciding on flour to use for fried chicken. There are gluten-free options, and more natural flours to use. However, at the end of the day, the best flour to use for fried chicken is all-purpose flour.
It maintains its flavor and quality well when exposed to high heat for extended periods, and it has the ability to crisp up and turn a beautiful golden-brown, which is exactly what you want when cooking fried chicken!
Grab a bag of all-purpose flour today and try out different flavor combinations when cooking your next batch of fried chicken.
Got leftovers? Here’s how to store fried chicken.