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.
White Lily All-Purpose Flour
White Lily flour is a Southern classic, but its reputation extends out of the South!
It is the perfect flour to create an airy, crispy crust for fried chicken.
It makes sense that a Southern flour would help create such delicious fried chicken!
This particular option comes with two 5-pound bags of flour, so if you’re making flour for a big batch of people then you’re definitely covered!
This flour is also great for all sorts of baking. I guess that’s why they call it all-purpose!
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.
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.
Naturevibe Botanicals 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 non-GMO and gluten-free, while still offering a great option for coatings.
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.
Food to Live Barley Flour
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.
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.
Anthony’s Organic 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.
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.