Cooking Guide

Oven-Fried Chicken Vs. Fried Chicken (And Which One You Should Be Eating)

Who doesn’t love crispy and juicy fried chicken for a quick and hearty meal?

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We must have all known about fried chicken in a skillet or fryer, but what if we say you can oven fry it?

So what exactly is oven-fried chicken different from traditionally fried chicken?

Let’s figure it out in this article.

What is oven-fried chicken?

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oven-fried chicken is a delicious alternative to deep-fried chicken.

You will have the same result of crispy and juicy fried chicken as in traditional ways, but much healthier.

The chicken can be prepared the same way as usual, by marinating and coating it in a perfect batter that is not too thick or watery.

You can omit the battering process and by keeping the skin intact while cooking, the resulting dish will also be crispy and flavorful.

After that, instead of deep-frying the chicken in hot oil, you only need to baste the chicken with some type of fat like vegetable oil, olive oil, or butter, or use cooking spray, and then bake it in the oven.

Before baking the chicken, you can preheat the oven for 15 to 30 minutes so that the cooking time can be reduced.

The temperature of the oven should be around 350 degrees F and bake until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees F with a crispy and golden brown crust.

What is fried chicken?

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Fried chicken is one of the most popular dishes in American cuisine, especially in the south.

It is also called Southern fried chicken.

Fried chicken is a dish consisting of chicken pieces (usually boneless skinless chicken breast) that are generally battered and fried in hot oil until crispy outside but juicy inside.

Fried chicken can be made from any cut of chicken, such as wings, drumsticks, thighs, or breasts.

It is traditionally served with mashed potatoes, French fries, or coleslaw.

Today, fried chicken can easily be purchased at any fast-food restaurant around the world.

What are the differences between oven-fried chicken vs fried chicken?

oven-fried chicken and fried chicken may sound and look the same.

However, in fact, they differ in several ways, which are listed in the comparison table below:

 Oven-fried chickenFried chicken
Cooking methodChicken, after being seasoned and battered, is coated with a thin layer of fat (oil, butter, spray,…), is baked in the ovenMarinated and battered chicken is fried in a skillet of hot oil
Fat contentHas less fat because the cooking method doesn’t add any fat to the chicken. The fat from the chicken is even rendered while bakingGreasier and fattier because the deep-frying method adds more fat to the chicken
PopularityLess common, usually made at home when people are looking for a healthier way to cook chickenMore common, at all fast-food restaurants

What are the similarities between oven-fried chicken vs fried chicken?

Oven frying and deep-frying are two different cooking methods.

However, when it comes to comparing the resulting dishes from these methods, it seems that they are relatively similar to each other.

1. Oven-fried chickens and fried chicken have the same taste and texture

No matter if the chicken is deep-fried or oven-fried, it has a crispy crust and juicy meat inside.

You can achieve this satisfying texture by either frying it in hot oil or baking it in the oven.

Moreover, fried chicken and oven-fried chicken also taste the same.

It is crunchy, meaty, flavorful from the spices, and has the taste of poultry.

2. Oven-fried chicken and fried chicken can be served with numerous side dish options

Another similarity between oven-fried chicken and fried chicken can be served the same way.

You can eat it like a snack with a dipping sauce on the side.

Otherwise, serve it as the main course with other side dishes like coleslaw, mashed potatoes, or French fries, with a cup of soft drinks.

3. Oven-fried chicken and fried chicken can be made from any cut of chicken

There is no fixed recipe for oven-fried chicken and fried chicken.

Feel free to stick with your favorite cut of chicken, such as chicken wings, chicken thighs, drumsticks, whole chicken legs, or chicken breasts.

You can also leave the skin on and bone-in, or remove all of them before cooking.

Which one is better?

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In conclusion, oven-fried chicken is a healthier alternative to the traditional deep-fried version.

It’s also less greasy and more flavorful because of the spices it gets from being baked in the oven.

Both dishes are delicious but if you want something that will taste better without all those added calories and fat then go with the healthy oven-fried chicken.

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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