How Many Minutes Does It Take To Cook Fried Chicken?

Each piece takes time to cook through.

IMAGE Shutterstock

Cooking fried chicken isn't foolproof. You might sometimes end up with chicken that is still pink or undercooked in the center despite you testing that it is already cooked through. 

There are many ways to know if your chicken is cooked through.

One of these "Is the fried chicken cooked?" tests is by checking the weight of the chicken. Raw chicken will always weigh more than cooked meat. That's because the process of cooking basically removes the moisture and water content of the meat. That's what makes the bubbles in the oil, water in the meat heating up and becoming steam, and then evaporating, escaping as bubbles through the hot oil. Without this moisture, meat weighs less.

So, if your meat feels much lighter than it originally went in when it was raw, chances are, the majority of the water has evaporated and may be cooked through.  

Another fried chicken test many people perform is piercing the meat and checking if any juices from the cooked chicken that flow out run clear. However, this isn't a foolproof method and the clear juices can also mean your chicken is overcooked

Photo by Unsplash/Hong Feng
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The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has a recommended time of cooking so that you will always have perfectly cooked chicken. The recommended way of knowing when the chicken really is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. The minimum internal temperature of cooked chicken should at least reach 165 degrees F or 74 degrees C


However, you can remove the chicken from the oil the remember that any food taken off the heat will continue to cook anyway. Also known as carry-over cooking, food will continue to cook off the heat and it will result in the food continuing to rise in temperature up to 6 up to 10 degrees more. This difference may not sound like much but it can mean the difference between a perfectly cooked chicken and dried up one.   

So, how many minutes does it take for chicken to be cooked through? 

The number of minutes to cook fried chicken depends on a few factors:

  1. 1 What part of the chicken
  2. 2 What the weight and thickness of the chicken part    

Chicken bones insulate the chicken meat from cooking evenly so this increases the number of minutes a chicken breast, leg, thigh, or wing needs to cook. However, it is safe to say that, on average, a fried chicken piece will need from 6 minutes up to 15 minutes to cook through


Use this quick guide on how many minutes to cook fried chicken, depending on the chicken part you want to cook: 

  • • for chicken breasts: 8 minutes to 15 minutes 
  • • for chicken legs and thighs: 10 minutes to 12 minutes 
  • • for wings: 6 minutes to 12 minutes   
Photo by Shutterstock

For boneless chicken pieces, it will take less time since there are no bones to worry about insulating the meat. You will still have to worry about the thickness of the meat, particularly in the chicken breast where one part is thicker than the tapering part. To minimize overcooking or undercooking these uneven parts, you may want to pound the thickest part of the chicken until it's an even thickness throughout the chicken piece. 


Here is a quick guide on how many minutes to cook fried chicken if cooking boneless chicken or chicken fillets:      

  • • for boneless chicken breasts: 6 minutes to 8 minutes
  • • for boneless chicken thighs and legs: 3 minutes to 5 minutes

Remember, even if your chicken is not yet cooked through, you can do this after cooking it to make sure it is cooked through no matter what: place the batch in the air fryer and air fry the cooked fried chicken for at least 5 minutes, less if the air fryer is already hot. This not only ensures your chicken is cooked through to the bone, but the air fryer will help wick away any excess cooking oil from the chicken and onto the tray below. 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!


Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here.

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