How to Deep-Fry Chicken Nuggets

by Christina Kalinowski
The vinegar and tomato flavors of ketchup add a nice contrast to crisp chicken nuggets.

The vinegar and tomato flavors of ketchup add a nice contrast to crisp chicken nuggets.

Deep-fried chicken nuggets are a popular snack. Adults and children alike enjoy their bite-sized shape and crisp coating. Prepared as an appetizer or served as the star of your next meal, deep-frying allows you to have chicken nuggets ready in less time than it will take your family to eat them. Serve chicken nuggets with a variety of savory sauces like honey mustard, ketchup, buffalo or ranch dressing.

Add enough oil to completely submerge the chicken nuggets while they cook in an electric deep-fryer or a large pot on the stove. Fill the fryer or pot no more than half full with oil so as to avoid spillovers and contain splatters.

Heat the oil until it reaches a temperature range of 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Carefully add a few of the chicken nuggets to the hot oil using either a slotted spoon or tongs or by carefully lowering a metal basket into the oil. Cook the chicken nuggets for approximately 6 minutes or until the nuggets have turned golden brown.

Remove the chicken nuggets from the deep-fryer or pot and let drain on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Let the temperature of the heat return and fry another small batch of chicken nuggets. Continue frying in small batches until all the chicken nuggets have been cooked.

Serve the chicken nuggets with your favorite dipping sauces and enjoy. If you're serving the chicken nuggets for dinner, serve alongside French fries or roasted vegetables.

Items you will need

  • Oil
  • Tongs, slotted spoon or metal basket
  • Paper towels
  • Dipping sauces (optional)


  • You can easily make your own chicken nuggets by cutting boneless chicken breasts into small, bite-size pieces and coating in flour, cornmeal, bread crumbs or finely crushed crackers. Add seasonings to the coating, if desired. Dip the chicken nuggets in a bowl of beaten eggs first to help the coating stick.
  • Vegetable, peanut, corn, canola, safflower and soybean oils are great choices for deep-frying chicken nuggets.
  • In lieu of using a cooking thermometer, toss a small piece of bread into the oil to determine whether or not the oil is hot enough to cook in. If the bread sizzles, the oil is just right for cooking.


  • Hot oil may cause serious burns so use caution when deep-frying. Be especially careful when cooking frozen chicken nuggets as the moisture will cause the hot oil to splatter. Use long tongs or a slotted spoon with a long handle to avoid getting too close to the hot oil when adding or retrieving food.
  • Should a grease fire occur, immediately put a lid on it or use baking soda, a damp towel or a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.


About the Author

Christina Kalinowski is a writer from the Twin Cities who began her career in 2011. She contributes food and drink related articles to The Daily Meal. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from Purdue University.

Photo Credits

  • Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images