How Much Oil in a Pan to Fry Chicken Drumsticks?

by Maxine Wallace

Frying is not a one-size-fits-all process. While you can pan-fry chicken with as little as several tablespoons of oil, deep frying will require a considerable amount more oil to achieve the optimally fried drumstick. Pick your method and get ready for a mouth-watering meal starring this classic fried comfort food.

Deep Frying

You will need at least 2 inches of oil in a pan for deep frying to adequately cover drumsticks. Depending on pan size, this can be anywhere from 2 cups to 2 quarts of oil. Fill a thick-bottomed pan no more than one third of the way full with oil when deep frying. After adding chicken, this oil line will rise considerably; avoid overfilling the pan to prevent spills and to maintain safety while frying

Pan Frying

To use less oil, choose the pan frying method to fry drumsticks. Instead of completely submerging the chicken in oil, pan frying requires you to turn the chicken throughout cooking to ensure the even browning of its coating. Cover the surface of a frying pan with 1/8 inch to 1 inch of oil for pan frying. Depending on the pan size, the amount of oil needed for pan frying can range from under 1/4 cup up to 1 cup of oil.

Frying Basics

It is important that you maintain a steady temperature when frying chicken to ensure that your chicken does not soak up an excessive amount of oil when cooking. To promote a crisp crust and cook chicken evenly, use an instant-read thermometer to keep the temperature of the oil at 350 degrees Fahrenheit throughout cooking. Do not allow your oil to reach its smoking point and monitor oil temperature throughout frying because it can rise and drop quickly.

Frying Oil Options

Always choose a high-smoking point oil for frying drumsticks. Peanut, soybean and canola oil, all of which have smoking points upwards of 450 F, are solid choices for frying that are low in saturated fat. Coconut oil is another suitable choice, though the saturated fat in coconut oil is significantly higher than other frying oils. While deep frying can be expensive due to the cost of oil, deep frying oil can be reused several times if strained and stored properly after each use.

Photo Credits

  • ITStock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Portland, Ore., Maxine Wallace is a writer with more than 12 years of experience. With a bachelor's degree in journalism and experience working on marketing campaigns for large media agencies, she is well-versed in multiple industries including the Internet, cooking, gardening, health, fitness, travel and holistic living.