Frying Chicken In A Parchment Bag Seems Totally Pointless

With so many incredible food and cooking hacks permeating the internet, there are bound to be a few duds in the mix. According to a TikTok food guide, frying chicken using a folded bag of parchment paper is a convenient trick to use less oil and save on doing dishes... but this hack has got mixed results. In addition to being a fire hazard, this technique doesn't appear to save any more oil than simply using a smaller pot, while adding the difficult task of learning to fold origami into the mix.

The original TikTok video contains hundreds of comments from confused users, many of whom recommend simply using a smaller pot, with comments reading, "Could just use a smaller pan. Save all that folding", "Use a smaller pot", and "Or..or, hear me out...get a smaller pan??????"

The parchment bag method doesn't seem to do much to reduce clean-up time either, as you'll still need to find a sustainable method for disposing of your used cooking oil, while the bottom of the bag will undoubtedly leave grease stains on the pan below. If your main concern is reducing oil, an air fryer would be even more effective. Additionally, it may be a safer alternative as parchment paper can be flammable.

Professionals warn against using parchment paper for frying

While parchment paper is designed for use on baking sheets in the oven, making it more durable to heat than basic printer paper, it can still rapidly catch on fire when exposed to an open flame. Utilizing a thin barrier of parchment paper to separate burning hot oil from the open source of a stovetop, particularly a gas stove, could result in disaster, and doesn't seem to offer much reward to offset the risk. Overall, it truly seems like there are no inherent benefits to the parchment paper bag method besides being trendy.


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In fact, professional chefs Traci Weintraub and Shawn Matijevich warn against using parchment paper for the very reasons listed above (via Martha Stewart). So while some viral food hacks may seem simple and convenient, this particular shortcut could be one of the biggest mistakes you make when frying. In this case, it's more convenient to just reach for a smaller pan.