The Real Reason Bobby Flay Dips Fried Chicken In Buttermilk

Professional chefs learn a slew of different techniques through the years, which they often develop based on their own trial and error. While there are countless ways to prepare a dish, you'll almost never find two chefs who do it the exact same way.

Bobbly Flay has been a renowned chef for decades. Since he started in the restaurant industry as a teenager, he's nearly mastered everything there is to know about cooking — he even has a Food Network show, "Beat Bobby Flay," where other professional chefs compete for the chance to prepare a dish better than he can. Part of the show's excitement comes with the idea that two chefs have two different takes on preparing the same dish.

When it comes to cooking something like fried chicken, Flay has likely tried his share of methods. And over the years, he's developed one important technique to preparing the dish: Always dip the chicken in buttermilk first.

Bobby Flay believes buttermilk in necessary to fried chicken

"I kind of cheat on fried chicken," Flay revealed on his podcast, "Always Hungry With Bobby Flay and Sophie Flay." Flay expanded that response, saying that he always dips his fried chicken in buttermilk before cooking. And while that method is relatively common, he also steams the chicken in the oven while it sits in the buttermilk. By doing this, the chicken is able to cook about 75% through.

"I let [the chicken] cool, and then I put it back in buttermilk, and then I double dredge it, and then I fry it," Flay explained of his process. He went on to say that the reason he does this is because it prevents the chicken from overcooking while making sure it gets the perfect amount of crisp and the perfect color. "It's hard to accomplish both of those things in a big vat of oil," Flay says.

Cooking the chicken prior to frying it ensures that the chicken is safe to eat, yet it allows Flay to focus more on the timing of that crisp and color rather than the timing of that safe internal temperature.