These Are Pitmaster Rodney Scott's Best Tips For Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a staple comfort food for many individuals, and for good reason — the combination of the crispy, flavorful breading and the moist, juicy chicken is unbeatable. However, it can also be a tricky dish to master. There are a lot of potential fried chicken mistakes to be made. You might be letting your chicken rest on paper towels, leading to a soggy final product, as Bon Appetit points out. Or, you might have been either a bit too heavy-handed with the flour, or not quite generous enough with the seasoning, as Southern Living warns.

Luckily, BBQ legend and pitmaster Rodney Scott has a few tips to help guide you in the right direction so you can create mouthwatering fried chicken, just like he does. Scott's first tip, as Parade reports, is something to consider before you even get that oil heating up and get your chicken pieces ready to fry.

First of all, you'll want to allow your chicken to soak in brine for enough time to really tenderize that meat — his fried chicken recipe, shared with Taste Cooking, requires that the chicken sits in the brine for a minimum of 6 hours. Then, after you've breaded the chicken, you need to wait a little bit longer and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. According to Scott, the chicken will reach an ideal temperature for frying in this extra bit of time and the batter will have a chance to set.

Rodney Scott's other go-to tips

You have your chicken perfectly breaded, it's been sitting for a half-hour per Rodney Scott's recommendation — now, it's time to get it frying. The pitmaster and BBQ king has two additional tips for the actual cooking stage in the fried chicken creation process, which he spilled to Parade.

First of all, before you drop those chicken pieces into your oil, make sure it's at the right temperature. As Bon Appetit explains, if your temperature is too high, the exterior will get too dark while the interior may still be raw — definitely not ideal. On the flip side, if your oil temperature is too low, as Chef Works explains, it might absorb too much oil and become a greasy mess. 350 to 365 degrees Fahrenheit is Scott's go-to temperature. And, in order to keep that temperature consistent throughout your fried chicken batches, he also recommends remembering not to overcrowd the pan — patience is key.

Then, once your fried chicken is looking crisp and juicy, and the internal temperature is clocking in at a safe level, you want to avoid tossing it atop some paper towels. That mistake can cause the chicken to steam and become soggy. Instead, follow Scott's recommendation and allow your perfectly fried chicken to cool down on a cooling rack, where the air can circulate better.