The Best Buttermilk-Free Fried Chicken Recipe You'll Ever Try

The Best Buttermilk-Free Fried Chicken Recipe You'll Ever Try

Published on Jan 31, 2024

You know that crispy, juicy fried chicken that makes your mouth water? The kind with the perfect crunch on the outside and tender, flavorful meat on the inside? Well, get ready because you'll learn the best-kept secret for making that fried chicken recipe without buttermilk at home. 

That's right - say goodbye to soaking your chicken in buttermilk for hours. We've got a better and faster way. You can make the best-fried chicken recipe without buttermilk you've ever tasted in just a few simple steps. Keep reading to discover an easy buttermilk-free fried chicken recipe that will fool even the pickiest eaters into thinking you spent all day cooking. Your new go-to chicken is just moments away.

The Secret to Moist and Tender of Fried Chicken Recipe Without Buttermilk

The key to the fried chicken recipe without buttermilk that's moist and crispy on the outside is all in the coating. Instead of buttermilk, you'll make a flavorful brine of saltwater and spices, infusing the meat with tons of flavor.

The Brining Process

  1. Make the brine by combining 2 quarts of water, 1/3 cup of table salt or kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons of your favorite spices like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, and black pepper in a large container. Mix well until the salt has dissolved.
  2. Add 3 to 4 pounds of chicken pieces and submerge in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours overnight. The longer it brines, the more flavor it will absorb.
  3. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat it very dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Discard the used brine.
  • The brining process will make the chicken extremely juicy and flavorful. The salt in the brine helps the chicken retain moisture, while the spices add lots of flavor. Make sure to pat the chicken very dry so it can get nicely crispy when fried.

The Coating

  1. In a shallow dish, combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup of cornstarch or rice flour, 2 tablespoons of the same spices used in the brine, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix well.
  2. Dredge the brined chicken pieces in the flour mixture to coat all sides evenly. Shake off any excess coating.
  3. Fill a large Dutch oven or deep skillet with vegetable, canola, peanut or rice bran oil to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 350 F.
  4. Carefully add the coated chicken pieces to the hot oil in a single layer. Do not crowd the pot.
  5. Fry until the chicken is cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 165 F, about 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the outside is golden brown and crispy.
  6. Drain the fried chicken on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Season with more salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm.

Combining brining and coating in seasoned flour will result in fried chicken bursting with flavor in every bite. Your friends and family will surely think you used buttermilk with these secrets up your sleeve!

Fried Chicken Recipe Without Buttermilk: Ingredients You'll Need

You'll need a few simple ingredients to makea delicious fried chicken recipe without buttermilk. Gather the following:

  • Chicken pieces: A whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces. Or you can get pre-cut chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour or a gluten-free flour blend. Use about 1 to 1 1/2 cups.
  • Eggs: 2-3 large eggs. Eggs help the flour coating stick to the chicken.
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and whatever other spices you like - chili powder, thyme, oregano, etc.
  • Oil with a high smoke point: Peanut, canola, sunflower, or vegetable oil. You'll need at least 2 to 3 inches of oil in a deep pot or Dutch oven.
  • Moistening agent: Instead of buttermilk, use 1/4 cup milk or water. You can also use lemon juice, vinegar, or yogurt. The acid in these ingredients helps tenderize the chicken.
  • Crispy coating: For an extra crunch, add 1/2 cup of crushed crackers, crushed cornflakes, bread crumbs, or panko crumbs to the flour.
  • Optional: Baking powder, about 1 teaspoon. Baking powder will make the fried chicken extra light and crispy.

Coating the Chicken

Whisk the flour, spices, and baking powder in a shallow dish. In a separate dish, whisk the eggs and moistening agent. Dip each chicken piece in the egg, then dredge in the flour to coat all sides, shaking off any excess.

Let the coated chicken sit for at least 30 minutes so the coating can adhere better. This helps the chicken get ultra-crispy when frying. Fry the chicken pieces in batches until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels and enjoy your crunchy, buttermilk-free fried chicken!

Step-by-Step Instructions for Perfect Fried Chicken Recipe Without Buttermilk

To make the most delicious fried chicken recipe without buttermilk, follow these easy steps:

  1. Get the ingredients: chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, drumsticks), all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried or fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme, eggs, vegetable or canola oil.
  2. Season the flour: In a large shallow dish, combine 2 cups of the flour, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1 teaspoon dried herbs. Mix well.
  3. Whisk the eggs: Whisk 2-3 eggs in a separate dish.
  4. Coat the chicken: Dredge each piece of chicken in the seasoned flour to coat all sides, shaking off any excess. Then dip in the beaten eggs, letting the excess drip off. Finally, dredge again in the flour mixture, coating completely.
  5. Fill a deep pot or Dutch oven with oil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 350 F.
  6. Fry the chicken in batches: Carefully add a few chicken pieces to the hot oil. Do not crowd the pot. Fry until the pieces are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.
  7. Drain on paper towels: Remove chicken pieces with tongs and drain on paper towels. Season with a bit more salt to taste.
  8. Keep warm in a 200 F oven until ready to serve. Enjoy your crispy, flavorful fried chicken! The key is not overcrowding the pot, maintaining the oil temperature, and coating the chicken pieces evenly and thoroughly. Your guests will surely ask for seconds!

Fried Chicken Recipe Without Buttermilk: Frequently Asked Questions

Making a fried chicken recipe without buttermilk may seem tricky, but it’s easier. Here are some common questions and answers to help you on your way to crispy, homemade fried chicken.

What can I use instead of buttermilk?

Some easy substitutes for buttermilk include:

  • Plain yogurt or sour cream: Provides moisture and tanginess like buttermilk. Use the same amount as the buttermilk called for.
  • Milk: Use the same amount of milk as buttermilk. The chicken won’t have the tangy flavor but will still get nicely coated and crispy.
  • Water: As a last resort, you can use the same amount. The chicken may be slightly drier but will still fry up crispy. Be sure to pat the chicken dry before dredging in flour.
  • Lemon or lime juice: Add 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice to 1 cup of milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The acidity will thicken the milk, creating a buttermilk-like sourness.

Do I need to change anything else in the recipe?

Not much else needs adjustment. You can follow your favorite fried chicken recipe and simply substitute the buttermilk with one of the alternatives. Be sure to pat the chicken dry before dredging in flour. You may need to add more seasoning to the flour to boost the flavor. Other than that, fry as usual for perfectly crispy buttermilk-free fried chicken.

Enjoy your homemade fried chicken recipe without buttermilk! Let me know if you have any other questions.


So there you have it - everything you need to make the most golden, crispy, juicy fried chicken of your life without having to track down that carton of buttermilk in the back of the fridge. Go forth and fry, my friend. Let this start a beautiful relationship between you and the perfect fried chicken. And don't be afraid to experiment with your own herbs and spices, too. The possibilities with this easy buttermilk-free method are endless. Just be sure to let me know how it turns out - can't wait to hear all about your fried chicken recipe without buttermilk adventures