There’s nothing better than perfectly crispy chicken. However, it’s not always easy to achieve that perfect crunch.
Oddly enough, cooking your chicken with baking soda can help you achieve that perfect golden crisp.
Baking soda helps to create the perfect texture on fried chicken when mixed with flour. You only need to add a proportionate amount of each and coat your chicken.
The baking soda meshes perfectly with the skin on the chicken, resulting in a well-balanced cooked surface and texture.
It’s also essential to cook the chicken at the correct temperature. Cooking it too high can ruin the texture and taste of the chicken.
How Does Baking Soda Make Chicken Crispier?
Baking soda helps to make chicken crispier due to its chemical reaction with the skin on the chicken. The baking soda essentially creates a chemical reaction that breaks apart the proteins in the skin.
This chemical reaction causes the skin to become much thinner, which removes sogginess and allows it to become crispy and firm during the frying process.
Baking Soda or Baking Powder for Crispy Chicken?
Baking soda isn’t the only component that creates crispy chicken; baking powder also has a similar effect. Although they both can chemically make the chicken crispier, each works differently.
As mentioned, baking soda reacts with the chicken’s proteins by breaking them up. However, baking soda also breaks the peptide bonds in the chicken skin, which is what causes the chicken to become brown while frying.
Generally, there is one main difference between baking powder and baking soda. Baking powder contains acid, while baking soda doesn’t.
Also, baking soda is much stronger than baking powder. So using too much can leave a metallic taste on your food. Both can be used to fry successfully when frying chicken, but it depends on the remaining ingredients used.
If the batter doesn’t have any other acidic ingredients, then use baking powder.
However, if you’re using buttermilk, it’s best to use baking soda. For example, let’s say you want to make chicken wings.
If you use baking powder, this will give your wings a very crispy texture if the powder is aluminum-free. It will also preserve the flavor instead of altering it.
If you’re opting for baking soda, keep in mind that it’s alkaline. This alkalinity is what helps break the proteins in the skin.
So, in comparison to baking powder, the chicken will cook much faster with baking soda. On the other hand, baking soda will make it crispier and brown very quickly.
Also, keep in mind that baking soda forms bubbles on chicken. The bubbles will also help to create that perfected crispy texture on the skin.
In summary, if you want it fast, use baking powder. If you want it crispier, go with baking soda!
Does Cornstarch Make Chicken Crispier?
Cornstarch is another excellent ingredient to make chicken crispy. It works well since it contains two molecules that help form the structure of the chicken’s crust.
These molecules are amylopectin and amylose. During the cooking process, the molecules absorb water which helps make the crust even more crispy. Also, cornstarch is composed of 25-28 percent of amylose, which further promotes the development of crust without overcooking.
Cornstarch is an excellent alternative, especially for those who may not prefer baking powder or baking soda.
Reasons Why Your Chicken Isn’t Getting Crispy
Fried chicken that isn’t properly fried can make for a not-so-savory eating experience.
The lack of crunchy texture can be caused by several factors:
- The pieces of chicken may be too large. Larger pieces tend to be much more difficult to cook thoroughly. Typically one side may be more cooked than the inside or other sides. This uneven cooking causes uneven breading and crispness throughout the chicken.
- Another reason the chicken isn’t crispy is that the breading process is left off. Oddly enough, some people may skip the breading process to save calories. However, breading is critical to getting chicken properly crispy and fried. So, it’s best to keep this step in your recipe.
- Lastly, your soil may need to be warmer. If your oil isn’t hot enough, it will cause the chicken to soak up the grease instead of properly cooking. This soaking will result in soft and soggy chicken instead of crunchy and crisp.
Can I use Baking Powder in The Air Fryer?
Yes, you can use baking powder in an air fryer. However, it’s best not to try to use baking soda.
The air fryer is an ideal way to get chicken crispy and fast, especially with the help of baking powder.
Just ensure the baking powder is aluminum-free, as previously mentioned. If the baking powder contains aluminum, it can completely alter the flavor.
How Should I Use Baking Soda on Chicken?
When using baking soda to get crispy chicken, you mustn’t use too much. You only need a pinch, otherwise, your chicken will acquire an unfortunate taste.
Also, baking soda helps the breading to rise. So, too much may cause a weird airy texture. But just enough will keep it crispy and uniform.
Mix baking soda, eggs, pepper, paprika, buttermilk, and 2 tbsp of salt into a bowl. Then grab a separate bowl and put some flour in it.
Next, dip your chicken into the flour, then the buttermilk mix, and back into the flour. Then place oil into a skillet and warm it up. Once it’s hot enough, gently lay your chicken into the skillet.
Ensure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t overcook. Turn the chicken once the skin is golden and the chicken gets cooked through.
Drain on a wire rack and serve warm or hot.
What Are Some Alternatives To Baking Soda?
If you’re not a fan of baking soda or prefer another way to get crispy chicken, there are other methods to cook your chicken to a perfect golden crisp.
1. Double Frying
Double frying is a great way to get your chicken nice and crispy without overcooking it. This method helps ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly without becoming too overcooked or burned.
The first round of frying cooks the inside of the chicken. The second round gets the outside golden and crisp. This delicious method also helps to bring out the flavors of the meat even more.
2. Coating with Flour
A classic and common way to get crispy chicken is by coating it with flour. Frying chicken with flour helps give the meat an even coating and cook inside and out.
The flour acts as a barrier between the oil and the chicken, resulting in a perfectly crunchy, even coat.
3. Use Fresh Oil at High Temperatures
Lastly, ensure you warm your oil to a high temperature and make it fresh. If you use old oil, you run the risk of your chicken sticking to the pan.
It’s also beneficial to cook it at high temperatures because it keeps in all the good flavors and stops it from getting overly oily and greasy.
How Should I Use Baking Powder on Chicken?
Baking powder helps chicken get crispy when applied with a dust method. For example, let’s say you want to bake chicken wings and use baking powder to make them crunchy.
Next, dust a little baking powder over the wings, ensuring you don’t thoroughly coat them. Dusting the wings will cover them just enough to draw out the moisture.
Then place them into the oven to bake at 250 degrees F for 30 minutes. This short bake will dry the meat and render the fat. Lastly, put them back into the oven at 450 degrees F for 40 minutes to finish baking them.