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How to Fry Chicken Tenders

We will show you how to fry chicken tenders without eggs if you need substitutions, with flour and breadcrumbs or tempura batter, and how long they take in oil to be juicy with crispy breading. If you love Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer but want to make them homemade on the stove, we have directions.

How to Fry Chicken Tenders

Ok so we make these all the time and changed it up year after year. Now that my girls are teens and into eating healthy they have come up with alternatives to bread crumbs that are delicious and seasonings I never would have thought about. (affiliate links present)

Can you fry chicken tenders without eggs?

Yep!! We hare How to Bread Chicken Without Eggs here with you, with a number of alternative options. From Greek yogurt to mayonnaise you should try something else at least once to see if it is tastier for your family. I will say, Best Foods is super delicious and works well for us.

Below we will explain the “regular” breading you’d normally think about, but coated with our 3 ingredient tempura batter is beyond delicious too. As for how long to fry either, there isn’t a huge difference.

How do you get breading to stick to boneless skinless chicken?

Dry the outside of the meat with paper towels! Moisture is the biggest enemy to breading meat or vegetables so just blot to absorb water or juices that may be on them. Dipping quickly to coat lightly in flour will allow wet egg or batter to stick better.

how to get breading to stick to chicken
homemade tenders

How Long to Deep Fry Tenders

To deep fry chicken tenders at 375°F, you typically need to submerge them for about 4-6 minutes total. If the whole piece is covered with oil there is no need to flip it at all. Just watch for the coloring, it should be a deep golden brown. The exact time can vary based on the thickness of the tenders and whether they are raw or pre-cooked.

  1. Preheat Oil – Heat your oil to 375 degrees F in a deep fryer or a large pot.
  2. Prepare – Ensure each piece is properly coated with breading or this is How to Make Beer Batter.
  3. Fry for about 4-6 minutes or until they are golden brown and reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  4. Drain – Use a slotted spoon to remove the tenders and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
How to know when chicken tenders are done frying?

It should be a golden brown color when done with clear juices running from the inside when you cut it in half. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part. It should read 165°F. The breading should be crispy and firm too.

What is the trick to frying chicken?

1. Choose oils with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil.
2. Heat the oil to 355-360°F, checking with a deep-fry thermometer to monitor. The oil will cool when you add the chicken, so adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the temperature.
3. Fry in batches to avoid overcrowding, this lowers the oil temperature and results in greasy meat.
4. Use a wire rack over a baking sheet or paper towels to drain after frying. This keeps it crispy by allowing excess oil to drip away.

What is the best oil for chicken tenders?

The best oil for frying should have a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. Peanut oil is what we use for our Beer Batter Chicken Tenders typically but there are others;

Peanut Oil has a high smoke point, neutral flavor. Canola Oil has a neutral flavor, low in saturated fats. Vegetable Oil is versatile, and found most easily. Sunflower Oil is rich in vitamin E. Corn Oil isn’t as common but has a light flavor that pairs well with some recipes.

chicken tenders without eggs

Pan Fried

Once you have them all prepared like you see here above you need to wait until the oil is hot enough. It doesn’t matter whether you are making Pan Fried Chicken Legs, cutlets or thighs, never ever put meat in until it is about 360F or it will just suck it up and the coating will just start to fall off. It will become yucky.

Once everything is ready you want to carefully place into the hot oil. Fry for about 3-4 minutes per side (timing will depend on thickness) or until golden brown and juices inside run clear. Drain on paper towels to absorb excess frying liquids and serve immediately.

fried chicken tenders

Is it safe to fry chicken from frozen?

No. Frozen chicken may not cook evenly, leading to some parts being overcooked while others remain undercooked. You can however Boil Frozen Chicken to shred or dip that works great. I would go with that at least until the internal temp. reaches 150F or so and then you could finish off in hot oil to crisp.

What sauce goes with fried chicken?

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How to Fry Chicken Tenders
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How to Fry Chicken Tenders

How to fry chicken tenders without eggs, with flour and breadcrumbs and how long they take in oil to be juicy with crispy breading.
Course Entree, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword breaded, chicken tenders, fried
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 318kcal
Author The Typical Mom




  • Mix together flour, and all seasonings in a shallow dish and set aside. In another shallow bowl, beat together egg and 2 tbsp water and set aside. In a third bowl, add bread crumbs to a shallow dish and set aside.
  • Heat about 2" of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat until it reaches 360 degrees F before adding meat.
  • Dredge each piece in flour mixture, coating both sides. Dip in egg, coating both sides and finally coat well in bread crumbs on both sides. Set aside on a plate until all are coated.
  • Carefully place tenders into the hot oil. Fry for about 3-4 minutes per side (timing will depend on thickness) or until golden brown and juices inside run clear. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with french fries and ranch.


Do not add meat into oil until it reaches close to 360F so it becomes crispy and doesn’t soak it up.
Nutrition Facts
How to Fry Chicken Tenders
Amount Per Serving (1 oz)
Calories 318 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 114mg38%
Sodium 839mg36%
Potassium 527mg15%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 152IU3%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating

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