The Common Fried Chicken Technique Alton Brown Doesn't Use

As anyone who watches "Good Eats" knows, Alton Brown regularly throws tradition out the window in favor of more effective cooking techniques. His tuna salad contains no sandwich bread, per Food Network, and when he cooks pasta, he adds it to the pot while the water is still cold instead of letting it reach a boil. Though his methods are unconventional at times, they're always backed up by food science as well as trial and error, and fried chicken is no exception.

For starters, Brown's fried chicken recipe calls for soaking the chicken in a plain buttermilk marinade for 12 to 24 hours (via Alton Brown). This apparently yields the crispiest possible crust due to the way buttermilk reacts with the chicken skin. His recipe also uses shortening rather than oil, and the chicken is shallow fried over low heat as opposed to deep fried. These techniques aren't that far removed from how southern-style fried chicken is made, but there's one common step that Brown recommends skipping, per Food Network.

Alton Brown doesn't season his flour

Whether it be a copycat KFC recipe or one that's been in your family for generations, you can pretty much guarantee that the instructions call for adding seasoning to the flour. It's known as such a crucial step that Southern Living even claims that forgetting to do so is one of the biggest southern cooking mistakes because it makes for bland fried chicken. Alton Brown, however, disagrees, and it's not because he prefers his chicken on the plain side.

Brown doesn't add any herbs or spices to his flour, but he does season the actual meat. As he explained in an episode of "Good Eats," spices can quickly burn during the frying process, and as a result, much of the flavor will be lost (via Food Network). It's better, therefore, to first season the meat and then coat it in flour. In this order, the fried chicken will still be flavorful, but the spices will be safe underneath the layer of flour, unexposed to the direct heat of the oil.