The Tool That Will Make Cooking Fried Chicken Much Easier

Craving some crispy, homemade fried chicken but not sure you want to deal with the messy ordeal of breading it? Then this hack might be just what you're looking for. All that it requires is one extra tool that you may already be planning on breaking out for your frying routine.

Meghan Splawn, a food writer and podcast host, revealed what her miracle tool is for perfect fried chicken on Simply Recipes. And that device is a spider strainer. This simple, useful device is essentially a long-handled spoon with a fine-mesh basket resembling a spider web attached and is often used for fishing food out of hot liquids, like removing hard boiled eggs from boiling water, or meat from frying oil. As All Recipes notes, a "spider" as they are commonly called is excellent for retrieving foods out of frying oil since it is long enough to keep your arm away from oil spatters, and the weave of the basket is open enough to drain all the excess oil away.

Aside from using the spider to remove the chicken from oil, though, Splawn explains that the spider can also be used as a hassle-free way to prepare the chicken before it is sent to the fryer.

One versatile tool

Simply Recipes uses a buttermilk brined chicken recipe for its explanation of the process, noting first that the spider can be used to retrieve the chicken from the liquid brine and then be used again to dredge the meat in flour. Instead of using a pie tin or plate to dredge the chicken, as recommended by sources including Better Homes & Gardens, Splawn suggests putting the flour mixture in a large mixing bowl, slightly larger than your spider strainer, then burying the bowl end of the strainer in the flour and dropping the chicken into the bowl. The strainer handle can then be manipulated to toss the chicken in the flour and thoroughly coat it before being lifted out and having the excess coating easily shaken off.

If you want to give this less messy version of chicken preparation a try but do not have a spider in your kitchen, they come in a variety of sizes and are typically made with either bamboo or stainless steel. It is also important to select one that will fit into your mixing bowls and cooking pots easily but will still hold an adequate amount of food. The good news is they are easy to find FoodsGuy recommends three different models in slightly different models and shapes which all cost about $12 on Amazon.