Chicken Recipes




Grilled Chicken vs. Fried Chicken: Exploring The Different Nutrition, Texture, And Taste Of The Two

Grilled Chicken vs Fried Chicken

Grilled Chicken vs. Fried Chicken: Exploring The Different Nutrition, Texture, And Taste Of The Two

Chicken has become a staple in many recipes. One of the reasons is that chicken is a healthy alternative to many different types of meat. It contains vital nutrients and vitamins that we need in our everyday life. Also, the versatility makes cooking and adding chicken to salads, casseroles, or stir-fries easy. There are also many different ways to cook chicken. Two of the most popular ways to cook this meat include grilling and frying. Both grilled and fried chicken are bursting with flavor. The main difference between grilled and fried chicken lies in the cooking methods. Grilled chicken uses the heat of a pan or grill to cook, while fried chicken uses hot oil and grease. There are many more differences between the two, which this post covers. Read on for more information on the difference between grilled and fried chicken. 

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Grilled Chicken vs. Fried Chicken: What are the Differences?

When it comes to eating chicken, many people have their own personal preferences. It can be hard to beat the smell and taste of delicious fried chicken, especially if it comes from your grandma's kitchen! However, on the other hand, grilled chicken offers many excellent health benefits. So, what are the top differences between the two? The main differences between grilled and fried chicken are the cooking methods, cook time each takes, flavor, texture, and nutrients each offer. We are going to explore each category in depth below. 

Homemade Grilled Chipotle Chicken Breast with Cilantro and LIme
Grilled chicken is versatile and great in many dishes, including salad, wraps, or by itself.

©Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Cooking Methods and Time

The cooking methods may be the most predominant difference between these two types of chicken. Grilled chicken uses direct heat to grill the meat. The chicken cooks directly on the grill and uses no other cooking medium. Additionally, the versatility of chicken means grilled chicken can adapt well to many different types of seasoning and marinades.

On the other hand, fried chicken has a very strategic cooking method. First, fried chicken is covered in a seasoned batter or flour. Next, fried chicken requires immersing the meat in hot cooking oil. The cook time is also different. Grilled chicken takes more time to cook than fried chicken. On the other hand, fried chicken takes less time to cook because the oil is at a higher temperature typically than the grill. 

Flavor and Texture

Fried chicken requires dipping it in seasoned flour or seasoned batter several times. The seasoned batter creates the outer layer that gives the chicken its crunch. While the batter or flour is typically covered in seasoning well, the flavor is less pronounced on fried chicken than on grilled chicken. Therefore the taste of fried chicken may be less intense than grilled, depending on the chicken's seasoning or marinade. Grilled chicken also has a smoky, intense flavor. 

Regarding texture, the fried chicken has a crunchy outer layer and a soft and tender middle. Grilled chicken, on the other hand, is typically the tougher of the two chickens because it doesn't have the outer flour layer protecting it while cooking. 

Grilled Chicken vs. Fried Chicken Nutritional Value

Another difference between grilled chicken and fried chicken lies in the nutritional value of the two. Grilled chicken beats out fried chicken as being healthier. Fried chicken requires dipping in hot oil and breading with flour or batter, decreasing the health benefits and increasing calories. If you are looking for a versatile, healthy alternative to fried chicken, grilled chicken is it. Chicken is adaptable, meaning you can season, marinade, and cook it in many different ways. The adaptability of chicken means it is also possible to toss grilled or fried chicken on your salads and eat them alone or on a wrap. There are many ways to experiment with chicken and the excellent nutritional benefits of this protein-packed meat! 

Grilled Chicken vs Fried Chicken Nutritional Facts


What is Grilled Chicken?

Grilling chicken uses the cooking process with no medium on direct heat, typically a grill. The heat will cook the outside first and then move into the middle of the chicken. This type of chicken is versatile and takes well to many different seasonings and marinades. The taste of grilled chicken is typically smoky and juicy. Grilled chicken is often a top choice for those choosing a healthy diet because of the nutrients, including iron and protein, that it packs. Chicken is also lower in calories, making it a favorite choice. 

What is Fried Chicken?

Fried chicken uses the cooking method of dipping in hot oil and breading in seasoned flour or batter. After dipping the chicken in hot oil and it is cooked through. Usually, when cooking fried chicken, regular flour is best, though other forms of starch can be a substitute, including corn or potato starch. Fried chicken also uses brining in some form of milk, generally buttermilk. When brining the chicken, you lock in the moisture and add flavor.

Grilled chicken is the healthier choice, although fried chicken makes a delicious meal and goes great with many different sides! 

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Fried chicken goes great with many different sides, including green beans and mashed potatoes.

©Fierman Much/Shutterstock.com

Can You Substitute Fried Chicken For Grilled Chicken?

Yes. You can substitute fried chicken and grilled chicken. In doing so, it is essential to remember the nutrient value. Many people will substitute grilled chicken for fried chicken because they want a healthier protein option. However, enjoying fried chicken occasionally can complete a great family meal.

What are Substitutes for Grilled Chicken?

If you aren't a big fan of chicken but still would like to enjoy its benefits, you can try many different substitutes! If you want a meatless option, nuts, beans, sprouts, and even tofu offer similar nutritional benefits, including protein and essential vitamins like vitamin C. You can substitute ground turkey, burgers, lean beef, or pork if you are okay with eating meat. These meats offer delicious and tender flavor, texture, and beneficial vitamins and minerals. 

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  • The must-have convenient reference guide for every home cook!
  • Includes more than 8,000 substitutions for ingredients, cookware, and techniques.
  • Save time and money on by avoiding trips to grab that "missing" ingredient you don't really need.
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What are Substitutes for Fried Chicken?

When substituting fried chicken, it is typically for the health benefits. You can alternatively eat any of the foods mentioned above and receive a healthy boost to your diet. However, you can also try a few more substitutes, especially if you enjoy the crunch of fried chicken. For example, aside from grilled or baked chicken, you could try fried tofu. Fried tofu doesn't offer much in taste. However, it absorbs seasoning and marinades very well. There are also baked or fried vegan chicken options with fewer calories and fat than typical fried chicken. 

One Final Note

Infographic comparing grilled and fried chicken.
Fried chicken is unhealthy compared to grilled chicken.
  • Grilled chicken has a strong, smoky flavor that many people love. Fried chicken has a milder taste, but is loved for its crunch.
  • Fried chicken cooks in hot oil, while grilled chicken cooks on direct heat.
  • Grilled chicken has significantly less fat and fewer calories than fried chicken, making it a lot healthier.

Chicken is an excellent source of protein, iron, and many other vitamins. Its versatility has made it adaptable to being cooked in various ways, including grilled and fried. Grilled chicken wins by a long shot regarding which form is healthier. Fried chicken is cooked in fatty oils and covered in high-calorie and high-fat batter. The oil and batter alone increase calorie and fat intake even higher than grilled chicken. That doesn't mean fried chicken still can't be enjoyed. It can! Grilled chicken is the way to go if you want a healthy alternative to fried chicken. Other than the main difference, the texture, taste, and cooking methods also differ.

Grilled chicken is typically firmer and has a smokier taste than fried chicken. Fried chicken is milder in flavor yet has a delicious crunchy outer layer. No matter what version of chicken you prefer, one thing is for sure; chicken is hard to beat! 

Grilled Chicken Recipes

Fried Chicken Recipes

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Fried chicken

Saltine Fried Chicken

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  • Author: Moms Who Think



30 saltine crackers
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons dry potato flakes
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg
¼ cup vegetable oil
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


1. Place crackers in a large resealable plastic bag; seal bag and crush crackers until they are coarse crumbs.

2. Add flour, potato flakes, seasoned salt, and pepper to bag and mix well.

3. Beat egg in a shallow dish or bowl; heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

4. One by one, dredge chicken pieces in egg beat, then place in bag with crumb mixture, seal bag and shake to coat.

5. Reduce heat to medium and cook coated chicken in skillet for 15 to 20 minutes, turning frequently, until golden brown and juices run clear.

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