Granny’s Secret Fried Chicken using the Vortex

I keep having to pinch myself when I make ‘fried’ chicken on my charcoal grill using the Vortex. Am I dreaming? I’m really eating deep-fried chicken, right? But it’s not. No oil was used in making Granny’s Secret Fried chicken using the Vortex, other than a very light coating at the end to help crisp up the skin. That’s it. The skin is amazingly crunchy and crazy delicious. The meat is so juicy that it drips all down your forearms. And tender? Super perfect texture, bite after bite.
Granny’s Secret Fried Chicken using the Vortex

The ‘secret’ to Granny’s Secret Fried chicken using the Vortex is using Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix for the coating. I’ve never used it on chicken. I will be from now on. It crisps up perfectly. Grandma’s secret is out!

Also try my spicy buttermilk fried chicken using the Vortex.

Granny’s Secret Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

For the brine

  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

For the chicken

  • 1 chicken cut up (or use 6-8 pieces)
  • 3 cups Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg beaten lightly
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted, cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup whole milk room temperature
  • vegetable oil for basting

Instructions

For the brine

  • Combine all brine ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the salt is dissolved and the honey is melted. Remove from heat and let cool.

For the chicken

  • Place the chicken in a large resealable container. Add the cooled brine. Refrigerate for 3 1/2 hours. Turn the chicken every 30 minutes or so if not fully submerged.
  • Fire up your Vortex. Fill it completely with charcoal.
  • Remove chicken from brine and rinse.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the egg, butter and milk.
  • In a resealable bag, combine the pancake mix, salt and pepper.
  • Working in batches, dip chicken into the egg mixture. Shake off excess then place in the bag. Seal and shake to coat.
  • Transfer chicken to the grill around the Vortex. Close the lid and cook for 30-45 minutes. Turn the lid every 15 minutes. Cook until the chicken reaches 165 F as tested in several places.
  • Lightly brush the chicken with oil and let cook another 5 minutes before removing.

Notes

Add a teaspoon or two of paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper to the coating mix for even more deliciousness!

Honey Spice Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Making “fried’ chicken on my Weber Performer grill using the Vortex insert has become a big addiction of mine. I make it often, many different ways, like this honey spice fried chicken using the Vortex. The end result tastes and feels like real fried chicken, but of course you don’t deep fry it in oil. It’s amazingly easy to make and you can change up the sauce at the end and make a new dish every time. Really great stuff!

This time I brushed the chicken with a wonderful honey spicy sauce. The skin crisped up perfectly and the sauce gave it a nice sweet and spicy kick.
Honey Spice Fried Chicken using the VortexSince I was using bone-in split chicken breasts when I made this honey spice fried chicken I opted to use my bigger grill, the Performer, which is 22″ across. For legs or thighs or wings you can use a smaller grill (using the smaller Vortex insert and not the one for larger grills) if you wish, but for breasts you’ll need the larger space of the Performer (or the 22″ Weber Kettle).

The batter for the chicken does crisp up, so if you wish you can use skinless chicken breasts and still enjoy that wonderful crispy fried crunch.

I have a not-even-spicy honey fried chicken recipe too!

Honey Spice Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 -6 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the "Fried" Chicken

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 2 cups self-rising flour if you don't have any, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Chicken cut into pieces (up to 3 pounds)

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup Heinz 57
  • 1/4 cup honey

Instructions

For the "Fried" Chicken

  • Set up your grill for cooking with the Vortex insert. Get the coals good and lit before starting.
  • In a pie pan, beat the eggs with the water.
  • In another pie pan, combine the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Working in batches, dip the chicken in the egg mixture and coat well.
  • Transfer the chicken to the flour mixture and coat well. Shake off any excess flour.
  • Transfer chicken to the grill, placing along the edges with the thickest parts of the chicken towards the center where the Vortex is located.
  • Cover the grill and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Rotate the lid 90 degrees and continue cooking for 15 more minutes.
  • Rotate the lid 90 degrees and continue cooking for 15 more minutes.
  • Check for doneness in the thickest parts of the chicken. If it needs more time, rotate the lid 90 degrees and continue cooking for 15 more minutes.
  • Brush with sauce and cook another 5 minutes.

For the sauce

  • Whisk together all ingredients.

Honey Fried Chicken using the Vortex

I think I could ‘fry’ chicken on my grill using the Vortex every day of the week. The possibilities are endless but the results are always fantastic. Crunchy skin and tender, juicy meat. I prefer to use bone-in chicken thighs, with the skin on. They have the most flavor and are the most tender. The coating is simple. This time, for a change, I drizzled the fried chicken with a bit of honey. Honey fried chicken using the Vortex was crazy good.
Honey Fried Chicken using the VortexSince the honey adds a good bit of sweetness to the chicken you might want to offset that a bit by adding a bit of heat. A little cayenne pepper in the dredge will get you that. Or try chipotle powder for a little kick and little smokiness. Just don’t skip the honey. After all, you’re making honey fried chicken using the Vortex. And if you want, you can make a spicy version too!

Also try my buttermilk fried chicken using the Vortex.

Honey Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes
Servings 4 -5 servings
Author Inspired by a recipe from Nancy Fuller

Ingredients

  • 8-10 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (or whatever cuts you prefer)
  • Vegetable oil

For the brine

  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

For the dredge

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder

For serving

  • 1 cup honey warmed (thinned with a splash of water if desired)

Instructions

  • Place the chicken into a large resealable container.
  • Whisk together the brine ingredients and add to the chicken.
  • Refrigerate for 4 hours.
  • Fire up your Vortex. Fill it completely with charcoal and let them get good and hot.
  • Combine the dredge ingredients in a large pie pan or resealable baggie.
  • Working in batches, remove chicken from brine. Shake off the excess then coat in the dredge (if using a bag just put 2-3 pieces in at a time, seal, and shake to coat).
  • Transfer to the grill around the Vortex.
  • Cook for approximately 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F as measured in several places. Optionally, turn the lid every 15 minutes. I've found that on smaller grills turning the lid isn't necessary, but on a 26" grill you might want to turn it.
  • Brush chicken very lightly with the oil and let cook another 5 minutes.
  • Remove and drizzle with the warmed honey. Serve.

Pizza Rolls using the Vortex

I make a lot of chicken on my Vortex. Wings and ‘fried’ chicken are my favorites. And sometimes there’s a bit of space left around the grill. That’s when Totino’s pizza rolls make an appearance. Nothing fru-fru, nothing complicated. But, oh so tasty. Roasting them using the Vortex gives them an extra-special crunchiness that you just can’t get in the oven.
Pizza Rolls using the Vortex

Pizza rolls using the Vortex don’t take as long as chicken to cook, so you can either put them on later if you want them with your chicken, or start them at the same time so you have a little treat to much on while the chicken is finishing. If you are sharing space on the grill with raw chicken make sure that the rolls and chicken don’t touch. I like to put them on opposite sides of the grill.

I like to serve my pizza rolls with a bit of warmed pizza sauce for dipping.

Also try chicken fingers on the Vortex.

Pizza Rolls using the Vortex

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Cook Time 25 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

Bloody Mary Buffalo Chicken using the Vortex

After making a big batch of crazy delicious Bloody Mary chicken wings I knew exactly what I needed to make next: Bloody Mary Buffalo Chicken, using a Vortex insert on my Weber Performer grill. Crispy, crunchy, moist, tender, juicy. And spicy.

Using the Vortex makes making seems-like-fried chicken an absolute breeze. It’s something I make often, and as often as I can!
Bloody Mary Buffalo Chicken using the VortexThe fried chicken mix recipe can be used for any chicken, it doesn’t have to be Bloody Mary flavored. The coating adheres perfectly and gives you that perfect crispy crust. For me, my go-to chicken on the Vortex is bone-in, skin-on thighs. They are the juiciest and have the most flavor.

I love making fried chicken using my Vortex. This Bloody Mary Buffalo version is just another reason why! Try this recipe with my Bloody Mary rim salt instead!

Bloody Mary Buffalo Chicken using the Vortex

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 pieces
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (or your preferred cuts)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Fried chicken mix below
  • Bloody Mary Seasoning below
  • Bloody Mary Buffalo sauce below

For the fried chicken mix

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika you can use smoked paprika for more grilled-like flavor
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Bloody Mary seasoning see below, to taste

For the Bloody Mary seasoning (makes enough for the wings with some leftover for rimming Bloody Mary glasses!)

  • 5 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika

For the Bloody Mary Buffalo sauce

Instructions

  • Fire up your Kettle grill with the Vortex loaded with charcoal. Don't start cooking until the coals are all lit and starting to ash over.
  • Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
  • Place the fried chicken mix into a large baggie.
  • Lightly brush the chicken with vegetable oil.
  • Working in batches, place chicken pieces in the bag. Seal and shake. Shake off excess.
  • Transfer chicken to the grill along the edges, skin-side up.
  • Cover and cook for 45 minutes, turning the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes lightly brush the chicken with the Buffalo sauce. Don't be shy. Note: If you are using pieces other than split chicken breasts, you'll want to rotate the pieces at this time.
  • Cover and cook another 15 minutes or until the chicken hits 160 F. Fee free to brush with more Buffalo sauce, to taste.
  • Remove and let rest and come to 165 F before serving.

Dip-Fried Chicken using the Vortex

This dip-fried chicken using the Vortex is mighty darned near the same as my equally-as-crazy-good Nashville hot chicken. The crust is just a bit different. The sauce is just a bit different. But the chicken is still unbelievably moist, tender, and delicious. I’ve said it a thousand times: nothing beats ‘fried’ chicken made using the Vortex. Nothing.

Dip-Fried Chicken using the Vortex

I’m a big fan of spicy foods. Not over-the-top, curled-up-on-the-floor-crying spicy. But good spicy. The kind where you can still taste the food. I thought this dip-fried chicken using the Vortex nailed the spicy factor just perfectly. But I warn you, it is spicy. I suggest that once you start eating you don’t stop. Because that’s when the burn comes.

Sure, you can cut back on the amount of hot sauce if you wish. Or add more.

Dip-Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 6-8 pieces chicken use bone-in, skin-on for the best results

For the brine

  • 5 cups water you might need a bit more
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

For the coating

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water

For the dipping sauce

  • 1 1/4 cups Texas Pete hot sauce
  • 5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions

For the brine

  • Place the brine ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the honey and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Place the chicken in a large resealable container. Add the brine. If it doesn't cover the chicken stir in more water. Cover and refrigerate for 3 1/2 hours.

For the coating

  • Combine the coating ingredients in a large bowl using your fingers. You want the mixture to be coarse.
  • Remove the chicken from the brine. Do not rinse or pat dry. Place into the breading and coat completely. Transfer to a wire rack and place into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Fire up your Vortex. Get the coals good and lit and lightly ashed. Remove the chicken from the fridge and place around the fire. Close the lid and cook 30-45 minutes, possibly longer, turning the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes.
  • Test the chicken for doneness, you want 160 F in the white meat and 175 in the dark. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly.

For the dipping sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat and keep warm until ready to use.
  • Dunk chicken in the dipping sauce and serve.

Fried Chicken with Gravy using the Vortex

I’ve had Grandma’s fried chicken with gravy. It was crazy good. Cooked in oil in a cast-iron skillet over a hot gas stove, it was the food of dreams. I’ve now had the pleasure of enjoying that same great crunchy, moist chicken with a delicious gravy, all cooked using my Vortex insert. This right here is amazingly great chicken, and all without deep-frying.
Fried Chicken with Gravy using the Vortex

Fried chicken with gravy using the Vortex takes a bit more work than just making fried chicken on the grill. The gravy is the special addition, and to make it you need drippings from the chicken. Normally when I ‘fry’ chicken on my charcoal grill the drippings end up disappearing into the bottom of the grill. To make the gravy I had to ‘capture’ some of those drippings using disposable pans positioned underneath the chicken. I found some small aluminum pans at your grocery store that worked just fine, capturing all that dripping goodness.

Also try my more traditional (but dang good) fried chicken on the Vortex. Nothing beats chicken on a Vortex. Nothing.

Fried Chicken with Gravy using the Vortex

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 pieces

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Chicken
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 2 Vegetable oil for basting

Gravy:

  • 1/4 cup chicken drippings
  • 1/4 cup All purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

For the chicken

  • Put the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add enough cold water to cover the chicken. Stir in 2 tablespoons of salt. Cover and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.
  • Fire up your Vortex. Let the coals get just ashed over. To make gravy place small disposable aluminum pans under a few of the pieces of chicken.
  • Remove chicken from the brine. Do not rinse. In a pie plate or shallow bowl, combine the flour and salt and pepper to taste. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, coating completely. Shake off any excess.
  • Transfer the chicken to the grill around the Vortex. Cover and cook 45 minutes, rotating the lid every 15 minutes. Check for near doneness (160 F for white meat, 170 F for dark meat) in several places before removing.
  • Lightly brush the chicken with oil and cook another 2-3 minutes to crisp the skin and finish cooking the chicken (165 F for white meat, 175 F for dark). Remove to a plate or cooling rack.

For the gravy

  • Carefully remove the disposable pans containing the drippings. Don't spill it onto the Vortex or it will flame up. You'll need 1/4 cup of the drippings.
  • Place drippings into a medium skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until browned, about 1 minute. 
  • Add milk and whisk until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve chicken with the gravy and devour.

Louisiana Crispy Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Any day that includes firing up my Weber Performer grill outfitted with a Vortex insert and cooking ‘fried’ chicken is a good day. Actually, it’s a fantastic day. I’m willing to bet that in a blind taste test you could not tell the difference between this Louisiana crispy fried chicken using the Vortex and chicken fried in oil.

This is seriously crispy chicken. Seasoned perfectly. Moist and tender meat. Make extra because you’ll need it. And don’t expect any leftovers either.
Louisiana Crispy Fried Chicken using the Vortex
I’ve made fried chicken using the Vortex many, many times. Sometimes I make my own batter or coating, sometimes I just use store-bought, like the Louisiana Seasoned Crispy Fried Chicken batter I used this time. No matter what I use, it’s always fantastic. You can’t wrong with this Louisiana crispy fried chicken using the Vortex. It’ll amaze you and your guests.

Also try my spicy BBQ fried chicken if you want a little more kick to your ‘fried’ chicken.

Louisiana Crispy Fried Chicken using the Vortex

I prefer to cook 'fried' chicken on a 22" grill using the Vortex. You can cook them on an 18" grill too, but sometimes the edges nearest the Vortex get a little over-cooked.
Course Main
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your Vortex, filling it all the way with charcoal. Let the coals get good and hot, keeping both the top and bottom grill vents wide open.
  • Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry.
  • Working in batches, place a little of the fry batter into a resealable bag or container and add a few pieces of chicken. Seal and toss gently to coat.
  • Transfer chicken to the grill around the Vortex.
  • Cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F as measured in several locations. I have not found it necessary to rotate the grill lid, but if you want to, rotate it 45 degrees every 15 minutes.

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken using the Vortex

This. Right. Here. Absolutely divine ‘fried’ chicken, hot off my charcoal grill. Yes, grill. Before I got a Vortex, I had no idea that not only could I make fried chicken on a grill, I could make it with almost no effort at all. No deep fryer, no mess.This spicy buttermilk fried chicken is beyond tender and juicy. It has a wonderful spicy kick to it, but it’s not overwhelming. And the skin? Oh, crunchy and delicious. Perfection without the oil.
Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken using the VortexThere’s absolutely nothing I would change about this recipe for spicy buttermilk fried chicken. I enjoyed every single bite immensely. I think it’s the perfect fried chicken, and considering that I made it on my grill without deep frying it, I just could not possibly be happier with it.

To make sure the skin crisps up good and that the chicken pieces cook evenly, do not over-crowd them on your grill. Also, I do not flip my chicken as it cooks. I put it on, close the lid, and don’t mess with the chicken for 45 minutes. Just let it do it’s thing.

I also make a crazy good spicy BBQ chicken using the Vortex. And Granny’s Secret fried chicken is amazing too!

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Note: To cook 10-12 pieces of chicken at once you'll need at least a 22" charcoal grill
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 45 minutes
Servings 10 pieces

Ingredients

For the buttermilk marinade

  • 2 quarts buttermilk
  • 1 large onion sliced thin
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 10-12 chicken pieces

For the seasoning mix

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

For the chicken coating

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 of the seasoning mix from above

For the egg wash

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

For cooking

  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Combine the buttermilk marinade ingredients (except for the chicken) in a large resealable container.
  • Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  • Combine all of the seasoning mix ingredients. Divide into two equally-sized batches.
  • Fire up your charcoal grill with the Vortex in the center. Make sure the lid and bottom air vents are open.
  • Whisk together the coating ingredients and place into a large resealable bag.
  • Whisk together the egg wash ingredients and place into a pie pan or large bowl.
  • Working in batches, remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess.
  • Sprinkle with one half of the seasoning mix.
  • Transfer to the egg wash and coat well.
  • Shake off the excess and add to the baggie. Seal and shake to coat.
  • Arrange chicken around the edges of your grill (once the coals are hot and ashed over). Cover and cook for 45 minutes, rotating the lid every 15 minutes.
  • The last 5 minutes of cooking lightly brush the tops of the chicken with the oil to help crisp the skin even more.
  • Once chicken is done (165 F as measured in several places), remove and let cool slightly before serving.

Cajun Injected Chicken using the Vortex

I cook a lot, and I do mean a lot, of chicken using my Vortex. Wings and thighs are my favorite and I’ve cooked them countless delicious ways. But I’d never injected my chicken until now. This Cajun injected chicken using the Vortex is just packed with bite after bite of crazy good flavor. Moist doesn’t even come close to describing the meat. And yet it still has the perfect texture and that great crunchy skin.
Cajun Injected Chicken using the Vortex

Store-bought Cajun seasoning can be a bit on the salty side. If you prefer to use less salt I recommend that you make your own seasoning and use as much or as little salt as you wish. That way you can tailor your Cajun injected chicken using the Vortex to your individual tastes.

You’ll also want to make my Vortex Nashville hot chicken.

Cajun Injected Chicken using the Vortex

Note; Store-bought Cajun seasoning can be quite salty. For a less salty version make your own and reduce the amount of salt.
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 3-4 pounds chicken pieces I used skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup Cajun seasoning

For the injection

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup beer at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

Instructions

  • Rub the chicken with the seasoning. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove chicken from the fridge and let come to room temperature while you fire up your grill with the Vortex insert.
  • While the coals are getting hot, combine the injection ingredients. Using a syringe, inject the liquid in several spots in each piece of chicken.
  • Transfer chicken to the edges of your grill, around the Vortex.
  • Cook for approximately 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F as measured in several locations.