Hidden Valley Ranch Fried Chicken using the Vortex

The beauty of the Vortex BBQ insert is that you can take pretty much any deep-fryer recipe and use it on a charcoal grill. It doesn’t have to be for chicken either. This Hidden Valley Ranch fried chicken using the Vortex is a perfect example of just how amazing it is. The meat is crazy tender, unbelievable moist. And the skin? Well, let’s just say I leave it for last because it’s almost like dessert. A true treat.
Hidden Valley Ranch Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Hidden Valley Ranch fried chicken using the Vortex is incredibly easy to make. And there’s no mess or clean up like if you’d fried the chicken on the stovetop or in a deep fryer. It’s why I love all my Vortexes. I have some for my big charcoal grills and some for my smaller charcoal grills. Which one I use depends on how much I’m cooking, but no matter what, everything comes out fantastic.

Also try my Granny’s Secret Fried Chicken using the Vortex.

Hidden Valley Ranch Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 pieces
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces chicken I used skin-on, bone-in thighs
  • 1 cup Hidden Valley Ranch dressing prepared per package instructions
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Place chicken in a resealable container or bag. Add the dressing. Seal and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Fire up your grill with the Vortex insert. Let the coals get good and hot.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess.
  • Combine the pepper, flour and salt in a pie plate, bowl or baggie. Add the chicken and coat well.
  • Transfer chicken to your grill around the Vortex. Do not let the pieces overlap or touch.
  • Cook for approximate 45 minutes or until the chicken is done. Test for 165 F in several places then remove.
  • If desired, lightly brush the chicken with oil and let cook another 5 minutes. This will produce even crunchier chicken.
  • Let cool slightly and serve.

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.

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.

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 and my easy Cajun fried 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.

Buzznbeez Southern Fried Chicken using the Vortex

You definitely don’t have to brine your chicken to ‘fry’ it using the Vortex, but oh boy, does it make a difference. I was watching Eat Street on the Cooking Channel when they did a segment on the Buzznbeez food truck in Tempe, Arizona. They make my kind of food: soul food. Which means southern fried chicken. Dang good looking southern fried chicken. I proceeded to find the recipe for Buzznbeez southern fried chicken and make it using the Vortex.

This right here is great eats. Tender, juicy, beyond flavorful, and oh…. that skin… and that beautiful color. Every bite was a dream come true. I’d make this again and again.

Buzznbeez Southern Fried Chicken using the VortexFor a little twist, I used my homemade smoked sea salt in the brine. It added a slight smokiness. You can get the same effect by placing a chunk of wood over your Vortex while cooking the chicken (something I also like to do when cooking wings on my Vortex, something I do almost daily!).

Buzznbeez Southern Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken pieces (I prefer bone-in skin-in chicken thighs
  • Brine see below
  • Coating see below
  • A tablespoon or two of vegetable oil

For the brine

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

For the coating

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions

  • Place chicken into a large bowl or resealable container.
  • Combine the brine ingredients and add to the chicken. Toss to coat.
  • Slowly add enough cold water to just cover the chicken.
  • Cover or seal and refrigerate overnight (or up to 24 hours).
  • Fire up your grill for cooking with the Vortex.
  • Combine the coating ingredients.
  • Remove chicken pieces from the brine. Shake off excess then toss in the coating, cover the pieces completely.
  • Transfer chicken to the grill around the Vortex.
  • Cover and cook for 45 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 F as measured in several places.
  • Lightly brush with a little vegetable oil and cook another 2-3 minutes to crisp up the skin.
  • Remove and let rest 5 minutes before serving.