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.
There’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.
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
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 45 minutes
Servings 10 pieces
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
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.
I could make (and eat) ‘fried’ chicken using my Vortex BBQ all day long. It has never let me down. It has never been anything but easy. This copycat of Church’s fried chicken was no exception. Incredibly crunchy skin. Unbelievably moist and flavorful meat. And as easy as coating it, grilling it, eating it. Done.
There are no tricks or special handshakes that you need to know to get fried chicken right using the Vortex. And although a lot of sites say to rotate the lid every 15 minutes while cooking, I’ve not found that it makes a difference. I don’t over-crowd my grill and I make sure I have a super-hot fire. If you’ve found that rotating the lid is a requirement, let me know but so far, I’ve not had anything but success just keeping the lid right where it is. I also do not flip my chicken while it is cooking. Doing so will result in ‘batter loss’, a bad thing. Just keep it right where it is.
Also try my insanely-awesome proper pub fried chicken, another fantastic recipe for deliciously crispy tasty chicken cooked using the Vortex. You can also use off-the-shelf fried chicken coating to make spectacular chicken on the Vortex. Check out my Kentucky Kernel chicken too!
Copycat Church's Fried Chicken Using the Vortex
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
- 4-8 pieces of chicken I prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
For the dry mixture
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 3 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup Bisquick
- 1 envelope Italian dressing mix
- 1 envelope onion soup mix
Fire up your grill with the Vortex BBQ. Let the coals get good and hot.
Combine all of the dry mixture ingredients in a pie plate.
In another pie plate, whisk together the eggs and water.
Working in batches, dip the chicken into the wet mixture, then into the dry mixture.
One more time, dip the chicken into the wet mixture and then the dry mixture.
Transfer chicken to your grill grate around the Vortex and cook until done, about 45 minutes.
Lightly brush the chicken with oil the last 5 minutes of cooking to get a crispier skin.
I’m a huge fan of cooking chicken wings using the Vortex BBQ. I’m also a huge fan of ‘frying’ chicken using the Vortex BBQ. And now, I’m a huge fan of making chicken fingers using the Vortex BBQ. Just as easy as wings or fried chicken, these fingers came out tender and super tasty. They have a very nice coating that is light on crunch but heavy on flavor. And nothing could be easier to make, either!
Chicken fingers on the Vortex BBQ cook a whole lot quicker than do wings or chicken thighs. Don’t throw them on and ignore them. They’ll be done in no time.
As I mention in the recipe note, I put foil on my grill grates before I added the chicken. I’m not 100% sure if that’s required, but the chicken didn’t stick.
If you’re looking for a great side dish for your chicken fingers, make a batch of seasoned skinny fries, also made using a Vortex. For dipping sauces, try my copycat of Chick-fil-A’s dipping sauce, firecracker dipping sauce or my chili dipping sauce.
Also try making pizza rolls on the Vortex. They’ll disappear like that!
Chicken Fingers using the Vortex
Note: I covered my grill grates in foil and brushed on a light coating of oil because I thought the fingers might stick. I haven't tried to make them yet without foil. You might want to foil yours also, or at least oil them before adding the chicken.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
- 2 pounds chicken tenderloins
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Hot sauce optional, to taste
- Vegetable oil
Fire up your charcoal grill with the Vortex BBQ insert. Let the coals get good and hot.
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a pie plate.
Pour the buttermilk into another pie plate. Whisk in the hot sauce if using.
Working in batches, dip the chicken into the flour mixture, then the buttermilk, and then once again in the flour.
Transfer to your grill and cook for 15-20 minutes or until done. Lightly brush the chicken with the oil the last 5 minutes of cooking.