Easy Crispy Fried Chicken using the Vortex

There’s definitely no wrong way to make ‘fried’ chicken on your charcoal grill using the Vortex. I absolutely love it. For a long time I’ve been making my chicken using batter made from scratch. This time I decided to try an off-the-shelf batter mix usually meant for actual deep frying in oil. The result? Absolutely delicious, crunchy, moist fried chicken with about as little fuss and mess as possible. And no oil.
Easy Crispy Fried Chicken using the VortexAny good fried chicken batter mix will work. It’s called easy crispy fried chicken for a reason. Just dip and put onto the grill. I prefer to use split bone-in chicken breasts or thighs. I recommend bone-in chicken because it will have more flavor and won’t dry out as easily as boneless.

You can use boneless chicken but you might have to adjust the cook time. When I do need boneless ‘fried’ chicken I still cook it bone-on then remove the meat from the bone when done. If you prefer to make your own batter from scratch, try my super easy Vortex fried chicken recipe. For something a bit more fru-fru, make my spicy BBQ fried chicken. You’ll quickly see why fried chicken on the Vortex is fantastic!

Easy Crispy Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Note: I've found that rotating the lid isn't very necessary, specially on smaller grills. You can experiment by not rotating and checking the chicken after 30 minutes. If the pieces are cooking evenly you can skip rotating the lid.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 3 -4 pounds
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your charcoal grill with the Vortex insert. Get the coals good and hot.
  • In a large bowl combine 5 tablespoons of the batter mix with 1/4 cup of cold water.
  • Place the remaining batter mix in a shallow pie pan.
  • Working piece-by-piece, dredge the chicken in the wet batter mix. Shake off any excess then roll the chicken in the dry batter mix.
  • Transfer chicken to the grill, placing along the edges.
  • Cover and cook for 45 minutes, rotating the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes.
  • Check for doneness (165 F as measured in the thickest pieces of chicken), remove and serve.

Nashville Hot Chicken using the Vortex

I recently made ‘fried’ chicken on my Weber Performer grill using the Vortex insert. The chicken came out fantastic, which inspired me to then try making Nashville hot chicken also using the Vortex. Wow, oh wow, was it absolutely great chicken. Lightly crunchy, and a little spicy, it was a dish to remember. This method is definitely a great substitute for the traditional way of making Nashville hot chicken in a deep fryer.

Nashville Hot Chicken using the VortexI used split bone-in chicken breasts when I made this Nashville hot chicken using the Vortex. It’s our preferred cut of chicken, but you can use any cut you like. Just keep in mind that if you mix pieces that are greatly different in size some may be done before others. Smaller pieces can be checked for doneness after the 45 minutes cooking time.

Nashville Hot Chicken using the VortexAlso check out my recipe for making ‘fried’ chicken using the Vortex. For a more southern twist, try my Buzznbeez southern fried chicken. My Cajun injected chicken, also cooked up perfectly using the Vortex, is another big hit!

Nashville Hot Chicken using the Vortex

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 day 1 hour
Servings 4 -8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the dry brine

  • 3 pounds chicken cut into pieces I used 4 large split bone-in breasts
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

For the dip

  • 1 cup milk I used buttermilk Note: If you have pickle juice on hand, use 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup pickle juice instead
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce

For the dredge

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

For the spicy coating

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-3 tablespoons cayenne pepper I used 2 and found the flavor to be perfect, and not too terribly hot
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For serving

  • Dill pickle slices
  • White bread slices

Instructions

For the dry brine

  • Season chicken and place into a baggie or resealable container.
  • Seal and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

For the dip

  • Whisk together the milk, eggs and hot sauce in a pie pan or shallow bowl.

For the dredge

  • Whisk together the flour and salt in a pie pan or shallow bowl.

For cooking

  • Fire up your grill with the Vortex insert full of charcoal.
  • Let the coals get good and ashed over.
  • Working in batches, dredge the chicken in the flour. Shake off excess.
  • Dip chicken into the milk mixture. Shake off excess.
  • Return the chicken to the flour and dredge again. Shake off excess.
  • Transfer chicken to the grill, placing it along the edges of the grill.
  • Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes.
  • Brush the chicken with the spicy coating. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes
  • Brush the chicken with the spicy coating. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes
  • Check for doneness. Remove when done and let rest 10-15 minutes before serving.

For the spicy coating

  • Heat the oil in a small saute pan.
  • Whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  • Keep warm until ready to use.

For serving

  • Serve garnished with dill pickle and white bread slices, if desired.

‘Fried’ Chicken using the Vortex

This is the first time I tried making ‘fried’ chicken using the Vortex insert on my Weber charcoal grill. I use my Vortex a lot for making chicken wings, which are always fantastic, but I wasn’t sure how mimicking that great fried flavor would come out.

My worries were completely unfounded since the chicken came out absolutely fantastic. I swore I was eating chicken right out of a deep-fryer. Great Southern-inspired coating, tender meat and yes, very, very crunchy skin.
Fried Chicken using the VortexSince this was my first time I didn’t want to over-crowd my Performer with chicken. But now that I’ve got the process down, I could’ve easily added a few more pieces. And you don’t have to just use split bone-in chicken breasts like I did. Wings, legs, thights… you name it, all will come out great ‘fried’ using the Vortex. Just don’t let the pieces overlap, because wherever they touch, they won’t get crispy.

Fried Chicken using the VortexMaking ‘fried’ chicken (some folks call it KFC – Kettle-Fried Chicken) on the Vortex really can’t get any easier. Also, check out my Nashville hot chicken recipe for the Vortex! For something super easy, make my crispy fried chicken on the Vortex.

And nothing beats my fried chicken with gravy, also using the Vortex!

'Fried' Chicken using the Vortex

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 4 large bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (or whatever cuts you prefer)
  • 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

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.
  • Mix the remaining ingredients in 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 40 minutes, turning the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes.
  • Lightly brush the chicken with more vegetable oil. Use caution as the grill will be hot. 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 5 minutes or until the chicken hits 160 F.
  • Remove and let rest and come to 165 F before serving.