Pioneer Take Out Chicken using the Vortex

Up until now, I’ve used lighter, thinner coatings when making ‘fried’ chicken using my Vortex insert on my Weber Performer grill. Even the pre-made mixes I’ve used create that perfect thin coating. This time I thought I’d delve into the world of thicker coatings and see how the Vortex would hold up. And boy, did it ever deliver! As always the thicken turned out so moist and tender. And then, again, there’s that perfectly crispy skin and coating. Cooked perfectly, all the way through no matter how thick the batter. This Pioneer Takeout chicken was fantastic!
Pioneer Take Out Chicken using the VortexPioneer Take Out in a chicken restaurant chain that started in California. Although never as big as Kentucky Fried Chicken, if this version of their chicken, grilled instead of deep-fried, is any indication of how good their food is, they should be everywhere!

Also try Granny’s fried chicken, also made using a Vortex!

Pioneer Take Out Chicken using the Vortex

This time I thought I’d delve into the world of thicker coatings and see how the Vortex would hold up. And boy, did it ever deliver! As always the thicken turned out so moist and tender. And then, again, there’s that perfectly crispy skin and coating. Cooked perfectly, all the way through no matter how thick the batter. This Pioneer Takeout chicken was fantastic!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 165kcal
Author Inspired Dinner Then Dessert

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces chicken I used skin-on, bone-in thighs
  • Vegetable oil

For the wet batter

  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup water

For the dry batter

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill with the Vortex insert. Let the coals get good and hot.
  • Combine all of the wet batter ingredients and place in a shallow pan. Place the dry batter into another shallow pan.
  • Dip the chicken pieces in the dry batter and roll to coat. Transfer to the wet ingredients and roll to coat well. Remove to a cooling rack to drain.
  • 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.
  • Lightly brush with oil and cook another 5 minutes. This will help get the skin even crisper.
  • Let cool slightly and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 1789mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Sweet Tea Fried Chicken using the Vortex

One of the things I really love to do with my Vortex is to take standard, written-for-a-deep-fryer chicken recipes and adapt them for my charcoal grill. Just about any thing you can do in a vat of hot oil can be made better using a Vortex with almost no oil. I do use a bit of oil at the very end of the cook, just to help crunch up the skin. It’s optional, but oh does it make that skin superb! This sweet tea fried chicken was a total twist for me, and I thought it was incredible. The tea adds a bit of sweetness, a bit of a savory hint, to the chicken. This is my first time marinating chicken in tea, and it definitely won’t be my last.

Sweet Tea Fried Chicken using the Vortex

I used Luziannne tea bags (our favorite tea for iced tea) when I made sweet tea fried chicken using the Vortex. It might be interesting to try other teas, maybe infused some different flavors. Or just do as I did and use what you know and love and get some incredible tasting chicken.

Also try my Amish fried chicken made using the Vortex.

Sweet Tea Fried Chicken using the Vortex

This is my first time marinating chicken in tea, and it definitely won't be my last.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 day 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 909kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tea bags
  • 8 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-in, or whatever cuts you prefer
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Bring the water to boil in a small pot over high heat.
  • Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  • Add the teabags and remove from the heat. Let the bags steep for 5 minutes then remove.
  • Let the tea cool completely.
  • Place chicken into a large sealable container. Add the tea. Make sure all the pieces are submerged, adding a bit more water if needed.
  • Refrigerate for 24 hours, turning at least once to make sure that all sides of the chicken get marinated.
  • Fire up your charcoal grill fitted with a Vortex full of charcoal.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.
  • In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk together the flour, garlic salt, lemon pepper seasoning, poultry seasoning, paprika, pepper and salt.
  • Remove the chicken from the tea, shaking off any excess. Working in batches, transfer the chicken to the buttermilk mixture and coat well.
  • Remove and shake off any excess, then coat in the flour mixture. Place on a wire rack while you finish dredging all of the pieces.
  • Transfer chicken to the grill around the Vortex (assuming the coals are ashed over and are good and hot). Cover and cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F as measured in several places. Turn the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes so the chicken cooks evenly.
  • Lightly brush the tops of the chicken with some oil and let cook another 3-4 minutes to get the skin good and crunchy.
  • Remove and let cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 909kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 321mg | Sodium: 1882mg | Potassium: 666mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 467IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Amish Fried Chicken using the Vortex

A Vortex BBQ insert and a charcoal grill is a marriage made in heaven. I cannot tell you how often I use my Vortex, but it’s practically a daily thing for me. Recipes like this Amish fried chicken are why I keep firing up: fantastic, like-fried-in-oil chicken, with crazy good crunchy skin. Every bite is perfect, flavorful and moist. It quickly and easily can become an obsession to make fried chicken using a Vortex. Trust me.

Amish Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Amish fried chicken has that great down-home, grandma-made-it flavor. It’s all about the seasoning… and well, a little bit of butter too. You can’t beat the flavor and you can’t beat the moist, tender meat, thanks to the Vortex. This is a winner recipe, and easy to make to boot. Don’t have marjoram? A little oregano will work just as well. Ditto thyme.

Also try my Vortex honey fried chicken and my yummy sweet tea fried chicken.

Amish Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Amish fried chicken has that great down-home, grandma-made-it flavor. It's all about the seasoning… and well, a little bit of butter too.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 290kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 8 pieces chicken I prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

Instructions

  • Load up your Vortex with charcoal and light them while preparing the chicken.
  • Add oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and belt. Stir well. Remove from heat.
  • Combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic salt and marjoram in a large resealable bag or a bowl.
  • Pour half of the oil and butter mixture into a small bowl. Brush onto all sides of the chicken.
  • Working in batches, transfer the chicken to the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake to coat, or dredge well in the bowl. Remove to a plate and finish coating the remaining pieces.
  • Transfer chicken to around the Vortex (now that the coals are ashed over). Close the grill lid and cook 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 160 F. Rotate the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes while cooking.
  • Brush (using a different brush than the one you used on the raw chicken) the reserved oil and butter mixture over the tops of the chicken and cook another 5 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F and the skin is crispy.
  • Remove and let cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 1186mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Sylvia’s Crispy Fried Chicken using the Vortex

One of my favorite things to make for dinner is ‘fried’ chicken, like Sylvia’s crispy fried chicken using the Vortex on my Weber Performer grill. It’s about the easiest thing you can make. Just fire up, coat the chicken, place it on the grill and come back in 45 minutes or so to grab some delicious chicken. You’d swear it was fried in oil it’s so good. Crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. Perfect.

Sometimes I make my own coating and sometimes I just grab a box at the store. This time I went with Sylvia’s Crispy Fried Chicken mix and boy, was it ever fantastic. Not only crispy but seasoned perfectly. Good ole southern fried chicken flavor.
Sylvia's Crispy Fried Chicken using the VortexIf you’re new to making fried chicken on the Vortex, Sylvia’s is an excellent way to get into the game. You’ll love, it trust me. I prefer to use bone-in, skin-on chicken things. They have the most flavor and the produce the moistest chicken you can imagine.

Also try my Cajun-brined fried chicken using the Vortex.

Sylvia's Crispy Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Just fire up, coat the chicken, place it on the grill and come back in 45 minutes or so to grab some delicious chicken. You’d swear it was fried in oil it’s so good. Crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. Perfect.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 497kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your Vortex. I fill mine completely with charcoal and light it using my homemade fire starter cubes, but whatever works for you works for you. Just make sure you get the coals good and hot.
  • Rinse the chicken in cold water and shake off any excess water.
  • Place the coating mix in a pie pan or resealable bag.
  • Working in batches roll the chicken in the mix or place in the bag, seal, and shake to coat.
  • Transfer to the grill around the Vortex.
  • Close the lid and cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F as measured in several places. You may rotate the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes if you wish but I've not found that it makes a big difference, specially on my 18" or 22" grills.
  • Lightly brush the chicken with oil the last 5 minutes of cooking to help crisp up the skin.
  • Remove and serve.

Notes

Nutritional values do not include the fry mix.

Nutrition

Calories: 497kcal | Protein: 43g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 437mg | Vitamin A: 324IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Cajun-Brined Fried Chicken using the Vortex

I use the heck out of my Vortex on my charcoal grills. I have several of them and I keep them busy with everything from wings to my favorite, ‘fried’ chicken. This time I took a fairly traditional deep-fryer recipe and adapted it for the Vortex. This Cajun-brined friend chicken is absolutely amazing. The chicken is just crazy tender and juicy. Like drip-when-you-bite-into-it moist. Oh, and that crunchy skin. Oh my goodness. The skin is just incredible. This is unbelievable chicken right here.

I almost always use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs when I make this Cajun-brined fried chicken or any other ‘fried’ chicken using the Vortex. The dark meat has the most flavor and always cooks up tender and juicy. You can use any cuts you like but for my money, you can’t go wrong with thighs. I often find them on sale in family packs at the grocery store for less an a dollar per pound. Eight big thighs for less than six bucks is a total steal in my book.

Also try Silvia’s crispy fried chicken using the Vortex.

Cajun-Brined Fried Chicken using the Vortex

I almost always use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs when I make this Cajun-brined fried chicken or any other ‘fried’ chicken using the Vortex. The dark meat has the most flavor and always cooks up tender and juicy.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 506kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup kosher salt divided
  • 1 cup Cajun seasoning divided
  • 8 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on, or whatever cuts you prefer
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  • In a large sealable plastic container combine the water, all but 2 tablespoons of the salt and all but 2 tablespoons of the Cajun seasoning. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the chicken and submerge. Cover and refrigerate 8-24 hours, turning the chicken at least once to make sure all of the pieces get brined evenly.
  • Fire up your charcoal grill with the Vortex insert full of charcoal.
  • Whisk together the remaining salt, Cajun seasoning, flour, black pepper and cayenne.
  • In another large bowl combine the buttermilk and hot sauce.
  • Working in batches, remove the chicken from the brine and shake off excess. Transfer to the flour mixture and coat well, then shake off any excess.
  • Transfer to the buttermilk mixture and coat well, then shake off any excess. Once more coat in the flour mixture, shake off excess, then transfer to a wire rack while you coat the remaining pieces.
  • Transfer to your grill around the now-ashed charcoal-filled Vortex. Close the lid and cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken has reached 165 F as checked in several places.
  • Lightly brush the tops of the chicken with some oil and cook another 3 minutes to get the skin good and crunchy.
  • Remove chicken from the grill and let cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 14466mg | Potassium: 755mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 7046IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Orange Chicken using the Vortex

No, it’s not an illusion. It’s not Photoshopped. And I’m not fibbing. This crunchy, moist, tender, delicious chicken was not deep-fried. It was made on a charcoal grill using the Vortex. There’s no such thing as bad ‘fried’ chicken on the Vortex, and this is just another example of just how great it can be. Make extra, because you’ll want more. And more.
Orange Chicken using the Vortex

I like to brush my orange chicken using the Vortex with the orange sauce just before it is completely done. I let it cook just a bit more to set the sauce. You can stop there, or serve the chicken with extra sauce for dipping. The sauce is great, and also makes for a fantastic wing sauce!

Also try my Korean fried chicken made with a Vortex and also my buttery garlic chicken (it’s crazy garlicky!).

Orange Chicken using the Vortex

No, it’s not an illusion. It’s not Photoshopped. And I’m not fibbing. This crunchy, moist, tender, delicious chicken was not deep-fried. It was made on a charcoal grill using the Vortex.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 3661kcal

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 6 chicken thighs bone-in skin-on, or your favorite pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • vegetable oil

For the egg wash

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water

For the orange sauce (you'll have plenty of sauce leftover for another batch)

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 1 small small orange zested
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

For the chicken

  • Fire up your charcoal grill with the Vortex insert in the middle, small side up. Get the charcoal good and hot and just ashed over.
  • Combine the flour, salt, black pepper, ground ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage paprika and cayenne pepper in a resealable bag, bowl or pie pan.
  • Whisk together the eggs and water.
  • Season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper then dip into the flour mixture. Shake off the excess and dip into the egg wash. Shake off the excess and dip one more time into the spice mixture.
  • Transfer chicken around the Vortex. Close the lid and cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken hits 145 F as measured in several places. Turn the grill lid 90% every 15 minutes.
  • Lightly brush each piece of chicken with the orange sauce and cook another 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool then serve with more orange sauce for dipping. Alternatively, dip each piece of chicken into the sauce and serve.

For the orange sauce

  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the water and corn starch. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until reduced by half.
  • Mix together the corn starch and water and slowly whisk into the sauce. The sauce will thicken. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 3661kcal | Carbohydrates: 409g | Protein: 142g | Fat: 167g | Saturated Fat: 68g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 992mg | Sodium: 6526mg | Potassium: 3493mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 273g | Vitamin A: 3866IU | Vitamin C: 387mg | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 18mg

Nutritional values are approximate.