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Does Chick-fil-A use a fryer?

Chick-fil-A is one of the most popular fast food chains in the United States, known for their delicious chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. Many customers wonder how Chick-fil-A is able to achieve the perfect crunch on their chicken sandwiches and get their fries so crispy – is it from using a deep fryer?

Do Chick-fil-A restaurants use deep fryers?

The simple answer is yes, Chick-fil-A does use deep fryers to cook their chicken and fries. However, they do not use just any old fryer – Chick-fil-A uses specialized pressure fryers to cook their food.

Pressure fryers allow food to be cooked faster than traditional open deep fryers because the pressurized environment helps heat transfer quicker. The pressure also seals in moisture, resulting in juicier chicken. Pressure frying requires less oil too since food is submerged and surrounded by hot oil on all sides.

Why does Chick-fil-A use pressure fryers?

There are several key reasons why Chick-fil-A opts to use pressure fryers in their kitchens:

  • Speed – Pressure fryers can cook food much faster than open fryers. This allows Chick-fil-A to serve fresh food fast during busy rushes.
  • High volume – The restaurants need to be able to churn out a high volume of chicken sandwiches and waffle fries every day. Pressure fryers allow them to cook large batches quickly.
  • Juicy and tender chicken – The pressurized environment seals in moisture, giving Chick-fil-A chicken a signature juicy and tender quality.
  • Crispy exterior – The high heat and pressure helps create an ultra crispy exterior breading on the chicken.
  • Better flavor – Pressure frying infuses more flavor into the chicken compared to other cooking methods.
  • Consistency – Pressure fryers deliver consistent, high quality results at every restaurant.

For a chain with over 2300 locations, using specialized high volume pressure fryers is key to being able to serve freshly prepared food with speed, consistency and quality across all restaurants.

What oils does Chick-fil-A use for frying?

Chick-fil-A uses 100% refined peanut oil for all of their frying. They switched from using partially hydrogenated oils to peanut oil back in 2008. The reasons for switching to peanut oil include:

  • Peanut oil has a high smoke point (450°F/232°C), making it suitable for high temperature frying.
  • It has a neutral taste that doesn’t interfere with the flavor of the chicken and waffle fries.
  • Peanut oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can reduce “bad” cholesterol.
  • It adds a subtle nutty aroma to foods.
  • The refined oil has a long shelf life and displays good fry life, meaning it breaks down slower than other oils under high heat.

Chick-fil-A filters and replaces their frying oil daily to maintain optimal freshness and quality. The used oil is recycled into biodiesel fuel.

What is Chick-fil-A’s step-by-step frying process?

Here is an overview of the frying process used at Chick-fil-A restaurants:

  1. Chicken breasts are hand breaded in store with a seasoned flour blend, then pressure-fried for 4-5 minutes at 330-350°F in peanut oil.
  2. Fries are blanched in water for 15 minutes to cook through, then cooled. They are fried in peanut oil for 1-2 minutes at 330°F to get crispy.
  3. Oil is filtered continuously throughout the day and replaced with fresh peanut oil as needed.
  4. At closing, oil is discarded and fryers are thoroughly cleaned.
  5. In the morning, fryers are refilled with fresh filtered peanut oil.
  6. Frying temperatures and oil quality are closely monitored throughout the day.

This meticulous frying process allows the chain to put out consistently hot and delicious chicken and fries all day long.

What special fryers does Chick-fil-A use?

Chick-fil-A uses programmable pressure fryers made by companies such as Henny Penny and Pitco. These commercial pressure fryers have programmable food keys for different menu items that automatically set temperature, pressure and cook times.

Some features of Chick-fil-A’s fryers include:

  • Touch screen menu selection and timer controls
  • Built-in filtration system
  • Ability to monitor and log oil quality
  • High volume stainless steel vats
  • Fast recovery and heat up times
  • Pressure levels up to 15 psi
  • Shortening capacity of 35-45 lbs.

Using the built-in food programs helps ensure perfect results while reducing labor needs and waste oil. Having new equipment also allows the chain to benefit from the latest frying technology and food safety features.


Chick-fil-A’s signature fried chicken and waffle fries get their delicious crunch and flavor from being cooked in specialized high volume pressure fryers. The pressurized peanut oil environment allows the chain to quickly churn out juicy fried chicken and crispy fries with a consistent quality across all their restaurants. So while the food may taste homemade, the reality is Chick-fil-A uses high tech commercial fryers to meet their demand while achieving that tasty homemade flavor.