Life's a Picnic with Fried Chicken: Pots for Cooking with Hot Oil
Fried chicken

A summer picnic isn't complete without fried chicken. At least in my book. And the homemade variety beats out KFC any day. To get started you'll need a large cast iron skillet or pot or a deep, heavy saute pan. The thickness of a heavy pan made of either steel or cast iron or ceramic is important: they hold a lot of heat so that when you put your room temperature chicken into the hot oil, the oil won't drop in heat and end up stewing poultry rather than frying it. There nothing that saddens me more than chicken fried in flimsy pans that couldn't sustain and maintain the temperature needed in order t make that chicken crispy. Here are some of our best bets for the crispiest chicken for your summer picnics.

  • Revol Round Cocotte with lid. These non-porous ceramic pots are a new addition to the Revolution line of cookware. The glazed ceramic is thick and are excellent at heat retention making them ideal for frying. The Revol ceramic pots has the highest thermal shock resistence of any ceramic pot on the market. It doesn't hurt that they look absolutely absolutely fabulous with the bright, bold colored glazes used on the lids.
  • iittala Sarpaneva Cast Iron Pot. This pot has an ingenious design: the handle is removable and designed so that it can lift the whole pot or just the lid. Rustic and contemporary all at once, this cast iron pot makes the traditional Le Creusets cast iron cookware seem tired.
  • Mauviel's MCook Stainless Steel Saute Pan with Cast Iron Handles. With 2.6mm of stainless steel to hold that heat, you can't go wrong using this pan to fry your chicken. The cast iron handle not only gives the stainless steel a rustic yet modern look but stay cooler longer than stainless steel, making handling easier and safer especially when cooking with hot oil and high temperatures.
  • Mauviel Mhertiage Copper Stainless Steel Saute Pan & Lid with Cast Iron Handle. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and looks great on this thick saute pan. As with the MCook version, this one also comes with a cast iron handle that will stay cool longer for safety.