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Dec 26, 2011 01:31 PM

What is the point of a chicken fryer? That is, versus a dutch oven.

I was looking at the 5 quart Lodge dutch oven and noticed that the 3 quart chicken fryer is about the same price (2-3 dollars more, actually).

It seems to me that there isn't anything the fryer can do that the dutch can't do just as well or better. Am I missing something? They seem to be pretty much identical from what I can tell, except the fryer has a long handle. They both have the same type lid with the drip spikes.

Lodge dutch oven:

Lodge chicken fryer:

Thanks, and I hope everyone's having a great holiday. :)

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  1. Size and handle style are the only real differences. As the name suggests, that smaller size has been used to fry chicken. For that purpose it is just a deeper version of a cast iron skillet. But with the lid it can be used to braise meat, etc., just like the larger dutch oven - if the volume suites your needs. But if you need the large volume, and can handle (and store) a larger, heavier pot, go with the other.

    1. The Bayou Classic is an inch larger in diameter for about the same price, and appears to have a better second handle.

      just for comparison.

      1. Lodge also makes a 3qt fryer that comes with a lid that doubles as a shallow skillet.

        I might add that the fryer design has been around a long time. I have one with a glass lid that dates from the 1970s, and it was a pretty generic item then. In recent years I've mainly used it for no-knead bread. I use other 3qt dutch ovens more (anodized aluminum and stainless steel).

        1. Paul is correct. Just think of a chicken fryer as between a Dutch Oven and a skillet.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Sure, but that begs the question: why might someone prefer the shorter chicken fryer when the dutch oven will fry chicken and also hold more?

            Besides the extra size and weight, one reason to prefer a chicken fryer is that the long handle can be used to rotate the pan on the stove more easily. Another reason is that the high sides of the dutch oven obstruct the view into the pot. You can certainly fry chicken in the dutch oven, but if frying chicken is your main use, the chicken fryer is optimized for that, so would be the better choice, in my opinion.

              1. re: GH1618

                When I bought mine years ago, I was moving up, in size, from an 8" skillet. But I did not need a 5 qt pot. It is still a hefty 8 lbs. And I still don't usually need something larger than 3 qts (usually cooking for 2 or 3).

                I haven't done the classic southern fried chicken in mine, but I can image the depth being about right. With a shallower pan there is more chance of splash and spilling. With something deeper it would be harder to turn the chicken pieces, and may also create a steaming effect. Overall diameter might be right for one bird, and not too large for a home stove.

                1. re: GH1618

                  Hi GH,

                  I think we can fry chicken in almost any pans, including a Dutch Oven. However, a Dutch Oven, as you said, is fairly deep (or tall). This not only obstruct the view, but make it more challenging to move the food. A cast iron skillet is too swallow.

              2. Maryland fried chicken using a 'high walled iron skillet'

                1 Reply
                1. re: paulj

                  That's what I use. It's an oldie I purchased in an antique shop for $8. I ran it through the "cleaning' cycle in my gas oven, re-seasoned it, and it's perfect.