Fried Chicken vs Grilled Chicken [ 8 Differences with Calories!]

Wondering if you should order fried chicken or grilled chicken? Well, we all know that grilled chicken is healthy, but does it really make a difference?

Fried Chicken is deep-fried in oil which gives it a crispy, crunchy coating. Although it cooks faster than grilled chicken it is far higher in calories. Grilled chicken is rubbed with spices and cooked on an open flame at higher heat. Grilling elevates the flavor and texture of the chicken.

In this article, we shall see the major differences between grilled chicken and fried chicken. Also, the calories that each dish has and which is healthier.

Difference between Fried Chicken and Grilled Chicken

The table below shows some of the major differences between Fried Chicken and Grilled Chicken and the parameters that they are based on.

Sr. No.ParametersFried ChickenGrilled Chicken
1Method of CookingFried by immersing in oilOn direct heat grill or oven
2Way of ProcessingSkillet or Frying PanGrills, Ovens, Charcoals, Pans
3Time Taken for cookingAbout 10 minutesAround 20 minutes
4TextureCrispy, crunchy and softLittle harder than fried chicken, no crisp or crunch
5Method of SeasoningsBatter and Dry flour with seasoningsOnly rubbed with seasonings and a little oil
6FlavorSpices are not very pronouncedSpicy and a hint of Smoke
7Fat ContentVery High as its fried in oilFar less, as very little oil is used in the marinade
8CaloriesVery High in Calories-350 per 100 grams approximatelyNot high in calories-150 per 100 grams approximately

Method of Cooking

The method of cooking is the biggest differentiation between a fried chicken and grilled chicken. Fried chicken is made be immersing the chicken in oil partially or fully. To cook the chicken you need at least 3-4 inches of oil in the pan or skillet. Grilled chicken is grilled on directly on the heat without, or in the oven without using any medium to cook.

Way of Processing

Fried Chicken is fried in a skillet or a pan. Grilled chicken is grilled on the grills with or without charcoals, or in the oven.

Time Taken for cooking

Since the temperature of oil reaches higher degrees of 325F thus the chicken cooks faster in about 10 minutes. Whereas the grilled chicken takes longer to cook about 20 minutes.

Pro Tip: Never put chicken taken directly fro the fridge in the hot oil. As it lowers the temperature of the oil and the chicken takes longer to cook. Also it ends up absorbing more oil than the chicken fried at higher temperatures in oil.


Fried chicken is moist and tender from within, and crispy and crunchy from outside. Whereas a grilled chicken is tougher in texture compared to fried chicken. This happens mainly due to lack of medium in cooking grilled chicken takes away the moisture from the chicken and renders it on the drier side.

Method of Seasonings

Although the seasonings and spices used are generally similar however, the method of seasoning it is very different fried chicken is dipped in a seasoned flour orat times coated with seasoned batter. Whereas, the spices are mixed into marinade with a tablespoon of oil and rubbed on the chicken.


Spices in fried chicken are subdued and not very pronounced. Whereas in a grilled chicken the spices take a dominant role and the right kind of spices in right quantities is essential. Also, it has a smoky flavor after being cooked.

Fat Content

The fat content in fried chicken is very high and is due to the fact that the coating and the breadcrumbs soak in a lot of oil while being cooked in oil. However, in grilled chicken this not the case. The fat content is very low.


Fried chicken as approximately 250 – 380 calories in 100 grams. This varies on the various factors such as the type of oil used, ingredients, the number of times it has been fried. However, compared to fried chicken grilled chicken has about 150 – 180 calories per 100 grams of chicken. Whic isn’t very high.

Is grilled chicken healthier than fried chicken?

Grilled chicken is healthier than fried chicken as it has less amount of oil that is applied on the chicken. Frying with unhealthy fats increases the risk of LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol in the body leading to higher chances of cardiovascular diseases and hardening of arteries leading to heart attack.

However, studies have shown that grilled meats are cooked over high heats and open flames. Which leads to increase in carcinogens such as : heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Studies show HCAs and PAHs cause changes in DNA that may increase the risk of cancer.

How to make grilling Safer:

  1. Marinating with alcohol or acidic juices have shown to reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) carcinogens.
  2. Microwaving meat before cooking at higher temperatures can reduce the carcinogens as suggested by The National CAncer Institute.
  3. Do not cook with the fats that have dripped from the meat.
  4. Also, grilling thinner pieces of meats reduces the production of carcinogens as the meat is cooked faster.
  5. The charred part of the meats shouldn’t be consumed.
  6. Flip the meat often.

These are just some of the precautions that one can take while grilling chicken to make reduce or stop the formation of carcinogens.

Related Reading: Best Flours To Use For Fried Chicken! [A Deeper Understanding!]

Which chicken has more nutrients – grilled chicken or fried chicken?

Following is the table that shows the nutrient value for 1 serving of chicken – fried and grilled.

ParametersFried ChickenGrilled Chicken
Total Fats21g8.36g
Proteins40 g16.79g

As we can see that there are 200 more calories in fried chicken than griled chicken per serving. Also the total fat content is phenomslly high at 21grams per serving. Also the cholesterol is higher compared to grilled chicken at 126mg.

Related Reading: Using Self-Rising Flour To Fry Chicken [ Can It Be Done?]

What has more protein content – grilled chicken or fried chicken?

As we can see from the table above which shows the nutrient values of grilled chicken compared to fried chicken. We can see that fried chicken has more protein content than grilled chicken. ONe serving of fried chicken contains 40grams of protein and grilled chicken has 16.79 grams of protein.

Thus we can see that fried chicken has 23grams more protein content than grilled chicken. However, the protein content also varies on te part of the chicken that has been used.

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