Resources > Food > Meat > Poultry > Packaged Chicken Forms > Fryers

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Fryers (in Spanish “Rostizado” and NAMP # P1000) are a class of Chicken that is marketed as best for Deep Frying or Pan Frying, though today the name just means the bird in question was bred and raised for Meat production. Some folks use the name Broiler (chicken) and Fryer (chicken) interchangeably, but the actual definitions describe different ages and sizes of chickens. Because we are teaching at Smart Kitchen, we will offer separate definitions, but be aware that in today’s usage, Fryer and Broiler often refer to exactly the same class of bird. In fact, they are so interchangeable that they have the same NAMP number of P1000. If you want to purchase a Fryer with Giblets, it isNAMP # P1001. If you want your Fryer specifically “without Giblets” (WOG), it is NAMP # P1002.


Fryers are available all year long.


Fryers are young, tender chickens of either sex that are roughly 9 to 12 weeks old (in practice), weigh (by definition) 2.5 lbs to 3.5 lbs (1.1 kg to 1.6 kg), have smooth skin and have flexible breastbone cartilage.  As the birds age the breastbone cartilage hardens and becomes bony. The hardness of the cartilage is a good indicator of the age of the fowl.

The age and weight definitions are somewhat in flux because the industry has improved the fleshing (growth) characteristics of the birds so much that the old age and weight guidelines are no longer applicable. New guidelines (which appear to be already out of date) will go into effect on January 1, 2014.


Fryers, Broilers and Roasters are almost interchangeable and vary mostly in their age and size.


Typically, any Chicken sold as portioned or parted pieces (Chicken LegsChicken Breast, etc.) are Fryers or Broilers. The restaurant industry also uses mostly Broilers and Fryers to prepare their dishes.

Which of these types of Chicken you choose to purchase, should be based on how many people you are feeding and the price of each class of chicken. Get the least expensive one. Our rules of thumb are that a Chicken carcass will yield about half its weight in cooked, boneless Meat, and that an adult portion size should be about 4 oz. (113 g) to 6 oz. (170 g). This means that a large Fryer might yield 7 smaller portions or a small Fryer might yield as few as 3 larger portions.

If in doubt about how much to purchase, buy a little more raw bird. Then you’re covered if you have big eaters, and if not, you’ll just have leftovers for later in the week.

Depending on what size bird you use, you may need to adjust your cooking times and ingredients to account for the increased or decreased amount of meat.


With your poultry purchase unpacked at home, if you are planning to store it, you should do a little preparation to ensure the best outcome for a longer chill or freeze.

If you plan to use your Chicken shortly and are going to refrigerate it, just place it in your refrigerator in the lowest of the meat drawers in the coldest part of your refrigerator. It should be in its original packaging, and optimally be inside a plastic bag. Placing it in a plastic bag will help prevent any raw juices from inadvertently dripping out and Cross-Contaminating other foods. If it won’t fit in your lowest meat drawer, place it as low as possible and don’t store any ready-to-eat or previously cooked food below it. If nothing is below it, escaping juices, if any, won’t spoil other food. If you want to learn more about safely handling Raw product visit Smart Kitchen’s Food Handling Exercises, and the Refrigerated Storage Resource Page.

Stored this way, you should be able to refrigerate Chicken safely (below 40°F) for 2 to 3 days before using it but since fresher is better, we recommend cooking it as soon as practicable.

If you plan to Hold your Chicken frozen the following will apply.

For Whole Chickens with Giblets, Remove the Giblets from the cavity of the bird to store them separately. Rinse them under cold running water, dry them with paper towels, and store them in a Freezer Bag, labeled with the contents and the date they were frozen. Using this method, the Giblets will last in the freezer for 3-4 months. If you plan to freeze your Giblets for an extended time, see the Smart Kitchen resource on Avoiding Freezer Burn.

Using this method, the frozen Fryers (held at or below 0°F) should last for 3-4 months but will begin to lose flavor after 2 months. Fresher is still better, even with frozen Chicken.

The best way to Thaw (the link has more on thawing) Chicken is in the refrigerator over a day or so. To thaw in a hurry, frozen Chicken can be removed from its packaging and thawed in an hour or so by placing it in a container with perforated sides (like a Colander) and continuously running cool water over it in the sink until it is thawed. If using this quick thawing method, keep an eye on the clock and be mindful of how long your product has been in The Food Danger Zone. 

Do Not Re-Freeze Previously Thawed Chicken. Also be aware that since you were thawing Raw you will need to Sanitize your sink and equipment accordingly.

For chicken leftovers or extra pieces, separate them into smaller portions for fast, safe cooling, then store them in a storage container or labeled zip-lock bag. Move them out of The Food Danger Zone as quickly as possible to the freezer or refrigerator. Cooked Chicken or Chicken Parts can be held refrigerated up to 4 days.

Culinary Uses

Fryers are best Deep Fried or Pan Fried, but can also be BroiledPoachedGrilled or Roasted. You can fry a Roaster and roast a Fryer.

Portion Size

Allow 8-10 oz of Butchered Fryers per person.


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Fresh Herbs OreganoChivesParsleyCilantroBasilSageTarragonMarjoramThymeRosemaryChervilDillCorianderMintSavory

Dairy MilkButtermilkButterYogurtCrème FraicheSour Cream

Wet Ingredients Beer, Coconut MilkOilsCreamFish SauceSoy Sauce, Grand Marnier, Sherry, Stocks, Wine, Vermouth, Vinegars, Whisky, Brandy, Cider

Thick Ingredients Hoisin Sauce, Honey, Maple Syrup, MayonnaiseMolassesMustardsTomato Paste

Vegetables Artichokes, Bell Peppers, CapersCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryCelery Root, Chile Peppers, GarlicOnionsGingerKaleLemongrass, Mushrooms, PotatoesSpinachTomatoes, Turnips, Turnip Greens, Chard, DaikonEndiveEscaroleParsnipsLeeks

Fruits Apples, OlivesAvocados, Bananas, Figs, Raisins, Cranberries, Dates, Guava, Grapefruits, Grapes, LimesLemons, Oranges, PeachesPomegranates, Pears, Apricots

Nuts AlmondsCashewsHazelnutsWalnutsPeanutsPine Nuts

Meats Bacon, Ham, ProsciuttoPancetta, Sausages, Turkey

Nutritional Value USDA
Amount Per 100g
Calories 319
%Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g
Saturated Fat 8g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 79mg
Sodium 64mg
Potassium 144mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 14g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Gluten Free


Low Fat


Low Calorie