Is It Safe to Cook with the Flour I Use to Bread Fried Chicken?

published Mar 18, 2016
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Q: I was wondering about frying chicken. I use a resealable bag to put my flour in, along with my spices, and then I shake my chicken pieces in it. There seems to be a lot of flour left after I am through shaking; is this same flour OK to use in my chicken gravy?

It just seems to be a waste to throw it out. I’ve been doing this for most of my life and I have always wondered if it would be OK. I always forgot to ask my mother and grandmother, and now they are both gone.

Sent by Barbara

Editor: For this question we need to check in with Anjali, our resident food-safety guru. I passed your question along to her, and here’s what she had to say.

As long as the flour is cooked, it’s fine to use — the cooking temperatures kill any pathogenic bacteria. You also wouldn’t want to let it sit around at room temperature for hours before cooking, because the bacteria would multiply and there is a higher chance of some of it surviving the cooking process. So cooking + prompt cooking or refrigeration until cooking = good to go.

Reusing marinades as sauces follows the same principles. As long as the marinade is sufficiently cooked (several minutes at boiling) after touching raw meat and not allowed to sit around at room temperature for a long time, it’s fine. But using it as a sauce after the raw meat has been in it without cooking it first is a no-no.