Last Updated on 20th July 2022 by Pauline Loughlin
If you are trying to be healthy and cut down on how much oil you are using in your cooking, you may be interested in trying to cook chicken without oil.
Instead of fried, fattening chicken, you can prepare something that is leaner and healthier but still tasty.
Let me share with you some methods for how to cook chicken without oil so you can make delicious chicken at home if no oil is available or if you just don’t want to use any oil.
How to Cook Chicken in a Pan without Oil
You can pan fry chicken using water, though it is really boiling rather than frying the chicken. Start by putting about a quarter inch of water into a skillet or a Dutch oven. Heat up the stovetop burner under it and get the water boiling.
Then, add in the chicken (chicken breasts work well with this cooking method) and make sure they are not overlapping or overcrowded. The water should not be so high that it covers the chicken completely.
As the chicken is cooking in the water, you can add your seasoning, like black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, or whatever else. Sprinkle in the seasonings as the chicken is cooking.
Once you have added your seasonings, you can turn the heat down to medium but try to keep the water boiling. If it stops boiling, just increase the heat again.
If the water boils away and evaporates, you will need to add more. Try to watch the water level carefully and add water before it all disappears. You don’t want the chicken to burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
When the chicken begins to develop white edges (even though the top and center are still pink), flip it over. This should be about 4 minutes after the chicken breasts have been placed in boiling water. Add seasoning to this side as well and continue cooking for about 3 more minutes.
Then, check to see if the chicken is done cooking. You can take out one piece and cut a slit into the middle to see if it is cooked all the way through and is entirely white in the middle. If it is, you can take out all of the chicken from the water.
This method for how to cook chicken breast without oil is really healthy and pretty simple. It doesn’t require any advanced cooking techniques, and it’s pretty easy to make sure that the chicken turns out okay.
How to Cook Chicken without Oil in Oven
There are other ways to cook your chicken when you aren’t using any butter or oil. I showed you already how to cook chicken on stove without oil, but now let’s try cooking it in the oven.
There are tons of recipes you could follow for baked chicken in the oven that use no butter and no oil whatsoever. I think how to pan cook chicken without oil is trickier, but I’ll supply a baked chicken recipe for you as well, just so you will have both methods in one place.
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. As the oven is heating up, you can prepare your chicken.
The chicken should be pounded down to a uniform level of thickness. You can use a meat mallet, working with the smooth side. This helps to ensure that the chicken cooks all the way through and that you don’t end up with any uncooked areas.
You can then spray down the chicken olive oil substitute spray and coat the baking pan as well with that spray. However, you could leave out the oil and just use a sheet of parchment paper on the baking pan and then put barbecue sauce or another sauce of your choice on the chicken.
Coating the chicken with some kind of spray or sauce helps to keep it from sticking and ensures that it cooks well
You can also season your chicken after you coat with cooking spray, as the seasonings will stick well to the oil.
To trap in the moisture, it’s a good idea to cover the baking pan with aluminum foil. Place your chicken and baking tray on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. How long it takes depends on how many of pieces of chicken there are in the pan as well as their thickness. If you are cooking chicken drumsticks then you need to ensure the correct temperature and cooking time, we have a guide on how long to bake chicken drumsticks at 350.
You should check your chicken at the 15-minute mark and see if it’s done cooking. Make a small slit into the middle of one of your pieces of chicken and see if it is white all the way through. That means it’s fully cooked. If there’s still some pink in the center, the chicken will need to cook for longer.
If you’re extending the cooking time, check the chicken every three minutes or so to see if it’s done cooking. If it overcooks, it can dry out and lose a lot of its moisture and flavor.
So, What is the Healthiest Way to Cook Chicken?
These are two of the simplest methods for how to cook chicken without oil or butter. Olive oil makes a good substitute for unhealthy oils, but as you can see, chicken can cook without any oil.
You just want to be aware of the moisture level of your chicken and make sure that you are preserving the moisture so that your chicken doesn’t become dry.
Also be aware of how long your chicken is cooking for and the heat level you’re working with. If your heat is too high, you can end up cooking the outside the chicken and leaving the inside undercooked or simply drying out the chicken.
Leaving off butter and cooking chicken helps to make for a much healthier dish. Many times, chicken is cooked with way too much fat that it doesn’t need.
Chicken is already a flavorful, succulent meat that doesn’t require a lot of added fats and oils to make it tasty.
A little bit of seasoning can go a long way, but if you’re looking to be healthy, be aware of the sodium content of any seasonings you use.
I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food! You can find my Facebook here