How Long to Cook Chicken Tenders in Cast Iron Skillet?

How Long to Cook Chicken Tenders in Cast Iron Skillet?
How Long to Cook Chicken Tenders in Cast Iron Skillet?

How Long to Cook Chicken Tenders in Cast Iron Skillet? Well, as the saying goes, ‘Patience is a virtue.’ When it comes to cooking these delicious morsels, it’s important to take your time and ensure they are cooked to perfection.

Using a cast iron skillet will give you that golden, crispy exterior that everyone loves. So, grab your skillet and get ready to impress your taste buds. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to achieve tender and juicy chicken tenders every time. From preparing the chicken to checking for doneness, we’ve got you covered.

How Long to Cook Chicken Tenders in Cast Iron Skillet?

How Long to Cook Chicken Tenders in Cast Iron Skillet?
How Long to Cook Chicken Tenders in Cast Iron Skillet?

Preparing the Chicken Tenders

  • To prepare the chicken tenders, start by rinsing them under cold water and patting them dry with a paper towel. This step ensures that any impurities or excess moisture are removed, resulting in a better texture and taste.
  • The next crucial step is the marinating process. You can choose from various options to infuse flavor into the chicken tenders. A classic marinade includes a combination of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and herbs. This imparts a delightful tangy and herby taste to the chicken.
  • If you prefer a spicier kick, you can opt for a marinade with hot sauce, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Alternatively, for a sweeter twist, you can use honey, soy sauce, and ginger. The marinating process allows the flavors to penetrate the chicken, making it juicy and delicious. Remember to refrigerate the marinated chicken tenders for at least thirty minutes to let the flavors meld together.

Heating the Cast Iron Skillet

  • Heat the cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Before you start cooking your chicken tenders, it’s important to properly heat your cast iron skillet. This will ensure that your chicken cooks evenly and develops a delicious golden crust.
  • But before you heat the skillet, make sure it’s clean and seasoned. Cleaning your cast iron skillet is essential to remove any leftover food particles or residue. Use warm water and a stiff brush to scrub the skillet gently. Avoid using soap as it can strip away the seasoning. Once clean, dry the skillet thoroughly with a towel.
  • Now it’s time to season the cast iron skillet. Apply a thin layer of oil to the skillet’s surface. You can use vegetable oil, canola oil, or even flaxseed oil. Rub the oil all over the skillet, including the sides and handle. This will create a non-stick surface and prevent your chicken tenders from sticking.
  • Once the skillet is clean and seasoned, place it on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Allow it to heat up for a few minutes until it’s hot. You can test the heat by sprinkling a few drops of water on the skillet. If the water sizzles and evaporates immediately, the skillet is ready for cooking.
  • Heating the cast iron skillet properly is crucial for achieving perfectly cooked chicken tenders. So take the time to clean and season your skillet, and make sure it’s hot before adding the chicken. With a hot skillet and some delicious chicken tenders, you’ll be well on your way to a tasty meal.

Cooking the Chicken Tenders

Once your cast iron skillet is properly heated, you can start cooking the chicken tenders.

  • Begin by coating the chicken tenders in your desired breading or seasoning. This can be as simple as a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper, or you can get creative with various herbs and spices. The coating not only adds flavor but also helps to create a crispy exterior. If you have marinated the chicken tenders beforehand, make sure to pat them dry before coating to ensure proper browning.
  • Heat some oil in the skillet over medium-high heat and carefully place the coated chicken tenders in a single layer. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side until they’re golden brown and cooked through. Avoid overcrowding the skillet to allow for even cooking. Once done, transfer the cooked chicken tenders to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve immediately and enjoy your delicious homemade chicken tenders.

Checking for Doneness

How can you determine if the chicken tenders are cooked through?

  • One of the most accurate ways to check the doneness of chicken tenders is by using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken tender, making sure not to touch the bone. The chicken tenders are considered safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). However, it’s important to note that the accuracy of the meat thermometer is crucial. To ensure its accuracy, calibrate the thermometer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If you don’t have a meat thermometer, there are alternative methods to check the doneness of chicken tenders. One method is to cut into the thickest part of the tender and check if the juices run clear. Another method is to press the chicken tender with your finger; if it feels firm and springs back, it’s likely cooked through.

Serving and Enjoying the Chicken Tenders

  • To serve and enjoy the chicken tenders, you can pair them with a variety of dipping sauces and sides. These serving suggestions will elevate your meal and provide a delicious accompaniment to the crispy and flavorful chicken tenders.
  • Consider offering classic options such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, or ranch dressing for dipping. For a tangy kick, try a spicy buffalo sauce or a zesty honey mustard. If you prefer something more exotic, experiment with flavors like teriyaki or sweet chili sauce.
  • As for sides, you can’t go wrong with classics like french fries or coleslaw. However, feel free to get creative and serve the chicken tenders with a side of macaroni and cheese, roasted vegetables, or a fresh garden salad. The possibilities are endless, so explore different combinations to find your personal favorite.


In conclusion, cooking chicken tenders in a cast iron skillet is a quick and delicious way to enjoy this tasty dish. By following the outlined steps, you can achieve a crispy and flavorful result. The cast iron skillet provides even heat distribution and helps to create a golden crust on the chicken tenders. Serve them hot and enjoy this mouthwatering meal that will surely please your taste buds.


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