Believe it or not, the best beer batter isn't made with beer! It's actually done with sparkling apple cider, which produces a light, beautifully crispy, and very flavorful coating. Not to mention it's super easy.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
10 mins
10 mins
35 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Mustard Dipping Sauce (Optional):


Instructions Checklist
  • Cut each chicken breast into 6 finger-sized strips, and transfer into a mixing bowl.

  • Season with kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle the all-purpose flour over top and shake the bowl to coat the strips. Toss until all the surfaces are completely coated, and then transfer onto a rack or plate. Place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 10 minutes, or until ready to fry.

  • Meanwhile, whisk self-rising flour and sparkling apple cider together in a mixing bowl to form a thin batter. Batter should be somewhere between a thin pancake batter and a crepe batter, but still thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Place in the refrigerator to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

  • Mix Dijon mustard, vinegar, hot sauce, and sugar together for dipping sauce in a bowl.

  • Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  • Dip each chicken finger into the batter to coat. Deep-fry in batches in the hot oil until golden brown, crispy, and no longer pink in the centers, 3 to 4 1/2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Chef's Notes:

If you want to use other herbs and spices rather than salt, pepper, and cayenne, go ahead.

I used a hard apple cider, but a non-alcoholic cider can be used instead.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts

387 calories; protein 20.6g; carbohydrates 26.7g; fat 21.2g; cholesterol 64.6mg; sodium 916.8mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

Rating: 5 stars
Absolutely delicious fried chicken tenders! Recipe is spot on! No changes needed! Thanks for such a memorable dinner Chef John! Read More