The combination of hot air drying and frying to reduce oil uptake in chicken nuggets was analysed. Two air velocities (2 and 4 m s−1) and two dry bulb temperatures (44 and 61 °C) were employed in the drying process, as a treatment before or after deep-fat frying at 160 °C for 90 s in fresh soybean oil. The lowest fat content was obtained by frying followed of drying at 61 °C with air velocity of 2 m s−1. When drying was applied before frying, mass transfer (moisture loss) during the drying process was modelled according to Fick’s second law; diffusion coefficients ranged between 1.03 and 3.33 × 10−6 m2 s−1. When drying was applied after frying, a constant rate period was observed during drying process, with velocities between 0.002 and 0.02 kgwater/kgdry solids·min. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) allowed to observe differences in the topography of chicken nuggets obtained from frying or the combination of frying and drying.