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How to Cook Wings

You can never go wrong with chicken wings. Whether it’s game day, a gathering, party, or just cravings kicking in, knowing how to cook wings in different ways will come in handy! 

Chicken wings are one of the easiest and tastiest snacks you can make at home. These recipes only call for a handful of simple ingredients and they can be whipped up using a variety of cooking techniques.

From deep frying to baking, grilling, air frying, slow cooking, and more, I’ll help you learn how to cook wings in more ways than one. So you can enjoy their deliciousness in many ways and you can whip them up effortlessly anytime your cravings strike!

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Pin showing the title How to Cook Chicken Wings

How wings are cooked:

Chicken wings are not only versatile in terms of deliciousness. Aside from tasting so great with a wide variety of flavors, wings are also fun to cook because they can be prepared using several cooking techniques. 

You can bake, broil, deep fry, grill, air fry, slow cook, and even combine some of these cooking methods to make the best tasting wings. Don’t worry, I’ll explain some of them here so you can decide which cooking method suits you best. 

Plus, I’ll also give you several important reminders and tips for practicing food safety to make sure that no one will get sick from improperly cooked chicken and everyone will get to enjoy their meals. 

What temperature do chicken wings need to be cooked at?

The cooking temperature and time that chicken wings require will vary depending on the cooking method you’ll use. But as you probably already know, chicken must reach the minimum safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to make sure it’s fully cooked and ready to eat.

When it comes to chicken wings, it’s highly suggested to take the internal temperature of several wings to ensure an accurate reading. To take the internal temperature of chicken wings, insert the meat thermometer in the thickest area of the wings while avoiding the bone. If the chicken wings did not reach 165 °F, do not hesitate to add them back to the oven, air fryer, etc. 

To know how to properly cook and make crispy chicken wings using different cooking methods, continue scrolling below.

How to Cook Wings Featured Image

Is it better to fry or bake chicken wings?

Chicken wings can be prepared using several cooking methods, but two of the most popular options are baking and frying. Which method is better will depend on your preferences. 

Baking requires a longer cooking time but many prefer this cooking method over frying because of a few reasons. It’s less messy, more hands off, and is a healthier cooking method. 

Of course, for those who aim for that extra crispy crust and tasty juicy flavor, nothing can beat deep frying. It calls for a large amount of oil but only needs about ten minutes of cooking time. 

How to cook wings in the oven: 

Before you get started, take note that conventional ovens cook slower than fan ovens. Plus, if you have whole wings, cut them into drumettes and wingettes so it’s easier to cook, eat, and serve the chicken wings. 

To prevent burning, make it a point to also remove the tips of your wingettes. However, if you were able to purchase party wings, you can already skip these steps as they’re already prepped.

To add flavor, you can marinate the wings with different sauces and spices. To achieve a crispy crust, you can also coat the wings in batter or baking powder.

Start by placing wire racks on top of baking sheets and spreading the wings in a single layer. This step will allow the wings to be completely crispy on all sides and at the same time, help avoid the wings from getting stuck to the baking sheets.

According to the USDA, you must preheat the oven to 400 °F. After 30 minutes of cooking, the wings should be taken out, flipped, and baked again for another 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, serve as is or toss the wings with a sauce of your choice. 

How long to fry wings: 

Pan frying and deep frying are two of the fastest ways to cook chicken wings. But of course, deep frying chicken wings is a little faster than pan frying because it does not require flipping.

If you are planning to deep fry chicken wings, it’s best to use a deep fryer or a large pot. Also, make an effort to use a deep frying thermometer to ensure that the oil will reach and stay at 375 °F. Cook the chicken wings for about eight to ten minutes until they’re golden brown. 

On the other hand, if you want to avoid using a lot of oil, pan frying might be the best cooking option for you. To pan fry chicken wings, heat a cast iron skillet with about two tablespoons of oil over medium heat. 

Place the chicken wings in the skillet with the meatier side down and fry them for ten minutes. Use kitchen tongs to easily flip the chicken wings and allow them to cook for another five to ten minutes. 

Whichever of these methods you’ll use, remember to not test the wings’ internal temperature while in oil because it can lead to an inaccurate temperature reading. Place the chicken wings on a clean plate with paper towels first then take their internal temperature. 

How to cook wings in the Crock Pot: 

To cook wings in the slow cooker, start by preparing your favorite barbeque sauce and seasoning your chicken wings with salt and pepper. Next, ready the slow cooker by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken wings in the slow cooker along with a half cup of the sauce and stir them well.

Cook them on high heat for about two hours or on low heat for about four hours. After the said cooking time, check if the wings have reached the internal temperature of 165ºF to make sure they’re done. Remove the chicken wings from the slow cooker and place them on wire racks on top of baking sheets.

If you want to have a crisp and caramelized crust, brush the wings with the remaining barbeque sauce and bake, broil, or grill them. If you choose to bake the wings, preheat the oven to 400ºF and let them bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

For broiling, preheat the oven to high broil and broil the wings for two to five minutes. For grilling, you have to preheat the grill to 450ºF and grill the wings for 10-15 minutes. These crisping techniques may differ from each other but they all require the chicken wings to be flipped halfway through the cooking time. 

How to cook wings in the air fryer: 

Cooking wings in the air fryer could not be easier! This cooking method only requires about 10 minutes of prep time and does not require any oil.

To make crispy chicken wings in the air fryer, preheat the air fryer to 375ºF and toss the wings with sauce or seasonings. Place the wings in the air fryer basket and cook the wings for 25 minutes. Remember to shake the basket every five minutes.

Next, increase the temperature to the highest setting or about 400ºF, and air fry for another 5 to 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Once done, remove the wings from the air fryer, let them sit for five minutes or immediately toss them in your favorite sauce. 

How to cook wings on the grill: 

Grilled chicken wings might not have that crispy crust but it has that unique smoky flavor that takes this fun appetizer and snack to the next level. 

Plus, regardless of the equipment, whether you have a gas, pellet, or charcoal grill, grilling chicken wings is fast and simple. It’s also up to you if you will marinate or simply season your wings with spices as you can just toss them with your favorite sauce after cooking.

To grill chicken wings, cook them over direct heat at about 450°F for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them every five minutes or so. Use grilling tongs to check the wings and flip them. If you’ve noticed that some are starting to burn or char, move them to the cooler part of the grill to make sure that they will be cooked thoroughly and evenly.

More tips on making the crispiest and tastiest chicken wings:

Here are more safety reminders and tips to make the best chicken wings that the whole family will enjoy!

  • Other recipes also recommend parboiling or steaming wings before cooking or using them in a recipe. Performing any of these two methods will remove excess oil and fat from the chicken wings, making them crispier when cooked. Simmer the chicken wings in salted water for about seven minutes or steam them for ten minutes.
  • After parboiling or steaming, pat the chicken wings with paper towels to dry. Even if you don’t parboil or steam them, drying your chicken wings is highly recommended. This simple step will ensure that there is no excess water and moisture left in the chicken skin that can affect the crispiness of the crust.

Safety Reminders:

  • Thaw frozen chicken wings before cooking them. It’s highly suggested to use the refrigerator or cold water thawing method in defrosting chicken wings. Since chicken wings have smaller cuts they require less time to thaw. A batch of chicken wings might take about 20 to 30 minutes to thaw in the cold water. For more information on how to safely and quickly thaw chicken, check out this post
  • Cooked chicken wings must not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. So if you have leftovers, make sure to freeze or refrigerate them immediately.
  • After the chicken wings have cooled down to room temperature, store them in an airtight container and put them in the coolest part of the refrigerator. It should be safe for two to four days but it’s better to consume them as quickly as possible.
  • To freeze cooked chicken wings, it’s highly preferable to use a freezer safe bag than a container so it won’t take up too much space. Make sure that the wings are laid flat in a single layer and not sitting on top of each other. Frozen cooked chicken wings can be preserved for six months but is highly recommended to be consumed within the first three months. 
  • You can defrost and reheat cooked chicken wings using the oven. To reheat cooked chicken wings, place them on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes flipping them over halfway through.

Want to check out more recipes?

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