What Are Deep-Fried Wings?

Lakshmi Sandhana

Deep-fried wings are typically chicken or turkey wings that are deep-fried in oil. Breaded or fried without a coating, these wings are a very popular food that is consumed as a snack or full-fledged meal. Cooking these wings can be a very simple or complex affair depending upon the recipe the cook uses. There's Southern-style deep-fried wings, Buffalo chicken wings, and Asian-style fried wings. Many home makers also have their own unique family recipes passed down through the generations.

Some appetizers, such as chicken wings, are designed to be eaten with beer.
Some appetizers, such as chicken wings, are designed to be eaten with beer.

There's an art to deep-frying wings well, and cooks pride themselves on the crunchiness or crispiness of the wings. Cooks try to find precut wings, and if they can't, they cut off the wing tips themselves. They also cut the wings into two pieces at the joints. While they prefer fresh wings, frozen wings also come out well when deep-fried.

Wings can be breaded or without a coating when using deep-fryer.
Wings can be breaded or without a coating when using deep-fryer.

If cooks use frozen wings, they wait until the wings have thawed and reached room temperature before using them. Unthawed wings may have still have ice crystals. This causes a great deal of undesirable splattering when the wings are submerged in hot oil.

To make deep-fried wings without a coating, cooks may directly marinate them in seasonings and spices of their choice. The main ingredients for a crunchy coating are flour, salt, and herbs or spices. To give the wings a crunchy coating, cooks may mix all the ingredients well and roll the wings in the coating until evenly coated. Alternatively, they may also place all the ingredients in a sealed plastic bag, add the wings, and shake the bag thoroughly.

Some cooks may refrigerate the coated wings for an hour or so before frying them. Using a deep-fryer makes it easy to make succulent deep-fried wings perfectly. Cooks set the fryer to heat to around 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius. They put the wings into the basket and lower them into the heated oil carefully.

Fresh wings need around 10 minutes or less to cook, while frozen wings need around 12 minutes or less. Cooks are cautious not to overfill the basket with wings, otherwise they may fry improperly and end up greasy. They typically add a single layer of wings without overcrowding in the bottom of the basket. As they are frying, cooks may shake the basket occasionally to keep the wings from sticking to each other.

Smaller wings take less time to fry than bigger ones. To check whether they are done, cooks may wait until the wings float to the top or turn a lovely golden brown. Alternatively, they may cut into the thickest part of a wing and check if the meat is white. To get crispier deep-fried wings, cooks wait for around a minute or more after they start floating to remove them.

The deep-fried wings are left to drain on paper towels. It is easy to keep them warm on a baking sheet in an oven if there's a delay in serving them. To serve them with a bang, cooks add a sauce to the wings and toss them in a bowl until they get an even coating. Sweet-and-sour, honey mustard, and barbecue are some popular sauces.

Fresh chicken wings need about 10 minutes in the deep fryer to be fully cooked.
Fresh chicken wings need about 10 minutes in the deep fryer to be fully cooked.

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Discussion Comments


I prefer the section of the deep fried wing that looks like a mini drumstick. The other kind with the meat between two bones is too tricky to eat sometimes. I'll use my fingers to push the meat away from the bones, but then I'll get coated in sauce myself.

I think the best way to cook Southern style deep fried chicken wings is to parboil the wings first and then deep fry them when ordered. If you just try to deep fry raw chicken wings, they may not get done completely. I like to put the hot wings into a sealed plastic tub with the selected sauce and shake it around for a few minutes to make sure everything gets coated.


I love deep fried chicken wings, but they can be really messy to eat. I'm not someone who has to try the hottest wing sauce available, either. I prefer the less spicy flavors like teriyaki, hot honey mustard and Jamaican jerk. I've seen other people order those "911" and "Tongue Torture" hot sauces and felt really sorry for them. There was one sports bar restaurant in my town that asked customers to sign legal waivers before serving the hottest wings available.

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