What Are the Best Tips for Cooking Chicken Wings?

A. Pasbjerg

There are several options when it comes to cooking chicken wings to ensure a delicious eating experience. Depending on the cooking method used and the desired results, proper preparation is important. One of the best known ways to cook them is deep fried in oil, though this method does have its drawbacks. Chicken wings can be baked in the oven or prepared on the grill; both methods make for a healthier and more flavorful wing than frying.

Chicken wings can be baked in the oven or prepared on the grill.
Chicken wings can be baked in the oven or prepared on the grill.

Preparing chicken wings before cooking makes for the best end result. Remove the wingtips first, as they have little to no meat on them. Fried wings should be at room temperature prior to cooking. For baked or grilled wings, seasoning can be added ahead of time to improve taste. Olive oil, salt and pepper, or other spices like rosemary or garlic work well, or a dry rub may be used. Of course, if a sauce is going over the wings after cooking, pre-seasoning may not be necessary.

Chicken wings should be completely immersed in oil when cooking with a deep fryer.
Chicken wings should be completely immersed in oil when cooking with a deep fryer.

Deep frying chicken wings should be done using oil heated to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). The wings should be fried a few at a time so as not to cool the oil too much, and should cook for about 10 minutes until golden brown outside and no longer pink inside. While this method is often used to make wings, it does have disadvantages. Not everyone has access to a deep fryer, it adds fat to the meat, and the oil can splatter during cooking.

Another good option for cooking chicken wings is baking. The wings can be placed on a baking sheet and cooked in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius); placing a piece of foil underneath them can help make for easy cleanup. Baking does take longer than frying, about an hour, so cooking this way does require more lead time, but it typically leads to a healthier wing.

Chicken wings can also be grilled for tasty and healthy results. They can be cooked indirectly by the grill's heat, which works similarly to baking, or they can be prepared directly over the flames. Indirect cooking takes longer, around an hour, while cooking over the heat takes less time, about 15 to 20 minutes, but requires more work as the wings will need to be turned every few minutes. In both cases, keeping the grill lid closed as much as possible is good practice.

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Discussion Comments


@pleonasm - It's the fact that they have so much surface area that makes them such fantastic finger food though. They will have much more sauce and flavor than other pieces.

If you're going to make breaded chicken wings, the best thing to do is to prepare a bag with the breading mixture so that you don't have to try and cover each one individually with crumbs. Being able to put it in a plastic bag and shake it moves the cooking process along much more quickly.


@pastanaga - I think suppliers provide chicken wings for less because they have so much bone and less flesh than other parts, they aren't really useful for cooking in general. You have to make sure that you're cooking something specifically for the wings.

If you put them in a slow cooker with other chicken parts for example, they will often fall to pieces before anything else is cooked through. And they do tend to have quite a lot of skin compared with meat, which means they probably have a higher fat content than other pieces as well.

Finally, they are not great to eat with a knife and fork, so if you're serving them they really have to be cooked as finger food, which limits the options as well.


I don't know why but I absolutely love chicken wings more than any other part of the bird. I don't know how common this is though, because often it seems like places that sell wings will sell them for less than other pieces, like drumsticks.

If you don't want to have to cook them, you might try getting smoked chicken wings, as they are particularly nice.

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