Making Life Delicious Since 1983

Chicken Wing Cooking Top Tips

chicken-wing-guideWe thought we’d share a few of our favorite tips and preparation methods to help you on your way to creating your most fabulous wing!

The once humble but now iconic chicken wing was born out of necessity, a wrong box of chicken pieces arrived at the Buffalo New York bar (The Anchor Bar) and the owner got creative in the kitchen!
Originally just a simple sauce of melted butter, apple cider vinegar and Frank’s Hot Sauce, you now will find thousands of recipes to flavor and many many ways to cook them.



The Wing:
The actual chicken wing consists of multiple parts for nibbling. Some cooking traditions you’ll find just the whole wing thrown on the grill or baked in the oven. But the most popular snacking/appetizer option since the 1990s has been the wing being cut up into drummies or ‘wingettes’.

You can save some money at the grocery store by buying the whole wings and cutting down the drummies and wingettes at home – it’s not as hard as you think!

allroadsleadtothekitchen-wingsLocate the two joints by using your fingers. You should be able to feel where they connect.
Use a pair of kitchen shears to snip through the center of each joint, leaving you with three parts: the Drumette, the Wingette (often called a Flat), and the tip.
Use the Drumettes and Wingettes in your recipe. I like to store all my wing tips in a large freezer bag (just adding them as I get them) to add to a batch of chicken or poultry stock, but you can discard them if you don’t think you’ll use them.




BRINING: Brining of chicken (any cut) always results in a more tender, juicier, and flavorful meat. It’s a simple precook soaking of your chicken in kosher salt and water, that’s it – pretty simple! And Kosher salt really is the best. Some people add spices and even a little sugar for a very food-geek result called Maillard (which is a crispier caramelization at the end of cooking) BUT you will be rinsing the brine off the meat and patting dry before seasoning and cooking so what’s most important is that kosher salt is in the water.
A standard recipe for brine is 1 cup of salt into 1 gallon of water, adjust the amount according to how much meat you are going to soak.

DRYING: Before seasoning your wings, always pat them dry with paper towels. Dry skin actually allows spice rubs to stick better!

POKING: Poking the chicken wing skin with the tip of a sharp knife prior to cooking will make for a bit more crispy result. The tiny holes allow the juicy fats to bubble up during the cooking process, almost a natural frying effect when done in the oven.
Cooking Method:

RUBS OR SAUCE: Oven baking with just a rub and leaving the sauce for after cooking is sometimes best. It allows the the wings to get a little oven crispy and if your sauce has any sugar content, it won’t caramelize (get all burned up)!

OVEN: the standard rule is 400 degrees for 40 minutes. There is a lot of bone to a chicken wing so you want to make sure your wing is thoroughly cooked! And if you have a cooking rack to insert into the sheet pan and then cook the wings on, you’ll end up with an even more crispy wing.

AIR FRYER: Place the wings in the fryer basket so they are not touching (if necessary to fit, line up the drumettes standing upright along the sides). Set the air fryer to 360 degrees F and cook for 12 minutes, then flip the wings with tongs and cook for 12 minutes more.

GRILLING: It takes approximately 25-30 minutes to grill chicken wings. Make sure you are flipping the wings every few minutes to ensure they are cooked evenly through and the skin cooks evenly as well. It’s best to grill chicken wings to an internal temp of 170-175 degrees F.

SLOW COOKER: Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or line with some of the slow cooker plastic bag liners. Coat your wings in either your rub or sauce, add to the cooker, put on lid, and cook on HIGH for 2 hours, or on LOW for 3-4 hours.

SMOKING: Prepare your smoker to 250° F. Pat the wings dry, then lay them out in a single layer and smoke, uncovered, for 2 hours. Toss with sauce. To smoke them on a grill, heat half of the grill (either bank the charcoal on one side, or only turn the burners on on one side) and then add soaked and drain woodchips that have been wrapped in foil to the heated side. Set the wings over the cold side, close the lid, and crack the vents. Depending on the quality of charcoal, you will probably have to check and possibly replenish coals.\

Check out our Zesty Ranch Recipe & our Moroccan Wing Recipe for some delicious wing options!

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