Crispy, crunchy, mouthwatering chicken wings are hard to beat for a dinnertime treat. They might make them just the way you like them at your local chicken shop, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to make them for yourself at home instead?
The trickiest part of getting fried wings right is knowing how long to cook them. How long should you deep fry chicken wings?
Lucky for you – chicken wings are one of my favorite ways to eat chicken, so I have a lot of good tips for getting them perfect.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- How long to deep fry chicken wings
- Best way to deep fry chicken wings
- How cooking chicken wings differs from other cuts
How Long to Deep Fry Chicken Wings
This answer can vary if your chicken wings are different sizes, but generally, I fry whole chicken wings for 10-12 minutes when the oil is 375 °F. Split wings, known as party wings, will fry a little bit more quickly, so check them after 7-10 minutes.
The cook time can also be affected by how many wings you fry at a time, so be careful not to overcrowd the pan.
“Boneless chicken wings” aren’t actually wings at all, but pieces of breast meat cut to the size and shape of chicken wings. Boneless wings will take only 5-6 minutes to fry.
If you want to get the chicken wings perfect without fail, I recommend using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should read 165 °F.
Best Way to Deep Fry Chicken Wings
Right – now that we know how long to fry chicken wings, here are some tips for getting the best flavor and texture. I’ll be giving you a few options along the way so you can customize your ideal wings.
Here is a little step-by-step guide on how best to fry chicken wings:
- What You Will Need
There are two main options for deep frying chicken wings at home; a pot of oil on the stove or a deep fryer.
If you use a pot on the stove, I recommend getting yourself a good heavy pot that will heat evenly and a digital candy thermometer to ensure your oil is at the perfect temperature before dropping your wings in.
A deep fryer appliance is worth the money if you fry things often. It takes out all the stress of getting your oil to the right temperature. You simply set it to your desired temperature, and it will heat up and retain that heat for as long as you need. It’s an investment but well worth it if you fry a lot of food.
Whichever method you are using, make sure you are using a neutral oil that is appropriate for deep frying, like canola or sunflower oil. Always deep fry in refined oils; cold-pressed or virgin oils are not stable at high heat and may impart a flavor to your chicken that you weren’t intending.
Apart from the frying equipment, I recommend having some heatproof metal tongs to remove the chicken from the oil safely oil and a wire rack to drain the chicken on.
- Choose Your Wing Style
There are two main to prepare chicken wings for frying; battered or breaded. Which of these recipes you choose depends on the crunch and thickness of the breading that you’re aiming for.
Regardless of which you choose, season the meat before flouring it to enhance the chicken flavor. I love using simple black pepper, salt, and some smoked paprika.
- Breaded- The most popular fried chicken across the world is the breaded variety; this is what they’re talking about when people talk about southern-style fried chicken. It’s crunchy and juicy and fills your mouth with flavor the second your teeth meet that crunchy breading. Breading chicken wings is as simple as seasoning the chicken before dunking it in a seasoned flour and cornflour mix. I find that blending these two flours is the key to perfectly crispy wings.
My favorite way to finish off floured deep-fried chicken wings is by smothering half of them in buffalo sauce, inspired by this Allrecipes recipe. That way, I get the sticky, crunchy texture from some and the pure crispiness from the regular ones.
- Battered- Battered chicken wings are a richer version of chicken wings with a delicious crunchy outer coating. All you need is a simple batter made from flour, baking soda, vinegar, liquid like water, beer, or club soda, and a hearty dose of seasonings.
Make sure to let any excess batter drop off before frying, or it will be heavy, and the ratio of chicken to batter will be out of balance.
- Battered and breaded- Oh yes, you heard me, battered AND breaded wings are a thing! These are very rich, but they are so tasty, and tempting you won’t be able to resist making them once in a while! Simply season your chicken wings, dip them in a seasoned cornflour and flour mix, and then dunk them in the batter. Let it drip well before dropping them in the oil.
- Prepare the Chicken
The first step is one of the most crucial, especially when you’re trying to get your cooking times right. Make sure you remove the chicken wings from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking.
This will allow the meat to come to room temperature and cook more quickly. If the chicken wings are cold, they will need to warm in the oil before they start cooking, which will take longer and lead to tough outer skin.
Some recipes recommend chilling your wings beforehand to get a crispier skin, but, in my experience, cooking is more even when the chicken is at room temperature. The cooking time I’ve used in this recipe is based on room-temperature wings.
If your chicken wings are frozen, I suggest thawing them overnight in the fridge. This is the safest defrosting method as it keeps the wings cool enough throughout that bacteria can’t grow quickly. Letting your wings defrost on the counter allows the outer meat to warm into the “danger zone” where bacteria can proliferate, while the inside remains frozen.
Thawing your wings beforehand also allows you to blot excess moisture from the wings before battering them, which will greatly improve the finished texture.
- Prepare the Oil
The biggest challenge when frying anything is to get your oil to the right temperature and keep it there throughout the frying process. If your oil temperature is too high, the outside will crisp beautifully, but the meat inside will be raw. If the oil temperature is too low, the outside can become tough and stringy as the cooking time is longer.
Place the oil in your deep fryer or pot with a thermometer and heat it until it reaches 375 °F. The deep fryer will maintain the temperature for you, but when using a pot, you may have to periodically remove your pot from the heat to keep the temperature steady.
Battered chicken wings respond particularly poorly to oil temperatures that are too high or too low, as the batter browns very quickly but can also get soaked in oil very easily.
- Frying the Wings
Now we’re at the fun part, the frying! This is my favorite step – except for the eating part!
Once your oil is at temperature, place a few wings carefully into the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, which will drop the oil temperature and cause the wings to take longer to cook. It’s better to do small batches and get every one of them perfect than trying and get them done fast and ending up with unevenly browned and cooked wings. Flip the wings halfway through cooking to ensure they are cooked evenly on all sides.
Once they have cooked for the appropriate time (see chart below), remove one wing and check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should be at least 165 °F. If done, remove all the wings from the oil with metal tongs and transfer them onto a wire rack with some paper towels to drain before serving. This will keep the wings crispy on all sides and prevent them from going soggy.
Serve them alongside a bowl of dips like ranch or buffalo sauce, and dig in!
Deep Fried Chicken Wings Cooking Time:
|Type of Wings||Total Cook Time in Oil at 375 °F|
|Full Wings||10-12 minutes (5-6 minutes per side)|
|Party Wings||7-10 minutes (4-5 minutes per side)|
|Boneless Wings||5-6 minutes (2-3 minutes per side)|
How to Tell If Fried Chicken Wings Are Cooked
Unlike a steak, chicken shouldn’t be cooked to anything less than well done. (No rare or medium-rare chicken for me, thank you!) Chicken must be cooked all the way through, or it can make you sick. But, if you go too far the other way, your chicken can end up stringy and dry.
You may think that a golden exterior indicates the wing is fully cooked, but that is misleading. If your oil temperature is wrong, you can easily brown the outside quickly while the inside remains raw.
How to tell if your chicken wings are cooked
- The flesh will be white with no pink present
- When cut, the juices will run clear
- The internal temperature will read 165 °F when measured near the bone at the thickest part of the piece.
Is Deep Frying Chicken Wings Different From Other Cuts?
Deep frying chicken wings are very different from cooking other cuts of chicken because, once the chicken has been broken down, all the pieces are such drastically different sizes.
For example, a chicken breast, bone-in or boneless, will cook at a totally different rate than a little chicken wing due to the size and thickness of the meat.
That’s why it’s so important to know the cooking times for each cut so you can cook them perfectly. Since the wings are so small, there is not very much meat in a chicken wing especially compared to thighs and drumsticks, which is why they cook so quickly.
Chicken wings contain the bones, tendons, and muscles of the chicken that form the non-feathery part of the wing. Bone-in chicken wings cook more slowly than boneless “wings” because bones and tendons absorb heat more slowly than meat.
Personally, I prefer to cook bone-in chicken wings because the bone imparts such a deep chickeny flavor that boneless cuts just don’t have. And, honestly, it’s fun digging in and getting your hands a little greasy while you strip away every morsel of meat.
There’s nothing like chowing down on some juicy wings! Now, with all this new information, you’ll be able to make them for yourself on the regular. The key to perfect wings is just 10-12 minutes in hot oil that are well drained and served with the perfect sauce.