How to Cook Crispy Chicken Wings : Fried, Baked, Pre-Boil

How to cook crispy chicken wings or buffalo wings: Fried, Baked or Pre-poached for healthy wings. via BestRecipeBox.com

There are a number of ways to cook chicken and buffalo wings, but which one is better? The real question should be “Which one is right for you, for your health benefits or your texture and flavor preference?” All these many factors come into discussion when choosing a which method to cook chicken wing and buffalo wing recipes. Serious Eats shared a great write up on this topic and the discussions there are worth your reading time.

Before we get into it, a word on saucing the wings. Some will sauce before cooking, however we nearly always prefer to cook the wings, then toss them in the sauce. It gives a nice finger licking juicy coating, plus allows you to do a couple different sauces to please the crowd. Makes you look like a kitchen Tasmanian devil when all you really had to do was whip up a second sauce. You can even serve some sans sauce and with just a toss of salt and pepper for another variation.

Back to cooking methods. We want to give you some different options and ideas on how to prepare chicken wings and from there, you can experiment and see which one works best for you.  Should you fry the wings? bake the wings? dredge them in flour? or maybe pre-poach them to release some excess fat? It was grueling work testing out the different methods, but we gallantly forged ahead so solve the chicken wing method riddle.

Here are some of the options and suggestions on what you can expect with each technique before you add the sauce:

Wings Deep Fried, No Flour Dredging:

Results: Super Juicy and Crispy. But like anything that’s deep fried, it has the high calories.

Technique: Heat vegetable oil in deep skillet or dutch oven to about 350-375 degrees F. Fry wings for about 10 minutes or until crispy brown. Remove chicken wings from hot oil, blot on paper towels and toss with your sauce.

How to cook crispy chicken wings or buffalo wings: Fried, Baked or Pre-poached for healthy wings. via BestRecipeBox.com

Wings Deep Fried w/ Flour Dredging:

Results: Super Juicy and Extra Crispy. Adding the flour to the deep fried gives a slightly crispier crust to the chicken wing, but you still have the higher calories vs baking. For gluten free options use rice flour. We’ve also heard great crispy results by using potato starch. Has anyone tried potato starch?

Technique: Lightly coat the chicken wings with all purpose flour, or as mentioned above, for gluten free option, use certified gluten free rice flour.Heat vegetable oil in deep skillet or dutch oven to about 350-375 degrees F. Fry wings for about 10 minutes or until crispy brown. Remove chicken wings from hot oil, blot on paper towels and toss with your sauce.

How to cook crispy chicken wings or buffalo wings: Fried, Baked or Pre-poached for healthy wings. via BestRecipeBox.com

Comparison on Deep fried Variations:

Flour vs. No Flour? After the sauce is added both have great crispy, juicy textures but the one with the flour coating has an extra crispy crust. But after the wings have cooled, the textures become the very similar, so the flour doesn’t really matter too much at this point. If you are saucing the wings, the flour coating will grab a touch more sauce.How to cook crispy chicken wings or buffalo wings: Fried, Baked or Pre-poached for healthy wings. via BestRecipeBox.com

Wings Baked, No Flour Dredging: (photo below)

Results: Juicy & Crispy. The wings are still juicy and crispy, given that you bake them in a hot enough oven and the you don’t over bake them. This option is healthier than the deep fried, however they aren’t quite as crispy or juicy as the fried wings.

Technique: Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Lay wings and drumettes on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake wings in oven for about 40-45 minutes till golden brown then flip them about halfway through baking time, after the first 20 minutes. Toss with your sauce.

Wings Baked w/ Flour Dredging:

Results: Juicy and Crispier. Like the baked with no flour, they aren’t quite as juicy and crispy as the fried variants, however they are still quite delicious. The flour coating gives them a slightly crispier crust vs the un-coated baked wings, however it is still less crispy vs the fried variants.

Technique: Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Lay wings and drumettes on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Lightly coat with flour (use rice flour for gluten free) Bake wings in oven for about 40-45 minutes till golden brown then flip them about halfway through baking time, after the first 20 minutes. Toss with your sauce

How to cook crispy chicken wings or buffalo wings: Fried, Baked or Pre-poached for healthy wings. via BestRecipeBox.com

How to cook crispy chicken wings or buffalo wings: Fried, Baked or Pre-poached for healthy wings. via BestRecipeBox.com

{Healthier} Steaming or Pre-Poaching (boiling) Wings before Baking:

Technique: This is an additional step which will help render some of the excess fat in the chicken wings, making a healthier wing. Bring a pot of water to boil. Boil or poach the wings for about 5 minutes to release excess oil from the skin. But before you bake the wings in the oven, make sure you allow the steamed and pre-poached (or boiling) wings to air dry out for about 10 minutes before baking.

Results: How do they taste? When baked in the oven at a high temperature, the wings are still juicy, however they are slightly less crispy than the baked wings which weren’t poached or steamed. However this is the healthiest method since in the steaming or poaching you are rendering out some of the fat from the wings.

How to cook crispy chicken wings or buffalo wings: Fried, Baked or Pre-poached for healthy wings. via BestRecipeBox.com

So there are some different options for you. What’s your favorite way to prepare chicken or buffalo wings? Or do you have a different technique that you prefer? Share your insights in the comments about how you cook your chicken buffalo wings!

Here are some links to great chicken wing recipes on BestRecipeBox.com and WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

 

4 comments… add one

  • Elsie January 25, 2013, 7:44 am

    Do you have any idea on the percentage of calorie reduction poaching/steaming has on chicken wings?

    Reply
    • Peanut January 25, 2013, 11:58 am

      We don’t get into the science of it, just the practical sense of what is going on when it is cooked using the different methods. Here’s a link that may help.

      Reply
  • Fran February 10, 2013, 9:14 am

    I like chicken cooked all ways and seasoned all ways. Chicken wings are always included on any get together I have because they are a favorite of many people; they are always a hit! Most of the time I serve a variety of different seasoned ones. I do fry them as well as bake them. As for the hot wings because of my health conscience friends I often bake some in the oven. Whether I fry hot wings or bake them, I add the hot sauce after cooking.

    When I serve Oriental wings, I do not fry but I bake them in the sauce. When I serve plain chicken wings without adding a sauce to them I dip in an egg milk wash and then roll in my seasoned flour. These are great served with sauces on the side.

    Reply
  • Audrey August 7, 2015, 9:38 pm

    The very best chicken wings we have ever tasted were from a little place in Ketchikan, Alaska.
    They were flavored with vinegar and salt. It sounded strange, but, they were the best hot or cold.
    Can you help to re create these delicious wings?

    Reply

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