How To Make Great Hot Wings At Home

Week of Wings – Day 5 – Wings 101

Tips for making great hot wings at home.

We use a 3 step process:
1. bake the wings
2. deep fry the wings
3. take ’em swimming in the sauce

We cut the wings into flaps and drummies, discarding the tip (or freezing them to make chicken stock later), then dry them thoroughly with paper towels. It’s important to dry them thoroughly before baking. This helps prevent the skin from shrinking up.

Season the wings with salt and pepper or your favorite spices like Tony Chatchere’s or Todd’s Dirt or a jerk seasoning (Captain Thom’s Jerk Seasoning), and stick in the fridge to air dry uncovered for an hour or so – even overnight is ok. If you’re using a wing sauce with a lot of salt, bake them plain.

Bring the wings to room temp.

Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Note: If you’ve ever baked wings on a baking sheet, and sprayed it with oil, or coated them with oil to keep them from sticking, you know you have a sticky mess to clean up. USE PARCHMENT PAPER (no oil needed) and you and your dishwasher will be happier. We promise!

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Remove the wings from the baking sheet and let them “dry out” on a platter for at least 10 minutes to absorb any excess moisture (water & fat).

Fry in small batches, 5-8 wings at a time. We fry our wings in our Le Creuset Dutch Oven.

We used to use a FryDaddy deep-fryer, but it doesn’t hold the heat as well as a good enameled cast iron Dutch oven does. If all you have is a FryDaddy or other electric fryer, just allow time between batches for it to heat back up, because each time you place food in those fryers, the oil temp drops.

After deep-frying, place briefly on paper towels to absorb the excess oil, then toss them in your favorite wing sauce while they’re still hot. Let them sit a minute to soak up the sauce and regain their crispiness, and you’re ready to enjoy perfectly cooked wings!

Serve with celery sticks and our easy to make blue cheese dip. For a new and different twist, try some cucumber spears along with your favorite ranch or blue cheese dip. NOM!

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  1. I’ve never tried partially roasting them on the grill and then frying, but I will. Can’t wait to see the difference.

    1. The oven bake does the cooking. The wings are actually done at this point, so the deep fry does the crispy thing without overcooking them. It’s our favorite way to get them done in the kitchen.

      Having said all that, I’d much rather finish them on the grill, but it’s just too freakin’ cold here on the coast in Maryland to grill anything. Nor’easter Part II coming up!

  2. Wow! I just wanted to say Thanks! My company enjoyed the wings. They all asked me to print the directions so they could make some themselves! :-}

  3. I didn’t see any mention about the oil temp before frying…what should it be at?

    Thanks..looking fwd. to trying this method…Doug.

    1. 375 is the proper temp. If it’s a little hotter, it’s ok, just not lower. P.S. open a window or two, it get’s kinda smokey unless you have a killer exhaust fan, which we don’t 🙁

      Let me know how they turn out! And don’t forget the parchment paper. What a labor saving trick that is!

  4. If you get a decent immersion type deep fryer it won’t take much time to reheat the oil. this looks wonderful

    1. Thanks! We don’t have a lot of room in our kitchen for a really decent fryer, but I would LOVE to have one, especially after having done our second annual Week Of Wings!Check out our latest posts!
      Maybe soon… I can only hope…

      Love your recipes, BTW. mmm biscuits and gravy. ahhhhhh…

  5. Delongi makes a decent fryer I want to get one of those when I have the money I like the digital thermostat and thanks I like your recipes too I am working on posting something every day or at least 3-5 times a week.

  6. First I’ve ever heard of a three step process, it is all too easy to overcook wings in the deep fryer.
    However, you don’t mention how long to fry the wings in oil. I’m assuming it’s a brief time, only a few minutes?

  7. You mention preferring to finish these on the grill. Do you oil the wings before grilling? dry rub again? Sauce at the end or baste during?

    I like putting the wings in a dutch oven, covering with oil, heating on stove to 200, keeping it there for 20 minutes, removing them and refrigerating until needed up to 3 days. That’s how I par-cook.

    I then grill them over high heat using various recipes. Haven’t found one I love yet but the classic Franks/Butter is good but I prefer a dryer wing.

    1. David, I guess it depends on what sauces or rubs we are using. If a rub, I do like to throw more on the wings before grilling. If a sauce, no, the wings are still moist from baking.

      We’ve not considered your excellent suggestion of pre-baking, then refrigerating until needed. Then I guess we would oil them up a bit before grilling.

      While you mention “par-cook” in your method, we prefer to “almost-cook” in the oven. Then grilling would be minimal in time spent.

      I would think par-cooking in the Dutch oven would yield wings that are damp and not of a nice texture… but I’ve never tried it, so I won’t knock it.

      Thanks for your input… would love to get back to you when/if we try something similar to your method. Stay tuned for our next Week of Wings IV in January 2013. 🙂

        1. I will be trying this method. Thanks for the link and suggestions. Looks very scientific. If it yields crispier wings, I’m all for it! Again, thanks David.

  8. What if you coated the wings in a flour spice mixture, backed as you say and then deep fry? Seems like it would be a crispier wing. What do you think?

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