How to Cook Chicken Wings: The Ultimate Guide

Keeping the skin on chicken wings ensures extra flavor, but you'll get more fat, too.
Image Credit: DronG/iStock/GettyImages

Chicken wings are one of the most-loved finger foods at parties and family dinners — and there are multiple ways to cook them to perfection.

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You don't have to be a trained chef to make this scrumptious staple if you follow a few tried-and-true cooking methods.

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Read on to learn how to make a variety of chicken wing recipes using different kitchen methods at your fingertips. We include all of the important safety information you need, including what temperature to bake chicken wings.

How to Defrost Chicken Wings

Frozen meat and poultry products are convenient choices that eliminate the pressure to cook them immediately (or risk throwing them away).

But you'll still need to plan ahead: Frozen wings may need up to a full day to thaw depending on your method, per the USDA.

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There are three ways to thaw chicken wings: in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave, per the USDA. Once the chicken wings are thawed properly, you'll bake them just like you would fresh chicken wings.

Refrigerator Method

Step 1:​ Place the frozen chicken wings in their original packaging on a plate in a single layer.

​Step 2:​ Put the plate in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf (so the juices don't drip on other food in the fridge).

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​Step 3:​ Allow the chicken to defrost until it's soft and pliable, about 5 hours. Once thawed, poultry should remain safe for another day or two before cooking.

Cold Water Method

Step 1:​ Place the package of frozen chicken wings in a large bowl. If the chicken's original packaging isn't waterproof, seal it in a zip-top plastic bag or reusable silicone bag before thawing.​

Step 2:​ Fill the bowl with cold tap water. You can place a glass or bowl on top of the meat to weigh it down so it remains submerged.

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Step 3:​ Change the water every 30 minutes until the chicken is thawed completely, which should take about an hour.

Meat thawed in cold water should always be cooked right away. Do not store and cook it later.

Microwave Method

Step 1:​ Remove the frozen chicken wings from their original packaging and place them on a microwave-safe dish.

​Step 2:​ Place the chicken wings in the microwave.

​Step 3:​ Microwave the chicken on the "defrost" setting until it's soft and thawed and check the chicken's progress every couple minutes to prevent overcooking.

Meat thawed in the microwave should always be cooked right away. Do not store and cook it later.

Chicken Wing Food Safety

Chicken can carry bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, but these illness-causing bacteria can't live at high temperatures.

To prevent the possibility of foodborne illness, the USDA advises cooking chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here are some more handy tips to help prevent foodborne illness:

  • Don't leave chicken wings out on the counter to thaw, as that could give harmful bacteria a chance to contaminate the meat. It is safe to cook foods from their frozen state, but it may take 50 percent longer than the recommended time for fully thawed poultry.
  • Thoroughly clean any surface that comes in contact with uncooked chicken with hot, soapy water to prevent foodborne illness, per the USDA. Never use the same cooking utensils for raw chicken and cooked chicken.
  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food and thoroughly clean cutting boards with hot, soapy water after each use.

How to Cook Chicken Wings in the Oven

Cooking Thawed Chicken Wings

Follow the below recipe for simple baked wings from UCI Health. (For crispy, tasty wings, use 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt per dozen wings.)

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • baking sheet

  • baking rack

  • medium mixing bowl

  • 1 tbsp. baking powder

  • 1/8 tsp. salt

  • low-sodium hot sauce

Step 1:​ Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and place a baking rack on a baking sheet.

Step 2:​ In a bowl, toss 12 chicken wings with 1 tbsp. baking powder and 1/8 tsp. salt.

Step 3:​ Bake the wings for 30 minutes.

Step 4:​ Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue to bake for about 40 to 50 more minutes, until brown and crispy. Make sure the internal temp has reached 165 F.

Step 5:​ Toss wings in low-sodium hot sauce to serve.

Tip

If you’d like, you can also sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of your chicken wings before baking. Consider additional seasonings for your chicken wings such as curry powder, chili powder, lemon pepper, Italian seasoning or seasoning salt.

Cooking Frozen Chicken Wings

If you don't have time to thaw chicken wings, you can still cook them straight out of the freezer — although it may take longer, depending on your cooking method. Here's how to cook frozen chicken wings in the oven, per Tyson.

Step 1:​ Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and place the chicken on a baking rack on a baking sheet.

Step 2:​ Bake frozen wings for 60 to 65 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tip

All poultry — including chicken wings — should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. An instant-read food thermometer can help you make sure your wings are safe to serve.

How to Keep Cooked Wings Warm in a Crock-Pot

After baking your wings in the oven, you can use a slow cooker to keep the wings warm for guests. Here's how, per the University of Minnesota Extension:

Step 1:​ Preheat the slow cooker to at least 140 degrees F, or on the "warm" setting. Avoid the "medium" and "high" settings as higher temps might burn or dry out the wings.

Step 2:​ Add the wings and close the lid, making sure not to open it until ready to serve.

Step 3:​ When ready to serve, use a food thermometer to check they're at an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Step 4:​ Serve when ready.

Tip

Food should be kept at 140 degrees or above in the slow cooker to prevent the growth of bacteria, per the University of Minnesota Extension.

How to Cook Wings in the Crock-Pot

The handy slow cooker can help you make wings ahead of time and keep them warm and crispy for a party or family dinner.

Try this easy recipe from the supermarket chain H-E-B.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • 2.5 tbsp. salted butter

  • 2 tbsp. honey

  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce

  • slow cooker

  • slotted spoon or tongs

  • sheet tray

  • foil

  • salt and pepper

Step 1:​ Place salted butter, honey, barbecue sauce and chicken wings in a slow cooker set on high heat.

Step 2:​ Stir ingredients to coat chicken in sauce and cover with lid. Cook 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring once after about 40 minutes.

Step 3:​ Line a sheet tray with foil. Remove chicken from the slow cooker with slotted spoon or tongs and place on the sheet tray. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 4:​ If you want extra-crispy wings, broil the wings on high for 2 to 3 minutes, until starting to brown.

Step 5:​ Brush wings with sauce before serving with your favorite sides.

Tip

To reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses, preheat your slow cooker or turn it on high for the first hour of cooking time, then reduce the temperature to low.

Newer slow cooker models include timers to adjust the setting from high to low or low to warm.

How to Cook Chicken Wings in a Convection Oven

Both your convection and traditional oven work under the same principles, but one is more efficient than the other.

The convection oven is equipped with a fan that circulates heat around your food as it bakes, per Fine Cooking. By comparison, a traditional oven creates heat that simply surrounds your food. Because a convection oven circulates the heat, it's able to cook food faster.

You can have crispy baked chicken wings ready to serve in less than an hour with the convection oven. You can use any oven-roasted chicken wing recipe that works for you and adjust the temperature and cooking time accordingly.

Here's a handy trick to remember how long to cook wings in a convection oven: Take the temperature and time for a standard oven recipe, and then lower your cooking temp by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and shorten your cooking time by 25 percent, according to ​Fine Cooking​.

It may take a little trial and error to get your baked wings right, but you'll be happy with the end product: The fat in the skin crisps quickly in a convection oven, which means juicier and tastier meat.

Here's how to make convection oven chicken wings, per a recipe from appliance company Sub-Zero.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • 1 tbsp. baking powder

  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt

  • paper towel

  • large bowl

  • small bowl

  • broiler pan

  • aluminum foil

  • your favorite sauce (optional)

Step 1:​ Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit on Convection Mode. The rack should be placed in the top position.

Step 2:​ Dry wings with a paper towel and place in a large bowl.

Step 3:​ In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp. baking powder and 1/8 tsp. kosher salt. Sprinkle 1/3 of the mixture over wings. Toss several times for an even coating. Repeat until wings are evenly covered in the mixture (depending on the moisture content of your wings, you may not need to use all of the mixture).

Step 4:​ Place the wings on a broiler pan and rack lined with aluminum foil.

Step 5:​ Put the wings in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Flip the wings over, then cook for an additional 15 minutes. Make sure the wings' internal temp has reached 165 F, and then, if desired, toss the wings with your favorite sauce to serve.

Tip

To get crispy chicken wings quickly, use a baking sheet with low sides, per ​Fine Cooking​. You can also fill up all the oven racks without affecting cooking time or oven temperature.

How to Cook Chicken Wings in a Toaster Oven

Toaster ovens work just like regular ovens, but they're smaller. Here's how Cuisinart recommends making toaster oven chicken wings.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lb. chicken wings

  • 2 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil

  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1 1/4 tsp. black pepper

  • large mixing bowl

  • aluminum foil

  • your favorite sauce

Step 1:​ Preheat the toaster oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2:​ Place the wings in a bowl and toss with enough vegetable oil to coat the skin, then season with salt and pepper.

Step 3:​ Line the toaster oven baking sheet with foil and evenly spread the wings. Place them in your toaster oven and bake on the bottom rack for 25 minutes.

Step 4:​ After the wings are finished baking, carefully place the tray on the top rack, switch the toaster oven to broil and crisp the skin for 2 to 3 minutes. The wings' internal temperature should reach 165 F.

Step 5:​ Flavor your toaster oven chicken wings with your favorite sauce.

How to Cook Chicken Wings in a Deep Fryer

Crispy Cajun Wings

A basic fried chicken wings recipe involves cooking the meat for 9 to 12 minutes in oil heated to 375 degrees, per Cuisinart.

In an interview with LIVESTRONG.com, chef Henry Lu shares his extra-crispy fried chicken wings recipe.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • 4 1/4 cups water

  • 5 1/2 tbsp. salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 3 tbsp. hot sauce

  • 1 tbsp. garlic

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 tbsp. Cajun spice

Step 1:​ Break down the chicken wings into the flat and drumstick parts. (You can keep them together if you prefer.)

Step 2:​ Brine the chicken for up to 6 hours. A basic brine consists of water with salt. Add your own spices. Lu likes to use allspice and black peppercorn because it infuses great flavor.

Step 3:​ Take the wings out of the brine, and then marinate them in buttermilk, hot sauce, garlic and a bay leaf in the refrigerator until you're ready to start cooking, at least 30 minutes.

Step 4:​ Set the fryer to 300 degrees. This temperature is low enough to help cook the chicken all the way without burning the outside too quickly.

Step 5:​ Fry for about 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. The wings' internal temperature should reach 165 F. For extra seasoning, sprinkle Cajun spice all over the fried chicken wings.

Step 6:​ To prevent bacterial contamination, refrigerate leftover fried chicken within 2 hours of cooking.

Pan-Frying Chicken Wings

For the best pan-fried chicken wings, Lu suggests getting a fryer thermometer (Bed Bath and Beyond, $9.99) to make sure the oil is at 300 degrees F. "This way, you can keep track of how low the temperature goes when you drop in the cold chicken,” he says. In that case, increase the flame until the oil reaches 300 F.

“A deep fryer normally readjusts its temperature, so you don't have to worry if the oil gets too cold. This is very important for getting the chicken crispy.”

Tips for Using the Deep Fryer

  • Before putting oil in the fryer, make sure the fryer is turned off and has been wiped dry. Once the oil is hot enough, add the chicken.
  • Use extra-virgin olive oil, which was found to produce the smallest amount of polar compounds (substances that are created when cooking oil is exposed to heat) in a May 2018 study in ACTA Scientific Nutritional Health.
  • To avoid undercooking, uneven cooking and overflowing oil, don't overcrowd the basket.
  • Don't add food when the basket is submerged in oil, because it can result in spatters.
  • Because deep frying is a very fast cooking process, don't leave the fryer unattended, per the USDA.
  • You should only use oil once before discarding it because fried food absorbs degraded oil products. During frying, oil loses its healthy unsaturated fats while its unhealthy trans fats increase, per Harvard Health Publishing.
  • When you're finished cooking, unplug the fryer and let it cool completely (about 2 hours) before removing the oil and cleaning it.
  • Never pour hot oil down the drain because it can clog it. Instead, let the oil cool and then throw it in the trash.

Warning

Cooking oil is a very flammable liquid, so if you're using a deep dryer, always have a fire extinguisher ($19.98, Amazon) in the kitchen, per the USDA. And because water can spatter dangerously when exposed to hot oil, take care to keep water out of the deep fryer. Above all, should a grease fire start, don't attempt to put it out with water.

Breaded Wings in a Deep Fryer

Breading chicken wings with a crispy coating adds both texture and flavor, guaranteeing your dinner guests will reach for seconds (and even thirds).

Try this deep-fried breaded chicken wings recipe from Kroger.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • medium mixing bowl

  • tongs

  • 1 cup chickpea flour or 1.25 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

  • water

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • dash of pepper

  • 5 cups oil

  • paper towels

Step 1:​ Dry chicken wings with paper towels.

Step 2:​ Mix flour, baking soda, garlic powder, water, egg, salt and pepper in a blender until smooth. Pour into a bowl.

Step 3:​ Heat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Dip the wings in the batter and place them in the hot oil using tongs.

Step 4:​ Fry for 20 minutes. The wings' internal temperature should reach 165 F.

Step 5:​ Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until you serve.

Warning

Cooking partially frozen wings in a deep fryer may result in hot oil spattering. To avoid this, thaw the wings completely before breading and frying them.

FryDaddy Chicken Wings

Electric deep-fryers like Presto's FryDaddy (Amazon, $24.99) keep the temperature of the oil as stable as possible to ensure that the fat stays off your food and in the fryer instead.

Try this FryDaddy chicken wing recipe from MD Health.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • small bowl or resealable plastic bag

  • large bowl or resealable plastic bag

  • small saucepan

  • serving bowl

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 tsp. paprika

  • 1 dash cayenne pepper

  • 2/3 tsp. salt

  • 1 tbsp. butter

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. hot sauce

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 2 cups oil

  • celery sticks

  • blue cheese or ranch dressing

Step 1:​ In a small bowl or resealable plastic bag, mix all-purpose flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt.

Step 2:​ Place chicken wings in a large glass bowl or resealable plastic bag and sprinkle flour mixture over them until they are evenly coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Step 3:​ Combine butter, hot sauce and lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and heat until butter is melted and the mixture is well-blended. Remove from heat and reserve for serving.

Step 4:​ Heat oil in a FryDaddy to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The oil should just cover the wings entirely — an inch or so deep.

Step 5:​ Fry coated wings in hot oil for about 8 minutes, or until they float up and the wings turn golden brown. The wings' internal temperature should reach 165 F.

Step 6:​ Drain and place wings in a serving bowl, add hot sauce mixture and stir together.

Step 7:​ Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese or ranch dressing.

Tip

Making fried chicken in a FryDaddy can be very flavorful. Give your cooked chicken wings a burst of flavor by coating them in your favorite sauce, such as teriyaki or barbecue sauce. To make Buffalo chicken wings, coat them with a mixture of hot sauce and melted butter.

How to Cook Chicken Wings on a Grill

Few things say "summer" or "game day" quite like grilled wings. There are specific ways you can cook chicken wings on a grill to get the most flavor and texture out of your poultry.

Here's how to cook chicken wings on a gas or charcoal grill. Grilling chicken wings takes very little time because they're small and don't contain much meat.

Boil Them First (Optional)

When you boil chicken before grilling it, you keep it extra moist before finishing it off over the coals. In an interview with LIVESTRONG.com, Perdue executive chef Chris Moyer shares how to boil chicken wings before grilling.

If you'd rather skip boiling them first, simply grill the wings a bit longer, until they reach an internal temp of 165 F.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • large saucepot

  • sheet tray

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 tbsp. your favorite seasoning

  • 2-3 tbsp. sauce

Step 1:​ Fill a large saucepot with water until it's about 2/3 full. Bring to a boil.

Step 2:​ Submerge the wings in the water. Boil for 10 to 11 minutes or until the internal temperature of the drum is at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit and the juices are running clear.

Step 3:​ Allow the wings to rest for 2 to 3 minutes and then place on a sheet tray. Brush with olive oil and top with your favorite seasoning.

Step 4:​ Preheat the grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Grill the wings for about 10 minutes, depending on how browned you would like them (how long to grill pre-boiled chicken wings is a matter of preference, as they are already fully cooked at this point).

Step 5:​ Serve with your favorite sauce.

Grilled Barbecue Wings

Incorporating barbecue sauce adds not only flavor, but also color, and it helps keep grilled chicken wings from drying out. Do not brush raw wings or you will contaminate the barbecue sauce with bacteria from the raw chicken.

To get started, try this barbecue chicken wing recipe from the grill brand Kingsford.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • small bowl

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. brown sugar

  • 1 tsp. black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp. paprika

  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper

  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper

  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

  • charcoal

Step 1:​ In a small bowl, stir together salt, brown sugar, black pepper, paprika, red pepper and white pepper. Season chicken wings with this rub.

Step 2:​ Build a charcoal fire on one side of the grill — this creates an "indirect heat" zone.

Step 3:​ When the grill temperature reaches 450 degrees Fahrenheit, put the wings over indirect heat and close the lid. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until brown and crispy.

Step 4:​ Brush chicken wings with barbecue sauce and cook an additional 2 minutes to allow the sauce to caramelize.

Step 5:​ Remove chicken wings from the grill and serve with extra sauce.

Tip

Line your grill rack with aluminum foil or use a vegetable tray if your grill rack’s spaces are wide enough to let the wings fall through.

How to Broil Chicken Wings

The broiler offers a quick, healthy way to cook meat, including chicken wings. Apply the same types of rubs and marinades that you would for grilling when you make broiled chicken wings.

Chicken wings are a good size for broiling: You can fit 10 or more on a broiler tray, depending on your oven size. Because they can taste a little bland by themselves, it's a good idea to marinate the wings overnight in whatever style of sauce you prefer before broiling. Remove the skin after broiling to cut down on fat, as the skin contains more fat than the meat.

Keep in mind that the air space beneath a broiling rack increases the overall cooking time — and means you need to flip the wings partway through cooking, according to The New York Times.

To get started, try this simple garlic-pepper broiled wing recipe from Perdue executive chef Chris Moyer.

Garlic-Pepper Wings

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • foil

  • sheet tray

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp. hickory-smoked garlic and black pepper seasoning

  • 2-3 tbsp. your favorite sauce

  • ranch dressing

Step 1:​ Preheat the oven to the broiler setting.

Step 2:​ On a foil-lined sheet tray, place chicken wings evenly apart. Brush with olive oil. Season with hickory-smoked garlic and black pepper.

Step 3:​ Place the wings on the lowest rack. Broil for 6 minutes, then flip.

Step 4:​ Broil 6 minutes more and then flip again.

Step 5:​ Broil for another 8 minutes, and flip.

Step 6:​ Broil for an additional 2 minutes, then flip again.

Step 7:​ Cook for 1 more minute or until cooked through, about 23 minutes total. The exterior of the chicken should be browned and crispy and the internal temperature should reach 165 F.

Step 8:​ Toss the wings in your favorite sauce and serve with a side of ranch dressing.

Tip

Broiling creates a crispier skin than grilling without the need for deep frying or heading outside to fire up the barbecue. Keep in mind that fat like cooking oil can spark a flame when it’s too close to a heat source. This can pose a fire risk, so be sure to keep generously oiled foods like marinated chicken wings on a lower oven rack when broiling.

Or Try the Boiling-Then-Broiling Method

Boiling the wings before broiling is optional, but doing so cuts cooking time and makes sure the chicken is fully cooked. Crisp them up under the broiler before serving.

Follow this boil-and-broil chicken wing recipe from Perdue executive chef Chris Moyer.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • large saucepot

  • water

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil

  • your favorite seasoning

  • sheet tray

Step 1:​ Fill a large saucepot with water until it's about 2/3 full. Bring to a boil.

Step 2:​ Submerge wings in the water. Boil for 10 to 11 minutes or until the internal temperature of the drum is at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit and the juices are running clear.

Step 3:​ Allow the wings to rest for 2 to 3 minutes and then place a sheet tray. Brush with olive oil and top with your favorite seasoning.

Step 4:​ In a preheated oven broiler, place the tray of wings on the middle rack. Cook the wings for a total of 6 minutes, turning them over at the 2-minute, 4-minute and 5-minute marks. The wings' internal temperature should reach 165 F.

Tip

Instead of creamy dips like blue cheese and ranch, you can also choose low-fat versions of those dips or use low-fat yogurt blended with herbs and diced cucumber to serve with the wings.

How to Cook Chicken Wings in a Microwave

If you're looking for a quick fix to your chicken wing cravings but don't want to spend time at the oven or money at a restaurant, give microwaved chicken wings a try. You'll get a meal on the table in about 10 minutes depending on how many you're cooking.

If you like your wings crispy on the outside, though, you'll have to use the broiler, too.

To save even more time, buy pre-cooked wings, which you can heat in the microwave in less than 5 minutes.

Raw Wings in the Microwave

Here's how to cook chicken wings in the microwave from scratch, Perdue executive chef Chris Moyer tells LIVESTRONG.com. You can remove the skin first if you want to cut back on calories and fat.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 chicken wings (roughly the amount that will fit in a standard microwave)

  • microwaveable dish

  • 1 tsp. paprika

  • 1/3 tsp. turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1/4 cup water

  • plastic wrap

  • your favorite sauce

Step 1:​ Place chicken wings evenly apart on a microwaveable dish. Season the wings with the paprika, turmeric and garlic powder and add 1/4 cup of water for every 6 wings.

Step 2:​ Cover with plastic wrap and poke a hole in the top.

Step 3:​ Cook at 80 percent power for 4 minutes. (The reduction in power prevents over-cooking and chewy chicken.)

Step 4:​ Remove a corner of the plastic wrap and check the temperature of the biggest wing. It should be between 180 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the general rule is to cook chicken to 165 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit, reaching a higher temperature will ensure that the meat is cooked all the way through, Moyer says.

Step 5:​ Allow the wings to rest for a couple of minutes so the skin can dry.

Step 6:​ Brush with your favorite sauce to serve.

Pre-Cooked Wings in the Microwave

Purchasing pre-cooked wings can lower your chances of food poisoning and make cooking chicken wings even easier. Here's how to microwave frozen, pre-cooked wings, according to Tyson.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 frozen, pre-cooked chicken wings

  • microwave-safe dish

Step 1:​ Arrange frozen wings on a microwave-safe dish.

Step 2:​ Heat uncovered on high for 5 to 6 minutes.

Chicken Wing Recipes and Special Sauces

Wings that already have sauces and flavorings tend to have a lot of added sugar, salt and calories.

Ready-to-serve sauces work in a pinch to add flavor to wings, but they can be a source of excess sodium. One tablespoon of ready-to-serve teriyaki sauce has nearly 700 milligrams (the American Heart Association recommends getting no more than 2,300 milligrams per day). Including too much sodium in your diet may increase your risk of high blood pressure.

Ultimately, the best way to get flavorful wings without unnecessary added salt, sugar and calories is to make your own wing sauce. Using homemade sauce means you know exactly what's in it, and you can use healthy ingredients as often as possible.

Try these easy ideas to rev up the texture and flavor of your wings.

How to Make Egg Batter for Chicken Wings

It's a great idea to make a chicken batter with eggs for an extra textured snack. That's because eggs have protein that coagulates during baking, causing batter to become firm, per the Exploratorium, a museum in San Francisco.

To get started with egg batter chicken, try this easy fried chicken wings recipe from Lake Geneva Country Meats.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt

  • 2 tsp. pepper

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tsp. paprika

  • 2 cups flour

  • vegetable oil

  • 3 large mixing bowls

  • large pot

Step 1:​ Beat eggs in a large bowl.

Step 2:​ In another bowl, combine salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika for seasoned salt.

Step 3:​ Add flour to a third bowl.

Step 4:​ Season each piece of chicken with seasoned salt. Then dip each piece in egg and drag through flour to thoroughly coat.

Step 5:​ Fill a large pot or deep fryer half full with oil. Heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6:​ Place chicken wings in the oil and fry until dark and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Strawberry Sauce

One option is to serve the wings with a barbecue sauce that uses strawberries as a sweetener instead of sugar, like this Berry-Sweetened Barbecue Sauce recipe.

Things You'll Need

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened ketchup

  • 1/3 cup sliced strawberries

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • blender

  • small saucepan

Step 1:​ Blend together unsweetened ketchup, sliced strawberries, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, smoked paprika, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper.

Step 2:​ Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately.

Baked Lemon Pepper Wings

Lemon pepper chicken wings ​sound​ like an elevated take on a classic football snack, but you can make them with just a few ingredients. Chef Crystal Reinwald shares this crispy baked lemon pepper wings recipe with LIVESTRONG.com.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • baking sheet

  • parchment paper or aluminum foil

  • oven-safe rack

  • paper towels

  • large bowl

  • small saucepan

  • 1 tbsp. aluminum-free baking powder

  • 2 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter

  • 1 tbsp. honey

  • 1 lemon

  • 2 tbsp. black pepper

  • parsley to garnish

Step 1:​ Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place an oven-safe rack on the sheet.

Step 2:​ Pat chicken wings with paper towels so they are mostly dry.

Step 3:​ In a large bowl, toss the chicken with baking powder and half of the lemon-pepper seasoning. If you're using a seasoning blend without salt, add a pinch of salt.

Step 4:​ Place chicken on the rack in a single layer.

Step 5:​ Bake wings for 15 minutes, then flip wings. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6:​ Make the sauce by melting butter in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat and add honey, lemon-pepper seasoning (or the zest of one lemon and black pepper), the juice of lemon and salt to taste.

Step 7:​ Remove wings from the oven and brush on some of the sauce. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes longer.

Step 8:​ Garnish wings with minced parsley, lemon wedges and extra sauce on the side to serve.

Jamaican-Inspired Jerk-Style Wings

Get more heat and flavor from your chicken wings by making Jamaican-inspired jerk chicken wings with this recipe from the Global Animal Partnership.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • large, resealable plastic bag

  • medium bowl

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1/4 small onion

  • 1/4 tsp. ginger

  • 1/4 jalapeño

  • 1/4 tbsp. soy sauce

  • 1/2 tbsp. honey

  • juice of 3/4 lime

  • 1 tbsp. orange juice

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

  • 1/2 tsp. paprika

  • 1/2 tsp. thyme

  • 1/4 tsp. allspice

  • pinch of nutmeg

  • pinch of cinnamon

  • pinch of cayenne

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/8 cup oil

Step 1:​ Place chicken in a large, resealable plastic bag.

Step 2:​ Add garlic, onion, ginger, jalapeño, soy sauce, honey, lime juice, orange juice, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, bay leaf and oil to a medium-sized bowl. Stir to combine and transfer marinade to the bag.

Step 3:​ Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to overnight).

Step 4:​ Preheat the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5:​ Remove wings from marinade and transfer to the grill. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping every 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hawaiian-Style Teriyaki Wings

To tickle your sweet and salty taste buds, try a Hawaiian-inspired teriyaki sauce recipe from H-E-B.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • 1 cup pineapple juice

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 1 tbsp. garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup water

  • medium saucepot

Step 1:​ Combine pineapple juice, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, mustard and brown sugar in a saucepot.

Step 2:​ Bring mixture to a boil. While it is cooking, combine cornstarch with water. Mix together and add to boiling sauce.

Step 3:​ Reduce heat and whisk until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and serve with chicken.

Buffalo Wings

According to the National Chicken Council, Buffalo chicken wings were created by a bar owner in Buffalo, New York, who served the spicy wings to her son and his friends in 1964. They loved the wings so much, she decided to add them to the bar menu.

To make your own Buffalo wings at home, try this recipe from Kingsford.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 chicken wings

  • paper towels

  • salt and pepper

  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup hot sauce

  • large resealable bag

  • small saucepan

Step 1:​ Prepare the grill for indirect cooking, with a charcoal fire on one side. Pat chicken wings dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Step 2:​ Place the wings on the hot side of the grill and cook for about 5 minutes, turning frequently.

Step 3:​ Once browned and crisp, move the wings to the cool side of the grill, cover the grill and continue cooking until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4:​ Place a small saucepan on the hot side of the grill and add butter. Once butter is melted, add hot sauce and heat for another 2 to 3 minutes until heated through.

Step 5:​ Remove wings from the grill and place in a large resealable bag with the Buffalo wing sauce. Seal the bag and shake to coat the wings. Serve with blue cheese dressing, carrot and celery.

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