To get the crispy skin and juicy meat, chicken wings are traditionally deep fried. But if you're trying to eat better, you may be looking for a healthier cooking method. Convection oven chicken wings can give you the deep-fried taste without the fat or guilt.
Convection Oven Versus Traditional Oven
Maybe you liked the idea of getting food on the table faster or saving as much as 20 percent on your electric bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, but now that you have a convection oven you may wonder how to use it. You're not alone. But both your convection and traditional oven work under the same principles, but one is more efficient than the other.
According to Fine Cooking, the convection oven is equipped with a fan that circulates heat around your food as it bakes. By comparison, your traditional oven creates heat that simply surrounds your food. Because your convection oven circulates the heat, it's able to cook your food faster.
The general rule of thumb when converting your traditional oven-baked recipe to a convection oven-baked recipe is to lower your cooking temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and shorten your cooking time by 25 percent.
It may take a little trial and error to get your baked foods right, but you'll be happier with the end product, especially with your chicken wings. In the convection oven, the fat in the chicken skin renders and crisps quickly, which means juicier and tastier meat.
Simple Convection Oven Chicken Wings
With your convection oven, you can have simple, crispy, baked chicken wings ready to feed your hungry family in less than an hour. You can use any oven-roasted chicken wing recipe that works for you and adjust the temperature and cooking time accordingly.
Based on an oven-baked chicken wing recipe from Epicurious, you can begin by preheating your convection oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your wings in a bowl and toss with enough vegetable oil to coat the skin, and then season with salt and pepper. The oil helps prevent the wings from sticking to the pan.
Spread the chicken wings evenly on your baking sheets, then place in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the skin is caramelized and crispy. To ensure your wings are cooked thoroughly, check the internal temperature. The USDA recommends chicken wings be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
To get crispy chicken wings quickly, use a baking sheet with low sides, suggests Fine Cooking. You can also fill up all the racks without affecting cooking time or oven temperature.
While nutrition information may vary depending on the amount of oil and salt you use to flavor your chicken wings, one medium-sized chicken wing (a little more than 1 ounce of meat, not including the bone) has:
- 90 calories
- 8 grams of protein
- 6 grams of total fat
- 1.8 grams of saturated fat
If you decide to eat your convection roast chicken wings without the skin, which may be difficult to do, you save 45 calories and 5 grams of fat per medium-sized wing.
Vary Your Flavors
Chicken wings serve as a great medium for many herbs, spices and sauces. Use an array of ingredients to make your convection oven chicken wings pop with flavor.
Spicy Buffalo Sauce
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. They loved the wings so much, she decided to place them on the menu. This traditional buffalo wing recipe was inspired by renowned chef, Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa.
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper and salt. Stir until combined.
- Place cooked chicken wings in a large bowl; then pour in sauce and toss until the wings are coated.
The buffalo sauce makes enough to coat 16 chicken wings. Toss your convection roast chicken wings with the buffalo sauce after they've been cooked.
To save fat and calories, swap your butter for 1/4 cup of white vinegar and warm your sauce over low heat, then toss with your cooked wings.
To tickle your sweet and salty taste buds, try a Hawaiian-inspired teriyaki sauce modified from a recipe originally created by Food and Wine to minimize calories, fat and sodium.
- 3/4 cup of pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- In a saucepan, combine pineapple juice, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil and then simmer for three minutes on low heat.
- Mix the water and cornstarch in a separate bowl and add to the teriyaki sauce. Simmer the sauce until thickened, about eight to 10 minutes.
Toss your cooked convection oven chicken wings with your teriyaki sauce and serve.
Jerk-Style Chicken Wings
- 2 tablespoons red-hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted melted butter
- 1 teaspoon of jerk paste
- Whisk the red-hot sauce, melted butter and jerk paste in a small bowl.
- Place the cooked wings in a large bowl and then pour jerk sauce over the wings and mix until wings are coated.
Before cooking your chicken wings in your convection oven, flavor with a mix of dried onion, garlic and thyme. After your wings are cooked, toss with the jerk sauce.
Ready-to-serve sauces work in a pinch to add flavor to your convection oven chicken wings, but they can be a source of excess sodium. One tablespoon of ready-to-serve teriyaki sauce has nearly 700 milligrams of sodium. Getting too much sodium in your diet may increase your risk of high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams.
Chicken Wings in Toaster Oven
Chicken wings in a toaster oven? That may sound a bit far-fetched, but you can cook your wings in your toaster oven just as easily as your traditional or convection oven. However, it may require a couple more steps on your part to get the crispy skin.
First, preheat the toaster oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your chicken wings the same as you would for your convection oven chicken wings. Line the toaster oven's baking sheet with foil and evenly spread the wings, place them in your toaster oven and bake on the bottom rack for 25 minutes. 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 two to three minutes.
Flavor your toaster-oven chicken wings with your favorite sauce.
- U.S. Department of Energy: "Cooking Up Some Energy Saving Tips"
- Fine Cooking: "Better Cooking Through a Convection Oven"
- Epicurious: "Crispy Baked Chicken Wings"
- USDA: "Penalty Free Chicken Wings for Game Day"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Chicken, Wing, Roasted, Broiled, or Baked, Skin Eaten"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Chicken, Wing, Roasted, Broiled, or Baked, Skin Not Eaten"
- National Chicken Council: "Chicken Wing History"
- Barefoot Contessa: "Buffalo Chicken Wings"
- Food and Wine: "Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Wings"
- Food and Wine: "Jamaican Jerk Hot Wings Recipe"
- MyFoodData: "Ready-to-Serve Teriyaki Sauce"
- American Heart Association: "Why Should I Limit Sodium?"
- Cuisinart: "Buffalo-Style Chicken Wings"