Chicken wings are the ultimate game day food. Sidestep these common cooking mistakes for the most finger-licking results.
MISTAKE: My wings stuck to the grill.
Grilled wings are the perfect tailgate food whether you're cooking them in a parking lot or your backyard. Toss the wings in a few tablespoons of neutral cooking oil (like canola or vegetable oil), then season with salt and pepper before adding them to the grill. The oil will prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill.
MISTAKE: Yikes, my wings burnt to a crisp!
Chicken wings can go from raw to burnt in minutes if your grill is too hot. Our favorite way to grill wings is to have “cool” and “hot” sides of the grill. Light one side of the grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat; leave other side unlit. Place the chicken over the unlit side of grill, and grill, covered with grill lid, 15 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to lit side of grill, and grill, without grill lid, 10 to 12 minutes or until skin is crispy and lightly charred, turning every two to three minutes.
MISTAKE: The chicken skin didn’t crisp up.
Most oven-baked chicken wings are tossed in sauce after they have been cooked. Which means that the skin needs to be perfectly crisp to soak up all that the sauce. Thoroughly pat the wings dry with paper towels before seasoning with salt and placing on a baking sheet. Bake at 375˚ until the wings are crisp and brown, about one hour.
MISTAKE: My wings are bland.
Fried wings get their flavor from the breading, not sauce. We like to soak our wings in buttermilk, then dredge them in flour seasoned with salt, pepper, dried oregano, paprika, and chili powder.
MISTAKE: I fried too many batches and my wings got cold!
If you’re frying multiple batches of wings—which is a good idea, because you don’t want to over-crowd the frying pan—place the cooked wings on a wire rack in a jelly-roll pan, and keep them warm in a 200˚ oven while you finish frying.
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MISTAKE: Oh, no! My wings fell apart.
Saucy slow cooked wings are tender and full of flavor but can also fall apart if overcooked. Unlike large cuts of meat, they don’t need to simmer all day long. Cook wings on HIGH for two to three hours, or on LOW for four to five hours. Chicken wings, like any protein, also benefit from a little browning before they go into the slow cooker. Pre-broil the wings in the oven before adding them to the slow cooker give them crisp skin and nice color.