The Secret Technique for Cooking the Best Chicken Wings Ever

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For game days, everyone expects the best chicken wings. We have all the tips and tricks for golden brown deliciousness, plus three different dipping sauces that will impress absolutely everyone.

Fun fact: Americans tackled roughly 1.35 billion chicken wings during the 2018 Super Bowl. (The math nerd in me figured out that if you laid them all end to end, they would stretch nearly 64,000 miles.)
To say we’re obsessed with these spicy pieces of deliciousness is a severe understatement. Over the years, the Taste of Home Test Kitchen has cooked them pretty much every single way you could think of. When I asked what was the tastiest way, everyone, without hesitation, said deep-frying produced the best chicken wings ever. So I gathered every tip and trick we could think of in the following steps; awesomeness is guaranteed for game day or any other day you need an excuse for wings. Don’t miss these 10 cooking tricks that are only taught in culinary schools.

How to Make the Best Ever Fried Chicken Wings

You’ll need:


Person cutting the tip off their chicken wingTaste of Home

Step 1: Remove wing tips

When you purchase chicken wings, you’ll usually get the whole wing, which has three sections: the tip, the wingette, and the drumette. While I may be called for clipping (pardon the football pun), there is very little meat in the tip and it easily burns, so I like to remove that piece and save it for making stock or broth. Using a sharp, thin knife, cut through the joint between the wing tip and the wingette. If you move the joints, it will be easy to see exactly where to cut. Make sure you know which 14 foods you could be eating all wrong.

Person making a slice into their raw chicken wingTaste of Home

Step 2: Separate wingette and drumette

Moving the joint between the wingette and the drumette will show you exactly where to slice to separate them. Start using these other 25 brilliant kitchen shortcut you’ll wish you knew sooner.

Test Kitchen tip: You can purchase frozen and thawed wingettes or drumettes if you want to skip the first two steps. We won’t tell.

Step 3: Chill

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Toss wings with kosher salt, and place them on a wire rack in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.

Test Kitchen tip: Salting and chilling will dry out the skin slightly, which is key to getting that skin crispy when they’re fried. Just be sure to leave them uncovered in the fridge so the moisture evaporates.

Step 4: Fry ’em up!

A home deep fryer is great for cooking wings, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. An electric skillet works well, or you can use a Dutch oven on the stovetop. Fill it with oil so when the wings are added there will be at least one inch of oil covering them with no danger of bubbling over the top. Heat the oil to 375°F. Pat a few wings dry and carefully add them to the oil. Make sure there is plenty of room between the pieces or the oil will cool down too much and they won’t cook quickly. It should take about eight to ten minutes to get nice and golden brown. Remove the wings and drain on paper towels. Let the oil heat back up to 375°F before frying more wings. Check out these 20 food facts that will change the way you eat.

Step 5: Get saucy

Now is your chance to get creative and toss your fried wings with one of the sauces below.

Buffalo Wing Sauce

Buffalo wings covered with sauce next to celeryTaste of Home

Bring ¾ cup of Louisiana-style hot sauce just to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in ¼ cup butter one piece at a time. Stir in 2 Tbsp. molasses and ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper. Can’t get enough Buffalo chicken? Try these recipes.

Spicy Thai Sauce

Spicy thai buffalo wingsTaste of Home

Saute 1 tsp. fresh minced ginger, one minced garlic clove and a Thai chili pepper in 1 Tbsp. canola oil until the aroma is intense, about two minutes. Stir in ¼ cup brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice. Bring to a boil; cook until slightly thickened, five minutes. Stir in 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro and 1 Tbsp. fish sauce (we know it smells, but it adds a great flavor). Are you ready to Thai more on?

Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Spicy bbq buffalo wings next to pickle slicesTaste of Home

Heat your favorite prepared barbecue sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in two minced chipotle peppers, 2 Tbsp. honey and 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until it’s slightly thickened, which should take about five minutes, depending on how thick your barbecue sauce is.

Now the only thing you have to worry about is encroachment—last pun—from your guests looking to score a hot wing. (OK, so it wasn’t the last one.) Next, try these other 24 copycat recipes for your favorite restaurant appetizers.

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Originally Published on Taste of Home

James Schend
James Schend is the Deputy Editor of Taste of Home Magazines and Special Interest Publications.