Chicken wings is a meal time favorite for us, especially with so many amazing chicken wing sauces recipes to try to spice these up! I’m sharing tons of tips and tricks on how to cook chicken wings, including on the grill, in the oven and in the slow cooker!
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR COOKING CHICKEN WINGS ALL YEAR LONG!
Before we started dating, there was one thing I knew clearly about my husband – he loves chicken wings!
If I would let him, he would spend an exorbitant amount of money every month on buying wings to enjoy. He loves them for date night, grill outs, game nights and anything else!
So it became pretty clear that I needed to figure out how to cook chicken wings at home…
WHY SHOULD YOU COOK CHICKEN WINGS AT HOME?
- They are fairly budget friendly, especially compared to ordering them from a restaurant. I can normally find them for $1.80 to $2 a pound.
- You can cook a large amount of chicken wings easily, making them great for parties and holidays.
- They are easy!
- Honestly, even if you lose track of time and slightly overcook wings, they are still easy! Delicious chicken wing sauces are simple, flavorful and can make any small cooking mishaps.
There is honestly no reason to pay the often exorbitant cost of wings from restaurants when you can cook them up at home! They really are easy.
How easy? My husband can make them! Bryan is always the bar to which I judge just how easy a recipe is because he does not cook. But he can make these!
In fact, he has. He might have made a huge mess when he added sauce to our crisper pan in the oven. If you don’t know, a crisper pan helps the food on the pan get a little extra crispy because there are holes. You can imagine how well it handled sauce. 😉
Despite a messy oven, he did cook chicken wings, and they were delicious!
HOW TO COOK CHICKEN WINGS AT HOME?
Let’s get to the important stuff – the how! You can cook chicken wings in the oven, in the air fryer, in the slow cooker and on the grill.
I love when meals are like this because it makes them easy to eat all year long. In the winter, I cook them in the oven. In the summer, I fire up the grill. No matter the weather or the season, you can make tasty wings!
COOKING CRISPY CHICKEN WINGS IN THE OVEN
You can easily just toss your wings into the oven on a baking sheet and enjoy. However, getting them to be crispy out of the oven takes a few more extra steps.
MY TOP TIPS FOR MAKING CRISPY CHICKEN WINGS:
- Dry your chicken with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
- Toss your chicken with baking POWDER, salt and pepper. Trust me and double check you are using baking POWDER!
- Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and place a well oiled wire rack on the sheet pan.
- Bake until golden brown and crispy.
Most people get very nervous when I say to toss them in baking powder but it is the number one tip for getting crispy chicken wings.
It essentially draws the moisture out of the chicken to the surface of the skin where the heat of the oven will cause it to cook off. You’re thus left with crispier skin!
Tossing them in the baking powder also gives you a chance to add a little more flavor to your chicken wings by also adding in a little salt and pepper. I sometimes sneak in a little garlic powder as well!
WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD I COOK CHICKEN WINGS AT IN THE OVEN?
Preheat your oven to 400 degree F.
You will want to line your rimmed baking pans with aluminum foil and then place a well oiled baking rack inside.
Doing this will help any fat or grease to drop into the pan and stay away from your chicken wings, also helping them be crispier!
Bake for 30 minutes on each side or until they reach the internal temperature of 165 F.
COOKING WINGS ON THE GRILL
Cooking chicken wings on the grill does not result in the extra crispy skin that I explained above for the oven wings, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still good. Instead, you are enjoying the nice char you get from grilling them. I love the char!
Plus, you get a much faster result as cooking wings on the grill doesn’t take as long without heating the house up. In the summer, grilling chicken wings is my preferred method for cooking them!
TOP TIPS FOR GRILLING CHICKEN WINGS:
- Prep your grill racks with oil or grill cooking spray. This will help ensure that the wings don’t stick while you are cooking them.
- Heat oven to 350 F and leave one area or side at a lower temperature if possible so you can move wings there if cooking faster than you would like.
- Monitor the wings closely to spot any wings that are cooking too fast because of possibly hot spots.
HOW LONG TO COOK WINGS ON THE GRILL?
You are going to cook wings for around 20 minutes on the grill at a medium heat or around 350 F. Cook for at least 5 minutes with the lid closed before turning them.
Turn when the skin face down has charred to your desired level. Meat with a well cooked, charred side doesn’t stick as much on a grate.
If pieces need to be removed to a higher shelf on the grill or a cooler spot, do so.
After 15 minutes, check the internal temperature of your wings to see how much longer they need. Remove when they have reached 165 F internally.
COOKING WINGS IN THE AIR FRYER
If you own an air fryer, cooking your chicken wings inside one makes perfect sense. My focus on how to cook them in them in the oven is all about how to make them crispy.
Well that is the sole purpose of the air fryer.
Cooking them inside will easily give you the crispy chicken wings you want!
TIPS FOR COOKING INSIDE THE AIR FRYER
- Dry your chicken with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
- While not needed, you can still toss your chicken wings in baking powder with some salt and pepper if you would like for the crispiest chicken you can get.
- Grease or oil your cooking racks or cooking basket for the air fryer so the wings don’t stick.
- Cook in a single layer. You do not want the chicken wings touching and especially not on top of each other. Cook in batches if you need to in order to avoid this.
WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD I SET MY AIR FRYER TO?
I recommend cooking chicken wings in the air fryer at two different temperatures. Start at 380 degrees F, cooking your wings for 13 minutes on each side.
Then, increase your temperature to 400 degrees F for around 5 more minutes to give you well browned and crispy skin.
COOKING WINGS IN THE SLOW COOKER
This is usually my last choice for cooking chicken wings in smaller batches, but cooking wings in the slow cooker can be super easy for large crowds.
If people are coming over for a football game, I’ll probably use this method because it’s easy, makes very little mess, and can stay warm during a long event.
What you won’t get with slow cooker chicken wings is a nice crispy skin. You will, however, get really tender wings where the meat is basically falling off the bone.
Both have their merits and pros and cons, so just weigh out what is most important to you.
HOW LONG DO CHICKEN WINGS TAKE TO COOK IN THE SLOW COOKER?
Chicken wings will obviously take the longest to cook in the slow cooker… “slow” is sort of in the name. They take around 2 hours on high and 3-4 hours on slow. You will want to make sure your chicken wings reach an internal temperature of 165 F.
CAN YOU COOK FROZEN CHICKEN WINGS IN THE SLOW COOKER?
I do not suggest cooking frozen wings in the slow cooker. The chicken can cook unevenly and it results in a lot of liquid in the slow cooker.
WHAT IF I STILL WANT THE SKIN TO BE CRISPY?
The benefit of slow cooker recipes in my opinion is the lack of dishes. However, if you would like to get a crispier skin on these wings, you could remove them from the slow cooker, toss in your wing sauce recipe, and then broil them in the oven for around 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them!
You can place them back into the slow cooker after broiling if you need to keep them warm for guests.
THE BEST WAYS TO REHEAT YOUR LEFTOVER WINGS:
I have two methods that I prefer for reheating leftover chicken wings. They are my favorite because they are easy, not very messy and produce crispy wings!
The first is reheating them in the oven. Let your wings sit out at room temperature for 20 minutes. Then place them on a foil lined baking pan and cook at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes (about 5-7 minutes on each side).
Keep a close watch as you don’t want to over cook your wings.
The second method is in the air fryer. Reheat your wings at 350 F for 5 minutes before increasing your temperature to 400 F and cooking for another 5 minutes. The wings should be nice and crispy to enjoy! Just as good as the first time you cooked them.
HELPUL ITEMS FOR MAKING WINGS:
Meat Thermometer – This is ESSENTIAL for cooking meat safely and deliciously! Chicken wings need to be 165 degrees F internally for safe consumption.
BBQ Grill Tools Set – If grilling, you definitely want a full set of utensils safe for the grill! My favorite tool for using with chicken wings is the tongs.
Grill Cooking Spray – Use this or oil up your grate before lighting so your chicken wings don’t stick! I make sure my grill is well coated before cooking any sort of meat.
Since starting freezer meal prep when Parker was born, we use this slow cooker at least 4 days a week and it’s still in amazing working order. It’s a serious work horse!
SLOW COOKER TRAVEL CARRIER – If you plan on taking your wings to a friends house for game day, you will want a carrier! This Hamilton Beach Travel Carrier is reliable and keeps everything warm and safe to carry!
A GREAT AIR FRYER – This is my dream air fryer – it’s expensive but the reviews are overwhelmingly positive! It uses less oil and cooks fast. In the meantime, I recommend this economical air fryer that is dependable and great for cooking chicken wings.