The best deep-fried chicken wings, period. Flavored inside out, with a tasty crunchy crust and succulent meat inside. Deliciousness at its best!
Crunchy deep-fried chicken wings, with tender and juicy meat inside, is my guilty pleasure. I don’t make them often, but when I do, I want them to be nothing short of perfect. As they say, if you are going to do something wrong (or bad), do it right.
Challenges with deep-frying
The biggest challenges with deep-frying are the mess it leaves behind, the smell in the kitchen, and the difficulty maintaining oil temperature. I solved the first two of these problems by taking this type of cooking outside. There is no more stinky oil smell, and no more mess to clean up.
The simple solution that makes deep-frying a breeze
The temperature maintenance problem is easily solved by using a large cast iron pot with a propane burner. With this setup, I can heat the oil quickly, within minutes. I can also make it recover from a temperature drop after adding food very quickly.
The ideal internal temperature of the wings
Temperature control is only one of the factors contributing to how good your wings will be. The internal temperature of the wings is crucial. Cook them too long and they will dry out inside. Many wing joints, including the well-known ones, serve them like that. It seems to be hardly an issue for many as the wings will be doused in enough sauce to make that a non-problem.
But it is. A well-cooked fried wing should be tender and juicy, with a crunchy exterior, and taste great without any sauce. It makes a huge difference, with or without a sauce on top. I cook my wings to about 185F – 190F, checking the temperature with an instant-read thermometer after about 4 minutes of cooking. At 185F the wings are perfectly juicy, yet fall-off-the-bone tender. Cooking this way, I’ve never had a dry fried wing. Ever. It takes about 4-5 minutes to reach doneness. Larger wings may take a minute or so longer.
Chicken wing seasoning
That said, these wings will be even better tossed with some hot sauce. My favorite sauce is the Duff’s Hot Sauce, with a little bit of melted butter. About 1 tablespoon of melted butter to 1/3 cup of Duff’s wing sauce, with no added salt. That’s enough for 2 pounds of wings. It’s what I also use on my favorite extra crispy baked chicken wings.
Another way I like to serve these wings is to toss them with just a touch, about 2-3 tablespoons, of plain Duff’s hot sauce – less fatty this way, just a touch spicy, and so good!
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- 3 quarts peanut oil for frying; or any other oil with high smoking point
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1/4 cup hot sauce Duff's hot sauce, Frank's, etc.
Chicken wing seasoning:
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- a pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Combine the chicken wing seasoning ingredients in small bowl. Season the wings all over, ensuring even coverage. Pat down to make the seasonings stick. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the egg with the hot sauce and water. Whisk lightly and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix the ingredient together and set aside.
- Heat 3 quarts of peanut oil in a large cast iron pot (the oil should be no higher than the middle of the pot) over a gas burner to 375F.
- Drop the seasoned wings into the bowl with the egg mixture, toss with your hands, ensuring even coverage.
- Pick up the wings using both hands, a few at a time, shaking off excess egg mixture, and drop in the flour bowl. Once all of the wings are in the flour bowl, toss them with flour, shake off excess and drop in the preheated oil.
- The temperature will drop to about 350F, perfect for deep frying. Adjust the burner as needed to keep the oil at 350F.
- Fry the wings for about 4 minutes or until the internal temperature of the wings reaches about 185F - 190F.
- Remove wings from the oil and place on a platter lined with paper towels to drain off the excess oil. Serve immediately with your favorite wing dip or tossed in a sauce.
Do you use frozen or thawed wings for this recipe? Thanks!
I always like to thaw first before cooking, so, yes, thawed in this recipe.
Love this recipe! My only change is my ole man doesn’t like hot stuff so I substitute the hot sauce for Italian dressing AMAZING!!! Thank you so much for this recipe
You are very welcome. Enjoy!
I loved this recipe chicken was so crispy and tasty. My issue with it was with me not the recipe, my wings were to big I guess so I could not separate them. At the joints but I will definitely try again and I have tried many other recipes this was the best.
I don’t really have a comment. I came upon this recipe while searching for how to deep fry chicken wings without dredging in flour. It sounds like it is really tasty and decided that I would try it, but before trying it I would like to know what is Cure #1?
Just because it sounds like it will taste really good, I will give it a 5-star rating up front.
Edna, this recipe doesn’t use Cure #1 and the wings ARE dredged in flour. I think you may be commenting on the wrong recipe.
Victor, thank you for your reply. That could be the case, but I was just wondering what is involved in Cure #1. I never heard of it before.
Cure #1 also known as Prague powder #1 is a mix of basic salt and sodium nitrite that is used to cure meats and sausages. It prevents harmful bacteria from growing, specifically it protects against botulism. It also gives the meat a nice pink color and enhances the flavor. Keeping qualities of cured meat are also improved. I use it to make smoked meats and sausages.
Iv’e used this recipie many times so thought I should leave a comment. This is the best way to fry chicken wings by far and I’ve tried many ways. They turn out juicy, cripsy and super flavourful. I have passed this reipie on to many others and no one has a negative thing to say. It’s a hit for sure!
Enjoy! Thank you for your feedback.
Great recipe, easy to follow with great flavor. It’s a keeper.
This is the fried chicken wing recipe I’ve been looking for all my life!! Juicy, crispy and flavorful, both with and without sauce. Very smart to flavor all 3 layers. It took longer to cook our wings but they may have been bigger. Outside is definitely the best place to fry anything. We will be making these again for company! Thank you!
You are very welcome. Try this recipe with larger pieces, like chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, it’s fantastic.
This recipe was a great option for my husband. He loves fried wings, but doesn’t like the sauce all over the outside. This gives great flavor and the recipe was easy to follow, thank you!
Happy to hear that, Kathleen, you are very welcome. Thanks for your feedback and happy cooking!
Many restaurants still make deep-fried wings the simple way which is a shame because recipes like this are much better.