How to Cook Chicken Wings in a Deep Fryer

How to Cook Chicken Wings in a Deep Fryer (Image: bhofack2/iStock/GettyImages)

How does your favorite restaurant make chicken wings so crispy and delicious? They deep fry them. You can do the same at home in your deep fryer. Grab your favorite wing recipe, plenty of oil and your appetite and get started.

Prep the Chicken Wings

If your chicken wings are frozen, thaw them in the refrigerator. You can also thaw them in cold water with the wings sealed inside a plastic bag.

Rinse your thawed chicken wings with cold water. Dry them with paper towels and put them on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. Sprinkle both sides of the wings with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate the wings for at least one hour so they're cold when they hit the oil. You can refrigerate them for several hours or overnight.

Coat the Wings

Coating the chicken wings in flour and seasonings gives them a little crust when they're fried, but you don't have to coat them. Some people prefer to toss the wings right into the oil to let the skin get crispy without the extra flour.

If you choose to coat your wings, pour flour into a shallow bowl. Add your choice of dry seasonings to the flour. Garlic powder, cayenne, chili powder, salt and pepper work well, but you can get creative with the seasonings.

Dip one wing at a time into the flour mixture. Turn it to coat all sides. Repeat the process until all your wings have a thin coating of flour and seasoning.

Prep the Deep Fryer

Fill your deep fryer with your selected oil, leaving at least 2 inches at the top with no oil. When you add the wings to the oil, it can rise, so you don't want it to go above the top. If you don't have a deep fryer, you can fry the wings in a deep skillet, again leaving space at the top to account for the rising oil.

Adjust your deep fryer controls to heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wait until the oil reaches the target temperature before you start cooking the wings. You can use a deep-frying or candy thermometer to check your oil.

Deep Fry the Chicken Wings

Lower the wings carefully into the deep fryer using metal tongs. Gently placing them in the fryer keeps the oil from splattering and burning you. Don't overload the fryer. The chicken may not cook fully if you put too many in at once, so it's better to cook them in smaller batches.

Fry the wings until they're a deep golden-brown color. It should take about 8 to 10 minutes. If you're cooking them in a skillet with shallow oil, flip the wings halfway through.

Test the chicken wings using a meat thermometer to make sure they're fully cooked. Pull the wings out of the oil before inserting the thermometer to get an accurate reading. Cook them to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent food poisoning.

Finish the Wings

When the wings are done, pull them out carefully using metal tongs. Let some of the oil drip off the wings while you hold them over the deep fryer. Place the wings on a paper- towel-lined plate to let the grease drain.

You can serve your wings hot just as they are, or you can add sauces. To coat the wings, toss them into your favorite sauce right out of the fryer. Turn them to get an ample coat on all sides of the wings.

You can also serve sauces on the side for dipping. That option lets you try different sauces. It's a good option for a party where everyone has different taste preferences.

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