Today we explore everything you need to know about chicken wings’ internal temperature. That includes what it is, how to achieve this temperature best, and more or less how long you have to cook your wings using different techniques.
Chicken wings are an extremely fun dish to make that is perfect for kids of all ages – even the adult ones too. So, you must know how to cook them best!
What Is The Ideal Chicken Wings Internal Temperature?
Today we will be getting down to business from the get-go. What is the ideal internal chicken wing temp?
As you probably already know from my articles, the ideal internal temperature for poultry (specifically chicken) is 165ºF (74ºC). That is the general rule people follow.
But, technically, your chicken wings will also be safe to eat at 160ºF (71ºC). I don’t like taking that risk and ALWAYS cook my chicken to 165ºF (74ºC).
At this temperature, all harmful bacteria have been killed by the intense heat, and the chicken is completely safe to eat. If you undercook chicken, there is a high chance you will get sick from bacteria such as salmonella. This specific bacteria can even be deadly!
Another benefit of cooking chicken to this temperature is that it is most likely still soft, tender, moist, and flavorful. Of course, this mainly depends on the cooking method you use. But at this temperature, the chicken shouldn’t come out dry.
Now, if you overcook the chicken beyond 165ºF, it makes the chicken extremely tough, dry, and almost flavorless.
So, how do you get the perfect in-between result?
As I’ve mentioned, today we will focus on how to accurately test the internal temp of chicken wings and how you can get that ideal temperature.
How To Test The Internal Chicken Wing Temperature
When testing the temperature of chicken wings, there is only one way. That’s by using a probe thermometer.
This type of thermometer, also called a meat thermometer, has been specifically designed to penetrate the meat. The pen is attached to a small device that gives you the reading.
The key to testing the cooked chicken wing temp is to insert the tip of this needle into the thickest piece of meat. And you should insert it in the center, not poke it all the way through.
So technically, when we talk about “internal temp chicken wing,” we are talking about the middle of the thickest part of the wing.
Why Do We Test The Thickest Part?
As you know, thicker pieces of meat (and other ingredients) take longer to cook. So, if you have a big batch of chicken wings, the ones that will take the longest to cook are the largest ones. And even in one wing, the part that will be last to completely cook will be the thickest part.
So, testing the thickest part will give you an accurate indication that all the other smaller and thinner parts have already been cooked.
But now, won’t those smaller pieces overcook?
Technically, yes. But that is why it is essential to cook a batch of wings that are the same size. This will help all of them cook at the same time and uniformly.
I Tested The Temperature, And It’s Too Low. What Now?
If you tested the chicken wings’ internal temperature and it’s still under 165ºF (74ºC), simply leave the wings to cook for longer.
The cooking method you are using and the current temperature the wings are at will determine how long they should still go.
For example, if you are deep-frying them (a quick cooking method) they will likely only need to go another couple of minutes.
But, if you are baking them (a relatively slow cooking method), they can even take up to 30 minutes longer to bake, depending on where they are and the baking temperature you are using.
Cooking Methods For Chicken Wings – How To Cook Them To Perfection
Technically you can cook chicken wings using all of the cooking methods. But can you even imagine enjoying boiled chicken wings? I’m not saying there isn’t a place for them.
But traditional wings, like my Air-Fried Chicken Wings Recipe, should be tender, juicy, and extremely flavor-packed.
Most of the flavor either comes from a marinade, basting sauce, crumb coating, or dipping sauce. Or a combination of these flavoring techniques!
The best methods that incorporate these flavoring techniques are deep-frying, baking, roasting, air-frying, grilling, and hot smoking. All are high-heat methods that will ensure the chicken wings are cooked but still retain their juicy flavors.
Cooking Times For Chicken Wings For The Best Chicken Wings Internal Temperature
Remember, the cooking times of wings will vary from batch to batch. The size of the wings and cooking temperature will ultimately dictate when they reach the ideal chicken wing temp of 165ºF (74ºC).
At 400ºF (204ºC), wings will take between 20-25 minutes to completely cook.
Inside a preheated oven at 400ºF, wings will take between 40-50 minutes to bake. They take longer because the oven doesn’t circulate heat as well as an air-fryer.
If you deep-fry chicken wings at 360ºF (180ºC), they will roughly take between 7-8 minutes.
How do you prevent overcooking chicken wings?
Always follow the general timeframe that your recipe has set. If the times seem too long or short, use my guide above. Always test the temperature of the wings once about 80% of the time has elapsed. This will help check that you aren’t overcooking the wings. If you don’t want to check them at that time, you HAVE to check them at their minimum recommended cooking time.
How do you keep chicken wings warm for hours?
You can keep the wings in a preheated oven that is on its lowest heat setting. Cover the wings with a layer of foil to help prevent them from drying out.
How long do cooked chicken wings last in the fridge?
If you store your cooked chicken wings correctly, they can easily last between 3-4 days. But always keep them inside an airtight container in a cold fridge. Don’t store them close to raw ingredients or dairy products.