How To Cook Chicken Wings: Baking, Frying, Grilling, and More

Spicy Chicken Wings


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Spicy Chicken Wings

Don't Wing It

Snacks and apps while watching the big game? A must. If you’re unsure of how to make chicken wings, now’s the time to learn. In a world where you can get 18 to 20 wings from a grocery store for somewhere in the neighborhood of $15, homemade wings on game day are a whole lot cheaper than ordering out. (Wingstop alone sells a 15-wing bundle for $25.) Need some ideas? Looking for some tips? Just here to figure out what you want to make for lunch? From the grill to the air fryer, here are six ways to cook chicken wings, complete with recipes.

Related: The Best Chicken Wings in Every State

Air fryer chicken wings
Robin Gentry / iStock

Chicken Wings in an Air Fryer

It’s hard to find a technique easier than air frying when it comes to making crispy chicken wings. Air fryers, in case you’ve just emerged from underneath a dang rock, are magical little boxes that wizards created to simulate the heat and crispiness of deep frying, all without oil. Season the wings how you will, coat them with as much hot sauce or barbecue sauce as you desire, and stick them in the air fryer basket. Cooking them for 25 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees out to do the trick. When learning how to cook chicken wings in an air fryer, it’s pretty difficult to mess up.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Related: The Best Costco Appetizers and Party Foods

Teriyaki wings
Anna F. Gass

Chicken Wings on the Grill

The most iconic game day image? Probably a bunch of dudes on a couch screaming at the TV. The second most iconic? It could easily be a guy in front of a grill, working some magic on chicken wings. You, too, can be that guy. An overnight beer brine can really help with that, and the more buffalo sauce you brush on them, the better. On most grills, 7 to 10 minutes per side should work.

Recipe:Plays Well With Butter

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Spicy Homemade Buffalo Wings

Chicken Wings in the Oven

If you're baking chicken wings in the oven, be sure to season them well. Oil the wings up first to help absorb flavor and adhere the rub. As with every recipe, marinating your wings for a day beforehand will only enhance flavor. To get a nice and crispy skin, coat the wings in your favorite wing sauce and stick them in the oven on a baking sheet for around 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

Recipe:Recipe Tin Eats

Slow Cooker

Chicken Wings in a Slow Cooker

There’s practically no kitchen tool that requires less effort than a slow cooker. Though slow cooker chicken wings can’t get as crispy as air frying them, an easy fix is to throw them under the broiler for a few minutes after they've been cooking for 2.5 to 3 hours. That should really crisp them up. 

Recipe: Spend With Pennies

Grilled Chicken Wings

Chicken Wings in the Smoker

Smoked chicken wings require — surprise, surprise — a smoker, but I’m going to assume you have one since you’re still reading this. The key to great smoked wings is in the rub; spices like paprika, oregano, and garlic powder are big. It’s also important to note that the wood you choose affects the flavor of your wings — which, if you have a smoker, is probably something else that you already know. When smoked between 225 and 250 degrees, it should take about an hour. Once finished, another few minutes on the grill helps them get nice and charred.

Recipe: Foodie and Wine

Homemade Fried Boneless Buffalo Chicken Wings

Chicken Wings in a Pan

If air fryers, grills, and smokers are too much equipment for your liking, here’s how to cook chicken wings in a pan. Start by searing your wings on each side for a few minutes over high heat, then cover and cook them on a lower flame for about 20 minutes (don’t forget to flip the wings a few times). That’s a perfect time to get the veggie sticks and ranch dressing ready.

Recipe:Craving Tasty