Cooking chicken wings to the correct internal temperature is important to ensure that they are safe to eat and have the best texture and taste. Please enjoy this short guide on the internal temperature of chicken wings.
Internal Temperature of Chicken Wings Guide
Undercooked chicken wings can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria (such as the potentially fatal Salmonella bacteria), while overcooked wings can become dry and tough.
- Internal Temperature of Chicken Wings Guide
- How to Get the Correct Internal Temp for Chicken Wings
- Cooking Times for Chicken Wings in the Oven
- Grilling Chicken Wings to the Correct Internal Temp
- Internal Temp of Chicken Wings For Smoking
- Tips For Getting the Right Internal Temp For Chicken Wings
- Tips for Crispy Wings at the Right Internal Temperature
How to Get the Correct Internal Temp for Chicken Wings
To determine the internal temperature of chicken wings, it is best to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the wing, being careful to avoid the bone. The safe internal temp of chicken wings is 165°F (74°C).
While chicken wings need to be cooked to 165°F or 74°C to be safe to eat they taste much better if you cook them longer than to around 175-200°F or 79-93°C. This is because they can have a rubbery texture if they are only cooked to just a safe temperature. There is a lot of fat and collagen in a chicken wing which means it needs some extra cooking time to render down compared to other cuts of chicken.
It’s ok to cook a chicken breast to 165°F but wings are much better cooked longer so that the skin crisps up and the meat has a nice fall off the bone, melt in the mouth texture.
It is important to note that the internal temperature of chicken wings will continue to rise slightly even after they are removed from the heat source.
This is known as carry-over cooking. To account for this, you can remove the wings from the heat when they reach an internal temperature of 170-175°F (77-79°C) and let them rest for at least 3-5 minutes before serving.
Cooking Times for Chicken Wings in the Oven
There are several factors that can affect the cooking time for chicken wings, including the size and thickness of the wings, the cooking method, and how well done you like your wings.
In general, it is recommended to cook wings for about 30-35 minutes in a 350°F (177°C) oven, or until the skin has a lovely crispy texture.
Grilling Chicken Wings to the Correct Internal Temp
When grilling chicken wings, it is important to use a medium-high heat and to turn the wings frequently to ensure even cooking. Grill the wings for about 10-15 minutes on each side, or until the skin is crispy, the meat is tender and you have a nice char on them.
Internal Temp of Chicken Wings For Smoking
Smoking chicken wings involves cooking them for a longer time at a lower temperature of 225-250F, and will take around 1-2 hours. Use a meat thermometer to take a reading at the thickest part of the meat and away from the bone to make sure the internal of your chicken is at least 165F.
If you like your wings crispy finish them off for a couple of minutes at a higher heat – either in the oven or on your smoker grills.
It is also important to properly handle and store chicken wings to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Always wash your hands before handling raw chicken and be sure to cook it to the safe internal temperature. Leftover cooked wings should be stored in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking and consumed within 3 days.
Tips For Getting the Right Internal Temp For Chicken Wings
- Use a Good Meat Thermometer such as Thermapen for accurate readings
- Insert the Thermometer Correctly – for an accurate reading insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the wing away from the bone
- Take the reading close to the end of the cooking time to make sure the wings don’t overcook aim for 170F+ (77C) allowing for carryover cooking
- Remember that some wings are bigger than others and take longer to cook – you need to check and double check to be safe instead of guessing
- You will need to consider your cooking method – grilling, smoking, air frying or oven roasting all take different amounts of time so monitor the internal temperature of your chicken wings closely
Tips for Crispy Wings at the Right Internal Temperature
- Sprinkle your wings with a little baking powder or cornflour (cornstarch)
- Don’t put sauce on them until the very end while serving
- For a convenient and quick way to cook chicken wings, try an air fryer
- If smoking your chicken wings finish them off at a higher temperature to crisp up and ensure they are fully cooked (reverse sear method)
- Use a digital meat thermometer for ease of use and pinpoint accuracy
In conclusion, the internal temperature of chicken wings is an important factor to consider when cooking to ensure that they are safe for eating. Use a meat thermometer and aim for an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), taking into account the carry-over cooking effect. Proper handling and storage of raw and cooked chicken wings is also important to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
For a recipe on preparing chicken wings on your BBQ try here:
If you want to smoke your chicken wings try this guide.
If you would like more information on the topic try the USDA website.