How to Deep Fry Chicken Wings (Frozen and Thawed)


Everyone loves chicken wings, but almost no one knows how to make them properly. Chicken wings are traditionally fried and then coated in wing sauce. Here is how long to deep fry frozen chicken wings:

As a general rule, fry previously frozen chicken wings for 7-10 minutes at 350° F after thawing the wings. Placing frozen wings in hot oil can cause excess splatter when the ice melts into the oil.

Deep frying chicken wings or other meats is more successful when working with thawed meat.

Also, you will save time and energy by thawing your chicken first. You will know how long to deep fry frozen chicken wings. You will also be safe, which is of the utmost importance.

Should I thaw frozen chicken wings before frying them?

You should ALWAYS thaw your chicken before you fry it.

You will find that there is no safe or really good way to deep fry chicken wings straight from frozen. The end result of trying to deep fry any meat that is still frozen will always be food that is soggy in the middle and overcooked on the outside. This is frankly not what you were hoping for at all, so just don’t try to break the rules and cook from frozen.

If you are going to insist on risking having issues with exploding oil and so forth, make sure that you add 50% more cooking time to the projected cook time.

Making deep-fried chicken wings is always easier if you use an effective cooking method. It is best to start with small batches of thawed wings. It’s always a good idea to just let the chicken’s internal temperature rise to room temperature.

What is the best temperature to deep fry frozen chicken wings?

Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken’s temperature to ensure that you have it cooked to the right temperature, which is 165 °F.

You can also use a thermometer to check if you have the oil up to temperature while you are taking other necessary precautions. I have noted times here for both frozen and thawed, but as I’ve mentioned, thawing is highly recommended.

The ice on frozen wings can spatter a lot in a deep fryer, could be dangerous for you, or even be a fire hazard. If you must do that, put 1 wing in first to test, and only use a fryer with a lid.

Temperature in Degrees Fahrenheit Frozen Thawed
350° 14-20 minutes 7-10 minutes
365° 14-20 minutes 7-10 minutes
375° 12-18 minutes 6-9 minutes
400° 12-18 minutes 6-9 minutes

Be aware that the size of your fresh chicken wings, the heat of the oil, the arrangement of your fryer, and various other factors can impact the cooking time of your wings. You might have to experiment a little to get used to the cooking time to cook with different sizes of wings.

You might not want to cut the cooking time down much if you are trying to get crispy chicken skin. The outside of your chicken will be crispier if you cook it at a higher temperature. You just want to be sure that the chicken is cooked all the way through. Always ensure that your chicken is at 165 degrees when it is done, or it is not safe to eat.

Some people don’t realize that the temperature of the oil is actually the same as the cooking temperature.

Old-fashioned fryers might not give you much information about the temperature they are at. Getting crispy skin or crispy chicken wings is all about getting the right oil temperature. If you are cooking a very large set of wings, the 10-12 minutes that you had in mind might still not be enough.

Even at 350-375 degrees, large wings might need as much as 20-25 minutes to cook.

How much longer do frozen chicken wings take to deep fry than thawed?

You will need to add at least 50% more cooking time when deep frying from frozen. Cooking the center of the wings can be difficult when they are frozen if you try to cook them at too high of a temperature.

Chicken always cooks better when it is not exposed to intense heat. Trying to cook your wings at a rapid rate when you are dealing with frozen wings is a bad idea.

When you’re done frying, can you just leave the oil in your deep fryer?

The short answer is yes, although I prefer to use the drain and filter option on mine and store the filtered oil in a container in my kitchen.

Check out this recent article on how long you can leave fryer oil in the fryer before it goes bad. Just click that link to read it on my site.

Remember the earlier warnings about dangerous issues related to icy chicken and hot oil coming together?

Planning ahead when cooking fried chicken is always better than causing a possible issue in the kitchen and hurting someone. Make sure to thaw your chicken; you will save time and cook more safely overall.

Other Ways to Make Fresh Wings

If you don’t have the patience to use the general guidelines about cooking frozen things at high temperatures, you can simply drop the raw chicken wings into the air fryer basket. This is a great way to make juicy chicken wings with crispy chicken skin.

This is often the best way to make golden brown chicken for hot wings. You can trust the deep fryer appliance to prepare your air fryer chicken wings so they are ready for seasoning. You can use a large skillet or a large saucepan, some garlic powder, and your favorite sauce to make delicious wings this way as well.

Just like cooking in a convection oven, the air fryer cooking method can replace deep frying frozen chicken wings by cooking for a longer time at a moderate temperature.

This might be the right way or even the best way to make your chicken without having to use as much oil.

You also won’t have to guess at the frying time needed to get your chicken cooked. Plus, this gives you time to make side dishes. You also won’t have to test the size of your skillet or your ability to determine what constitutes medium heat.

Make sure you put your chicken wings in the fryer basket in a single layer and allow some extra time to cook from frozen.

Do frozen chicken wings splatter when deep frying?

This is one of the main reasons frying from frozen can be bad.

You should be very careful about splattering oil when cooking chicken using this method. The splattering happens because the ice crystals on the chicken wings interact with the oil in an unfavorable way. This is one of the things you need to be most cautious about when frying frozen chicken.

Oven mitts and long-handled utensils might be your best friend in the interest of safety. If you don’t already have some really long tongues that are metal, you might want to get some of those out of the drawer as well.

Bringing your wings up to room temperature is always the best idea. You can choose to thaw them in warm water in a zip-lock freezer bag or an airtight container before cooking them in medium-high or high heat. You will be ready to cook much sooner.

Then you can sit down to eat with your favorite dipping sauce without having to cook for a long time, which is a bonus.

What is the best oil for deep frying chicken wings?

You can cook chicken with a variety of different oils.

You might have more flavorful results with certain oils. Vegetable oils are the most common, but you can also use lard, peanut oil, canola oil, or even coconut oil. The heating points for these oils can vary somewhat, so you might have to adjust your warming time for your oil if you transition from vegetable oil to coconut oil.

Never use olive oil or butter because they have low smoke points.

You will not want to use these products because they will impact the flavor and crispiness of your chicken but also because these oils have been linked with carcinogenic effects in some studies when used as deep frying agents.

Remove excess oil with a paper towel on a baking sheet once you have removed your chicken from the deep pan to cool. Parchment paper can also work for this job.

But how long is too long to reuse fryer oil?

Luckily, in a recent article, I cover that, including what foods require changing immediately after, how to know when it’s best to change it, and how to know if it’s rancid.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Conclusion

If you have been dying to know how to make deep-fried chicken but have always been worried that you will not do it right, this guide is the answer. You can now make deep-fried chicken safely, and you know you want to thaw your chicken before you start cooking. Being safe in the kitchen is important, and cooking from frozen can be a safety risk.

Always make sure that you don’t store your leftover chicken in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and that you use a proper freezing method first thing when you are done eating. Air exposure does unpleasant things to fried chicken.

Now that you are a chicken frying expert due to this blog post, you can grab those chicken wings the next time you are at the store and cook with confidence!


Deep Fried Chicken Wings by Elsie Hui is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades and is now a recovering foodie. When he's not spending time in the kitchen, he can usually be found with 3 daughters, practicing martial arts, making music, or blogging on his other sites. Click to learn more about me

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