Have you ever wondered how to cook frozen chicken wings? I sure have!
Only last week— I was already tired from cooking for a big party, mind you—, I went to the store to get some wings and when I finally got back home and tried to cook them— blank! Nothing! As if I had never cooked a chicken wing in my life.
So, what I did was sit down with pen and paper and write down everything I have ever known about cooking frozen chicken wings. I am sure it will be useful! One more thing Chicken Breast VS. Chicken Thigh What’s more healthy?
The dangers of storing and cooking chicken wings incorrectly
If you think everything starts when you heat up the chicken, you are wrong! In order to have a good, safe meal, you need to buy and store them in the correct way.
Chicken— including frozen wings— is one of the most dangerous foods out there. Delicious, of course, but it can also be very harmful to your body if you handle it poorly.
When it gets left out on the counter for too long or spends too long in the fridge before being eaten, chicken becomes home to many germs and bacteria, including the infamous Salmonella. You do not want that in your body, as it can cause terrible food poisoning!
How to buy the best chicken wings
So, how to make sure you get the best frozen chicken wings out there to cook? Go to the frozen foods section and look around. If you have to dig deep to find any, try again another day: anything you find will probably be old.
Speaking of old, it is crucial that you check the expiration date on the package before you buy your wings: it is not a suggestion! If it seems too close (say, this week), do not buy it.
Ideally, you want a package with an expiration date that is at least about a month away. You do not necessarily have to eat it in that period, though! It is better if you do, but the freezer will keep it good for 8 more months or so.
How to store frozen chicken wings for maximum safety
Storage is a key ingredient for meal prep. When you go to buy your frozen chicken wings, plan ahead: they (and anything else that needs to stay frozen) should be the last thing you grab before heading to the register.
After buying your wings, go back home as fast as you can and, unless you plan on cooking them immediately, put them back in the freezer double quick!
How to store frozen chicken wings? It is not that hard if you know what to do.
- Set the wings out on a clean tray before they begin thawing.
- Wrap each of them in previously cut aluminum foil or plastic wrap, being careful to draw as much air as possible away from the wing.
- After doing this, place the wrapped frozen wings inside a clean resealable container (it can be a zipper bag or a lidded plastic box).
- Take as much air out of the container as possible and seal it.
- Put a tag on the container: write the date of storage on it, so you will not run the risk of forgetting!
- Place in the fridge and rest!
Before cooking frozen chicken wings
So, how to cook frozen chicken? Before you start the cooking process, you need to make sure everything is ready. Depending on the method you choose to use, you will need different elements: check that you have all of them.
You can even open this site on a tab on your browser and keep it close, just in case!
Thawing frozen chicken can, according to some (me included) make the finished meal taste better. If you want to do it, do it safely.
Never thaw your frozen chicken wings out on the counter: this will make nasty bacteria grow. Instead, plan ahead and place the wings in the refrigerator the night before you cook them. This will keep them both tasty and sound.
If you are in a hurry and choose not to thaw, do not worry! Your meal will not suffer much for it.
How to cook frozen chicken wings in the oven
The oven— just about any oven— is the best way to cook frozen chicken wings, guaranteed. This ingredient makes for an incredibly versatile meal, and the even, slow heat of the oven works magic upon it.
Why is the oven the best method? As said, it heats up evenly through space and time: there will be no cold spots. It is also great for preserving the moisture of the chicken wings, keeping the meat tender and the texture crispy.
Bonus points if you use all that surface space the oven gives you to add some extra goodness (spices, butter, olive oil, the list is endless!).
So, how to use bake frozen chicken wings?
- Gather up your goodies! You will need your wings (thawed or not), a tray, a baking sheet or aluminum foil, non-stick spray, a spray bottle filled with water, optional add-on ingredients, and your trusty oven. If you want precision, you can also use a special meat thermometer.
- Prepare the oven by setting its temperature to 375 degrees for about ten minutes. This should get it nice and toasty!
- Grab your tray, spray some non-stick stuff on it, and cover it with the baking sheet. If you do not have a sheet, you can skip this: it is mainly to make sure cleanup is easier!
- Optional: You can sprinkle your extras on the wings now!
- Always use the spray bottle filled with water to give the chicken enough hydration to stay soft.
- Optional: If you want to use aluminum foil (you might choose not to because of the possible health risks), wrap the chicken wings with it in a loose manner.
- Put the wings on the baking tray and make sure they are spaced out evenly, so they all get equally well cooked!
- Slide the frozen chicken wings in the oven and cook for 30 minutes total. When you are halfway there, turn the wings around so both sides are exposed to the heat with the same strength.
- You can measure the temperature of the chicken: if it is 165, it is safe to eat!
- If you used aluminum foil, be careful when you unwrap: it is a good idea to let the chicken cool off for a couple of minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
If there is any drawback to the method of baking frozen chicken wings is that it takes a while, but the results are worth the wait!
Grilling frozen chicken wings: yet another good idea!
Does the smell of grilled chicken wings take you back to the last big game or spring picnic? Because it should! In my house, grilled wings are always a good idea and they bring back amazing family memories.
This method of cooking frozen chicken wings is easy and healthy: there is no fat involved! Moreover, the process infuses the wings with a special smoky flavor. If you are convinced to try this idea, follow these simple steps:
- As for instruments and ingredients, you will need: a plastic bag or a bowl, your seasonings of choice (I vouch for a mix of lemon juice, paprika, cumin, Jamaican pepper, powdered garlic, saffron, and chili), wood chips (optional), liquid smoke (fancy and optional), tongs, and a meat thermometer. And your grill or barbecue, of course.
- To give your chicken wings that authentic hot, spicy taste, you have to soak them in the spice and lemon mix stated above. First, then, combine all the dry ingredients in a plastic bag or covered bowl and add the lemon juice slowly.
- When that is blended, take the chicken wings out of the refrigerator and submerge them well. You want to refrigerate the wings in the mix for a time between 1 and 3 hours.
- If you are going to use wood for smoking, now is the time to soak it in water for 30 minutes. This will guarantee maximum smoke production instead of just burning.
- Grab the soaked chips and place them in the smoker in your grill (if there is one).
- Dial the setting of the grill or smoker up to 250 degrees and wait for it to warm up!
- Take the chicken wings out of the marinade mix and shake off the excess spice formula in the sink (remember to clean thoroughly later!).
- Place your wings on your grill or closed smoker to cook them.
- If you fear you are running out of smoke, you can always add more wood. To replicate the smoky taste without actually burning wood, use packaged liquid smoke: it is eerily similar!
- How long to cook frozen chicken? Cook on low heat for about an hour and a half, turning the wings with your tongs regularly.
- You can check the inner temperature of your chicken wings with the meat thermometer: it should read 165 degrees.
After you go through these instructions, you will have delicious grilled or smoked chicken wings to make spicy memories with!
Chicken wings for all!
Bookmark this post! You never know when your brain will draw a blank and you will need to brush up on your chicken wisdom.
Now that you know how to cook frozen chicken wings, serve, smile, and enjoy.