How to Make Delicious Boiled Chicken Wings

Video how to boil chicken wings

If you’re searching for a mouthwatering, finger-licking dish that is guaranteed to be a hit at your next family gathering or party, look no further than chicken wings! Whether you choose to bake them in the oven or boil them on the stovetop, there are countless variations and recipes that can make this classic favorite as unique as you want it to be. Boiling chicken wings can bring out tantalizing flavors and save you time prepping, but you might be wondering, how long exactly should chicken wings boil? In this article, we will delve into the details of making perfectly cooked boiled chicken wings – one bite will have your guests wanting more!

Table of Contents

What Are Chicken Wings?

Chicken Wings

When it comes to chicken wings, the concept is simple: they are pieces of chicken meat that have been cut into three parts – the drumette, flat, and tip. Chicken wings can be cooked in various ways, including baking, grilling, deep-frying, and yes, even boiling!

The Boiling Method

Boiling is a cooking technique where food is heated to its boiling point, which is when water vaporizes and turns into steam. Besides cooking the food thoroughly, boiling also helps eliminate bacteria and other microorganisms that may be present, ensuring your food is safe to eat.

There are different ways to boil food. One way is to place the food in a pot or container and add water until it is completely covered. Then, place the pot on a heat source, such as a stovetop, and bring it to a boil. Once the water reaches its boiling point, it will continue to cook the food until it is done.

Another method is to bring the water to a boil first and then add the food. This approach is commonly used for boiling vegetables, eggs, pasta, rice, and potatoes.

The boiling point of water may vary depending on the elevation and atmospheric pressure, but it typically hovers around 100°C (212°F). Boiling is suitable for cooking a wide range of foods, including meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, pasta, rice, and eggs.

Benefits of Boiling Chicken Wings

Boiling chicken wings offers several benefits. First, it helps tenderize the meat, making it more flavorful and easier to chew. Additionally, boiling removes any impurities or blood from the chicken, making it a healthier option.

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Moreover, boiling chicken wings helps retain moisture, ensuring that the meat remains juicy and moist. This is particularly important when cooking for a large group, as no one wants dry, overcooked chicken. Lastly, boiling chicken wings results in a delectable broth that can be used for other recipes or enjoyed on its own.

Factors Affecting Cooking Time

The cooking time for chicken wings will depend on several factors:

  • Size: Larger wings will require more time to cook than smaller ones.
  • Temperature: The boiling water should range between 100°C (212°F) and 110°C (230°F). If the temperature is lower, your food may not cook through.
  • Altitude: The boiling point of water decreases with higher altitude, so adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Cooking Method: Boiling generally takes longer than parboiling or other cooking methods.
  • Quantity: The more wings you have in the pot, the longer the cooking time required.

How Long to Boil Chicken Wings?

Boiled Chicken Wings

The precise cooking time for chicken wings depends on their size, altitude, and temperature. As a general guideline, small chicken wings will take approximately 8-10 minutes to cook in boiling water, while larger pieces may need up to 15 minutes or longer. It’s important to check the wings midway through cooking to ensure they’re fully cooked. If necessary, add a few more minutes of cooking time.

Chart of Cooking Times for Boiling Chicken Wings

  • Small Chicken Wings: 8-10 minutes
  • Medium Chicken Wings: 10-12 minutes
  • Large Chicken Wings: 12-15 minutes
  • Extra Large Chicken Wings: 15+ minutes

Choosing the Best Chicken Wings

Chicken Wing Types

When boiling chicken wings, it’s essential to choose the right type of wing for your recipe. There are two main options: regular wings with bones and boneless wings. Regular wings have bones in the middle, while boneless wings don’t. Each type has its own advantages and drawbacks, so choose accordingly.

If you seek maximum flavor, regular wings are the way to go. The bone adds richness as the wings cook. On the other hand, boneless wings are easier to eat and create less mess. If your boiled chicken wing recipe doesn’t require additional flavoring, boneless wings might be the better option.

Consider the size of the wings as well. Smaller wings cook faster and may be more tender, whereas larger wings take longer to cook but offer a heartier experience. Ultimately, the choice between regular and boneless wings comes down to personal preference. Feel free to experiment with both until you find the perfect wing for your recipe.

Tools Needed for Boiling Chicken Wings

To boil chicken wings, you’ll need a few essential tools. Start with a large pot – the bigger, the better, as it allows you to boil more wings at once. Additionally, gather a wooden spoon for stirring and a strainer for removing the wings from the pot when done. Finally, ensure you have a thermometer to verify your wings’ doneness before serving.


  • Chicken wings
  • Water or other liquid of your choice (broth, beer, etc.)
  • Seasonings and herbs of your choice

Steps to Boil Chicken Wings

  1. Place the chicken wings in a large pot and fill it with water or your desired liquid. If using broth, beer, or wine, add them before turning on the heat.
  2. Add your chosen seasonings and herbs if desired.
  3. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  4. Use a strainer to remove the wings from the pot and serve them hot.

Tips for Boiling Chicken Wings

  • To ensure your wings are thoroughly cooked, use a thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach at least 165°F or higher.
  • For a crispier texture, you can finish the wings in the oven after boiling. Simply place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 375°F.
  • For added flavor, consider incorporating marinades into the water or other liquid before cooking. This will enhance the wings’ taste.
  • For an extra kick of flavor, brush some hot sauce over the cooked wings. Serve them with additional sauces like ranch, blue cheese, or honey mustard for dipping.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. Reheat before serving again.
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How to Tell When Chicken Wings Are Done

When determining if chicken wings are done, follow these guidelines:

  1. Check the color of the meat. It should be golden brown, not pink or red.
  2. Gently poke the wings with a fork or your finger. They should feel firm to the touch but not tough. If they are too soft, they are not yet done.
  3. Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the wings. They are done when they reach 165°F (74°C). If the temperature is lower, cook them for a few more minutes.

Once you’re confident that your chicken wings are fully cooked, it’s time to enjoy! Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or savor them as they are.

Parboiling: A Cooking Technique

Parboiling is a cooking technique that involves partially boiling chicken wings before finishing them with another cooking method, such as baking or frying. Parboiling tenderizes the meat and speeds up the overall cooking time.

Advantages of Parboiling Chicken Wings

  • Parboiling breaks down tough fibers in the meat, resulting in a more tender and easier-to-pull-apart texture.
  • It helps infuse the meat with liquid or seasonings, enhancing flavor.
  • Parboiling reduces the overall cooking time required.

Boiling vs. Parboiling Chicken Wings

Boiling and parboiling are both excellent methods for creating juicy, flavorful chicken wings, but they differ in some aspects. Boiling is a longer cooking process since it requires reaching the boiling point before the food is fully cooked. Parboiling, on the other hand, is quicker as it only requires partial cooking.

While boiling tends to yield more tender and juicy chicken wings, parboiling can expedite cooking time and remove impurities or blood from the meat. If you desire a flavorful broth, boiling is the superior option as it creates a delectable base for other recipes or a standalone treat.

Tips to Enhance Flavor

If you’re seeking ways to enhance the flavor of your boiled chicken wings, try these tips:

  • Add flavorings and herbs to the cooking liquid, such as garlic, onion, thyme, or rosemary.
  • Before boiling, give the wings a quick sear in a hot skillet to create a crisp outer layer and add color.
  • Use flavorful liquids like beer or broth instead of plain water.
  • After boiling, glaze or sauce the wings for an extra burst of flavor.

Safety Guidelines When Boiling Chicken Wings

When boiling chicken wings, it’s vital to follow safety guidelines. Ensure that the meat is properly defrosted before cooking and prevent any raw chicken juices from coming into contact with other foods or surfaces.

Use a food thermometer to verify that the internal temperature of the chicken wings reaches at least 165°F (74°C). If you’re using seasonings or marinades, bring them to a boil before use to prevent bacterial contamination.

Serving Boiled Chicken Wings

Boiled chicken wings are a delicious and easy-to-prepare snack. They can be enjoyed on their own or served with a dipping sauce. Consider these serving ideas:

  • Pair them with your favorite dip or sauce, such as BBQ, hot sauce, honey mustard, or ranch dressing.
  • Add them to a salad for an extra protein boost.
  • Serve as an appetizer alongside celery and carrots.
  • Make sliders by placing boiled chicken wings in mini hamburger buns or slider rolls.
  • Include them in a stir-fry with vegetables for a delightful, effortless meal.
  • Pair them with mashed potatoes and gravy for a classic comfort food dish.
  • Create sandwiches by placing boiled chicken wings between two slices of bread or a bun with your desired condiments.
  • Use them as delicious taco or burrito fillings, introducing a tasty twist to Mexican cuisine.
  • Make unique pizzas by using boiled chicken wings as toppings.
  • Combine them with macaroni and cheese for a flavorful, cheesy dish.
  • Shape the boiled chicken wings into nuggets before baking or frying for added convenience.

No matter how you choose to serve them, boiled chicken wings are bound to be a hit. Enjoy!

Storing Boiled Chicken Wings

Storing boiled chicken wings correctly is essential to prevent spoilage. Follow these tips:

  1. Allow the chicken wings to cool completely before storing them. Putting hot food into a container might raise the temperature and promote bacterial growth.
  2. Place the chicken wings in a clean, airtight container to keep them fresh and free from contaminants.
  3. Refrigerate the chicken wings for up to four days. If freezing them, they will remain good for up to two months.
  4. When reheating the chicken wings, ensure they are heated thoroughly to kill any bacteria.
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Reheating Chicken Wings

There are several ways to reheat chicken wings, depending on your preference:

  • Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the wings on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until heated through.
  • Microwave: Put the wings on a plate and heat them for about two minutes or until warm. Rotate the plate halfway through to achieve even heating.
  • Stovetop: Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the wings for a few minutes until crispy and hot all the way through.

Common Mistakes When Boiling Chicken Wings

Avoid common mistakes to achieve perfectly boiled chicken wings:

  • Don’t overcrowd the pot, as too many wings will result in uneven cooking and insufficient internal temperature.
  • Don’t boil the wings for too long, as this can lead to dryness and toughness.
  • Don’t forget to season the wings, as salt and herbs enhance their flavor.
  • Don’t skip the searing step if time allows, as it adds color and contributes to the overall taste.
  • Don’t forget to check the internal temperature using a thermometer to ensure doneness.

Using a Pressure Cooker for Faster Cooking

For those pressed for time, a pressure cooker provides a quick and easy method for boiling chicken wings. It significantly reduces the cooking time needed. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and employ an accurate thermometer to verify the wings’ doneness.

Alternatives to Boiled Chicken Wings

While boiling is a fantastic cooking method, there are various alternatives to explore when preparing chicken wings. Baking in the oven is a popular option. Marinate the wings in your favorite sauce and bake them at 400°F for approximately 30 minutes.

Grilling is another delectable choice that lends smoky flavors. Marinate the wings beforehand and grill them over medium-high heat, flipping occasionally, until fully cooked.

Remember, the possibilities for alternative cooking methods are endless. Get creative, experiment with different sauces and spices, and find your perfect wing recipe!


Can I add BBQ sauce or hot sauce to my boiled chicken wings?

Absolutely! You can add BBQ sauce or hot sauce to your boiled chicken wings. However, avoid overcooking the wings, as this can result in toughness. Boil the wings for roughly 10 minutes, then let them cool before coating them in sauce.

How long should I deep fry boiled wings?

Deep frying boiled wings requires a slightly different approach. If you choose to fry your boiled wings, follow these steps: Boil the wings in a large pot of water for 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the pot and allow them to cool slightly. Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the wings and fry them for approximately 5 minutes per side until they turn golden brown and crispy. Drain the fried wings on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.

Can I use frozen chicken wings?

Frozen chicken wings can be a convenient option when you’re short on time or don’t have fresh chicken available. However, it’s important to note that the quality and flavor of frozen wings can vary based on the brand and ingredients used. Additionally, frozen wings often have higher sodium content compared to fresh chicken. If you opt to cook frozen chicken wings, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Generally, frozen wings require approximately 10 minutes more cooking time than fresh wings. This ensures thorough cooking and even distribution of heat. For quick and easy cooking, consider using the oven or air fryer methods, which help preserve the chicken’s integrity while ensuring proper cooking.

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What other ways can I cook chicken wings?

Chicken wings can be cooked in various ways besides boiling. You can fry, bake, or grill them. Each method imparts a distinct flavor to the chicken.

Frying chicken wings is a popular option for achieving crispy skin and juicy interiors. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the wings, and cook them for about 10 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Baking chicken wings offers a healthier alternative to frying. Preheat your oven to 400°F, line a baking sheet with foil, and place a wire rack on top. Spray the wire rack with cooking spray, place the wings on it, and bake for 25 minutes until they are fully cooked.

Grilling chicken wings imparts a smoky flavor. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, place the wings on the grill, and cook for around 10 minutes, flipping them once, until cooked through.

How long does it take to boil chicken wings?

Boiling chicken wings typically takes about 10 minutes. However, cooking time can vary based on the size of the wings. Always check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer to ensure they are fully cooked. The wings should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165°F.

What is the difference between boiling and parboiling?

The main difference between boiling and parboiling is that boiling fully cooks the food in boiling water, whereas parboiling partially cooks the food before finishing with another cooking method.

Boiling involves placing the food in boiling water and cooking it until it reaches the desired doneness. Parboiling, on the other hand, entails partially cooking the food in boiling water before finishing it off using another cooking method such as baking or frying. Parboiling helps tenderize the meat, infuse flavors, and reduce overall cooking time.

Can you flavor boiled chicken wings with spices?

Yes, you can flavor boiled chicken wings with spices. There are multiple approaches you can take. Firstly, you can add spices directly to the boiling water to infuse the wings as they cook. Secondly, you can coat the wings in a spice rub or marinade before boiling them. If you choose a dry spice rub, allow the wings to sit in the rub for at least 30 minutes before cooking. If you opt for a wet marinade, marinate the wings for at least 2 hours. Experiment with different seasonings to discover your preferred flavor profile.

What is the difference between boiling and frying chicken wings?

Both boiling and frying are excellent methods for cooking chicken wings, each providing its unique benefits and drawbacks. Boiling is generally faster and simpler, requiring only a pot of boiling water and desired seasonings. However, if not done correctly, boiling can result in tough and rubbery wings.

Frying chicken wings takes longer than boiling but yields a tastier and crispier end product. Properly fried wings possess a juicy interior and a crispy exterior. However, frying requires more oil and can be messier than boiling.

Can you boil chicken wings with BBQ sauce?

Yes, you can boil chicken wings with BBQ sauce. Boiling chicken wings in BBQ sauce infuses them with the sauce’s flavors. However, keep in mind that the boiling process will cook the sauce into the chicken, resulting in a different texture compared to traditional sauced wings. To achieve a crispier wing, boiling might not be the best method. Boil the wings for approximately 10 minutes, then allow them to cool before adding BBQ sauce.

Can you boil chicken wings with hot sauce?

Certainly! Boiling chicken wings with hot sauce imparts extra flavor and spice to the wings as they cook. Boiling with hot sauce is a quick and easy way to prepare wings for a flavorful meal. Simply add the hot sauce to the boiling water and cook the wings in it for a few minutes. This ensures the wings are cooked through while infused with the hot sauce’s delicious flavors. Enjoy your delectable boiled chicken wings with hot sauce!

Can you boil chicken wings with teriyaki sauce?

Yes, you can boil chicken wings with teriyaki sauce. Teriyaki sauce adds a delightful flavor to your wings. The key is to avoid overcooking the wings. Boil them for 3-5 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Once boiled, let the wings cool a bit before adding the teriyaki sauce.

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Should you boil chicken wings first?

There is some debate about whether boiling chicken wings first is the best method. Boiling chicken wings first can help lock in flavor and juiciness. However, some people believe that boiling the wings makes them tougher and less flavorful.

If you’re unsure about whether to boil chicken wings first, keep a few things in mind. If you plan to fry the wings after boiling, make sure they are fully cooked through before frying. Additionally, if you want maximum flavor, try marinating the chicken wings before cooking.

Do chicken wings float when done?

Yes, chicken wings float when they are fully cooked. The cooked wings contain more fat and air than uncooked wings, making them lighter. When you place chicken wings in boiling water, the cooked ones will float to the surface. This can serve as an easy indicator that your wings are done cooking.

However, it’s crucial to ensure the wings are cooked thoroughly by checking the internal temperature with a thermometer. They should reach at least 165°F (74°C). Additionally, cut into the thickest part of one wing to ensure there is no pinkness.

How do you keep chicken wings from drying out?

To prevent chicken wings from drying out, follow these tips:

  • Marinate the wings before cooking to help lock in moisture.
  • Cook the wings at the proper temperature and for the appropriate amount of time. Overcooking can lead to dryness and toughness.
  • Let the cooked wings rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps retain the juices, resulting in juicier and more tender chicken wings.

How many minutes should chicken be boiled?

The exact boiling time for chicken depends on the size and type of wings you are cooking. A good rule of thumb is to boil chicken for approximately 10-15 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). Adjust the cooking time as needed based on the wings’ size. Cutting the wings into smaller pieces can help them cook more evenly and prevent drying.

How many minutes does it take for chicken wings to cook?

Chicken wings generally take about 30 minutes to thoroughly cook. However, it is essential to verify their doneness by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach a minimum of 165°F (74°C). Additionally, check the thickest part of one wing to ensure there is no pinkness. Once the chicken wings are cooked through, remove them from the heat and enjoy!

Is 30 minutes enough to boil chicken?

On average, boiling chicken typically takes around 30 minutes. However, the exact time can vary depending on the type and size of chicken wings being boiled. To ensure the wings are fully cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should register at least 165°F (74°C). To reduce cooking time, consider cutting the wings into smaller pieces for even cooking and to prevent dryness.

How do you tell if boiled chicken is done?

Several indicators can tell you if boiled chicken is done:

  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should read at least 165°F (74°C).
  • Cut into the chicken at its thickest part to ensure there is no pinkness or raw areas.
  • Cooked chicken will be opaque all the way through and should have clear, not pink, juices.
  • Give the chicken a gentle squeeze with your fingers. It should feel firm, not raw or undercooked.

How do you know when chicken is boiled enough?

The best way to determine if chicken is boiled enough is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken and ensure it reads at least 165°F (74°C). This helps avoid undercooking or overcooking the chicken, resulting in a juicy and flavorful outcome. Alternatively, you can cut into the chicken and check that it is opaque throughout without any pink areas.

What happens when chicken is boiled too long?

If chicken is boiled for an excessive amount of time, it can become dry and tough. Overcooking chicken removes moisture and may result in decreased flavor. Always check the cooking temperature with a meat thermometer to prevent overcooking. A temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) ensures the chicken is fully cooked while retaining its juiciness and taste.

If chicken wings are boiled, how long should they boil for?

Chicken wings generally require boiling for approximately 10-15 minutes to reach the desired level of doneness. However, cooking time may vary based on the size and type of wings. Verify their internal temperature using a meat thermometer to ensure they reach at least 165°F (74°C). Adjust the boiling time as needed.

How can you ensure chicken is cooked through?

To ensure chicken is cooked through, follow these guidelines:

  • Utilize a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F (74°C).
  • Cut into the thickest part of the chicken and ensure there is no pinkness or raw areas.
  • Confirm that the chicken is opaque all the way through and that clear juices run from it.
  • Squeeze the chicken gently to make sure it feels firm, indicating it is cooked properly.


The method described above guarantees perfectly cooked chicken wings every time. By boiling the wings for a few minutes and then cooling them in the fridge, you can achieve thorough cooking without overcooking. This method also helps prevent bacterial growth, providing peace of mind in terms of food safety. Give this technique a try next time you make chicken wings, and savor the delicious results!

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