Baking Vs Frying Wings: Here's What A Professional Prefers

Pile of saucy chicken wings
Pile of saucy chicken wings - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

There are a few ways to make crispy chicken wings at home, and two of the most popular methods include baking them in the oven or dipping them in your deep fryer. (You can also try the air fryer.) All will yield tasty results, but when you want a wing that's perfectly crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside, which method should you go with?

To settle the baking or frying debate once and for all, Daily Meal spoke with Stephen Parker, corporate executive chef at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, in an exclusive interview. He stated that "the double fry method is the best way to get a juicy interior and a crispy exterior." Double-frying, a trick that's often used to make french fries taste better, achieves the ideal chicken wing texture both inside and outside. The second fry helps evaporate moisture on the exterior of your wings, which is ultimately what gives you that extra crunch.

Read more: 15 Tricks For Making The Most Crispy Chicken Thighs Ever

Why Double Frying Beats Baking

Deep frying chicken
Deep frying chicken - Towfiqu ahamed barbhuiya/Shutterstock

Chicken skin contains fat, collagen, and water, and to get a crispy texture for wings, you need to evaporate the moisture. But first, you need to fry the wing at a lower temperature to achieve juiciness and break down the collagen in the skin. Then, you do the second fry in oil that gets heated to much a higher temperature. A double fry helps ensure all the water in the chicken skin evaporates, and the protein sets, leading to that signature crunch while locking moisture in the meat underneath.

With the oven method, on the other hand, you don't get the same effect. Ovens cook your food by using an element to heat the air in the oven, which, in turn, heats and cooks your food. There's no steam barrier in this type of cooking, meaning the evaporated steam goes back into the air, trapped in the oven, and you don't wind up with a super crispy, crunchy outer layer.

Now, that's not to say the baking method is all bad. Parker explains that if you do go that route, "the wings will not be as crispy compared to frying, but you will still achieve a juicy interior." So, if you don't mind sacrificing a little bit of crispiness, you can still enjoy a tasty appetizer.

How To Get A Tasty Wing Using The Baked Method Anyway

Oven-baked chicken wings
Oven-baked chicken wings - Owngarden/Getty Images

While Stephen Parker prefers to deep fry his wings, he's sure you can still make pretty decent oven-baked wings at home. If you'd still prefer to make chicken wings in the oven, Parker asserts that you'll have less cleanup to worry about, and you can still get a juicy, satisfying wing.

If you go about things this way, Parker says, "You can use the same cooking approach with the double cook. Spread the wings carefully flat separated on a sheet tray and bake them on a low temperature around 325 degrees [Fahrenheit] until they are fully cooked." Once the wings are ready, he explains to take them out of the oven and let them rest until they reach room temperature before broiling them at high heat. Just don't forget to flip them partway through to ensure an even crisping.

So, next time you set about making your favorite simple chicken wing recipe, take advice from a pro and try the double fry method. Or, to get an almost-as-crispy result with less mess, try a bake-then-broil method instead.

Read the original article on Daily Meal