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Crispy Fried Chicken Wings

I've had inconsistent success getting my fried chicken wings crispy. I have no problem with beer battered shrimp though, so I'm wondering if it's the carbonation that yields the crispiness or the fact that i let them sit on a rack after I take them out of the oil. I've also heard that ice cold batter also ensures the crispy texture I'm looking for. Does anyone have a fail safe recipe/method for crispy fried foods?

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  1. Use peanut oil, get it hot, and don't crowd the fryer. I hope these simple suggestions help.

    1. i will definitely try to use the peanut oil...do you have any suggestions on how to apply the batter? as in flour first, then batter, then flour again? or just straight batter?

      1. A little baking powder mixed into your flour will make a big difference.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Jim Washburn

          So true, that's my secret. Well not really a secret since I let everyone know that's what I do.

        2. Pat them dry. Make sure they're room temperature. Coat lightly with corn starch and seasonings - that's it. Cook in peanut oil. Make sure your oil is hot.

          1. If your chicken wings aren't crispy enough, it's probably caused by residual moisture escaping as steam through the breading. If you're using a batter, you're adding even more moisture. The problem with battering a dense, bone-in protein is burning the batter before the meat is cooked through. Bread don't batter. You can dust with a light coat of seasoned AP flour and get plenty of crunch and flavor. If you're looking for a thicker coating, flour > shake off excess > light egg wash > flour again.

            You need to be frying them at about 360 degrees F. The peanut oil has no effect on crispiness and you don't need it. The peanut oil has a high smoke point so it is nice to cook with at high temperatures, but it isn't necessarily flavor neutral. A Canola oil will be just fine, is flavor neutral, and is good up through 375.

            Don't use an ice cold batter. This is an old wives tale. It will lower the temperature of the oil. Cook them hot and cook them quickly. Don't crowd them as this will allow the steam to build. Small batches, 360, room to drain, and season as soon as they come out of the oil...you'll have crispy wings.

            Happy Cooking

            3 Replies
            1. re: chefhelp

              I find that Canola actually does impart a flavour while deep frying, which Peanut oil does not.

              1. re: Shazam

                agreed. and I can't stand the smell of Canola oil lingering in the air.

              2. re: chefhelp

                I just wanted to add to this post. 350-370 is curcial for deep frying. Even more crucial is the speed at which the oil heats back up to this temperature once the wings (or whatever) is dropped into the oil. Many chinese restaurants are cooking on woks that are heated by 180,000 btu sources. Most kitchen ovens do not even come close. I know mine doesn't.

                I have recently been experimenting with cooking the wings in oil heated in a wok on the stand of my turkey fryer. The fryer is 55,000 btu and is much more powerful than my kitchen oven. I have been getting excellent results deep frying, dry frying, and stir frying. I have been experimenting with this outside (also with fried rice and cumin lamb), but it seems safe enough (unlike frying a turkey) to do inside.

              3. I never use a batter on my wings. I am guessing that you are trying to make Buffalo Hot Wings? Just pat them dry after disjointing and fry as they are until golden brown. They will hold in a warm oven until you are ready to mix with sauce. True wings made in the traditional way have no batter at all.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Candy

                  i'm actually trying to make mandarin fried chicken wings - a bastardized chinese/korean/american dish that i love. because the chicken wings will be covered in a spicy sweet mandarin sauce after frying, getting the crisp crust is crucial.

                  all the tips have been very helpful - thanks hounds!

                  1. re: soypower

                    Use flour > egg wash > cornstarch mixture (salt, Sichuan peppercorn powder, ground white pepper and optional msg). Fry until just pass the golden brown part and stir-fry your sweet corn syrup Korean-Chinese sauce.

                    1. re: soypower

                      Asian-style chicken wings are normally made with a cornstarch breading, not wheat.

                  2. We don't use batter. A bit of flour, S/P and we like a little bit of tarragon (just a hint). Then into the hot oil. Always come out crispy. have never tried to use a batter- but try it without the batter- I think you will be pleased.

                    1. A local Chinese place that serves fried chicken wings just dredges them in cornstarch seasoned liberally with salt and black pepper and then fries them. They are really crisp.

                      1. We make wings quite a bit for appetizers meals and I have a few different recipes that I came up with but you asked for "crispy" recipe for the wings.

                        1 pk of wings
                        rinsed and patted down keep in the fridge until ready
                        deep fryer set to 360 degrees -canola oil

                        1 cup flour
                        1 cup water
                        2 egg whites beaten
                        1T baking soda
                        2 T olive oil
                        1 tsp sugar
                        2 T garlic powder
                        1 tsp black pepper
                        2 T cayenne pepper
                        1 tsp sea salt or 2 tsp kosher salt

                        Pass all dry ingredients through a sifter
                        Mix the liquids *water, egg whites and oil

                        Dip the wing & drummies into the batter, let drip fall off but try not to get extra batter into the fryer, if you do scoop out so you don't burn the extra batter

                        in a fryer 10 wings at a time 5-7 minutes drummie or wings
                        when fried drain on paper towels \salt on both sides again with kosher. Don't cover

                        Dipping sauce made ahead:
                        Hoisin, ginger,fresh garlic and honey, chilie paste, soy.
                        Top wings with green onion and cilantro

                        Another way is after frying, then you make an oyster and garlic sauce and chicken broth slury then top with green onion and cilantro. Have a lot of napkins ready, these are really messy!

                        1. cornstarch,
                          or cornstarch mixed with flour
                          or cornstarch mixed with chickpea flour
                          gives added crunch

                          1. Hi, I use a ratio of 1/2 AP - Rice flour, seasoned with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
                            Garnish with lemon wedges.
                            I think the rice flour retains the crispness, even when cold.
                            It's sort of a Vancouver Chinatown, knock off.

                            I've tried corn starch, but I like to reuse my oil. Couldn't strain out the corn starch which made the oil, murky

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JAKKEL

                              to clear up murky oil. heat up the oil and add crusty or old rice and sieve. The rice will attach the dirt and leave a clearer oil you can reuse.