If you've been wondering about smoked wings and fried wings, we're happy to sort out the details.
From eating contests to a favorite appetizer at the sports bar, wings are a popular go-to snack and meal. Back in the mid-1950s, the Anchor Bar's owner ordered chicken wings instead of chicken necks. (In case you're wondering, the chef would make his special spaghetti sauce using chicken necks, of all things!) Owning her mistake, Teressa Bellissimo was determined to make an edible dish out of chicken wings. A quick fry and a toss with hot sauce birthed America's favorite bar snack.
Since that time, wings have come in all different shapes and sizes and doused in countless sauces. Fans of sweet, spicy, or garlic could all find a wing to fit their palate.
After the growing popularity of smoked meat, smoked wings have entered the stage. As with any smoked meat, wings are heated, indirectly, using smoke from select wood or pellets. The key to smoked meat is to cook the meat for longer, at lower temperatures. The result is juicy meat packed with a tender smoked flavor. You can eat smoked wings with or without sauces.
The process is simple. Choose a favorite blend of spices to rub all over the chicken wings. Place the wings in a bag or large bowl and toss with oil. Add the rub and toss to coat, then refrigerate. Heat your smoker to around 225 degrees, and place the wings in the smoker (without touching each other). Smoke for a full two hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Wings are most commonly served fried. Just like any battered and fried food, fried wings have a crispy outside that makes anyone's mouth water just thinking about it. And just like smoked wings, you can choose to eat them plain or with your favorite sauce.
As you might imagine, fried wings are higher in calories (about twice as much!) and fat than smoked or baked wings.
To make fried wings, you start by dredging the wings in a spice blend, including flour. Refrigerate the wings. Many people choose to dredge wings a second time and refrigerate a second time as well, allowing a thicker batter to form. Heat oil, in a fryer or saucepan, to around 375 degrees and cook the wings 10-12 minutes (or when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees).
Why Not Do Both?
Some wing fans love the flavor of smoked wings and still want the crispiness of fried wings. So they have combined both methods into a spectacular creation. Naturally, you'll need to reduce the cooking time on both methods, but still ensure that the internal temperature reaches a safe 165 degrees.
Which is your favorite type of chicken wing? Smoked or fried? Share in the comments.