Americans love chicken wings! Buffalo wings, one of the most popular variety of chicken wings in the country, originated in 1964 in Buffalo, New York, in a family-owned establishment called the Anchor Bar.
They are the official food during the Super Bowl, where Americans consume a record-breaking number of chicken wings every year!
What makes them so appealing is the higher ratio of skin to meat which, when fried to perfection, results in a nice outer crunch coupled with tender and juicy meat on the inside.
Lather them in your favorite sauce – BBQ, ranch, or buffalo – and just dig right in!
To get that perfect flavor and texture, you need to make sure of a few things. One of the most important is the oil that you are using to fry the chicken wings.
Whether you are making them at home or using the frozen store-bought variety, how you fry them, and with what, can have a huge impact on the final result.
So, what are the best oils to fry chicken wings? Since frying is done at a higher temperature, it is very important to choose oils with a high smoke point such as peanut oil, canola oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, and corn oil.
Read on to find out about the factors to consider when choosing the best oil and our top 5 picks of the best oils to fry chicken wings!
Frying, which may seem like a simple process, does require a bit of technique if you want to get the results that you are aiming for.
When choosing the best oil for frying chicken wings, you need to look at two things: the oil’s smoke point and its flavor.
When frying chicken wings, you need to bring the oil to a temperature of around 375°F to get a crispy crust and a perfectly cooked and juicy interior.
Use a cooking thermometer to maintain a steady temperature throughout the frying process to ensure that the wings are cooked through while creating a crisp, perfectly golden coating.
For this reason, you need to choose an oil with a high smoke point that won’t start to burn at high temperatures.
Every oil has a different smoke point. Some can withstand very high temperatures, while others will start to burn once a certain temperature is reached.
Using oils with a low smoke point results in rancid oil that not only tastes and looks unpleasant and makes your chicken wings taste burnt but also loses many of its good properties.
Its quality is noticeably decreased and it can no longer be reused.
Therefore, you need to choose an oil with a high smoke point that is suitable for frying and doesn’t begin burning at high temperatures.
Once you are done using it, you can cool, strain, and transfer it to a container and store it in a cool, dark place until it is ready to be used again.
In addition to the smoke point, you may want to consider the flavor of the oil you are choosing and how much flavor it absorbs from the foods being fried in it.
Most of the time, neutral-flavored oils are the best since they allow the flavor of the chicken wings and its seasoning to shine through.
In other instances, the oils add a distinct flavor and aroma to the chicken wings that, at times, become a part of their signature taste.
Also, since deep frying involves using quite a bit of oil, sometimes up to 1 gallon of oil, it might be smart to choose oils with a not-so-hefty price tag and those that you can reuse several times if handled and stored properly.
The 5 Best Oils To Fry Chicken Wings
Our picks for the top 5 oils to fry chicken wings, based on their smoke point and flavor include:
1. Peanut Oil
With a smoke point of 470°F, peanut oil is a great choice for frying chicken wings since it not only maintains its particular flavor by not absorbing flavors of the foods cooked in it but is also very pocket-friendly.
You can fry several different foods in the same batch of peanut oil without worrying about flavor transfer.
Peanut oil not only has a great taste but is also a good source of vitamin E, is low in saturated fats, and is trans-fat and cholesterol-free.
If you want the highest smoke point with the least flavor transfer, you must opt for refined peanut oil.
LouAna’s Peanut Oil is a great option if you choose to go the peanut oil route since it is made specifically for deep-frying and has a high smoke point that is perfectly suitable for crispy chicken wings.
2. Canola Oil
Canola oil is a vegetable oil derived from crushed canola seeds and is one of the best oils for deep-frying because of its neutral flavor.
It has a smoke point of 400°F and is extremely affordable, especially if you are preparing large batches of chicken wings.
One of the most versatile cooking oils, canola oil is a good choice not just for frying but also for roasting vegetables and making dressings.
Try the Healthy Harvest Canola Oil that comes in a gallon-sized jug, making it a perfect choice for deep-frying, even if you have a whole chicken or turkey!
3. Avocado Oil
With the highest smoke point out of all the cooking oils in this list, avocado oil can withstand high temperatures of up to 520°F.
With a composition similar to olive oil, avocado oil is extracted from the pulp of millennials’ favorite fruit.
Suitable for both shallow and deep frying, it has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that gets transferred to the chicken wings giving them a unique flavor.
Though avocado oil is significantly pricier than most other oils, it’s one of the healthiest choices. The BetterBody Foods Avocado Oil is a great non-GMO choice that is also paleo and keto-friendly.
4. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is extracted from sunflower seeds and is a solid choice for high heat applications, such as frying chicken wings.
Like most vegetable oils, it comes in refined (neutral tasting) and unrefined (buttery and nutty) varieties, with the former having a high smoke point of 450°F, making it more suitable for chicken wings.
Sunflower oil is a mid-range oil that can be used in place of any vegetable oil, not just for frying but also for searing and sautéing.
Try the Healthy Harvest Non-GMO Sunflower Oil that is naturally processed without using any chemicals or other damaging processes.
5. Corn Oil
Corn oil is one of the most commonly used oils for frying – deep and shallow – and, like most other vegetable oils, has a high smoke point of around 450˚F.
It is a relatively neutral-flavored oil and doesn’t impart any such flavor to the food. Though not the healthiest option, corn oil is very affordable and can be used in a variety of applications such as frying, baking, and sautéing.
Mazola Pure Corn Oil is a great cholesterol-free, heart-healthy option for your frying needs.
Now that we’ve covered all about the best oils for frying chicken wings and what makes them all great choices, here are a few questions we thought you might have about making crispy chicken wings!
What’s the best way to fry crispy chicken wings?
To fry the best and crispiest chicken wings, you need to heat one of the above-mentioned oils in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 375˚F.
Make sure to use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the oil before putting your chicken wings in it.
Once the oil reaches the required temperature, add the chicken wings to it, making sure there is no moisture on them or they will make the oil splatter.
Fry the wings in the hot oil until they are crispy and no longer pink at the bone. This should take around 9-12 minutes.
To know if they are really done, take an instant-read thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the meat near the bone. If it reads 165˚F, they’re done!
Can you bake chicken wings?
Yes, you can! If you are health conscious and wish to enjoy delicious chicken wings without the guilt of having deep-fried oily ones, you can most certainly pop them in the oven and have them as an excellent party snack or simple meal.
Chicken wings should be baked in the oven for about 45 minutes at 400˚F until they are crispy and golden brown. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t blacken or burn.
The trick to making them crispier is to bake them in the oven at high heat on a rack.
This will ensure that the heat is properly circulated and any liquid coming out of the wings will drip instead of accumulating at the base of the baking pan.
Also, once they’re out of the oven, make sure to cool them off for 4-5 minutes on a cooling rack.