How Long to Boil Chicken Wings: Boiling 101

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How long to boil chicken wings? That depends on a few things! In this post, we will review how long you should boil chicken wings for a variety of purposes. We’ll also share how you can make delicious boiled chicken wings to later be fried, baked, grilled, or simply enjoyed on their own! Join us as we delve into exactly how long it takes to boil chicken wings.

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Table of Contents

How Long To Boil Chicken Wings

Why Would You Boil Chicken Wings in the First Place?

When it comes to making chicken wings, the farthest thing from your mind is probably boiling them. But boiling chicken wings can actually be very beneficial for more reasons than one. 

Here are a few reasons many people choose to boil chicken wings in the first place:

  • For Dietary Reasons
  • To Reduce Cooking time
  • To Retain Moisture During the Grilling Process
  • For Convenience
  • Because of Time Constraints
  • Lack of Other Cooking Tools and Resources
  • The Desire to Make Wings and Broth at the Same Time
Chicken wings on the grill.

How Long Does It Take to Boil Chicken Wings

How Long to Boil Chicken Wings Before Grilling

You’ll want to boil your chicken for approximately 7 minutes before finishing them on the grill.

Know that chicken wings cooked this way won’t be cooked completely. However, this parboiling process shaves off cooking time and helps prevent your grilled meat from drying out. 

As previously mentioned, people boil chicken wings for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons many people take to boiling chicken wings is to save time prior to grilling, frying, or baking them. Not only this but boiling chicken before grilling helps the chicken retain moisture as it prevents the chicken from drying out on the grill.

The method of boiling chicken so that they are partially cooked prior to grilling is known as parboiling. Some cooks prefer this method over boiling the chicken until it is completely cooked all the way.

If you are wishing to parboil your chicken before grilling, you should boil them for only 5-7 minutes before transferring them to the grill.

Chicken wings and drums on the grill getting barbecued with charcoal out in the open summer air with smoke and fumes and latent flames. July 2020, Istanbul.

How Long to Boil Frozen Chicken Wings

Frozen chicken wings will take a slightly longer time to boil than fresh wings at about 25-35 minutes depending on the number of wings you are boiling.

Boiling smaller wings might take less time, so you may want to check them at the 15-minute mark and possibly every 5-10 minutes thereafter until they are fully cooked through.

Boiling chicken from frozen adds convenience to an already simple process. Instead of having to wait for your wings to thaw, simply throw them in a pot of boiling water with salt and seasonings and let the magic happen. 

Later in this post, we’ll be unveiling some out-of-this-world seasonings you can add to your pot of water to cook your chicken in that makes the wings flavorful and well-seasoned, and also, serves to provide you with your own chicken broth that you can use in other recipes. Sweet!

How Long to Boil Chicken Wings Before Frying

You can parboil chicken for about 7 minutes to get them prepared for frying.

Similar to boiling wings before grilling, boiling your wings before frying can be a good idea to retain moisture – just be careful not to overdo it. The consensus is split as to whether or not parboiling is a good idea before frying, but many people boil chicken before frying anyway and still love the results!

How Long to Boil Chicken Wings Until Done

Chicken wings should be boiled at least 15 minutes before they can be considered done but it will really depend on the size of the wing.

Because some wings are so small, it might be a good idea to check them at 10 minutes and at increments of 5 minutes beyond that to ensure that the wings are all the way cooked through. 

As a side note, wing meat should register at least 165F to be considered safe to eat. To know for sure, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.

Instant Read Meat Thermometer for Cooking, Fast & Precise Digital Food Thermometer with Backlight, Magnet, Calibration, and Foldable Probe for Deep Fry, BBQ, Grill, and Roast Turkey

How Long to Boil Chicken Wings Before Baking

Boil your chicken wings for about 20 minutes (15 minutes for smaller wings) before transferring them to the oven for baking. 

Sometimes, it can be a really good idea to boil chicken before baking it. Not only does this cut baking times significantly, but it also can lead to juicer meat. By baking the chicken after you’ve boiled the meat, you crisp the skin while leaving the inner flesh of the chicken tender and juicy.

oven cooked wings

How Long to Boil Chicken Wings For Soup

How long you should boil chicken wings for soup comes with two answers, and will depend on what is meant by the question.

If you want to boil chicken wings whose meat you wish to use in a soup later on, you will want to boil the wings anywhere from 15-20 minutes or more depending on the size of the wings.

If, on the other hand, you wish to boil chicken wings to use for the broth and meat combined, know that you’ll get the best results the longer you cook. Therefore, we’d recommend boiling your chicken wings for at least 1-2 hours for depth of flavor before shredding the chicken meat from the bone and re-adding it to your broth to make soup. Of course, feel free to add other vegetables you plan to use in your soup as the wings boil. 

How Long to Boil Small Chicken Wings

Boiling small chicken wings may only take anywhere from 10-15 minutes if you can believe that.

Because there isn’t a ton of flesh on small wings and much of the meat is taken up by bone, chicken wings don’t take a lot of time to get cooked through. 

Thus, if you are looking for a quick and easy snack, boiling your chicken wings can provide that for you in as little as 15 minutes, flat! 

How Long To Boil Chicken Wings

Boiled Chicken Wings Recipe

Now that we’ve talked up boiled chicken wings, it’s time to give you the goods cornering how to make them. Follow this simple and easy recipe to make killer boiled wings every single time! 

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs Wings
  • 1 Chopped Onion
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (use lots of salt)
  • 2 Tablespoons Thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • Fresh parsley, optional, for serving

Instructions

How to Boil Chicken Wings

  1. Prep chicken

    Clean your wings and place them in a large pot.

  2. Fill pot

    Fill the pot with water so that the water stands at least one inch above the chicken.

  3. Season water

    Season your water with the mentioned seasonings and plenty of salt (make sure you use a good amount of salt, otherwise, your chicken will come out bland).

  4. Boil water

    Bring the water to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes.

  5. Boil wings

    Allow the wings to sit in the water off of the heat for 5-10 minutes so that they can reabsorb the flavor of the seasonings in the water.

  6. Remove and season

    Remove the chicken, sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired, and serve. 

Optional: To kick things up a notch, toss these in the oven at 425 degrees F and bake for 4-5 minutes on each side until the chicken is crispy and brown. Then, brush with buffalo sauce, BBQ sauce, or leave them plain before serving. Don’t forget to use the water left over from boiling your chicken wings for soup or for another recipe that calls for chicken broth. Enjoy! 

How Long to Boil Chicken Wings to Eat? Not Very Long!

Though not everyone thinks of boiling chicken wings, it is actually a really simple and easy way to enjoy chicken without having to dirty up too many dishes. This fast and easy rendition of chicken wings can be played up with your favorite sauce, enjoyed plain, or thrown on the grill or in the oven for added crispiness and depth of flavor.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Until next time!

FAQs

How Long to Par Boil Chicken Wings?

If you are wishing to parboil your chicken before grilling, you should boil them for only 5-7 minutes. You can also learn about boiling chicken legs on the blog.

How Long Should You Boil Chicken Wings to Pre Cook Them?

Around 7 minutes for room temperature chicken, and up to 35 minutes from frozen.

How Long to Boil Chicken Wings For Crispiness?

About 20 minutes max.

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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