How Long To Boil Chicken Wings?

Cooking chicken wings is a popular way to enjoy this affordable cut of meat.

However, many people struggle with determining how long to boil chicken wings to ensure they are cooked through but still moist and flavorful.

This guide seeks to provide a clear answer and recommendation for this problem.

By following the recommended time and tips, you can enjoy tasty boiled chicken wings without any of the usual guesswork involved in this common cooking method.

Why Do You Need To Boil Chicken Wings?

Boiling every food before processing it into different dishes can be considered a way to remove bacteria and germs. With chicken wings, it’s no different.

Boiling chicken wings also allows for tender meat that’s easily separated from the bone.

This is particularly helpful when preparing wings for a larger recipe, such as casseroles or salads, where consistent texture is key.

Additionally, it’s a healthier cooking method compared to frying, as it requires no added fats.

Moreover, boiling can infuse the wings with flavors if you add herbs or spices to the water, setting a tasty foundation for the next stages of cooking.

It’s a pre-cooking step that can improve both the safety and the quality of the final dish, making it a worthy technique for home cooks to master.

How Long To Boil Chicken Wings By Methods?

Now, let’s delve into the primary question at hand: how long to boil chicken wings – determining the ideal duration for boiling chicken wings.

As numerous methods exist for executing this cooking process, it is essential to explore them and their respective timings.

1. Boil Chicken Wings Before Grilling

When boiling chicken wings before grilling, the ideal time is about 20 to 25 minutes.

This allows the chicken to cook through while retaining enough texture for grilling.

Boiling for too long can result in overcooked, rubbery meat.

Aim for the lower end of this time frame if you prefer a crispier finish on the grill, as the wings will cook further when grilled.

Always ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F for safety.

This pre-grill boil simply preps the wings, ensuring the final grilled product is perfectly cooked, juicy, and ready to absorb the smoky flavors.

2. Boil Chicken Wings On Stove

Boiling chicken wings directly on the stove is a straightforward process.

Aim for 15 to 20 minutes of boiling to guarantee thoroughly cooked wings that maintain tenderness.

Start timing once the water returns to a gentle simmer after adding the wings.

Always check that the internal temperature reaches 165°F before consuming.

This method is ideal for recipes that will further cook the wings, allowing them to soak up additional flavors post-boiling.

3. Boil Chicken Wings Before Baking

To boil chicken wings before baking, a cooking time of 15 minutes is sufficient.

It partially cooks the wings, ensuring they’ll bake evenly and soak up the flavors of your sauce or seasoning in the oven.

After boiling, transfer the wings to a baking dish and bake until they’re golden and crispy.

Check that the wings have reached an internal temperature of 165°F before serving for safety.

This method creates a perfect texture balance: tender on the inside, and crisp on the outside.

4. Boil Frozen Chicken Wings

For frozen chicken wings, extend the boiling time to about 25 to 30 minutes to ensure they are fully cooked.

Begin timing when the water returns to a simmer after adding the wings.

The additional time accounts for the wings’ frozen state, aiding in thawing and cooking simultaneously.

Remember to verify that the wings reach an internal temperature of 165°F for food safety.

This method is especially convenient for quick meal prep without requiring prior defrosting.

How Long To Boil Chicken Wings By Dish?

We’ve just covered the time to boil chicken wings by many methods.

In this section, let’s talk about how to boil them by dish. I mean, chicken wings to put in other foods.

1. For Buffalo Wings

To prepare chicken wings for Buffalo sauce, boil them for 15 to 20 minutes until they’re just cooked through.

This will make sure they can absorb the spicy sauce better and retain a juicy interior once they’re baked or fried to get that classic crispy exterior.

Remember to dry the wings thoroughly after boiling before tossing them in your Buffalo sauce for even coating and the best flavor.

This step is critical to achieving the iconic Buffalo wing experience.

2. For Soup

When adding chicken wings to a soup, they should be boiled for 20 minutes.

This ensures they’re fully cooked while contributing rich flavor to the broth.

Boiling them directly in the soup allows the wings to absorb the soup’s seasonings for a deeper taste.

For clear soups, consider boiling the wings separately, skimming away impurities, then adding them to the main broth, to keep your soup free from cloudiness.

3. For Kebabs

Boil chicken wings for 10 to 15 minutes before assembling your kebabs.

This brief boil ensures they’re partially cooked and safe for skewering with vegetables and other ingredients.

Once on the grill, the wings will get a nice char and finish cooking evenly.

This step is crucial not only for texture but also to make sure the wings and vegetables are done at the same time.

Always aim for an internal temperature of 165°F to confirm doneness and serve up delicious, savory kebabs that are sure to be a hit at your next barbecue.

How To Boil Chicken Wings?

Before discovering how long to boil chicken wings, you might want to know how to boil them in the correct way, right?

Here, we mention a general guide to boiling chicken wings. 


1. A large pot: To provide ample space for the wings to cook evenly.

2. Slotted spoon: For safely removing the wings from the boiling water.

3. Sharp knife: To check doneness if required.

4. Cutting board: To handle the wings before and after boiling.

5. Optional: Timer or clock for monitoring boiling time.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Rinse the chicken wings under cold water to remove any debris and drain them well.

Step 2: Fill the large pot with enough water to fully cover the chicken wings, adding any desired herbs or spices for flavor.

Step 3: Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to high until the water reaches a rolling boil.

Step 4: Carefully add the chicken wings to the boiling water using the slotted spoon to avoid splashing.

Step 5: Once the water returns to a boil, lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

Step 6: Set your timer and allow the wings to cook for the recommended time.

Step 7: Check the doneness of the wings by inserting a sharp knife into the thickest part of the wing to ensure there is no pink meat.

Step 8: Once cooked, use the slotted spoon to remove the wings from the water and transfer them to the cutting board.

Step 9: Allow the wings to rest for a few minutes before proceeding with further recipe steps or serving.

Tips To Boil Chicken Wings Perfectly

If you have realized the most common mistakes while boiling chicken wings, it’s critical to focus on how to avoid them and make your cooking skills even better.

Keeping these common pitfalls in mind can significantly elevate the quality of your boiled chicken wings, making them a delightful treat for any occasion.

The tips are:

1. Start with a large pot to give wings plenty of space.

2. Bring water to a rolling boil before adding wings to ensure even cooking.

3. Keep the heat at medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer, avoiding high heat.

4. Add salt and your choice of seasonings to the water for flavorful wings.

5. Boil in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding.

6. Use a timer for precise cooking; avoid guesswork.

7. Check for doneness with a meat thermometer, aiming for 165°F internally.

8. Remove wings immediately after boiling to prevent overcooking.

9. Let the wings rest for a few minutes after boiling for even moisture distribution.

You can apply these tips while boiling chicken wings and serving perfect meals to your friends and family.

Common Mistakes When Boiling Chicken Wings

Boiling chicken wings is often seen as a straightforward cooking method, but several common mistakes can affect the outcome.

Many people underestimate the importance of seasoning the water or maintaining the right temperature, which can lead to bland or overcooked wings.

Now, let together explore some common mistakes:

1. Overcrowding the Pot: Placing too many wings in the pot at once can lead to uneven cooking. Ensure there’s enough space for water to circulate each wing.

2. High Heat: Boiling on high heat can toughen the meat. Use a gentle simmer to keep wings tender.

3. Skipping the Seasoning: Wings boiled without any seasoning may end up tasteless. Even a simple addition of salt can make a big difference.

4. Boiling Too Long: Overcooking leads to rubbery wings. Stick to the recommended times to maintain juiciness.

5. Neglecting Internal Temperature: Failing to check that wings reach 165°F risks foodborne illness. Always use a meat thermometer for safety.


Boiling chicken wings isn’t complicated, but knowing how long to boil chicken wings is crucial for the perfect meal.

Whether it’s for a dish rich in sauce or a simple, herbed broth, getting the timing right means you’ll have tender, flavorful wings every time.

Too short and they might be undercooked, too long and they could turn rubbery.

So, remember those times and always have your thermometer ready to check for that safe temperature.

With this guide, you’ll be the expert on boiling chicken wings, delighting your family and guests with perfectly cooked wings at your next gathering.

How Long To Boil Chicken Wings?

This recipe is perfect for those who want to savor the taste of tender and juicy chicken without any added oil or fat.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 16 split wings or 8 whole chicken wings
  • 1 chicken stock cube


  • Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the chicken stock cube to the boiling water and stir until it is fully dissolved.
  • Carefully add the chicken wings to the pot using tongs.
  • Let the chicken wings cook for 15 minutes, or until they are fully cooked through and tender.
  • Use tongs to remove the chicken wings from the pot and place them on a plate.
  • Serve hot or let rest slightly before moving to the next step for another dish.
Keyword boiled chicken wings, how long to boil chicken wings

Chef Chip Roman is one of the most exciting and talented chefs in Philadelphia. He has his own catering business, Charles Roman Catering, as well as Roman Restaurant Group which includes Blackfish, Mica, and Ela. He graduated from Drexel University in 2002 with a degree in business and culinary arts. Chip Roman is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens and chefs in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin’s George Perrier and Marc Vetri’s Vetri.

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