What Is The Minimum Internal Cooking Temperature For Chicken Wings?

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Many wonder what is the minimum internal cooking temperature for chicken wings—those who do not do so at their peril. The risk of food poisoning from undercooked chicken is high. You do not want to experience it and do not want to give it to family and friends. 

50 000 Britons, 179 000 Australians, 3500 Japanese, and 1 million Americans make up a thin slice of the global population who got food poisoning last year from undercooked chicken.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA estimates undercooked chicken is responsible for about 25% of all cases of food poisoning

We will guide you how to cook wings that are not only safe to eat. They’re also much, much tastier! Imagine sinking your teeth into a succulent, perfectly cooked chicken wing, its spicy glaze igniting a flavor explosion on your palate.

Each bite brings a harmonious blend of heat, tanginess, and juiciness, leaving you craving more. This is the culinary experience that awaits you when you master the art of cooking chicken wings

Read on to understand how to avoid food poisoning from undercooked chicken wings. 

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What Is The Minimum Internal Cooking Temperature for Chicken Wings?

The answer is a minimum of 165 °F (74 degrees Celsius). You need to test with a thermometer on the thickest part of the chicken wing. 

Just Because the Chicken Wing Is Brown Doesn’t Mean It’s Cooked

I remember the first time I experimented with a new wing recipe. The tantalizing aroma filled my kitchen as the wings sizzled on the grill. I was transported to flavor paradise. The smoky char and zesty marinade created a symphony of taste.

It’s half-time, copious quantities of lager have been consumed, and your guests are clamoring for sustenance. Imagine biting into a perfectly cooked chicken wing that delivers an explosion of heat and spice, tantalizing your taste buds with each flavorful bite.

Every time you turn around, like magic, another plate of chicken wings has miraculously disappeared. 

Now the home team is one of many feeling the pressure. You missed big chunks of the first half. You have no intention of letting that happen again, and you’ve quaffed a few brews yourself. So, you’re slathering the wings in thick brown sauce and slapping them on the grill just long enough for them to look crispy.

Truth to tell, these guys aren’t going to notice the chicken is pink inside and practically raw. And if they do, they probably won’t care. Isn’t that how a lot of people like their steak? Brown and crispy on the outside and pink in the middle? It’s what’s called rare. It is not a good idea for chicken. 

The difference is that beef has more fat and less water, making it denser than chicken and more challenging for bacteria to penetrate. Any contamination by Campylobacter or Salmonella is likely to be on the surface. As long as the beef is fresh and has been washed off with clean water – if not safe – it’s at least safer.

No amount of washing will make chicken infected with Campylobacter safe to eat. There’s only one way of doing that; we’ll get to it quickly. In the meantime, let’s take a quick look at the basics of food preparation.

Chicken Wings Prep 101

If there’s one thing Covid-19 taught us, it’s the crucial role handwashing plays in preventing disease. Pretend you’re a surgeon getting ready for theatre. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap, hot water, and plenty of over-under. When you’re done, dry your hands with a paper towel. 

Do this before handling the chicken wings, then rewash your hands after.

  • Use one cutting board for the raw wings and another for everything else. 
  • Start cooking the wings as soon as they’ve thawed out.
  • Don’t crowd the grill, and don’t pile wings on top of each other. 
  • Don’t serve them the moment they’re cooked. As you pull the wings off the grill, a tempting aroma wafts, making your mouth water. But hold on – a secret step elevates these wings to another level. The flavors intensify and permeate every morsel, allowing them to rest for a few minutes. It’s like a culinary symphony where each ingredient has time to harmonize, creating an unforgettable dining experience.

A Meat Thermometer Buyer’s Guide

The next step requires you to head to your local chain hardware, grocery store, or online retailer. While many people wing it, pun intended, a meat thermometer is the safest and best way to be sure. 

The first thing you’ll notice is that you’re spoiled for choice. To simplify matters, here’s what you’re looking for in a meat thermometer:

  • The right type – Probe thermometers are more accurate, but instant-read thermometers are better suited to our purpose. They give you a quick reading of the meat’s internal temperature. Chicken cooks quickly. Probe thermometers are more suited to slow-cooking dishes like mutton or leg of lamb.
  • Good reviews – Skip the ad copy. Go straight to the customer reviews. Read the user questions, too. This is the best way of gauging a thermometer’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Accuracy – This is the most essential feature. If a thermometer has a lot of complaints about inaccuracy, cross it off the list.
  • Ease-of-use – You want an excellent, big, clear digital display that can read outside in broad daylight. It should also be easy to clean.
  • Durability – Prefer thermometers that are primarily stainless steel.

Follow these guidelines, and you’ll wind up with several instruments that will serve you well and last for years.

Sarah, a devoted reader of our cooking tips, recently tried our chicken wing recipe at a family gathering. She couldn’t contain her excitement as she exclaimed, ‘These wings were an absolute hit! The flavors were perfectly balanced, and the meat was incredibly tender. My guests couldn’t get enough!’ Join Sarah and countless others in discovering the joy of perfectly cooked chicken wings.

Look at the least and the most expensive, then choose something in-between. If you only cook meat occasionally, prefer the cheaper brands. If meat is a staple of your diet, go for the more expensive.

Meat thermometers come with a host of different features. Some have everything from an audible alarm and auto-shutoff to a built-in timer, preset temperatures, and a temperature hold function. Extras can be helpful but remember: the more complicated something is, the more there is to go wrong.

The Chicken Wing Test Run

Imagine this scenario: you’re hosting a summer barbecue, and your guests eagerly gather around the grill, drawn in by the irresistible aroma of sizzling chicken wings. As you confidently probe each wing with a meat thermometer, you discover they’re cooked to perfection – juicy, flavorful, and safe. The relief and satisfaction you feel at that moment are priceless.

It’s time to put it all into practice, so put some wings on a plate. Paint on some sauce, and fire up your barbecue, oven, or hot plate.

Too much heat will dry the meat, making it tough to chew and swallow, so start slow.

When the wings are well on their way to being cooked, stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding the bones.

Harmful bacteria can’t survive above 165°F (74°C). Although it’s safe to eat, chicken cooked at that temperature will be tasteless, bland, and textureless.

Chicken wings are rich in connective tissue that only becomes flavorsome when dissolves into gelatin. This happens at around 175°F (79°C), so that’s our target temperature. Make sure you test all the wings, not just one or two.

Cooking chicken wings in an oven takes 20-30 minutes. Frying them takes 7-8.

Again, for the reasons cited above, It’s important to let them rest for a few minutes before serving. 

Identifying Food Poisoning and What to Do – Just In Case

Food poisoning from undercooked chicken is so common that we must give you an easy guide to diagnosing and treating it.

The chief symptoms are as follows:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Headache
  • Chills

If you, your partner, or a member of your family display any or all of the above, there are ways of managing your symptoms:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, be it water, fruit juice, soda water, or energy drinks.
  • Other than toast, crackers, and bananas, avoid solid food. Soups and broths are viable substitutes, at least for the time being. 
  • Ask your pharmacist about the best over-the-counter remedies to relieve nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • See a doctor or visit the nearest emergency room if you’re not feeling better after 24 hours. If you’re feeling significantly worse, don’t wait until morning: seek help immediately. Swift action under these circumstances can mean the difference between severe infection and possible death, so don’t delay!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it matter if a chicken wing is still a little pink inside?

Properly-cooked chicken is white. Anything else is undercooked and should be considered unsafe. Do not take the risk. 

How can I tell if my chicken wings are fully cooked without a meat thermometer?

My oven has a working thermometer and temperature controls. Can’t I just set it to 175⁰F and leave it at that?

You could, but then you’d have to leave it on longer than necessary and risk overcooking your wings. A meat thermometer is always the safest way to be sure. 

What temperature should fried wings be at internal?

What temperature do you keep wings warm?


Meat thermometers are inexpensive, easy to use, and get the best results. If meat is a staple in your house, you should also get a probe thermometer for beef, lamb, and mutton.

Cooking wings at the right temperature makes them safe to eat and improves their flavor and texture. Your practice will become second nature once you’ve adopted the above steps and felt the benefits. Before too long, you’ll wonder why you did it any other way.

If you have anything to add by way of feedback, your comments, questions, criticism, advice, and suggestions are more than welcome. We are always eager to hear from our readers, whether by email or the text box below, so drop us a line! We look forward to hearing from you.

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