A crispy exterior with crunchy skin and tender meat seems to describe the perfect hot wing for many. There is also a consensus for the desired level of heat — generally, the hotter the better. The habanero wings recipe posted earlier on our site roused many positive affirmations and “likes” on Facebook. (Rightly so, they are amazing.)
So how does one make this ultimate hot wing? It’s actually much easier than you think. Big Lou of Wildwood BBQ and Ivy Stark of Dos Caminos show how home cooks can make their wings in one of two ways: fried or baked.
If you choose to fry (assuming you don’t have a home fryer), cook the wings in about two inches of hot oil in a deep pan (please be careful if doing this when guests are over). Or, if you’re hosting a large party or looking to make multiple batches, bake the wings ahead of time and then finish them in the broiler to get that super crispy finish. Of course, you can always bake in the moment, but, according to Big Lou, preparing them ahead of time frees you up to watch the game, the Oscars, or do whatever else you want to do.
Why choose one method over the other? Aside from the obvious fact that baking (or grilling for that matter) is a healthier choice, it is also less dangerous than frying if you are doing it in a crowded kitchen when entertaining. On the flip side, baking tends to dry out the meat more easily than frying does. Grilling would be nice, but that’s just not a possibility for everyone (especially in winter), so we stuck to two of the more accessible methods…
To ensure your wings don’t end up burnt or blackened (not in the good way), we spoke to the experts to find out the answers to all of these pressing and important issues (there was no sarcasm there). From Big Lou, the charismatic retired NYC cop who opened up Hill Country BBQ and now heads the kitchen at Wildwood BBQ — check out the video demo with him below — to chef Stark who is of the fry-only school of thought, we’ve got something for everyone, no matter how you like your hot wings.
To learn how to make the perfect hot wing, check out the tips in our slideshow above! Happy munching!