People love their chicken wings. There is something undeniably fun and whimsical about these little poultry appendages. They’re always a winning dish at Super Bowl parties, birthdays, and weekend get-togethers.
Chances are, at the end of your celebration you’ll have some left over. So how long can you keep them? Cooked chicken wings will last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Make sure that you let the wings cool properly before popping them into the fridge. Never put hot wings (or anything else) in the refrigerator. Wrap them well and place them in an airtight container.
Can You Freeze Chicken Wings?
Yes, you can freeze chicken wings. Properly frozen, your chicken wings will be safe to eat for up to six months. Though for the best flavor and texture, they should be eaten in 2-3 months.
The best way to freeze your cooked chicken wings is to use large freezer bags or containers. Fill them only halfway, so the sharp edges have less of a chance of poking through. Place the wings in the back of the freezer where it is coldest.
Do not place bags or containers on top of each other. They won’t freeze evenly if you do. Allow them to completely freeze, then you can stack them.
Is It Safe For Chicken Wings To Be Left Out?
Chicken wings should be left out for no more than 2 hours in an environment that is above 40 degrees. If it’s above 90 degrees, it should be 1 hour or less. If the wings are part of one of the previously mentioned parties and they need to be kept out, you have two options:
- keep them in a warming tray (they’ll be good for about 4 hours)
- put them in a cooler (direct folks to the microwave if they want them hot)
How Can You Tell If Your Chicken Wings Have Gone Bad?
Bad chicken wings are pretty easy to spot and smell. Like all chicken parts, there are specific characteristics that will stand out when chicken wings are spoiled. It’s always important to inspect your chicken before cooking it.
Fresh, raw chicken should have a pink hue and any fat should be white. A good chicken will also have little to no smell. Any smell should be mild and non-offensive.
Throw away your uncooked chicken wings and have any of the following issues:
- a foul smell (sulfur, rotten eggs, general sourness)
- green or grey-colored flesh or yellow fat
- slime (an indication of bacteria)
As for chicken, it should not have any pink or red parts. These colors are a sign that the chicken is undercooked. Undercooked chicken could contain bacteria that will make you sick.
If your cooked chicken wings have sat in the fridge for too long they may grow mold. This is why 3-4 days is the general rule for keeping cooked chicken.
Can You Reheat Cooked Chicken Wings?
You can certainly reheat your chicken wings, as long as they are properly stored. If they are in the fridge, make sure you are reheating within 4 days.
If you’re reheating your frozen wings, take them out of the freezer and put them into the fridge for 8-12 hours to thaw before cooking.
Here are some methods for reheating your wings.
Place your wings on a baking sheet and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep them in a bit longer for extra crispness.
2. Air Fryer
A great way to get those wings crispy and quickly. Usually, 5-6 minutes will do the trick.
If you’re in a rush or have no other choice, the microwave will certainly warm up the wings. But it could also make them soggy and chewy.
Throw a bit of extra sauce or marinade on the wings, and toss them on the grill for about 5-10 minutes.
How Long Will Raw Chicken Wings Last In The Fridge?
According to the USDA, raw chicken of any type will last no more than 2 days in the fridge. After that, it will start to grow bacteria. If you don’t plan on using it by day 2, your best bet is to freeze it.
Should You Wash Your Chicken Wings Before Cooking?
Not only should you NOT wash the wings (or any other meat for that matter), it could actually spread food-borne illness. According to USDA research, washing meat does not get rid of food-borne illnesses like salmonella and Ecoli.
In fact, it can help to spread them around your kitchen, increasing your chances of getting sick. This is hard to digest for many people who were taught that washing chicken was an absolute must.
But as we evolve and research, we learn new things. One is that washing chicken can splash bacteria all over your sink, appliances, and other food. So what should you do? Just take those chicken parts out of the package and put them right in the pan.
As long as you cook them all the way through, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, it will all be fine. Proper cooking will ensure that all the bacteria are killed off.
What Are Some Tips For Great Chicken Wings?
Now that you’ve made sure your wings are safe to eat, make sure they taste great too, with a few useful tips:
1. Do Not Throw Dry Wings On A Grill
Dry Wings will stick to your grill and ruin your day. Toss the wings in some vegetable oil beforehand.
2. Pat Your Wings
With a paper towel before adding sauce or spices. It will help keep them from getting soggy.
3. Bake At High Temperatures
If you are baking your wings, do so at a high temperature and have them on a rack so air circulates and moisture drips away.
4. Don’t Overcrowd The Wings
Space them out and give them room to breathe. Allowing the air to circulate makes crispier and evenly cooked wings.
5. Make Sure To Flip Them
This will make sure they are cooked evenly and thoroughly.