Although there are several different ways to prepare chicken wings, baking them is one of the simplest and most popular methods. However, some cooks may wonder if it’s worth marinating the wings before baking them.
In this post, we have discussed both the benefits and downsides of marinating wings before baking to help you make the right choice. We have also shared a few ways to marinate wings properly to reap the best results!
Benefits of Marinating Wings Before Baking
Before we discuss the downsides, let’s go over some striking benefits of marinating chicken wings before baking.
1. Easier To Freeze
One of the great things about marinated chicken wings is that they’re easy to freeze. When you’re ready to cook them, thaw the wings in the refrigerator overnight and bake them according to your recipe.
Place your wings in a freezer-safe bag or container and store them in the freezer for up to four months.
This is an excellent option if you want to have wings on hand for impromptu gatherings or weeknight dinners.
2. Tenderizes The Meat
As we mentioned earlier, one of the benefits of marinating chicken wings is that it tenderizes the meat. This is because the acidic ingredients in the marinade break down the tough muscle fibers in the chicken, making them more tender and easier to eat.
This is especially helpful if you’re cooking chicken wings that are on the tougher side, such as drumettes. Marinating these types of wings can help to make them more tender and enjoyable to eat.
So, if you’re looking for the most tender and flavorful chicken wings possible, marinating them before baking is worth considering.
3. Helps Retain Moisture
Another benefit of marinating chicken wings before baking is that it helps to retain moisture. This is because the marinade forms a protective barrier around the chicken, keeping the juices in and preventing them from drying out during the cooking process.
This is especially important if you’re planning on cooking your wings at a high temperature. High heat can cause chicken wings to dry out quickly, but marinating them beforehand can help to prevent this.
So, if you’re looking for juicy, moist chicken wings, marinating them before baking is the way to go.
4. Adds Flavor To Chicken Wings
In addition to tenderizing and moistening chicken wings, marinades can also add flavor. This is because the marinade seeps into the chicken, infusing it with additional seasonings and spices.
The longer you marinate your wings, the stronger their flavor will be. So, if you’re looking for a subtle flavor, marinate your wings for a shorter period. If you want a stronger flavor, marinate them for longer.
Downsides To Marinating Wings Before Baking
While there are some clear benefits to marinating chicken wings before baking them, there are also a few potential downsides that you should be aware of.
1. Burn Risk
It’s important to note that marinades can make chicken wings more susceptible to burning. This is because the sugars in the marinade can caramelize and burn when exposed to high heat.
So, if you’re planning on cooking your wings at a high temperature, it’s essential to keep a close eye on them and be sure not to overcook them.
2. Wings Will Lose Their Crisp
Some marinades can make chicken wings less crispy. The marinade can prevent the wings from getting the necessary sear when cooked. If you’re looking for crispy wings, it’s best to avoid marinades high in sugar or acid.
3. Longer Cook Time
The marinade will need to be heated to cook the wings properly. Chicken wings that have been marinated will take longer to cook. So, if you’re short on time, it’s probably not worth marinating your wings.
How To Marinate Chicken Wings Properly
Down to marinate your chicken wings? Marinating chicken wings is a fairly simple process, but there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind to ensure that your wings turn out perfectly. Let’s take a look at how to do it well.
Step 1: Choose The Right Marinade
There are several different marinade recipes out there, so take some time to find one that you think will complement the flavors of your wings.
Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that your marinade is adequately seasoned. A good rule of thumb is to use 1 teaspoon of salt for every 1 cup of marinade.
Step 2: Coat Well
The best way to do this is to place the wings in a resealable bag or container and pour the marinade over them. Please make sure that the wings are fully coated, and then seal the bag or container and place it in the refrigerator.
Step 3: Let The Wings Soak
For best results, marinate the wings for at least four hours or overnight if possible. Once the wings have finished marinating, remove them from the bag or container and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Step 4: Cook Them Well
At this point, you can cook the wings according to your recipe. However, if you’re baking them, we recommend placing the wings on a wire rack over a baking sheet and preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. By doing this, you will be able to cook the wings evenly and prevent them from sticking.
Overall, marinating chicken wings before baking them is a personal decision. This has some benefits, but there are some potential downsides as well. We have presented you both the arguments, so the ball is in your court.
Having said that, if you’re looking to add some extra flavor to your wings, marinating them is definitely worth considering. Just be sure to keep an eye on them while they’re cooking so that they don’t overcook.
Hope you found this article helpful. Do leave us a comment to let us know your thoughts.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.