Grilling Guide: Chicken Wing Internal Temperature

bbq chicken wings with sauce
A chicken wing’s internal temperature must reach 165°F to be safe to eat, but it is better to grill chicken wings until they reach 175°F so the meat easily pulls from the bone, and achieves a crispy exterior.

When grilling chicken wings, it’s important to ensure they are adequately cooked. The best way to tell is to check the chicken wing’s internal temperature.

In this grilling guide, I’ll share a super easy grilled chicken wings recipe with you and explain different ways to take the internal temperature of the chicken wings so you get a perfectly cooked wing every time.

What is the Best Internal Temperature for Chicken Wings?

According to the USDA, the internal temperature of chicken wings should reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered safe for consumption. 

It is best to keep cooking until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the meat pulls easily from the bone. 

You should always rely on the internal temperature to know how long you should grill chicken wings. Use a meat thermometer to check every piece before removing them from the grill. To take the internal temperature, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of every wing without touching the bones.

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bbq chicken drumettes

BBQ Grilled Chicken Wings Recipe

  • Author: Patrick
  • Total Time: 45 minutes


As a game-day treat or appetizer, chicken wings are a classic. Learn how to prepare delicious and crispy chicken wings using this easy BBQ grilled chicken wings recipe. It gives a perfect plate of wings every time!



Equipment Needed

  • Gas grill or pellet grill
  • Large bowl
  • Meat thermometer
  • Wood pellets


  • 10 whole chicken wings, divided into drumettes and wingettes
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Sauce or dry rub (your favorite)


  1. Chicken wings comprise three parts: the drumette, wing tip, and middle joint. Remove the wing tip using a sharp knife. This section has little meat so you can throw it away. Then, separate the drumette from the middle joint.
  2. Season the wings with a dry rub or a wet marinade. Wings work well with marinades, so this is one of the best ways of seasoning them before they hit the grill. Place the wings in a resealable container or bag and add your favorite marinade. Allow them to soak for one hour before grilling. If using a dry rub, apply your favorite BBQ rub to the chicken wings before grilling.
  3. Set up your grill by arranging the coals into two zones. Light the coals and place them on one side of the charcoal grill. You can sear the chicken wings on the hotter side and finish grilling them on the cooler side.
  4. Sear the chicken wings all the way around over the open flame to get a nice, crispy skin. The wing skin burns fast, especially when the rub or marinade has a lot of sugar content. So, monitor your wings closely and flip them frequently to avoid scorching.
  5. Once all sides are nicely browned, transfer the wings to the cooler side to finish grilling. Cover the grill and continue cooking until the chicken wings reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. An instant-read thermometer will help you test for doneness. Generally, chicken wings should take around 8-10 minutes to cook.
  6. Apply a glaze or sauce just before you finish cooking (if desired). Cover the grill with the lid to allow the sauce to caramelize on the chicken wings. Most sauces have a lot of sugar content, so monitor the wings to prevent charring.
  7. Serve the chicken wings right off the grill. There’s no need to rest the wings. You can serve them with blue cheese or ranch dressing, celery sticks and carrots, and other dipping sauces such as BBQ sauce and hot sauce!
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 35


  • Serving Size: 2 pieces
  • Calories: 96
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 38mg
  • Fat: 6.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 54mg

Does the Internal Temperature of Chicken Wings Rise While Resting?

The temperature of grilled or smoked chicken wings can increase by around 5 to 10 degrees F after they have been removed from the grill, so you may want to remove them from the grill 5 degrees before reaching the ideal temperature.

How Do You Measure the Temperature of Chicken Wings?

Drums and drumettes have different cooking times and thicknesses. Insert an instant-read meat thermometer into the thickest part of the largest drumette without touching the bone, as this may give an inaccurate reading. If the internal temp is above 165 degrees Fahrenheit, check the temperature of another wing. 

If the internal temp of multiple wings is above 165 degrees F, your wings are ready to eat.

What is the Temperature Difference Between a Chicken Wing’s Meat and the Bone?

Bones heat up more quickly and become hotter than the surrounding meat when cooking bone-in meat like chicken wings. When a meat thermometer touches a bone, you get an inaccurate reading higher than that of the surrounding meat. There can be as much as a 10-degrees difference in the internal temperature. 

Avoid touching the bones with the thermometer at all costs. 

Should you Boil Chicken Wings Before Grilling Them?

Boiling chicken wings before grilling them helps to reduce the cooking time and allows the chicken to cook evenly, no matter the size of the pieces. When you pre-boil chicken wings, you make them extra moist and tender before you finish cooking them over the flame.

You can choose whether you want to boil chicken wings or not, but as they smoke relatively quickly it isn’t necessary.

How Long Should a Chicken Wing be Smoked?

When smoking chicken wings at 225°F, it takes around one hour to reach 165 degrees F, the safe internal temp for chicken wings. Larger wings may take longer than an hour, so always take the internal temperature.

How Long Should a Chicken Wing be Grilled?

It takes about 25 to 30 minutes to grill chicken wings properly. Be sure to flip the wings frequently to ensure they cook evenly and the skin crisps.

You should grill chicken wings to at least 165 degrees F, but you can grill to a slightly higher temperature to ensure the meat can pull away from the bones easily.

Get an instant-read meat thermometer to monitor the temperature during the cooking process. 

Can you BBQ Frozen Chicken Wings?

If you don’t want to thaw the wings, you may still cook them as soon as you take them out of the freezer. However, it might take longer to cook frozen chicken wings, depending on your preferred cooking method. 

You should BBQ frozen chicken wings on medium-high heat for 30 to 40 minutes. Cooking times will vary. Make sure to use a reliable meat thermometer to ensure the wings reach an internal temp of 165 degrees F. 

How to Safely Store BBQ Chicken Wings

If you would like to reheat BBQ chicken wings, you must properly store them. If you don’t store your chicken wings properly, they might not be safe to eat even if they are properly reheated. 

The USDA recommends storing chicken wings and all poultry within two hours after cooking.  Moreover, you should store your chicken wings and all poultry in airtight containers. Next, keep your chicken wings in the freezer or refrigerator. 

You can store your leftover chicken wings in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you are freezing the wings, however, they can last as long as 3 to 4 months.

How to Reheat BBQ Chicken Wings

Learning how to reheat BBQ chicken wings is easy! 

How To Reheat Wings in the Oven

The best method to reheat chicken wings is in your oven. Reheat chicken wings in your oven at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes.

When you reheat chicken wings in your oven, they are more likely to turn out crispier and more tender than if you used any other method. 

The reheating time will vary depending on the number of chicken wings you’re heating. 

How To Reheat Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer

Reheating your chicken wings in an air fryer is also a good way to make juicy and crispy chicken wings. 

The air fryer heats wings evenly throughout by circulating air. To get started, remove the wings from the fridge to bring them to room temperature. Throw them in the air fryer using the “reheat” setting. Be sure to check on their progress every 5 minutes or so until you see they are golden brown and hot.

How to Reheat Wings in the Microwave

If you’re looking for the fastest method, your microwave won’t let you down. Let the wings come to room temperature and then place them in the microwave for two minutes. Make sure the wings are pipping hot before removing them from the microwave. 

For the best results, be sure to take the wings out of the microwave immediately once they get warm to avoid overcooking them. 

Reheating Chicken Wings Using a Frying Pan

Reheating chicken wings can also be done using a frying pan. Remove the wings from the fridge 5 to 10 minutes beforehand. 

Add some vegetable oil to a frying pan and place over medium-high heat. When the oil gets hot, cook the chicken wings for 3½ minutes. Flip the wings and cook for a further 3½ minutes. Remove the wings from the pan when they are nicely browned. Dab with a paper towel to soak up excess oil.

The disadvantage of reheating chicken wings on a frying pan is that they might not be as crispy as other methods.


At heart, Patrick is a passionate cook, adventurous eater, recipe writer, and bargain hunter. He aims to provide creative ideas on how to how to cook amazing food with everyday ingredients in a hassle-free manner.When not writing or standing over a grill, Patrick enjoys traveling and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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