Why You Should Boil Chicken Wings Before Grilling Them

Chicken wings are a crowd-pleaser at any event, but backyard grilling is really where they find their time to shine. With everyone looking forward to a big plate of juicy wings, there's a lot of pressure to make sure they come out perfect every time. Grills can be finicky, so undercooked chicken with flabby skin or a batch of charred, chicken wing-shaped briquettes are both looming threats. The internet is jam-packed with all kinds of tips and tricks for how to grill chicken. Some make sense, some are not necessarily winners, and it's hard to know what will actually work when you're in the kitchen. 

Overcooked chicken isn't the only thing you might have to contend with; the possibility of diseases like salmonella and campylobacter are very real and can cause serious illness and sometimes death, as per HuffPost. Making sure your chicken is fully cooked can also lead to dry, unpalatable meat, and it can be hard to know precisely where the line is.

Boiling keeps them moist and helps prevent overcooking

But fear not, there's an easy way to help ensure perfect doneness. Try this trick, and you can avoid the disaster of chicken that feels like sand in your mouth, while safely cooking up some really great chicken wings. According to The Spruce Eats, parboiling the chicken wings is a great way to make sure your chicken stays moist. 

Another benefit of parboiling the chicken, which means boiling ahead of time, is even cooking. As Reference.com points out, pieces of chicken can be uneven in thickness, which can lead to a gradient of doneness across a single piece of chicken. The USDA recommends cooking chicken to an internal temperature of 165 F, so parboiling ensures that the chicken can safely get to that temperature. Additionally, parboiling can significantly reduce the cooking time, according to Tastessence. Grilling chicken from raw can take up to 20 minutes, reports Delish, but the parboiling method can cut this time in half. Take a page from Martha Stewart's book and brine boil to take it one step further and impart some extra flavor to your chicken while also protecting it from overcooking.