How Do I Roast Turkey Wings?

Sherry Holetzky

Since turkey wings, as well as other parts of the turkey, often go on sale after whole turkeys do, you can frequently find these sections for great prices after holidays. The problem is that many people don’t know what to do with the separate parts. Wings can be boiled for soup and used for other recipes but you can also try to roast turkey wings for extra flavor. The simplest way is to prepare them as you would a whole turkey; place them in the oven at the same temperature as you would a whole bird, and then cook until they reach the recommended temperature on a meat thermometer. Roast turkey wings obviously won’t require the same cooking time, so check them often.

A roast turkey.
A roast turkey.

It is also a good idea to turn the wings over from time to time for more even roasting. Baste frequently to keep the meat tender and moist. You may wish to cover the roast turkey wings at first for quicker, more thorough cooking throughout, and then roast them uncovered for the last few minutes to allow the wings to brown.

A turkey.
A turkey.

Be sure to check the package directions when buying turkey as well. Many meat packages now offer handy cooking instructions as well as stating the recommended internal temperature. Some companies that sell turkey also have websites or hotlines that offer cooking tips or answer frequently asked questions.

Making roast turkey wings is a great way to get the same wonderful flavor without all the expense, preparation, and time involved in roasting a whole bird. You can inject roast turkey wings with marinade or apply a nice turkey rub to enhance the flavor. You may wish to remove the skin to lower the fat content but keep in mind that the skin helps keep moisture in. If you do remove it, a marinade can help keep the wings from becoming too dried out.

Another good option when you want to roast turkey wings is to place a rack in your roasting pan. Place the wings on top of the rack so the fat will run off and collect in the bottom of the pan. This way, the wings won’t be sizzling in the fat, essentially being fried instead of roasted. This method also makes it simpler to remove the wings and drain the fat.

When preparing roast turkey wings, it is a good idea to allow the meat to rest for a few moments before serving. Doing so allows the meat to cook just a bit more but also helps the juices to be absorbed, thus creating a moister piece of meat. When meat is cut into directly after cooking, much of the juice runs onto the plate, leaving meat dryer, tougher, and less flavorful.

Check the temperature of the wings with a meat thermometer to determine doneness.
Check the temperature of the wings with a meat thermometer to determine doneness.

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Discussion Comments


My question is: At what temperature are turkey wings roasted? I have to roast these separately. And to all, never baste turkey or chicken with oil! Put the meat on a raised rack inside a roasting pan, add water (1 cup). The meat will drip its juices into the pan. Baste with all the natural juices.

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