See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSaR4WmVvRI

Alton Brown refrigerates his wings, then steams them, then refrigerate them again. The rationale behind refrigerating them was to dry them out so they would be crispy after baking them.

Was the first refrigeration actually needed? The wings are steamed afterwards, so pre-drying them seem pointless. Or was the first refrigeration's purpose something else?

Interestingly, that first refrigeration isn't mentioned here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/buffalo-wings-recipe.html

  • The video can't be shown in the United States, so here's a transcript of the episode
    – Jolenealaska
    Jun 20 '14 at 0:44
  • Don't they start out in the fridge? You obviously don't want to steam them from frozen...
    – Aaronut
    Jun 20 '14 at 1:03
  • No, the point of the initial refrigeration was not to defrost. As a matter of fact, the wings he used were not frozen. Jun 20 '14 at 1:32
  • I think @Aaronut's point was, were the wings not just kept in the fridge, like you'd keep any other meat in the fridge? ie you get them home from the store, then put them in the fridge, then later take them out when you want to cook them, steam them, and fridge them again to crisp up. Jun 20 '14 at 9:54
  • No, the purpose was to dry them out from my understanding. And that seems odd to me if you're going to steam them after. Jun 20 '14 at 13:27

I don't see how refrigerating the wings before steaming them could possibly make a difference. They were initially refrigerated as he toyed with the idea of frying them or baking them directly, but then he was inspired to steam them to remove some of the fat before baking. It's artistic licence to tell a better and slightly longer story, nothing more.

If you go to the official recipe, you'll see that it skips this step:

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