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Please refer to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrKHgNXsTYU.

I'd like to mimic the process, but replace the pressure cooker step with a sous vide instead. What's the lowest possible temperature and shortest amount of time I can use the sous vide such that I can chill the wings after the sous vide process and then fry them at high temperature for just 2.5 minutes?

I've done some research on the net for various recipes. One said to set it at 82C for 1.5 hours. I tried that, but the wings' weight dropped by about 30% and separation of the meat from the bone was evident. I don't want the wings to shrink that much. Nor do I want the meat separating from the bone before it gets to the frying stage.

Chicken is supposedly safe to eat at around 74C. Should I set my sous vide to that temperature instead? That way I'll know they are fully cooked even before the wings go into the fryer. If so, what is the minimum amount of time I should put the wings in a 74C bath? I'd like to keep them in there for an absolute minimum to prevent loss of weight and meat separating from the bone?

Or is there a lower temperature I can sous vide the wings at? The rationale being that I will still be frying the wings and perhaps the oil can fully cook it 2.5 minutes. I'm concerned it might not cook fully, especially if the wings are first chilled in the fridge.

  • Can you clarify? Why would you want to substitute this more time consuming process? Is it simply lack of a pressure cooker? ...or is there a particular characteristic of the chicken wing that you are looking to achieve? What is it that you are trying to accomplish? Also, note that temperature is not the only variable for safety...it is time + temperature, that is why some sous vide proteins can be cooked at lower temperatures safely. – moscafj Nov 16 '16 at 14:43
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The FDA recommends cooking poultry for 15 seconds at 74°C/165 °F

This though, is a ridiculously high temperature. The food safety of chicken and turkey has long been a subject of concern because poultry can harbor Salmonella and other pathogens. There is a big gap, however, between the best scientific information on safe cooking temperatures for poultry and official guidelines for cooking poultry published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Scientific research as of 2010, finds that poultry meat is safe to eat when cooked to 60 °C / 140 °F and held at that temperature for 20 minutes; shorter holding times are sufficient at higher temperatures.

For best bets, The Modernist Cuisine recommends cooking chicken wings sous vide at 65 °C / 150 °F for 1 hour.


You mentioned that your current method experiences a loss of weight and hold?

It's recommended to brine wings in an alkaline salt solution before cooking sous vide. This technique - similar to that traditionally used in Kung Poa chicken - will tenderize the meat and enhances Maillard reactions (the crisping and browning).

Brine solution:

| Ingredient  | Weight | Volume          | Scaling |
|-------------|--------|-----------------|---------|
| Water       | 500g   | 500 mL / 2 cups | 50%     |
| Salt        | 35g    | 3.5 Tbsp        | 3.5%    |
| Baking Soda | 5g     | 1 tsp           | 0.5%    |
|-------------|--------|-----------------|---------|
| Wings       | 1kg    | 20 - 24 pieces  | 100%    |  

 
Procedure:

  1. Stir together to make brine.
  2. Combine brine and chicken in a zip-top bag. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
  3. Preheat water bath to 65C
  4. Drain wings. Pat dry with towel.
  5. Place wings, single layer in a new zip-top bag. Remove air. Cook sous vide for 1 hour.
  6. Remove chicken. Pat dry.

 
From here you can season and fry your wings as you have been.
 


References:
FDA Food Code: 3-401.11
Modernist Cuisine at Home: Page 245, 249, XXV

  • I don't think 15 seconds at 74°C/165 °F would make much of a difference... – JAB Nov 17 '16 at 0:44
  • @JAB It might mean to make sure it's held at that temperature for 15 seconds, rather than cooling immediately as soon as it hits it? Anyways, Benjamin, it'd be helpful if you could clarify what you mean there. – Cascabel Nov 17 '16 at 1:21
  • My opening - 15 seconds at 74°C / 165 °F - is simply a guideline which the FDA recommends. I included it as it is important to understand if someone was preparing chicken in a commercial kitchen. Regardless of whether it makes a difference or not, it's law. The rest of my answer goes on to explain that this FDA recommendation is overkill, followed by an in-depth analysis on temperatures which poultry can be cooked sous vide - as asked by @CookingNewbie. – Benjamin Nov 17 '16 at 15:39
  • @JAB the temperature is the core temperature the meat should have, inside the core! (Not the temperature of the oven/water/pan that is used) – Silent-Bob Feb 15 '17 at 14:10

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