Easy to follow step by step photo instructions for crispy oven baked chicken wings. No need to fry to get the great crispy skin. Add a Buffalo coating, and you have an American favorite. Now you can do it at home. Plus it is healthier.
Editor Note: Originally published January 30, 2016. The recipe is great, but I have updated the presentation with re-edited photos a nd text. Time to enjoy some crispy wings at your next party.
The trick with these chicken wings is how to get them crisp in the oven. The secret is the baking powder which will draw moisture out of the wings and contribute to browning. Initial cooking in a low oven allows the baking powder to do its work.
I had done this technique before with my Crispy Skin on Split Chicken Breast but had to be reminded by reading In Search of the Best Oven-Fried Buffalo Wings from Food Lab.
The Food Lab article was very complete but way too fussy, so I went back to Cooks County, and amazingly it was simple… amazing considering it is coming for Cooks Illustrated.
The Cooks Country Oven-Fried Chicken Wings (subscription required) basically coat the wings with baking powder, a little garlic powder, and salt.
Then bake in a low oven for 30 minutes then crank up the temp to finish them off. Way simple. Then coat with the sauce of your choice. I went with traditional Buffalo hot sauce.
Very surprising five.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Crispy Oven Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings
I have not been the biggest fan of Buffalo Wings. I think I have tried too many bad examples. But now I’m good again. My wife gave them a five and I agreed.
This technique can be used with many flavors of wings other than Buffalo. I’m thinking honey sesame or BBQ.
Just don’t ever buy baking powder with aluminum in it. The after-taste is bad and would ruin this dish.
Want BBQ Instead?
- Skip the Buffalo coating.
- Mix 1/2 cup of you favorite BBQ sauce with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Give the wings a light brushing of the BBQ about 10 minutes before done (be sure to flip to get both sides) than a heavier brush when they come out.
- It somewhat depends on the amount of sauce you want on the wing. The light brushing gives a base for the second coat to stick.
Smoking Oven Issues
Smoking ovens have been an issue for at least one user due to high temp cooking. I haven’t had the problem, BUT it is probably related to multiple factors.
- If there is trimmable fat, trim it.
- Use a pan with some side on it to keep any splatter contained.
- If your oven has convection roast and convection bake, use the bake mode.
- You could turn down the oven by 25-50 degrees. This will increase the cooking time some and may prone to drying out some. Remember to cook to an endpoint, not by time.
- Of course, the oven should be clean, so the smoke isn’t coming from a previous splatter.
- Some water in the pan under the rack will prevent the smoking issue. It will cool the fat when it drips.
Start by preheating an oven to 250. Either convection or conventional should do here. Have a lower and a middle rack.
Trim about 2 pounds of chicken wings of any loose joint parts. Pat dry and then pat dry again.
Prep a baking tray with aluminum foil and a baking rack. Spray heavily with PAM.
Mix 1 tablespoon baking powder (without aluminum ) with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Add to a 1-gallon ziplock bag. Add chicken wings and shake well to coat.
Arrange the wings on the tray with the biggest pieces in the corner and thinnest in the middle. Place in the preheated oven on the lower rack and bake for 30 minutes. Then move the tray to the middle rack and increase oven to 400 convection or 425 conventional.
Prepare the Buffalo sauce to coat the wings. Melt two tablespoons butter and combine with 1/4 cup hot sauce and 1 1/2 teaspoon molasses.
Bake until golden brown and crispy. About an additional 40 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes then coat with the Buffalo sauce or sauce of your choice.
Serve hot with Blue Cheese Dip and veggies.
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Originally published: January 30, 2016