Crispy Baked Chicken Wings (yup…no deep fryer in sight)

Crispy baked chicken wing with hot sauce


During a superbowl party.

At a fraternity.

A totally cliché situation, but that was the first time I ever tried the glorious chicken wing.

I tried one…then I ate another…

Then I ate ten.

I mean, most of the guys there had 20 chicken wings, so I figured it was okay.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

I spent the entire night clutching my stomach and wincing in pain. No one told me chicken wings are deep fried. THEN tossed with hot sauce mixed with butter.

I mean, I’m glad I still have my stomach with me today. No wonder they were so dang good.

Crispy baked hot chicken wings

Despite my first experience, I can’t stay away from chicken wings. BUT, I like to bake mine, and really, I don’t miss the deep fried ones at all. These are crispy as heck and plus, the fryer is a PITA to clean and set up anyway.

You want to know the secret to crispy baked chicken wings?

Parboiling them before they hit the oven.

Seems so wrong, right?

Getting oneself to boil meat is really hard. You hold the little chicken wing above the whirling pool of violently bubbling water, hand shaking, eyes closed because you can hardly look. And when you drop it in, you scream to yourself and are sure that you have just committed a food sin.

But I can say that after doing a test batch with half boiled, half regular, parboiling is the way to go. It helps get rid of some of the excess fat, and the chicken wings are crispier. It’s kind of like when you have to render out the fat on a duck breast in order to get it crispy. Parboiling boils away some of the excess fat so we can get a crisp thin layer.

Crispy crackly edges of the chicken wings.

If you don’t believe me, try it (or read the hundreds of comments below from people who have made these and loved them).

Update: Some have reported issues with the wings sticking to the pan. For this recipe I use these uncoated sheet pans (I find that nonstick pans are garbage, and they don’t work for this. I threw all my nonstick coated sheet pans away because they aren’t better than uncoated):

And I use this turner to really get under the chicken wing and scoop it off:

Because the pan is uncoated, I don’t have to worry about scratching the pan.

Also, I tested this recipe using parchment paper or a silicone mat, and it really doesn’t crisp up the same. It crisps the best directly on an uncoated sheet pan.

Here’s a step-by-step video on how to make these:

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

Yield: Serves 2-4

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings


  • 2 lbs chicken wing pieces
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp Frank's hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • dash of worcestershire sauce
  • ground cayenne pepper to taste, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Heat up a big pot of boiling water. Season the water like you would for cooking pasta (taste the water, it should taste a little repulsively salty, like sea water).
  3. Boil the chicken wings for 7-8 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack so the excess water can drain off. Let them drip dry a little bit, then dry them well with a paper towel.
  4. Place the chicken wings directly on a sheet pan. Bake the chicken wings for 25-30 minutes on one side, then flip the wings and bake for another 5 minutes on the other side. The wings should have crispy crackly golden skin on the side that was in contact with the sheet pan.
  5. In a small saucepan or in the microwave, heat up the hot sauce, butter, worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper, if using, until melted and combined. Toss the hot wings in the sauce, and serve immediately. Gobble them up while they're still crisp, and coated with sauce. Enjoy!


Updated note about cooking time: Chicken wings sold in grocery stores vary in size, so if you have smaller wings, you will probably only need to bake them for a total of 25-30 minutes. I've always done around 40 for mine, but they've been large wings.

Copyright Notice: Fifteen Spatulas images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials without prior permission.

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397 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • avatar Lucy March 7, 2014, 2:32 pm

    Hi joanne,

    Do you use Franks’s original hot sauce or Framk’s buffalo wings hot sauce? One has more vinegar than the other. Please advise.

    • avatar Joanne Ozug March 13, 2014, 6:45 pm

      Hi Lucy, I use the original hot sauce.

  • avatar Sandra Schifferle March 7, 2014, 6:26 pm

    I use straight Frank’s original Red Hot sauce. No butter or anything else added. Tastes like the ones I’ve had at the Buffalo Brew Pub.

  • avatar Linda Rivera March 11, 2014, 5:13 pm

    I really enjoyed this recipe. I have never made chicken wings and found that they were so crispy and moist. I coated some of the wings in barbeque sauce and some with the hot sauce recipe above. I even left some of them plain and the kids liked them too. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and ideas.

    • avatar Joanne Ozug March 13, 2014, 6:51 pm

      So happy you all enjoyed the chicken wings!

  • avatar April B Foster March 12, 2014, 8:11 pm

    Made these tonight for myself & my kids. Best wings I’ve ever made!! I will NEVER make them any other way!!

  • avatar Faith March 13, 2014, 12:39 pm

    Hi! This may be a stupid question, but how did you prevent your wings from sticking to the pan?? I tried your recipe, but all the crispy skin was stuck on my baking sheet. :(

    • avatar Joanne Ozug March 13, 2014, 6:56 pm

      Hi Faith, did you dry the wings really well? If they are on the wetter side they are more likely to stick. I have heard of people using parchment paper in the other comments, which I know will prevent sticking, but I’ve never needed to do that. Also, are you using an uncoated or nonstick pan?

    • avatar rmyjn March 13, 2014, 8:07 pm

      Faith, I wish I had seen your comment before I put them in the oven, as the same thing happened to me. I’m sure they are good, but w/o the skin and half the meat it was difficult to tell. To answer your question, spray the sheet pan w/ non stick spray before putting the wings on them.

  • avatar Sarah March 13, 2014, 8:55 pm

    These are seriously the best at-home chicken wings I’ve ever had or made! My bf was so sure that my wings would suck compared to our favorite wing restaurant but he completely changed his tune after eating these. So glad I found this recipe. Thank you!


  • avatar Shaniqua Cox March 18, 2014, 1:01 am

    I cooked my wings like your recipe said, and they came out great. My husband couldn’t get enough thanks for sharing.

  • avatar Kim March 18, 2014, 8:50 pm

    Hi…can you use frozen chicken wings? And if so, do you need to thaw first?


  • avatar kathleen March 20, 2014, 4:51 pm

    this has become my husband’s favorite dinner. i’ve made it every week for several weeks now. we use Tabasco buffalo sauce

  • avatar BC March 21, 2014, 11:10 pm

    Hi Joanne,
    I found your site on Pinterest and had to try out your recipe immediately. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out crispy for me!! I boiled for 10 min, drained and dried REALLY well, lined a pan with foil, brushed the bottom with oil, and baked at 450degF for 35ish minutes, flipping towards the end. What went wrong? Should I have not used foil? or not added oil?

    • avatar G-dog March 23, 2014, 2:23 pm

      Maybe not enough salt in the water when boiling. No oil needed. I cooked on baking paper, turned out great.

      I added a chicken stick when boiling and lots of salt for extra flavour.

    • avatar Mike April 7, 2014, 8:55 pm

      I put a baking rack on the baking sheet so the wings were about 3/4 ” above the baking sheet. They came out very crispy as the juices dropped to the pan. I think on the baking sheet directly, they aren’t as crispy because they soak up the fat.

  • avatar Heather March 25, 2014, 9:03 pm

    Holy cow! These were delicious!! I modified by only using legs(it’s was on sale this week). Absolutely perfect!!!

  • avatar Julie March 30, 2014, 4:07 pm

    Awesome! Who would have thought boiling would make them crispier? I used BBQ sauce, and they were great and easy!

  • avatar Zoe March 30, 2014, 4:59 pm

    Fantastic recipe!!

  • avatar Pat ADams April 1, 2014, 9:37 pm

    Cooked wings tonight using your recipe….raves!! Thanks

  • avatar dony alan April 3, 2014, 7:10 pm

    Throw the deep fryer in the garbage !! Using this recipe won’t make your house stink !! These are the best home made wings I ever had . We add a pound wings every time we make a new batch , because we never have any left-overs . Currently we are up to 8 pounds . This is really a great recipe!!!!!

  • avatar Sarah April 4, 2014, 10:52 pm

    Hey, I love this recipe. I like hot wings, but my boyfriend enjoys lemon-pepper wings and these work just as well with some lemon-pepper and BBQ sauce as they do with hot sauce.



  • avatar Melanie Hudson April 5, 2014, 10:27 pm

    I wanted to know if I could use frozen wings as well?

  • avatar Alex April 9, 2014, 7:38 am

    I cooked them your way last night. Boy, I’d never made buffalo wings at home because of the deep frying thing. I can’t believe they can taste sooooooo good. The kids has happy as they could be. Thanks!

  • avatar Jenna April 10, 2014, 3:53 pm

    This recipe is amazing !! I was glad to read the comments so I could learn from other people’s experience. I was sure to put a lot of salt in the water when I boiled them – I am anti salt and would have skimped if I didn’t read comments. They turned out great ! Going to try it again tonight but with chicken thighs. You won’t regret trying this recipe ! Thanks for sharing it !

  • avatar Sunny April 11, 2014, 8:23 pm

    This were great thank you

  • avatar Sam April 12, 2014, 8:44 pm

    Omg!! Ithank you so much for a great recipe :-) my asian style & hit wings were a hit,

  • avatar Heather April 17, 2014, 6:54 pm

    Don’t know why but these did not turn out for me. Kind of slimy and tasted funky. I bake chicken wings all the time but the boiling didn’t work for me. We threw them out.

  • avatar Laura April 18, 2014, 11:30 am

    Wow! What a great tip! I think I’m going to make these for a party. Would these stay crispy if I make them a few hours in advance and stack them up in a platter? you know, one of the downsides for real frying is food gets soggy when it’s cooled…

    Also, would these go with honey mustard sauce?

    Thank for the great recipe!

  • avatar Jamie April 19, 2014, 3:27 pm

    Thanks. Parboiling is what was missing from my buffalo wings recipe. I tried your recipe today and the wings are magnificent! They are still crispy crunchy after being tossed in the buffalo sauce (Louisiana style hot sauce and butter). Before, the skin would soften. Now they stay crispy good.


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