Fifteen Spatulas

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

Crispy baked chicken wing with hot sauce

College.

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 Recipe

Yield: Serves 2-4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

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).

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.

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.

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.

512 comments on “Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

  1. We will be making this again!!!!! Thanks for the great recipe!!!!

  2. I live in Louisiana so I tried boiling wings in crab boil which is spicy and salty therefore you can omit the hot sauce or cayenne pepper.  You can combine the butter with worcestershire and or soy sauce.  This is a guilt free pleasure.  Especially since LeBlanc’s a local supermarket had a sale on wings for $1.88 per pound.  Can you believe that.  Living in the South has it’s advantages, great food at reasonable prices. 

  3. Finally! I’ve been searching for a way to get my wings to crisp just right and this is it! My family likes experimenting with different recipes so we will definitely use this method a lot!

  4. Wow! Just made these. My boyfriend  and son had alot of wings in their time and said these were the best by far!

  5. Hey great recipe But question on the sauce do i have to use Worcestershire sauce for it to still taste good????

  6. Best. Wings. Ever! I used the cooking technique but modifies the sauce to my taste. First, save those wing tips AND the water used to boil the wings to make an amazing chicken stock for soup. Add the wing tips to the leftover boil water and simmer on low for an hour or two. Let it cool to room temperature. Remove the wing tips and cool the liquid in the refrigerator for several hours. All the fat will float to the t and can be easily removed. What’s left is a healthy chicken stock ready to be turned into soup. It’s free stock :-)

    Back to the wings. I cook them without the sauce. Naked. I toss them in the sauce just as they come out of the oven. I like them spicy so I use half the butter in your recipe. I also add a squirt of Srirach, the tiniest pinches of cinnamon and cumin along with the Worchester sauce. They are so good. Again, the basic cooking technique is fabulous for crispy oven baked wings. Par-boiling in salted water, drying then baking is essential. I usually let then drain for several hours in a colander to get them very dry before baking. Oh, and the meat is very moist using this method. Thank you for introducing me to this method :-)

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  9. This is great- although when I put them in the oven they are in skewers so they are not touching the surface of the pan – u don’t use the butter and hot sauce but other flavorful sauces

  10. I substituted with drumsticks since I didn’t have wings and they turned out sooooooooooooooooooo delicious.  

  11. these wings are restaurant quality

  12. if you heat your pan in the oven while it’s preheating so it’s hot when you place the wings, they won’t stick. same goes for roasting potatoes or anything else!

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  14. I just found this recipe and it is AMAZING! I can’t eat breaded or fried wings and despaired of eating wings again but these are better than any fried or breaded wings I have ever had! Thank you so much!

  15. I’ve tried many wing recipes and this one was by FAR the best! I’d dare say it was better than many restaurant wings I’ve had. And I love how simple it is. I can’t wait for a football game so I can make them again (and take all the credit.. haha.. just kidding!)

    Thanks also for the tip about heating the pan first, it helped a lot!

  16. I just made this. Did I miss a step? Because my chicken just stuck to the pan and I didn’t get that golden crispy color. Can’t wait to dig into these though. Thanks for the recipe and keep up the great work with the videos. :)

  17. Robin Goldberg

    I did not think it was possible, and if I hadn’t tried it myself I would never have believed it!  Par-boiling the chicken wings makes them SO GOOD – THANK YOU!  I’ll never make chicken wings again without par-boiling them first.  What an amazing trick!

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