If you’re looking for the absolute best Crispy Baked Chicken Wings, these are it! I have tested several competing methods against this one, and these reign king, with hundreds of rave reviews in the comments. These turn out extra crispy thanks to parboiling away the excess fat, then cooking in a super hot oven. Less fat, less calories, and healthier than deep-fried! 

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings On a Sheet Pan with Close Up Showing Crispy Texture

This recipe is one of the oldest and most popular on my site, and for good reason. A crackly skinned chicken wing is SO good!

I have long been enamored with wings (as evidenced by the many variations on my site, like these Garlic Parmesan Wings, Korean Chicken Wings, and Honey Garlic Chicken Wings), and I’ll use any sports event that comes up on TV as an excuse to make them.

Why This Recipe Is The Absolute Best:

The crispiest crackliest skin, without deep frying – In the 9 years since this recipe has been posted, I have repeatedly revisited this to see if newer methods were better than this one. But I’ve found that this two-part cooking method of parboiling, then baking, gives the crispiest skin.

Easy to scale – Because we don’t have to worry about overcrowding a fryer, it’s easy to make a ton of these at once, and get several trays in the oven. Of course, you can also just make a few.

The healthiest option – I try not to fry in vegetable oil at all anymore, since the evidence is pretty clear that it’s bad news on the health front. I love that these are still wonderfully crispy, but not deep fried in bad oils.

Can be mostly made ahead – You can parboil the chicken ahead of time, then keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Then just toss in the oven before you’re ready to serve!

I have done a ton of recipe testing on baked chicken wings (and have done many deep fried renditions as well), and have seen some people using baking powder. The skin felt leathery to me, which you can sort of see in the photo below. I wasn’t a fan.

Side by Side View of Wingettes and Drumettes with Various Cooking Methods on Cutting Board

After lots of testing, the original parboil and bake method from 2012 has always remained king, and you can see in the comments people saying things like, “This was the best ever… did it for Super Bowl, and hubby and I emptied the bowl of wings in minutes!” and “The best crispy baked chicken wing recipe ever!”

Tips for the Best Results

Dry the skin well – Water and moisture are the enemies of crispy, so you will need to make sure to dry the chicken skin thoroughly so they can get supremely crispy.

Flip once during cooking – It’s a little more work to flip the pieces over during cooking, but it really is essential. They won’t get as crispy all over unless you flip them over and give the other side a chance to brown.

Buy “party” cut pieces – It’s true that you can sometimes save a tiny bit of money by cutting the chicken yourself into wingettes and drumettes, but pre-cut pieces tend to be more consistent. This consistency in size is essential for even cooking and browning. If you have some larger pieces and some smaller, you’ll have a mix of over and underdone chicken.

Baked Chicken Wings Recipe - On Sheet Pan with Crispy Skin Shown

How to Make It Step by Step:

Here’s an overview of the game plan.

  1. Cut the chicken wings into drumettes and wingettes, if needed. If you buy “party wings” at the store instead of whole, they are already prepped for you. I recommend this to save time and hassle.
  2. Simmer the chicken in salted water for about 7 minutes, to render excess fat. 
  3. Dry them thoroughly.
  4. Place them face down on a sheet pan and bake, flipping once while cooking.
  5. Coat in sauce, and serve.

Let’s look at some step by step photos.

Parboil first to render some fat

Parboiling is one of the secrets for superior crispy skin. All parboiling means is we’re going to partially cook the chicken in simmering water before baking in the oven.

Boiling meat feels very strange, but I’ve done test batches comparing parboiling to straight baking, and parboiling is the way to go. It helps get rid of some of the excess fat so they turn out 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 thin layer that crisps more easily than a thick and flabby layer.

Parboiling the wings in water

Drain in a colander

After parboiling for 7 minutes, drain the chicken in a colander:

Drained Parboiled Wings in Colander

Really let it sit for a few minutes so the steam can finish burning off.

Dry the pieces even more

Lay the chicken pieces out on paper towels and dry very well, giving each one a squeeze.

Chicken Wingettes and Drumettes on Paper

If you want crispy results, you have to dry thoroughly

It’s REALLY important to dry the pieces well with the towels, because it has a big impact on how crispy they will end up later. In order for the skin to get crispy, all the surface water must evaporate and cook off first, so you want as little there as possible from the start.

Get them in the oven!

Bake in a 450F oven for about 25 minutes, until you start to see golden brown bits on the bottom of the wings.

Look closely, and you can see golden bits peeking out from the sides here:

Partially Cooked Baked Wings on Sheet Pan

Flip them over

Flip all the pieces over, and you can see those caramelized parts starting to develop:

Baked Wings - On sheet Pan with Golden Caramelization On Edges

This is what we want! But, we need to cook it more. Most of it is still isn’t crispy yet.

Continue baking for another 5-10 minutes, until much more of the skin has crisped:

Oven Baked Wings - On Sheet Pan with Golden Crisp Edges

Variations on Baking Time: Size Matters

The sizes of chicken wings at grocery stores vary hugely, so the visual cues are incredibly important! Make sure to look at the photos above, and to use the baking times as estimates, but go more by visual cues. If the wings turn out dry, this means they were overcooked. They definitely shouldn’t be dry on the inside.

Toss in your desired sauce

At this point the chicken is ready to be tossed with Buffalo Sauce and enjoyed.

Baked Chicken Wings In the Oven Cooked and Tossed with Buffalo Sauce

Don’t like spicy sauce?

If you prefer something that isn’t spicy, you may like Garlic Parmesan Wings better. I also have sweet and spicy Korean Chicken WingsHoney Garlic Chicken Wings, or you can toss in BBQ Sauce.

What to Serve with This Recipe:

Serve with a side of Blue Cheese Dip if you’re doing classic Buffalo Sauce, along with celery sticks and carrot sticks.

You can also do a side of Buffalo Garlic Knots and Buffalo Chicken Dip (or the Crockpot version, Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip) to round out a full spread of football snacks!

I also love making Homemade Guacamole and a pot of Ground Turkey Chili.

How to Make Sure The Chicken Doesn’t Stick to the Pan

A few people have reported issues with the wings sticking to the pan. This means they were too wet when they went into the oven.

Make sure to:

  • Dry the wings very thoroughly after parboiling. As stated in the recipe, let them air dry for a few minutes (you will literally see steam evaporating off the wings as they cool). Then dry them very well with towels, squeezing well.
  • If you want extra insurance, you may grease the pan with a high smoke point oil, like ghee, tallow, avocado, vegetable, canola, etc. Just make sure you don’t put parchment paper or a silicone mat underneath the wings, because they won’t crisp up the same.
  • Bake on an uncoated sheet pan (affiliate) for best results, and use a turner like this (affiliate) to really get under the wings and scoop the crispy bits off.

Tips and FAQs:

Can you freeze crispy baked chicken wings?

I only recommend you bake these fresh. They won’t stay crispy later.

Can you make crispy baked chicken wings ahead of time?

Yes, go through all the steps of parboiling the wings and drying well with a paper towel, then place the chicken pieces on a sheet pan and refrigerate UNCOVERED for up to 24 hours. Then all you have to do is pop them into the hot oven and bake them. Because they will be cold, they will likely need to bake a little longer.

Can frozen chicken wings be baked?

Never cook meat from a frozen state, always thaw first. Because you will be parboiling these anyway, you can thaw them quickly in cold water, then parboil them.

Are baked wings healthier than deep fried?

Yes, definitely! Parboiling renders out some of the fat, and the remaining fat is used to crisp the wing naturally. Plus, the vegetable oils most people use for frying are very unhealthy.

Are fresh chicken wings better than frozen?

Absolutely. Unfortunately, frozen meats lose moisture in the freezing process. This is true not just for chicken but also beef, pork, etc.

Are these gluten-free?

Yes, these are made without baking powder, without flour, without breading of any kind. They are also Paleo, Whole30, and friendly to other kinds of eating styles. You can add the sauce of your choice or eat them as is.

How long do you bake chicken wings?

In a 450F oven, bake for 25 minutes, then flip and bake for about 10 more minutes, until crispy on both sides.

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.

Baked Chicken Wings On a Sheet Pan with Close Up Showing Crispy Texture

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

The Best Crispy Baked Chicken Wings! Less fat and less calories thanks to a cooking method of parboiling then baking in the oven.
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Ingredients

For the Chicken Wings:

  • 2 lbs chicken wings "party style" (pre-cut into wingettes and drumettes)
  • salt

What to Serve With Them:

Instructions 

  • 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).
  • Add the chicken wings to the pot, and reduce the heat slightly to keep them at a simmer for 7 minutes.
  • Drain the chicken pieces in a colander, then place them on a wire rack for a couple minutes, letting the steam evaporate from the cooling wings and also letting any excess moisture drip down. Then dry them very well with paper towels or highly absorbent kitchen towels.
  • Place the chicken wings directly on a metal sheet pan, with the fattier top side down.
  • Bake for 25 minutes on the first side, then flip the pieces over and bake for another 5-10 minutes on the other side, until the skin looks golden and crisp. Make sure to keep your eye on them, particularly if you have smaller wings, to check for doneness. Overcooking risks drying the inside out.
  • If serving the wings with sauce, coat them while they're hot out of the oven. Enjoy!

Notes

How to Make Sure the Chicken Doesn’t Stick to the Pan – A few people have reported issues with the wings sticking to the pan. This means they were too wet when they went into the oven. Make sure to:
  • Dry the wings very thoroughly after parboiling. As stated in the recipe, let them air dry for a few minutes (you will literally see steam evaporating off the wings as they cool). Then dry them very well with towels, squeezing well.
  • If you want extra insurance, you may grease the pan with a high smoke point oil, like ghee, tallow, avocado, vegetable, canola, etc. Just make sure you don’t put parchment paper or a silicone mat underneath the chicken, because the skin won’t crisp up the same.
  • Bake on an uncoated sheet pan (affiliate) for best results, and use a turner like this (affiliate) to really get under the pieces and scoop the crispy bits off.
How to Make Ahead of Time: Go through all the steps of parboiling the wings and drying well with a paper towel, then place on a sheet pan and let them sit in the refrigerator UNCOVERED for up to 24 hours. Then all you have to do is pop them into the hot oven and bake them. Because they will be cold, they will likely need to bake a little longer.
Variations on Baking Time/Dryness: The sizes of wings at grocery stores vary hugely, so the visual cues are incredibly important! Make sure to look at the photos above, and to use the baking times as estimates. If the chicken turns out dry, this means they were overcooked. If you have smaller pieces, you will probably only need to bake them for a total of 25 minutes. I’ve always done around 40 for mine, but they’ve been large pieces of chicken. 
Storing leftovers: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Reheating: Do not microwave the leftovers, or the skin will be soggy. Heat the chicken in a 400F oven for 10-15 minutes, until hot and crisp.

Nutrition

Calories: 271kcal, Protein: 22g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 89mg, Potassium: 191mg, Vitamin A: 180IU, Vitamin C: 0.8mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1.2mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated in August 2020. Originally published in 2012.