The Best Baked Chicken Wings
I have tried all the different methods for Baked Chicken Wings against mine, and I still think these are the best! There are hundreds of rave reviews in the comments too.
These Baked Chicken Wings are extra crispy thanks to a special cooking method of parboiling to get rid of excess fat, then cooking in a super hot oven. Less fat, less calories, and healthier than deep-fried wings!
This recipe for crispy baked wings is one of the oldest and most popular on my site, and for good reason. Chicken wings are SO good!
I have long been enamored with wings (as evidenced by the many variations on my site, like these Garlic Parmesan Wings and Korean Chicken Wings), and I’ll use any sports event that comes up on TV as an excuse to make them.
In the 6 years since this recipe has been posted, new methods for baked wings have surfaced. I thought it was time to revisit this recipe and see if those methods were better than this one.
First, there are some recipes where you simply bake the wings instead of parboiling them first, and I already knew when I originally posted this recipe that parboiling is better, because I tested them side by side. Parboiling adds an extra step, but is worthwhile. I’ll talk more about that further down.
A newer popular method is to coat the wings in baking powder and bake them in a low oven (250F) for a while, then in a high temp oven (425-450F). I personally found that method to be a little bit more crackly than crispy, and the skin felt leathery to me. I wasn’t a fan.
Then I tested a hybrid of the baking powder method with my own (you can see the side-by-side of all of them above), but it wasn’t as crispy as the parboil method, and it felt more fussy than the original.
At the end of the day, the original parboil and bake method from 2012 remained my favorite.
How to make the Best Baked Chicken Wings:
To get started, we are going to parboil our wings before they hit the oven, which is the secret to crispy baked chicken wings.
What is parboiling?
If you’re not familiar with parboiling, all that means is were going to partially cook the chicken wings 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 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 thin layer that crisps more easily than a thick and flabby layer.
After parboiling for 7 minutes, drain the wings in a colander:
Place the wings on paper towels and dry them very well, giving each one a squeeze.
It’s REALLY important to dry them well with the towels, because it has a big impact on how crispy the wings will end up later. In order for the wings to get crispy, all the surface water must evaporate and cook off first, so you want as little there as possible from the start.
How long to bake chicken wings?
Bake the wings in a 450F oven for about 25 minutes, until you start to see golden brown bits on the bottom of the wings.
You can see golden bits peeking out from the sides here:
Flip all the wings over, and you can see those caramelized parts:
But, we need to cook it more! Most of it is still isn’t crispy yet.
Continue baking the wings for another 5-10 minutes, until much more of the skin has crisped:
Then they’re ready to be tossed with Buffalo Wing Sauce and enjoyed.
Update: Some people 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. Also, 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.
People have also commented below that greasing the pan works well. Feel free to use any high smoke point oil like 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.
Baked Chicken Wings Tips:
Can you freeze cooked chicken wings? I only recommend you bake these fresh. They won’t stay crispy later.
Can you make these ahead of time? Yes, go through all the steps of parboiling the wings and drying well with a paper towel, then place the wings on a sheet pan and let them sit in the refrigerator UNCOVERED for up to 6 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.
What goes well with this recipe? I like to serve them with homemade Blue Cheese Dip, cut celery sticks, and carrot sticks.
Are these gluten-free? Yes, these chicken wings 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.
Are baked wings healthier than deep fried? Yes, definitely! Parboiling renders out some of the fat in the wings, and the remaining fat is used to crisp the wing naturally.
Do not bake the wings on parchment paper or a silicone mat. It won’t crisp up the same.
If the wings turn out dry, this means they were overcooked. The sizes of wings at grocery stores vary hugely, so use the baking times as estimates, and check them for the visual cues shown above. They definitely shouldn’t be dry on the inside.
Baked Chicken Wings
For the Chicken Wings
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- 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 wings with a colander, then place them on a wire rack to drip dry for a couple minutes. Then dry them very well with a paper towel.
- Place the chicken wings directly on a metal sheet pan, with the fattier top side down.
- Bake the chicken wings for 25 minutes on the first side, then flip the wings and bake for another 5-10 minutes on the other side, until the skin looks golden and crisp.
Post updated in November 2018. This post contains affiliate links.