The Best Baked Buffalo Wings Recipe
Spicy, crispy perfection…your search for the Very Best Baked Buffalo Wings recipe ever is over. Easy to make with a quick homemade buffalo wing sauce, you’ll never order fried take out wings again.
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Originally published January 2017 and updated January 2020.
I have a little confession…..I was never much of a Buffalo Wing lover. I tried my best for years, hanging out in bars with friends pretending to be on the wing band wagon but I could only eat about 3 wings total before having my fill.
Needless to say, I was cheap date on 10 cent wing night. My bill would be 30 cents and a beer….but we always split the check evenly so I was, pretty much, paying for everyone else’s wings and would always leave the bar totally starving. When you’re broke, in your twenties…that’s not always a great situation.
Fast forward a few years when I met my, now, husband. He’s kind of a wing master…not the kind who excels at making fabulous buffalo wings but the kind that can sniff out the best wings around. So, after years of visiting a variety of establishments that served wings not fried into a crispy, dried out jerky….but prepared to a tender, meaty heaven with a crispy outside…I learned to LOVE those little morsels of happiness.
What I didn’t love was 1) the fact that they were fried and 2) the fact that they were fried. Yeah, the frying kind of ruined that love affair.
BAKED BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS
So, doing what I do for a living I knew I could try to make those same tasty wings at home but without the mess of a deep fryer AND the calories.
Trust me, it was not an easy task….I was like the little engine that could. Until I could not…then I would try again. Then, low and behold…..The Very Best Baked Buffalo Wings recipe was born. Yay!
HOW TO BAKE CHICKEN WINGS
So, I took on the daunting task of doing some research and learning a bit of science about the way chicken cooks. And I learned a lot from Serious Eats and Alton Brown, a ton. Like how you need to dry out the chicken wings ahead of time so they don’t turn into a slippery, slimy mess.
And how baking powder is the magic ingredient needed to make all those little bubbles and pockets that hang onto the sauce once you toss them. I used baking soda on these Old Bay Grilled Chicken Wings and they turned out splendidly but the baking powder….that is the reason we now have the Very Best Crispy Baked Chicken Wings Recipe right here in front of us.
How to make Healthy Baked Chicken Wings:
- Whisk together baking soda and salt.
- Place the wings in a bag or bowl, toss to combine.
- Arrange the wings on a baking rack over a baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart.
- Transfer to the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
- Place the baking sheet in a 450˚F oven and bake the wings for 20 minutes.
- Flip the wings and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
I used this baking rack over a heavy duty baking sheet….it’s a multi-tasker in the kitchen because the baking sheet is just a workhorse that can be used for anything from this Baked Chicken recipe to making cookies. And the baking rack doubles as a cooling rack for baked goods, too.
HOW TO MAKE BUFFALO WING SAUCE
Next up was a savory buffalo sauce….this recipe was a little easier because there are wing sauce recipe everywhere and tons of hot sauce to try AND if all else failed…I could use my favorite bottled sauce from the store.
But I came up with an easy 3-ingredient Buffalo Sauce using my favorite hot sauce. It takes minutes to make and you can even make it up to a week in advance.
All you need is your favorite hot sauce (I’m partial to Frank’s Red Hot sauce but use whatever you want), butter and apple cider vinegar. Super easy, super quick, super simple.
HOW LONG TO BAKE CHICKEN WINGS
Though my recipe calls for about 50 minutes of cooking time to oven bake chicken wings, your oven temperature and time can be adjusted to fit your schedule. You’ll also want to be sure to check your chicken for doneness with an instant read thermometer because some chicken wings are smaller than others.
- To bake Chicken Wings at 350˚F, cook your wings for 90 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees.
- To bake Chicken Wings at 400˚F, cook your wings for 60 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees.
- To bake Chicken Wings at 425˚F, bake your wings for 50 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees.
My preference is to bake chicken wings at the higher temperature of 425 ˚F because the searing heat helps make the chicken extra crispy!
CAN YOU MAKE BAKED CHICKEN WINGS THE DAY IN ADVANCE?
While you may not want to BAKE the chicken wings in advance, you can certainly get the process started by coating in the baking soda and placing in the refrigerator to dry out.
You can prep your chicken wings up to 2 days in advance and then bake just before serving for maximum crispiness. If you do bake your chicken wings in advance, you can warm them up in a 425˚F oven for about 20 minutes or until they crisp up again. Toss in your sauce of choice just before serving.
Toss your Oven Baked Chicken Wings in the sauce while their still warm so they can soak up all the wonderfulness. Now, serve your Baked Hot Wings with this easy to make Blue Cheese Dressing and a pile of crispy, cold celery.
And if you’re up to the task….make the evening more fun with a buffalo wing bar and make these Honey Habanero Wings, Garlic Parmesan Wings and Grilled Old Bay Wings to add to the fun! Or just drizzle your naked wings with this easy Garlic Butter Sauce for something decadent and different!
The Very Best Baked Buffalo Wings Recipe
Healthier than traditional chicken wings, these Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings are lower in calories because they're not deep fried.
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 3 1/2 pounds chicken wings
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup favorite hot sauce
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Add the baking powder and kosher salt to a bowl or zip top bag. Mix to combine.
- Place the wings in the bag or bowl and toss to coat.
- Arrange the wings on a baking rack set over a baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart.
- Transfer to the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 450˚F.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the wings over and continue to bake for 30 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
- Place the cooked wings in a large bowl, set aside.
- Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat.
- Whisk in the hot sauce and vinegar until combined.
- Pour the buffalo sauce over the wings and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately with blue cheese dressing and extra wing sauce, if desired.
Wings can be prepped up to 24 hours in advance and baked right before serving.