Perfect Crispy Baked Hot Wings Without The Fat Of Frying!
A chicken wing recipe to stand up with the greatest of them! You get the crunchy, crispy exterior, soft, juicy interior. And a flavorful sauce. Did I mention they taste fried, but are actually baked!? Amazing.
How do you make crispy chicken in the oven? For years I thought it was impossible, and I settled for the chewy, slimy skin on the outside of the chicken in order to cut the calories by avoiding frying them.
But why would anyone want to make a sacrifice like that when it comes to chicken wings?
So, I did some research, and tested and tested, and now I can share with you how to get baked chicken wings that are truly crispy, from the oven not a fryer!
There are some key steps that can’t be missed if you want crispy baked wings. I learned these from Cook’s Illustrated.
The basics of how to make chicken wings crispy in the oven are:
- Pat the chicken wings dry. You don’t want them to steam in the oven. The surface water has to evaporate before they will crisp up, so do your chicken a favor and get rid of as much of it as you can. This is why it is so important for baked wings that you do not make them from frozen!
- Coat wings with baking powder…don’t worry I will explain why. The science geek in me loves this stuff! Just be sure to use baking powder not baking soda (ewwww)
- Cook at a low heat on a rack so the fat under the skin can render.
- Turn the heat up to crisp up that skin. When it is done you will have crispy baked chicken wings.
- Now, let’s coat those baked wings with your favorite hot wings sauce.
- 5 pounds chicken wings
- 1 1/2 Tbs baking powder
- 2 Tbs vegetable oil
- 1/2 Tbs kosher salt Or less, see note
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Ginger Soy Glaze:
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce Use low sodium or it will be too salty
- 1 1/2 tsps minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp minced ginger
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 250°F. And place on rack at the lowest setting, and one near the top.
- Use a paper towel to pat the totally defrosted wings dry. This will not work with frozen wings.
- Place wings in a large bowl or in a ziplock bag. Add the baking powder and salt and pepper, and toss to coat evenly. Note: Some have complained the wings are too salty, adjust to preference, but remember salt is needed to help dry out the skin and get crispy wings.
- Line a tray with foil, and set a wire rack inside the rimmed baking sheets.
- Brush rack with vegetable oil, or spray with cooking oil. Place the wings on the baking tray in a single layer with the skin side up. It will be a tight fit, use two sheets if needed.
- Brush wings with remaining oil. Or spray with cooking spray
- Bake wings at 250 for 30 minutes at the lowest oven rack setting, this will help to help render the fat.
- After 30 minutes, increase temperature to 400 degrees, and move wings up to the top of the oven. Bake an additional 45-50 minutes until cooked through and skin is crispy, and wings are golden brown. Optional: Flip once during baking
- Once baked, remove wings from pan, and toss in a bowl to coat with sauce of choice
- Return to baking sheet rack, bake for 5-6 minutes until glaze is lightly caramelized.
Ginger Soy Sauce:
- Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve honey. Taste, and adjust as desired, such as adding sweetener.
- Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/4 cup, 7–8 minutes.
- Fully defrost wings, or they will not cook up well.
- A few readers commented they were too salty, you can reduce the amount of salt used and add more later, but the salt helps to dry out the skin and give you the crispiness.
- For even crispiness, flip the wings half way through the second cooking time.
- For a nice sauce glaze, return wings to oven on broil for a few minutes after saucing the wings.
To avoid being able to taste the baking powder:
- Mix baking powder, salt, and pepper together, and toss with wings.
- If you adjust the amount of wings you use, adjust the amount of baking powder, it is supposed to only very slightly coat them to draw out moisture. If you use too much it will be gritty and add a bitter flavor to your wings.