The most perfect, crispy baked buffalo wing with all the flavor and crunch of a deep fried wing but made healthier in the oven. If you love buffalo sauce as much as we do, you should defintiely try these Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas and Buffalo Chicken Celery Bites.
Buffalo wings have been my arch nemesis for quite awhile. I have tried making them so many times with various wings and sauces and even though they taste good, they are never crispy enough. I have tried recipe after recipe, but every batch comes out missing that yummy crispy outside that any good wing has…until now.
I am actually going to share three methods with you today for getting super crispy baked wings every time. One works best for fresh wings but is the most time consuming, one is best for frozen wings, and the third is the least labor intensive. All three work amazing well.
When it comes to serving buffalo wings, I am all about the classic combination of blue cheese with celery sticks and carrot sticks. The cool creamy dressing cools down the heat of the wings and the veggies make it feel healthier, wink. If you don’t like the funkiness of blue cheese, many people reach for ranch dressing. Either way, I will share some quick recipes for healthier blue cheese and ranch since dipping sauce is essential.
Quick story, why are they called buffalo wings? I am always one for history, so in case you are wondering, buffalo wings got their moniker from their place of origin, Buffalo, New York. They were created in the 1960’s at a local bar named Anchor Bar.
How to Bake Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings
After testing and experimenting with all types of different baked wing recipes, three resulted in ultra crispy wings that rivaled any deep fried wing with had seriously crispy skin. In my opinion, the baking powder method from Cooks Illustrated is the gold standard for baked crispy wings. However, the second method is amazing is you are starting with frozen wings and don’t have the time to wait for them to defrost. And Method 3 is the easiest.
No matter what method you choose, I can’t stress the importance of drying your wings. The more you dry the wings before they go into the oven, the crispier the wings will become.
Method 1: Baking Powder + Low Heat First
This method is the most labor intensive but it will result in the crispiest baked wings possible. It was created by Cooks Illustrated and has thousands of devoted followers.
- If possible, place the wings on a baking sheet and dry with a paper towel. Then place them in the fridge to air-fry overnight or even for a couple of hours. If you don’t have time to do this, dry them really well with paper towels, blotting out as much moisture as possible. The drier the wings, the crispier the results.
- Toss the wings with baking powder and salt. The easiest way to do this is in a ziploc bag to make sure the wings get fully coated. The baking powder and salt help to draw out even more moisture and ensure crispy baked wings. You will need 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder for every pound of wings.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the wings on the sheet in a single layer. It is fine if they are close together but they shouldn’t be on top of each other.
- Cook on the lower rack for thirty minutes. This process helps draw out some of the fat, resulting in a crispier wing.
- After thirty minutes, turn the oven up to 425 degrees and move the baking sheet to a higher oven rack. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the wings are golden brown. There is no need to flip the wings when cooked this way.
Method 2: Microwaving First – Best for Frozen Wings
If you are starting with frozen wings and don’t have time to defrost them, this method will help you to still get super crispy wings without having to defrost the wings overnight. I learned the secret is actually par-cooking the wings in the microwave and then getting them nice and dry before sticking them in the oven. This allows the skins to get really crispy and delicious. You could also par-cook them in a steam basket if you don’t like to use a microwave.