Our baked chicken wings recipe is so easy that you may never order Buffalo Wings at restaurants again. Once you give it a try, these wings will likely become a go to for Super Bowl parties, gatherings with friends and rainy days when you’re craving Buffalo Wings.
Buffalo Wings were born in a restaurant where they were cooked in a deep fryer and eaten at the bar. Considering the history behind this classic American bar snack, it seems impossible to make great wings at home. Right? Wrong! But how?
Sure, you could follow the textbook method of deep frying wings before smothering them in sauce but that’s not necessarily the best option at home. While it’s easy to throw wings in the corner deep fryer and soak them in a deep metal mixing bowl for service in restaurant kitchens, it’s a messy challenge for the average home cook.
If you happen to have a deep fryer in your kitchen, you could hypothetically deep fry wings on the stove but then you’d have to deal with a splattering mess, frying temperatures, big pots and oil disposal – not an ideal situation for eating the American food favorite at home.
Using an oven to cook wings totally makes sense conceptually. But how can you bake wings in an oven that taste great without making a big mess? After wondering about that for a while, we rolled up our sleeves and figured it out. Now we’re showing you how to do it too.
The secret lies in blanching before baking which dries the wings, allowing them to brown and keeping them relatively splatter free. The key to producing crisp, browned wings in the oven is to make sure they’re dry. If you place wings directly into a hot oven without following our method, the skin will splatter and make a major mess.
Other recipes, like the one by Kenji at Serious Eats, have attempted to do this with all manner of coatings like flour and baking soda as well as with methods like keeping the wings in the refrigerator overnight to dry them.
While those methods are certainly effective, they’re not always clean. They’re also time and space consuming. We think Kenji was on the right track but may have missed one of the best drying tricks that we learned from his recent book, The Wok.
In his prolific cookbook, Kenji relies on a counterintuitive method of using boiling hot water to dry tofu before pan frying it in oil. That hot water has the effect of heating and then more rapidly evaporating water on the protein’s surface. We wondered if the same thing could be done to the skin on chicken wings. And, as we found after testing our recipe a few times, yes it can.
Hey, Chinese chefs perform a similar technique when they prepare Peking Duck, dunking and soaking the birds in a boiling solution. Why wouldn’t the same technique work on chicken wings?
Using this approach, we blanch our chicken wings in well salted water. A minute does the trick without actually cooking the wings. We then place the wings on a wire rack over the sink to allow them to dry thoroughly. The technique works. Another option is to cook the wings in an air fryer but that’s another method for another recipe.
Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Wings Ingredients
The ingredient list for our oven baked Buffalo Wings is simple:
Much of our recipe’s flavor comes from the Frank’s RedHot Sauce. While some brave people will eat these hot wings on their own, most people will want to dip them into a cooling, creamy blue cheese or ranch dressing. We prefer blue cheese (more on that later).
We typically buy whole chicken wings. We then use a sharp chef’s knife to separate the drumettes and flats from the tips of the wings.
You can buy separated wings if you’re looking to save time or simply prefer not having to separate the wings yourself.
While there’s no harm in buying separated wings, buying whole wings has a side benefit. You can store the wing tips in the freezer and add them to the pot when you make chicken stock.
Frank’s RedHot Sauce
We don’t know if the original cooks who formulated the original wings recipes at Buffalo’s Anchor Bar used Frank’s RedHot Sauce. Over time, this particular piquant sauce has become a standard Buffalo Wings ingredient both at Buffalo restaurants and around the globe.
Butter adds clingy, fatty, shiny magic to Buffalo Wing sauce.
It’s important not to allow the butter to curdle when you cook the hot sauce. It may separate a little but that’s ok.
Adding salt to the boiling water adds a little seasoning to the wings before they’re baked. We recommend adding about 25 grams for four quarts of water.
Blue Cheese Dressing
Some people consider Ken’s blue cheese dressing to be the standard Buffalo Wings dip. But, in reality, you can use any creamy dressing. We like eating oven Buffalo-style baked chicken wings with blue cheese dressing.
We make blue cheese dressing at home with roquefort cheese, yogurt, sour cream and skim milk. The savory dressing provides a cooling contrast to the wing sauce. Plus, it tastes really good.
Check out our wedge salad recipe to learn how we make blue cheese dressing at home.
Celery and Carrots
Celery and carrots provide a nice complement to rich and fatty wings. The crunchy vegetables also taste great when dipped into blue cheese dressing.
How to Make Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Wings at Home
Start by bringing salted water to a boil in a 6 quart pot. Once the water is boiling, drop in the wings.
Boil the wings for one minute (no more, no less).
You don’t want to cook the wings. You just want to tighten and permeate the moist skin.
After precisely one minute, move the wings to a wire cooling rack over a sink or other water basin.
It’s important that all the water drains from the wings so that they’re completely dry.
Next, place the cooling rack over a sheet pan lined with foil.
Using foil, while optional, makes the cleanup easier.
Allow the wings to dry for 5 to 10 minutes.
Then, just to be sure, use a paper towel to dry the wings a little bit more. (This step is optional)
Place the wire rack, with the wings still on it, over a sheet pan and into a preheated 430°F/220°C convection oven.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Flip the wings after 25 minutes and continue baking them in the oven.
Once you’ve flipped the wings, it’s time to make the wing sauce.
Our wing sauce is one of the simplest sauces to construct. We use a one-to-one ratio of salted butter and hot sauce. That’s it. We don’t add any vinegar since Original Frank’s hot sauce provides the right amount of acidity.
You just need to melt butter in a sauce pan over a low fire and add the hot sauce once the butter is melted. Yes – it’s that easy.
Once your wings are brown, remove them from the oven. They should be beautifully browned and ready for their sauce.
Dump the baked wings into a medium to large metal mixing bowl. Gradually pour the wing sauce over the wings and toss the wings until the they’re coated.
If tossing the wings is difficult with your equipment, you could alternatively mix them with a large spoon.
Serve the coated wings with blue cheese dressing on the side along with carrots and celery.
Your guests will likely be amazed and ask you how made tasty Buffalo Wings without using a deep fryer. Unless you spill the beans, you’ll be the only one who knows how easy this recipe is to follow and execute.
Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Wings FAQs
Buffalo Wings are chicken wings that are coated in a sauce typically made with Frank’s hot sauce and butter.
Buffalo Wings were invented in Buffalo, New York.
Buffalo Wings are typically fried at restaurants and bars. However, it’s possible to prepare a baked version at home.
Buffalo Wings are as spicy as you want them to be. It all depends on how much hot sauce you add to the recipe. Our recipe is medium spicy.
While baked Buffalo Wings are healthier than fried Buffalo Wings, it’s a misnomer to call them healthy due to their buttery sauce.
Buffalo Wings are typically served with blue cheese or ranch dressing, carrots sticks and celery sticks.
Yes. It’s possible to bake Buffalo Wings in an air fryer.
Buffalo-Style Oven Baked Chicken Wings Recipe
- 12 whole chicken wings, drumettes and flats separated with wing tips discarded
- 4 ounces Frank's RedHot Sauce (1/2 cup)
- 4 tablespoons salted butter (or 50 grams)
- 2 celery ribs cut into 4 to 5 inch batons
- 1 large carrots cut into 4 to 5 inch batons
- 6 ounces blue cheese dressing
- Preheat oven to 430°F or 220°C.
- Bring water in a 6 quart saucepan to a boil. Add salt.
- Drop the wings into the boiling water and boil for one minute.
- After one minute, remove wings immediately from the pot and place them on a cooling rack in the sink. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until the wings dry thoroughly. Once they are dry, you can dry them even more by dabbing the wings with paper towels.
- Place the cooling rack with wings over a sheet pan.
- Place the wings in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
- Flip the wings and cook for an additional 10 minutes
- Once you've flipped the wings, combine the butter and hot sauce in a small sauce pan. Cook the mixuture on a low fire until the butter is melted. Turn the fire off on the stove but leave the sauce on the burner to keep it warm.
- Remove the wings from the oven and place them into a medium or large metal mixing bowl.
- Slowly pour the sauce over the wings and mix until the wings are thoroughly coated with sauce.
- Serve on a large plate with the celery batons, carrot batons and blue cheese dressing on the side.
- The wing sauce can be refrigerated and rewarmed.
- The recipe can be doubled depending on the size of your oven, stove and cooling rack.
- You can add more or less hot sauce according to your flavor preference and heat tolerance.
- You can replace the Frank's hot sauce with Tabasco or Crystal but the flavor won't be the same.
- Check out our Wedge Salad recipe for an easy-to-make blue cheese dressing recipe.
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Frank's RedHot Original Hot Sauce (Keto Friendly), 12 fl oz
All-Clad Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Mixing Bowls Set Kitchen Accessorie, 3-Piece, Silver
Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core and Ebony PakkaWood Handle; All-Purpose Blade for a Full Range of Cutting Tasks with Curved Blade for Easy Cuts; Cutlery Handcrafted in Japan
All-Clad 4203.5 Stainless Steel 3-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Sauce Pan with Lid Cookware, 3.5-Quart, Silver
HOMICHEF Stock Pot 6 Quart Nickel Free Stainless Steel - 6 Quart Pot With Lid and Handle - 6Qt Saucepan With Lid - Soup Pot Small Cooking Pot 6 Quart - 6 Qt Pot With Glass Lid - Induction Pot With Lid
USA Pan Half Sheet Baking Pan and Bakeable Nonstick Cooling Rack, Metal
Rachael Ray 55780 Silicone Spoonula, Red
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: January 21, 2023