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Easy Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Wings

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.

Medium closeup of Buffalo wings on a white plate

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.

Closeup of wings at Duffs in Buffalo NY
Eating deep fried wings at restaurants motivated us to find an easier and relatively healthier way to bake tasty wings at home. These wings at Duff’s in Buffalo, NY were our some of our favorites.

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.

Wings drying in the sink after blanching
Before baking wings in the oven, it’s important to make sure that they’re completely dry. We dried these wings on a rack in the sink after we blanched them in boiling water for a minute.

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.

Dipped Buffalo wing with Blue Cheese dressing
Will you or won’t you dip your oven baked Buffalo Wings in blue cheese dressing? We will and we did.

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

Overhead of mis en place for Buffalo wings
Our Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Wings recipe has a simple ingredient list that includes chicken wings, Frank’s RedHot sauce, butter and salt. Blue cheese dressing, celery and carrots complete the dish.

The ingredient list for our oven baked Buffalo Wings is simple:

  • Chicken Wings
  • Frank’s RedHot Sauce
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Blue Cheese Dressing (on the side)
  • Celery (on the side)
  • Carrots (on the side)

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).

Chicken Wings

Raw separated wings in a bowl
These wings were seconds away from taking a virtual trip to Buffalo.

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.

Pro Tip
You can buy separated wings if you’re looking to save time or simply prefer not having to separate the wings yourself.

Separating flats from drumettes to make Buffalo chicken wings
Separating the wings is easy to do with a sharp chef’s knife.

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

Franks Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
Frank’s RedHot Sauce is the ingredient that transforms chicken wings into Buffalo Wings.

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.

You could alternatively use Tabasco or Crystal if that’s what you have in your pantry. However, in our opinion, those two sauces are too hot and tangy for this recipe.

Butter

Butter in a red prep bowl
You ‘butter’ believe that our baked chicken wings recipe includes butter.

Butter adds clingy, fatty, shiny magic to Buffalo Wing sauce.

Pro Tip
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.

Salt

Salt in a small bowl
A little bit of salt goes a long way in this recipe.

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

Blue Cheese Dressing in a White Bowl
Preparing blue cheese dressing is worth the extra effort.

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

Closeup of Buffalo wings
Surprise! Oven baked wings can be crispy too.

Start by bringing salted water to a boil in a 6 quart pot. Once the water is boiling, drop in the wings.

Placing raw chicken wings in a boiling water blanch
These chicken wings were ready for a hot, one minute bath.

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.

Blanching chicken wings in boiling water
There’s nothing like a hot bath.

After precisely one minute, move the wings to a wire cooling rack over a sink or other water basin.

Pro Tip
It’s important that all the water drains from the wings so that they’re completely dry.

Draining blanched chicken wings in the sink on a wire rack
Draining the wings over a sink allows the water to drain from the skin. To do this in our kitchen, we propped up an oven cooling rack using take out deli containers.

Next, place the cooling rack over a sheet pan lined with foil.

Pro Tip
Using foil, while optional, makes the cleanup easier.

Wings ready to be baked on a wire rack over a sheet pan
It’s easy to be patient while the wings dry since it only takes 5 to 10 minutes.

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)

Toweling wings dry before baking
Patting the wings with a paper towel ensures that they’re fully dry.

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.

Placing wings in the oven
Once the wings are dry, they’re ready to enter the oven.

Flip the wings after 25 minutes and continue baking them in the oven.

Wings being turned in the oven
The skin on the oven baked chicken wings should begin to blister and brown after 25 minutes.

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.

Hot sauce and butter on the stove
You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make Buffalo sauce at home.

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.

Wing sauce on a spoon
Combining butter and Frank’s RedHot sauce creates a mixture that’s ridiculously delicious. The butter and hot sauce may break a bit but the sauce will still coat your wings beautifully.

Once your wings are brown, remove them from the oven. They should be beautifully browned and ready for their sauce.

finished Buffalo wings on a wire rack
While we could have hypothetically eaten these baked wings straight out of the oven, we instead coated them with Buffalo 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.

Pro Tip
If tossing the wings is difficult with your equipment, you could alternatively mix them with a large spoon.

Pouring Buffalo wing sauce on wings
Coating the wings with Buffalo sauce takes less than a minute.

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.

Overhead of Buffalo wings
It’s party time after you plate Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Wings with blue cheese dressing, carrots and celery.

Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Wings FAQs

What are Buffalo Wings?

Buffalo Wings are chicken wings that are coated in a sauce typically made with Frank’s hot sauce and butter.

Where were Buffalo Wings invented?

Buffalo Wings were invented in Buffalo, New York.

Are Buffalo Wings baked or fried?

Buffalo Wings are typically fried at restaurants and bars. However, it’s possible to prepare a baked version at home.

Are Buffalo Wings spicy?

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.

Are baked Buffalo Wings healthy?

While baked Buffalo Wings are healthier than fried Buffalo Wings, it’s a misnomer to call them healthy due to their buttery sauce.

What are Buffalo Wings typically served with?

Buffalo Wings are typically served with blue cheese or ranch dressing, carrots sticks and celery sticks.

Is it possible to bake Buffalo Wings in an air fryer?

Yes. It’s possible to bake Buffalo Wings in an air fryer.

Buffalo-Style Oven Baked Chicken Wings Recipe

Buffalo wings with celery carrots and blue cheese dressing

Easy Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Wings

Yield: 24 Wings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

With our easy Buffalo-style baked chicken wings recipe, you can bake tasty wings at home in less than an hour.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 430°F or 220°C.
  2. Bring water in a 6 quart saucepan to a boil. Add salt.
  3. Drop the wings into the boiling water and boil for one minute.
  4. 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.
  5. Place the cooling rack with wings over a sheet pan.
  6. Place the wings in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
  7. Flip the wings and cook for an additional 10 minutes
  8. 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.
  9. Remove the wings from the oven and place them into a medium or large metal mixing bowl.
  10. Slowly pour the sauce over the wings and mix until the wings are thoroughly coated with sauce.
  11. Serve on a large plate with the celery batons, carrot batons and blue cheese dressing on the side.

Notes

  • 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.
About the Authors

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.

Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Original Publication Date: January 21, 2023

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