Baked Chicken Wings

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Baked chicken wings are the perfect game day food. Drying the meat thoroughly and adding a light baking powder coating ensures crispy bites. Delicious straight from the pan or serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

crispy baked chicken wings on white platter with a bowl of buffalo sauce
Table of Contents
  1. Chicken selection
  2. Dry the meat thoroughly
  3. Flavorful seasonings
  4. Baking powder helps the crunch-factor
  5. Set the oven at a high temperature
  6. Baking time
  7. Serve with a dipping sauce
  8. FAQ
  9. Baked Chicken Wings Recipe

Crispy oven-baked chicken wings are a tasty appetizer or meal to eat while watching the big game. For this recipe, we will bypass the deep fryer and use the oven instead. All you need is a little bit of oil to grease the rack to prevent sticking. That’s it!

Just because we’re not deep-frying doesn’t mean we can’t recreate a similar crispy texture. I use a simple drying method and just four ingredients that yield a culinary path to crunchiness. There’s also no flour which makes this meal gluten-free as well. So, turn up the dial on your oven, and let’s get cooking!

drying chicken wings with paper towel

Chicken selection

When you purchase chicken wings, two parts are included in a package: the meaty drummette (a mini drumstick!) and a wingette or flat. The tips are usually trimmed off. I use two pounds of wings to make a big batch, about 20 pieces. It’s easy to reduce the recipe size or double it since the oven allows for more capacity.

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Dry the meat thoroughly

Achieving a crispy texture starts even before cooking. Any moisture on the surface of the wings will create steam, which makes the skin soggy instead of crisp. Instead, dry the skin thoroughly with paper towels. This process eliminates the time required for the oven to drive off the moisture and brown the meat.

bowl of chicken wings covered in baking powder, salt, and pepper

Flavorful seasonings

I toss the chicken in a seasoning mixture of baking powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. If you’d like, you can add garlic powder or onion powder for a more robust allium flavor, about ¼ teaspoon of each. 

The fine powders in the baking powder help to wick up even more moisture. To make them extra crispy, you can dry them on the wire wrack overnight in the refrigerator before baking the next day. I do this for my roast turkey. It’s delicious!

Baking powder helps the crunch-factor

Baking powder may be a surprise, as it’s typically used as a leavening agent in baked goods. For these wings, the baking soda in the powder helps to accelerate browning and forms bubbles as the juices are released from the meat during baking. The bubble mixture hardens on the skin to enhance the crispy sensation.

raw pieces of chicken on a wire rack

Set the oven at a high temperature

To kickstart the browning of the chicken skin, bake at 450°F (232°C). The goal is to create deep-fried results using a consistent high oven temperature. Baking above 400 degrees speeds up cooking. 

Place the pieces in a single layer on a greased wire rack to ensure the heat freely circulates above and below the meat. The excess fat drips down to the pan and prevents greasiness. Flip the wings two times to ensure even cooking and heat exposure.

Baking time

It takes about 45 to 50 minutes of baking at 450°F (232°C). The wings and drumettes contain white meat covered by skin and fat so it can handle the hot oven temperature. The skin will be super crunchy in just under an hour, and the meat will be fully cooked. 

baked chicken wings cooling on a wire rack

Serve with a dipping sauce

FAQ

How do you make chicken wings crispy in the oven?

The key to making baked chicken wings crispy is drying as much moisture as possible from the skin, coating it with baking powder, and cooking at a high heat of 450-degrees.

Do you need to flip chicken wings when baking?

Yes! Flip a few times to ensure even browning on both sides of the drumettes and wingettes. Baking on top of a greased wired rack helps circulate hot air beneath the pieces.

What temperature should chicken wings be cooked to?

Target 165ºF (74ºC) to thoroughly cook the poultry. Use an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat. Monitoring will prevent drying out in the oven

Is cornstarch or baking powder better for crispy chicken?

Baking powder contains alkaline sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and an acid-like cream of tartar or sodium acid pyrophosphate to create a bubbling reaction that hardens for crunch. Cornstarch is typically a drying ingredient in baking powder to prevent caking during storage, which also helps with crispiness. Cornstarch alone is not as effective for crunchy skin unless deep-fried.

chicken wings on a white plate served with buffalo dipping sauce

Why baking powder is the key to crispiness

Tossing the wings in a bit of baking powder does two things. First, the alkaline baking soda increases the pH level on the skin’s surface, which breaks down the proteins (peptide bonds) for quicker Maillard browning and flavor development. Second, the sodium bicarbonate reacts with moisture on the chicken—tiny carbon dioxide bubbles form, which dries and hardens. The result is crackly chicken skin.

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Baked Chicken Wings

Baked chicken wings are the perfect game-time appetizer! Thoroughly drying the meat and using baking powder ensures crispy bites.
Pin Print Review
4.66 from 99 votes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings 20 pieces
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • vegetable oil, as needed for oiling wire rack
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, wings and drummettes
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat the Oven – Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat to 450°F (232°C).
  • Prepare the Baking Sheet – Line a large baking sheet with foil. Add vegetable oil to a folded piece of paper towel, then grease both sides of a wire rack. Alternatively, grease with cooking spray. Set the rack inside of a rimmed foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Dry the Surface – Line a separate baking sheet or plate with paper towels. Place the chicken wings and drummettes on top, then thoroughly pat dry with more paper towels.
  • Season the Meat – In a large bowl, whisk together baking powder, salt, and black pepper. Add the chicken and mix to lightly and evenly coat the surface.
  • Bake – Evenly space the chicken on the wire rack. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip and continue for 15 minutes. Flip again and bake until the skin is golden brown and crisp, and the internal temperature reaches 165ºF (74ºC), about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Serve – Serve plain or with dipping sauces like buffalo, barbecue, teriyaki, or ranch.

Notes

  • Serving Size: 1 wing
  • For Crispier Texture: Refrigerate the seasoned wings for up to 24 hours, uncovered, on top of a greased wire rack set in a foil-lined sheet pan. Remove from the refrigerator while the oven preheats, then bake in the same pan.
  • For Garlic or Onion Flavor: Add ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder or onion powder for a more robust allium taste.
  • Substituting Table Salt: Use ¾ teaspoon of salt instead of 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • Baking Directly on a Sheet Pan: You can bake these wings without a wire rack, although they will be more greasy from the rendered fat.

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Nutrition Facts
Baked Chicken Wings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 55 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 18mg6%
Sodium 134mg6%
Potassium 78mg2%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 35IU1%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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77 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Doug says

    Just found your site, love it! Am curious to hear your thoughts on something I do with all cuts, or whole, chicken that has the skin on: rinse all pieces, pat dry, season, put on a plate or tray in single layer uncovered in the frig overnight or at least 8hrs to dry the skin out. Bakes up really crispy, or on the grill too.

  2. Carol Walton says

    An excellent recipe that I made tonight & my family was delighted with the results. Will repeat soon!!! I’ve already forwarded it to my friends & neighbors.
    Thx so much…
    Carol Walton,
    Mobile AL

  3. Valerie C. says

    I’m making these wings for the 3rd time now, this time for my birthday. They have the amazingly crispy skin I’m looking for as well as awesome flavor! I use G. Hughes brand sugar free Thai Chili wing sauce to toss them in and dip in ranch dressing. AMAZING!!! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe Jessica!

  4. KRISTA says

    I was struggling for a whole year trying to get these wings crispy. Either they came out soft or dry as the desert. I followed recipes from delish.com, epicurious, and many others websites, and I couldn’t replicate the results. I tried to experiment in both low and high altitude and nothing worked.
    Until I saw you wrote 450°F which the rest instructed for 400 or 425°F. I just had to try and my goodness, the wings came out crispy, nicely golden brown, not dry, and juicy in the inside. I tested 2 batches, one with 1tbsp of oil and the other without today. Both came out great, but your method yielded crispier wings.
    There was nothing left on the plate and I will make this again!!!!
    Thank you for posting this!!!

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