Baked chicken wings are the perfect game-time appetizer. Thoroughly drying the chicken and adding a light baking powder coating ensures that each bite is crispy. These wings are delicious eaten straight from the pan or served with your favorite dipping sauce like buffalo, teriyaki, or ranch.
Crispy baked chicken wings are a tasty option to serve at your next party or gathering. For those health-conscious eaters, no problem, we’re going to bypass the deep fryer and use the oven instead. For this healthier version there’s not a drop of oil involved, well okay, maybe just a tiny bit but only to grease the rack to prevent sticking. That’s it!
Just because we’re not deep frying the chicken wings doesn’t mean we can’t recreate a similar texture. Using a simple drying method and just four ingredients will send you on a culinary path to crunchiness. There’s also no flour used which makes this meal gluten-free as well. So, turn up the dial on your oven and let’s get cooking!
How to make baked chicken wings
- Dry chicken with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Combine chicken with baking powder, salt, and pepper.
- Bake on top of an oiled wire rack placed in a sheet pan.
- Bake until golden brown and crispy, flipping just twice.
- Serve chicken wings plain or with desired sauce.
How long does it take to bake chicken wings?
It takes about 50 minutes to oven bake chicken wings at 450°F (232°C). The wings and drumettes contain white meat, covered by skin and some fat, so it can handle the hot oven temperatures. In just under an hour, the skin will be super crunchy and the meat will be fully cooked.
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, then coating it with baking powder, and cooking at high heat. Moisture on the surface of the chicken will create steam, which makes the skin soggy instead of crisp.
By drying the skin thoroughly with paper towels eliminates the time it would require for the oven to dry off the moisture. A small amount of baking soda in the baking powder accelerates browning and creates bubbles that harden on the skin to enhance the crispy sensation.
Cook at high temperatures
The goal is to create deep-fried results using consistent high oven temperatures. Baking above 400 degrees kick starts browning and cooking immediately. Placement on top of a greased wire rack ensures that the heat surrounds all sides of the chicken and that excess fat can drip to the pan and not make the chicken feel greasy. Make sure to flip the wings two times to ensure even cooking and heat exposure.
Looking for a dipping sauce to serve?
Sometimes these baked chicken wings disappear so fast from the tray that I don’t have time to make a sauce. But when I do, some of my favorite pairings are:
Each chicken wing is well seasoned with just the right amount of salt and pepper, so the sauce is completely optional. Once you’ve mastered the technique you can venture out and make baked buffalo wings served with a side of ranch. Just make sure to keep this recipe on hand for a game day, the Super Bowl, or other family celebrations. Once you make your first batch I hope you enjoy the results without all the excess frying oil.
More appetizer recipes
What is the functional purpose of baking powder?
Tossing the wings in a little baking powder does two things. First, it helps the chicken brown quicker, just like it does in cookies. Second, the sodium bicarbonate reacts with any moisture left on the chicken and creates tiny carbon dioxide bubbles on the surface that hardens with heat. The result is crackly chicken skin with extra crunch appeal.
Baked Chicken Wings
- vegetable oil, as needed for oiling wire rack
- 2 pounds (907 g) chicken wings, wings and drummettes
- 2 teaspoons (7 g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon (1 g) black pepper
- Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Preheat to 450°F (232°C).
- Line a large baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack inside and coat both sides with vegetable oil.
- Thoroughly dry chicken wings and drummettes between paper towels.
- In a large bowl whisk together baking powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Add chicken to the bowl and mix to evenly coat the surface.
- Evenly space the chicken on the wire rack.
- Bake chicken for 20 minutes. Flip and bake for 15 minutes.
- Flip again and bake until skin is golden brown and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Serve baked chicken wings hot with desired sauce like buffalo, barbecue, or ranch.