BBQ Chicken Wings

5 from 15 votes
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This baked BBQ chicken wings recipe is a simple appetizer perfect for game day and gatherings. The crispy wings are coated in a sweet and tangy sauce.

If hosting a game day party, why not serve various flavors? My other favorites are buffalo wings, lemon pepper wings, and honey hot wings.

Delicious baked BBQ chicken wings on a plate served with carrots and celery.

A big plate of BBQ wings is the perfect handheld snack for game day or a simple weeknight chicken dinner. For this recipe, instead of deep frying them, which can be messy, I will show you how to bake them without sacrificing taste and texture.

Using high temperatures and a unique seasoning mix, they will be delightfully crisp with no added oils. The sauce clings to the crispy skin, making each bite incredibly delicious. You can customize the flavor with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Recipe ingredients

Ingredients needed to make this baked BBQ chicken wings recipe.
  • Chicken: To save prep time, purchase two pounds of “party wings” at the grocery store. They should have the wing tips removed and the flat (wingette) and drumette separated. If only whole chicken wings are available, you must trim the sections by cutting between the joints.
  • Seasoning: The wings are seasoned with salt and pepper. The barbecue sauce has a strong flavor, so you don’t have to over-season them.
  • Baking Powder: This is mixed into the seasoning blend. I use a small amount when making baked chicken wings for crunchy skin.
  • Sauce: Choose your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce or use my homemade barbecue sauce recipe. Simmer the sauce while the wings bake. You’ll need ¾ cup of sauce for this barbecue chicken wing recipe.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 450°F. The best technique for cooking chicken wings in the oven is to elevate them on a wire rack so the hot air circulates around the wings for even crisping.

Set the wire rack inside a foil-lined baking sheet for easy cleanup later. You can bake the wings directly on the lined sheet pan. However, keep a close eye on surface browning.

Dry the surface

Several pieces of chicken wings placed on a paper towel lined sheet pan.

Step 2: The surface of the chicken will be damp from the poultry’s natural juices. If left untreated, the excess moisture will yield a soggy texture instead of a crisp one. Use a paper towel to dry all the sides thoroughly so the skin of the wing will dry faster in the oven.

Add the seasonings

Baking powder, salt, and pepper being mixed together in a bowl.

Mix the seasonings first.

Seasoned chicken wings ready to bake.

Toss to evenly coat.

Step 3: Toss the wings in baking powder, salt, and pepper. The alkaline baking soda within the baking powder helps break down the peptide proteins in the skin, so it’s easy to chew. It will also form carbon dioxide bubbles on the surface during baking, which hardens when dried for extra crunch.

Make Ahead Tip: You can prepare the pieces ahead of time with the seasoning blend. Drying the wings in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours makes the skin even crispier. Just grab the tray and bake the next day.

Bake the chicken wings

Step 4: Place the seasoned wings in a single layer on a greased wire rack inside a foil-lined baking sheet. The rack allows the rendered fat to drip down so the wings don’t taste greasy.

The elevated meat allows that hot air to circulate for even cooking. Bake the wings at 450ºF (230ºC) in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. I like to flip the wings over one time to ensure both sides become golden brown and crisp.

Toss in the sauce

Bowl of chicken wings being tossed with barbecue sauce.

Step 5: My family enjoys a sweet and tangy sauce flavor, with tomatoes as the base, which provides a nice thick coating. Add the hot wings to a large bowl and drizzle on the barbecue sauce. Toss until completely coated.

Continue baking

Baked BBQ chicken wings on a wire rack.

Step 6: Return the sauced wings to the wire rack and bake for 5 minutes. This process helps to concentrate the sauce flavors and helps it stick onto the surface better. If you like saucier wings, you can skip this additional baking step.

Step 7: I like to serve this appetizer garnished with chives or green onions, which adds a nice subtle allium flavor and freshness to the dish.

Flavor variations

Now that you know how to prepare BBQ chicken wings in the oven, you can get creative with the taste! Try these tasty options:

  • Seasoning: If you want to add more allium notes, mix in ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, onion powder, or both! Smoked paprika adds a nice charred flavor.
  • Spicy: To add heat to the wings, add cayenne, chipotle, or chili powder to the seasoning mix. Use ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon at a time until the desired heat level is reached. Try my cajun seasoning for a spicy and savory blend.
  • Herbs: Garnish the wings with freshly sliced green onions or chives. Top with chopped parsley, cilantro, or thyme.
  • Sauce: Use a classic sweet tomato-based BBQ sauce, vinegar-based for more tanginess, mustard-based for pungency, or mayonnaise-based for a creamier coating.

Serve with a dipping sauce

Frequently asked questions

Can I make the barbecue chicken wings spicier?

Add hot sauce like Tobasco, spicy chili sauce like Sriracha, or chili powder like cayenne or chipotle to the barbecue sauce. Add ¼ teaspoon at a time until the desired heat level is reached.

What other types of barbecue sauces can I use?

If you do not like thick and sweet tomato-based barbecue sauces, try a tangier vinegar sauce like North Carolina varieties or a mustard-based sauce like South Carolina style. They tend to be thinner in consistency. Brush some extra sauce on before serving.

Can I grill the wings instead of bake?

Yes! Like my grilled BBQ chicken recipe, season the wings with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Grill at 350ºF (177ºC), flipping every 3 to 5 minutes until fully cooked, about 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to the indirect heat side and brush the barbecue sauce on both sides. Heat for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce sticks but does not burn.

Platter of barbecue chicken wings served with carrots, celery, and dipping sauces.

Wait to add the barbecue sauce

Although it might be tempting to toss the wings directly with the sauce and bake, wait to add it. Baking the chicken renders the fat first, so the skin becomes crisp. The dried surface helps the sauce stick better when tossed. The sugar in traditional barbecue sauces will burn if cooked at 450ºF (230ºC) the entire time. Instead, bake the sauced wings for 5 minutes before serving. If you like a smokier taste, broil for a few minutes until lightly charred.

BBQ Chicken Wings

Get ready for a finger-licking good time with these BBQ chicken wings! Perfectly baked and smothered in barbecue sauce.
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Servings 20 wings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • vegetable oil, as needed for oiling wire rack
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, wingettes and drummettes
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
  • ¾ cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives, or green onions, optional

Instructions 

  • Prepare the Baking Sheet – Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Heat to 450°F (232°C). Line a large baking sheet with foil. Add vegetable oil to a folded paper towel, then grease both sides of a wire rack—alternatively, grease with cooking spray. Set the rack inside the baking sheet.
  • Dry the Meat – Line a separate baking sheet or plate with paper towels. Place the chicken wings and drumettes on top, then thoroughly pat them dry with more paper towels.
  • Season the Pieces – In a large bowl, whisk together baking powder, salt, and black pepper. Add the chicken and mix to coat the surface.
  • Bake the Chicken – Evenly space the chicken on the wire rack. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip and continue baking until skin is golden brown and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. The internal temperature should reach 165ºF (74ºC). Immediately transfer the wings to a large bowl. Reserve the baking sheet.
  • Add the Sauce – Add barbecue sauce to the bowl of chicken wings and toss to evenly coat.
  • Continue Baking – Return the pieces to the reserved baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Skip this additional baking step for a saucier coating.
  • To Serve – Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with chopped chives.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Serving Size: 1 wing
  • Substituting Table Salt: Use ¾ teaspoon salt instead of 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • For Crispier Texture: Refrigerate the seasoned wings uncovered for up to 24 hours on top of a greased wire rack set in a foil-lined sheet pan. Remove from the refrigerator while the oven preheats, then bake.
  • Baking Directly on a Sheet Pan: You can bake these wings without a wire rack, although they will be greasier from the rendered fat.
  • Storing: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Reheating: Cover and microwave on high heat in 15-second intervals until hot. 

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 20 wings
Calories 74kcal (4%)Carbohydrates 5g (2%)Protein 5g (10%)Fat 4g (6%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0.05gCholesterol 19mg (6%)Sodium 245mg (10%)Potassium 105mg (3%)Fiber 0.1gSugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 67IU (1%)Vitamin C 0.3mgCalcium 24mg (2%)Iron 0.3mg (2%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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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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  1. Phyllis Cypes says

    I have followed your directions but am still unable to print your recipes. Until recently I have had no trouble but something happened in just a few weeks ago and all I get when I print your recipes is a blank paper.
    Thank you for responding.
    Phyllis Cypes