How to Bake Chicken Wings That Are SOOO Crispy

Toss out that deep fryer, just like last year’s jeans. We’ve got the solution to crispy chicken wings without the hassle of deep frying. These ones are baked but use a secret technique to make them extra crisp.

Find out the secret to making ultra-crispy chicken wings in the oven.

Raise your hand if you like chicken wings. Good. Now keep them up if you enjoy spending time in front of a deep-fryer while oil splatters all over the kitchen. Did I see a few hands go down? Mine sure did.

It’s been branded into our heads that chicken wings need to be deep fried to be crispy. However, after some research (and yummy taste-tests), we are proud to share our findings on how to bake chicken wings that are sooo crispy.

The secret: Baking powder. Unusual right? Stick with me as I go into the details.

Baking powder, not to be mistaken with baking soda, is a leavening agent usually used in baked goods such as cookies and cakes. It’s a mixture of sodium bicarbonate, cream of tartar and cornstarch. When mixed with salt and coated on chicken it dries out the skin, leaving it crisp and crunchy. Why does this happen? Get ready, sciency stuff ahead! It happens because the addition of the baking powder raises the pH level in the chicken, allowing the peptide bonds in the skin to break down, thus letting the skin get more crisp and brown.

But enough science for this post, let’s get cooking!

Step#1

Cut up 10 whole chicken wings. Once they’re all prepped, get them into a big bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of baking powder (NOT baking soda!). It doesn’t seem like much but you’re not trying to make a coating for the wings here. You’re trying to change their ph level so that they will crisp up better.

Coating the chicken with baking powder

Step#2

Mix it up. Don’t be afraid to use your hands. It’s way easier and one less thing to wash. It’s gobs of fun too! (Hey look! My nails match the bowl! This was unplanned but I like it).

Tossing the chicken with salt and baking powder

Step#3

Place the wings on a cooking rack in a sheet pan. This lets air circulate all around the chicken pieces so that they get evenly crisp. It also lets the fat drip away from the chicken, leading to crispy, crispy, crispy skin.

Place chicken on baking rack

Step#4

Place the chicken in a 250°F oven for 30 minutes. This gets some of the fat rendered from under the skin and starts that drying out process. Here’s how they look after 30 minutes. These are not cooked. Do not eat them. Yet.

Par-cooked chicken

Step#5

Leave them in the oven and crank the heat up to 425°F and cook 40-50 minutes more, until golden brown and so crispy.

Crispy baked chicken wings

 

Step#6

Toss them in a super-amazing sauce. We’ve got one for you…

This easy decadent homemade Buffalo sauce will blow your mind!

Fancier Buffalo Wings

Wasn’t that easy? And no pot full of hot oil to dispose of either. So awesome. Scroll down to find the printable version of the above instructions.

Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken Wings

Yield: 20 wings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 10 whole chicken wings, cut into flats and drumettes (here's how to do it). Discard tips or use for a stock.
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder (NOT baking soda)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • sauce or dry rub

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Place a rack onto a cookie sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the flats and drumettes with the baking powder and salt. Place wings on the rack in single layer and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, leave them in there and raise the heat to 425°F until brown and crispy, 40-50 minutes.
  5. Take wings out and let rest 5 minutes. Toss in a delicious sauce like this one and serve.
Adapted from Cook's Country. The science behind it all can be found here on Serious Eats.

Lyndsay Burginger

It’s always entertaining when Lyndsay’s in the kitchen. She’s even been known to belt out Broadway show tunes while making dinner (a handy whisk as her microphone, of course). She currently writes for her personal blog, LyndsayPaige.com focusing on recipes based on literature. Lyndsay is also on the editorial team at The Cookful.