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.

Were you surprised by the baking powder in that video. 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.

Note that while most of the comments below this post are very positive (people seriously love this method of baking crispy wings) a couple of commenters noted a bitter taste on their wings. I at first thought that they were using baking soda instead of baking powder. Doing so would definitely lead to a terrible taste. However, they claimed that they were really using baking powder for sure. I was stymied until another helpful commenter posted this link showing that some people are sensitive to a flavor that is found in some brands of baking powder.

Baking powder that contains “sodium aluminum sulfate” has a bitter taste to some people. If you notice this flavor, you’ll want to try a different brand of baking powder. The Rumford brand is aluminum-free, so do try that one. I haven’t yet done a taste test comparison using the two different types of baking powder but I will soon and then I will report back with my results here.

O.K., enough chatter. Let’s get cooking!


Cut up 10 whole chicken wings. (When you cut ten wings, you end up with 30 wing pieces. That’s 10 drumettes, 10 flaps and 10 wing tips. You’ll either discard the wing tips or save them for another use. That leaves 20 wing pieces that you’re using here.

Once they’re all cut up, put them into a big bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of aluminum-free baking powder (and 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


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


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


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


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



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

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.

  • Author: Lyndsay Burginger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 20 wings


  • 10 whole chicken wings, cut into flats and drumettes (here’s how to do it). Discard tips or use for a stock. That leaves you with 20 wing pieces total
  • 1 Tbspaluminum-free* baking powder (NOT baking soda)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • sauce or dry rub


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place a oven-safe rack on top of cookie sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, use your hands to toss the flats and drumettes with the baking powder and salt until chicken is evenly coated. But do not add extra baking powder. Just mix them so they all have some.
  4. Place wings on the rack in single layer. Transfer rack and cookie sheet to oven and cook for 30 minutes. This baking at a low temperature dries the wings out and allows the baking powder to penetrate.
  5. After 30 minutes, leave the wings in the oven but raise the heat to 425°F. Continue to cook until brown and crispy, 40-50 minutes.
  6. Take wings out and let rest 5 minutes. Toss in a delicious sauce like this one and serve.


As stated at the top of this article and in the comments below, some baking powders contain aluminum and some people (maybe 10%) can really taste it and it tastes bitter to them. To make sure that your wings do not taste bitter, please use an aluminum-free baking powder such as Rumford brand. And as noted everywhere, please make sure you’re using baking powder and NOT baking soda. And please make sure that you’re just using a little bit of baking powder, like the 1 tablespoon called for. You are not trying to create a breading or coating for the wings. You are just putting a little bit because that little bit changes the ph of the wings which is what makes them crisp up so well. Who knew there was so much to say about baking powder??? lol
Adapted from Cook’s Country. The science behind it all can be found here on Serious Eats.

Video by Leigh Olson. Photos by Christine Pittman.

This post originally appeared in January, 2016 and was revised and republished in February, 2017.

Christine Pittman

Christine is the Senior Editor and Owner of The Cookful and of COOKtheSTORY and of the podcast Time Management Insider. Her sites reach over 2 million readers per month, which means that things can get a bit crazy. She's constantly writing, taking pictures, editing, recording, interviewing, managing contributors, and, oh yeah, cooking. To say that she wears many hats is an understatement - there are many hats, and also many shirts, shoes, pants, and even the odd cape!