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Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings
Buffalo Wings are a crowd favorite, whether you’re having a small get together at home or a rowdy football tailgate party. Baked Buffalo Wings are super crispy and tossed with a spicy homemade buffalo sauce.
Serve buffalo wings with more buffalo sauce for dipping, for those who like it really hot, or with ranch or blue cheese dip for those who like it hot, but can’t always handle the heat. This easy appetizer can do double duty as a fun meal, too.
You can even serve buffalo wings sans sauce, which, truth be told is how I often enjoy them. That crispyness gets me every time. I seriously can’t help myself; they are so crispy, so delicious, and so much healthier and less messy than deep frying.
So as long as there’s ranch for dipping and some crunchy celery sticks nearby, I say bring on the Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings!
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Buffalo Wings
- Chicken wings – You can buy the whole chicken wing and separate the pieces at the joint, but you can usually find them already separated. A package of wings usually contains drumettes (looks like a drumstick) and a wingette, which is the flat piece but you can also find the drumettes on their own.
- Baking powder and flour – Together these two ingredients help to reduce moisture in the wings and make them super crispy.
- Seasonings – Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. You could really use any seasoning you like, but this is my go-to blend.
- Cayenne pepper hot sauce – Like Frank’s Red Hot.
- Butter – Melted and mixed with the hot sauce to tone it down.
How to Make Buffalo Wings
- Dry out the wings. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then arrange on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight or at least for a few hours. If you are in a pinch for time, you can skip this step but I can’t guarantee your wings will be as crispy as you want them to be.
- Prepare baking sheet and wire rack. Preheat the oven, then line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and add a baking rack on top. Spray the baking rack with nonstick cooking spray.
- Coat with seasoning. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and seasonings together. Toss with the chicken to coat completely and discard any leftover coating.
- Arrange and bake. Arrange the wings on the baking rack over the sheet – close together but not touching.
- Bake. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the wings are golden and crispy. They’ll get even crispier as they cool.
- Make the sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the buffalo sauce. Heat together until bubbling. Adjust the taste/heat by adding more butter or more sauce.
- Coat with sauce. When the chicken is fully cooked and crispy, transfer to a large bowl and toss to coat with the buffalo sauce.
The key to my crispy wings is actually a combination of methods. First, drying the skin reduces the overall moisture in the chicken so it isn’t releasing moisture as it cooks. The baking powder reacts with the skin, changing the Ph level and helping to reduce moisture. Finally, cooking at a high heat contributes to crispy skin by cooking the outside fast.
Bake the wings at 450℉. High heat=crispy wings! They will take about 30-35 minutes. If they don’t look crispy enough, you can let them go for another few minutes, but remember they will continue to get crispy as they cool.
Basic buffalo sauce is just melted butter mixed with a spicy cayenne pepper sauce, like Frank’s Red Hot. You can sweeten the sauce by adding a tablespoon of brown sugar.
Serve hot wings with something refreshing to contrast the heat. This is why celery and carrot sticks are popular accompaniments. They offer a cool break from the heat.
Dips are important too and ranch dressing or blue cheese dip are the most popular. You could even try my Honey Mustard Sauce for a tangy twist.
Spicy – All you need to do to make the sauce spicier, is to adjust the amounts of sauce and butter. The heat is all in the ratio. Additionally, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the flour mixture.
Deluxe – Create different versions of the sauce and set up a “bar” with platters of different flavors.
Kid Friendly – Leave some wings plain and serve ranch dressing on the side.
Storage and Reheating
Storage: Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Freezing: It’s best to freeze wings without the sauce, but either way will work. Place cooled wings in a plastic freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating: If you have an air fryer, that’s the best way to reheat wings. If not, arrange them on a baking sheet and bake at 350℉ until heated through and crispy.
- Use the baking rack. If you don’t have one, you should really get one. It’s super useful in the kitchen and it helps to circulate the air around each wing as it cooks.
- Sweeten the sauce: For a sweet buffalo sauce, add a tablespoon or two of honey or brown sugar to the sauce.
- Flour + Baking powder – the magic combo! Some recipes just call for one or the other, but it’s this combination that assists in drying out the wings and making them extra crispy.
- Pat them dry – If you don’t have time to refrigerate the wings overnight, be sure to do a good job of patting them dry, because that is essential for crispy skin.
- Broiling – For an extra crispy wing, pop them under the broiler for a few minutes after tossing them with the sauce. This will actually caramelize the sauce a little so they aren’t as messy.
- Add vinegar. If you like your buffalo sauce a little more tangy, add a small splash of white vinegar.
More Yummy Appetizers to Try
Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings
- 3 pounds chicken wings or drumettes thawed or fresh
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Celery and carrot sticks for serving optional
- Ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping optional
- Pat chicken wings dry with paper towels. Arrange wings on a baking sheet (touching is fine), cover with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for several hours. Overnight is ideal. If you don't have the time, you can skip this step, just be sure to pat them as dry as possible with the paper towels.
- Cover a large baking sheet with foil and top with a baking rack. Spray the rack over the baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Preheat the oven to 450℉.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and seasonings. Add chicken and toss to coat with the flour mixture. Shake off excess.
- Arrange chicken on the rack, close together but not touching.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the baking sheet about halfway through. You do not need to flip the chicken. NOTE – if they don’t look crispy right away, give them a few more minutes. But they will get crispier as they cool.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Add hot sauce and butter to a small saucepan and heat on medium-low, stirring until the butter is melted and the sauce begins to bubble. Taste and add more hot sauce or butter if desired.
- Transfer crispy wings to a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the wings and toss to coat.
- Serve with celery and carrot sticks and a side of ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.