Crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, these baked chicken wings are ridiculously flavorful and tasty. The best part is, you can make even a large party batch in just 30 minutes or so.
I used to be a chicken wing snob, or traditionalist, or something like that, thinking that the best chicken wings are deep fried Buffalo chicken wings. But then I started to explore other ways to cook chicken wings and opened a whole new wing world for myself.
Traditionally baked chicken wings to me taste as if they lack flavor. There is much less in the way of Maillard reaction taking place when baking, which explains why the flavor is lacking. I tried to use brining, injections, marinades and sauces but that seemed to have the opposite effect – I would get absolutely no browning and forget about my baked chicken wings getting a crispy skin. Don’t get me wrong, the wings baked this way tasted very good, just not great.
Instead of using sauces and marinades I explored different ways to baking chicken wings, such as high heat baking. Baked at 450F, chicken wings would get some browning. I would then finish them by broiling to get even more browning and flavor. These baked chicken wings tasted really good, but still were far from perfect. There was no crispiness to the skin, no crunch. But I like my wings to have a crispy skin.
Browning when baking wings this way was somewhat tricky. The wings would get little browning during baking, so I would always need to use the broil function. On broil, the tops tend to char very quickly and you get spotty browning.
I attempted several recipes that I was able to find online but I was never completely happy with the results either. One initially promising method of baking chicken wings at 250F for 30 minutes then 50 minutes at 425F to make crispy skinned, just like deep fried, wings was a failure in my trials. Crispy skin came with pretty dried out meat for my taste. The long time it took to bake the wings pretty much killed my interest in attempting this again.
The solution came while experimenting with baking other chicken parts. It was to quickly sear the wings over high heat before baking them, just as I now do with chicken breasts, thighs and drumsticks to get a flavorful, crispy exterior and a tender interior. Just like anyone would do with a steak if cooking indoors- sear it on a pan then finish in the oven. Makes sense, right?
High heat pan searing helps render out the fat from the skin and dry it out prior to baking. This helps with getting a nicely crispy skin without using the broiler function. The browning you get during pan searing adds an immense flavor, one that you will never be able to replicate in the oven. Once pan searing is done, all the wings need is a quick 20-25 minute bake in the oven to get the meat cooked through without drying it out.
The internal temperature of the baked wings should reach about 185F-190F for best results. At 165F, chicken wings taste a little tough and under-cooked. Heat them up to 185F-190F and they become wonderfully fall-off-the-bone tender, while still being moist and juicy. If cooked past 190F the wings will start to dry out.
How To Bake Chicken Wings - The Art of The Perfect WingPrint Pin Rate
- 2 dozen chicken wingettes and drumettes
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp granulated onions
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a cooling rack on top. Set aside.
- Preheat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat.
- Place the chicken wings in a large bowl. Add one tablespoon of oil and all of the spices and seasonings. Rub the spices into the wings to ensure even coverage.
- As soon as the oil barely starts smoking (325F) place the wings on the pan and sear for about 1 minute, until the skin is deep golden brown. Flip the wings and sear for another minute.
- Now transfer the wings to the baking sheet, placing them on the cooling rack. Bake on the top rack for 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature hits 185F-190F.
- Serve immediately.
You might try the reverse. Cook the wings at a lower heat first to render fate and dry the wings, then finish at a high heat. When cooking steaks and roasts, this is called reverse searing. Serious Eats (Kenji Lopez-Alt) has a excellent article about how to achieve the best oven-baked wings. I have used his procedures several times and I was amazed at how much better my wings were.
Thanks for the tips, Rick. Have you tried my all-time favorite extra crispy baked chicken wings recipe yet? I highly recommend it. For me, nothing comes closer to the real deal deep-fried chicken wings.
I season flour, toss wings in the seasoned flour, get to crisp in rendered bacon fat, then bake in tin foil on a baking sheet.
It’s bad to cook on aluminum foil. That’s why this recipe is for cast iron.
Can’t wait to try these. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I’ve never made chicken wings before. Didn’t eat them for a long time. Now my husband and I really like them. So, excited to try your recipe.
You are very welcome, Carla. Also be sure to try my Extra Crispy Baked Chicken Wings and Broiled Chicken Wings recipes, they are very, very good.:-)
What if you don’t have a cooling rack? Can they be put directly on the foil?
Yes, you can but they will be a little greasier. Just put them on paper towels to remove extra grease then transfer to a serving platter.
Really good. Only thing I did different is. I put wings in Ziploc. Put oil and seasoning in, let sit in fridge all day, then before searing them dabed off onion, and garlic. I thought about the burning also. They turned out great. Thanks for recipe.
You are very welcome!
I’m making these for a road trip. I noticed you said “serve immediately ” do you think that they will still be good if not eaten right away or refrigerated and eaten at a later time?
Yes, you can re-heat them and if you do it right, they will be very good. I wrote a post on Reheating Chicken Wings, you may find it helpful.
Just tried your wing recipe! You rock best wings l’ve had in a long time! Would recommend this one big time!Thank you for sharing!!
Glad to hear it, Gary. Thank you for the kind words.
I tried these wings for family night weekly dinner. They were fabulous. Followed the recipe and instructions just as you suggested. Better than any restaurant wings and soooooo much cheaper and sooooo much better.s
Thank you for the awesome feedback, Shirley. Glad you liked the wings. And I agree, they are fabulous 😉
I have been trying to figure out a better way to make my wings crispier and I’m so glad I came across your recipe. Searing first makes sense and I can’t wait to try it. I just need to know if I can substitute with you
garlic powder and onion powder instead of granulated garlic and onion?
Yes, powdered garlic and onions will work great too.
What if you don’t have a cast iron pan?
A regular pan will work too, just keep an eye on the wings to make sure they get seared evenly and move them around.
My now go-to wing recipe. Amazing.
Ok now wait what! I don’t see baking powder anywhere until I read your reply?
Sorry, thought I was responding to a comment to another post, this one: https://ifoodblogger.com/baked-chicken-wings-extra-crispy/.
Hi Victor. I tried your recipe for the Perfect Chicken Wings last night & they came out FANTABULOUS! The only thing I didn’t add was the granulated onions because I wasn’t too sure exactly what that was. I have a jar of minced onions however, not sure if that’s what you were referring to. I was afraid if I added minced onions they would burn during the frying process & further burn during baking. Please explain. Thanks.. & Thank You for sharing this wonderful recipe.
granulated onions are about the size of ground black pepper.
Lately I don’t bother adding anything except baking powder prior to baking. All the seasonings are added at the end.Ignore this sentence as it was made in reference to one of my newer recipes: https://ifoodblogger.com/baked-chicken-wings-extra-crispy/.