There’s no need to get out the fryer to make crispy buffalo wings — your oven can do that. And, that Buffalo Wing Sauce you thought you could only find at your favorite restaurant? Well, that’s a myth too.
Here are the simple secrets behind making the all-time best Buffalo Wing Sauce and bake up a batch of seriously Crispy Baked Wings while you’re at it. This is the ultimate guide to making the best Buffalo Wings you’ve ever had, and it’s all taking place in your very own kitchen!
Today, in addition to the only Buffalo Wing Recipe you’ll ever need, we’ll cover what it takes to make Buffalo Wing Sauce cling to a wing just the way a Buffalo Sauce should, how to spice up Buffalo Sauce to your liking, three things to do to ensure your wings are über crispy, how to determine the number of wings you should buy for a party, plus, a stellar classic Blue Cheese Dip to serve with your Buffalo Wings!
And, if you want a little more variety in your life, check out these Lemon Pepper Buffalo Wings! Same baked wings, different flavor.
THE BEST BUFFALO WING SAUCE RECIPE
Buffalo Wing Sauce is a tangy sauce used for smothering chicken wings, chicken nuggets, fried chicken strips, and more. It can be as mild or as spicy as you’d like, and while Buffalo Sauce contains hot sauce, it is so much more than that, and the two are not necessarily interchangeable. Buffalo Wing Sauce is thicker than hot sauce, buttery and rich, bigger and bolder in flavor.
It’s made up mostly of two simple ingredients: Hot Sauce and butter. Hot sauce consists mainly of cayenne pepper, vinegar, and spices. It is responsible for giving Buffalo Sauce that signature tang, but hot sauce alone is very watery in consistency. Butter is what gives Buffalo Wing Sauce that thick, velvety texture we all know and love.
WHY USE FRANK’S HOT SAUCE?
If you want your buffalo wings to have that classic Buffalo Wing Sauce flavor, you’ll need to use Frank’s Hot Sauce. Sure, other hot sauces could be subbed in, but they won’t impart the same flavor. For best results, stick with Frank’s Hot Sauce. Not Frank’s Wing Sauce — hot sauce.
In addition to butter and hot sauce, we’ll also need a little seasoning for our Buffalo Wing Sauce Recipe. Kosher salt, onion powder, and garlic powder are all you need.
HOW TO MAKE BUFFALO SAUCE
If you’ve ever had a homemade Buffalo Sauce that separates or refuses to coat the wings the way a Buffalo Sauce should, the cooking method is likely the culprit. If you want a thick, buttery sauce that clings to the wing, here’s what you need to do:
- Bring hot sauce and seasoning to a simmer.
- Over low heat, add a few cold butter cubes to the sauce and whisk until dissolved.
- Do this until all of the butter has been used.
Adding cold butter gradually and with constant movement is essential to a Buffalo Wing Sauce that won’t separate. Another important aspect of this process is the temperature of the butter itself. Because butter is a combination of both water and fat, adding it to the sauce cold slows down the time in which it takes the butter to melt. Which, in turn, means you have more time to emulsify it properly into the sauce.
This process will give you a full-bodied, thick Buffalo Wing Sauce you would expect from the finest of wing establishments.
DO YOU LIKE IT MILD, MEDIUM, OR HOT?
When it comes to spice and buffalo wing sauce, Cayenne is king. This recipe would be considered a mild Buffalo Wing Sauce by most. If you’d like to up the spice level to medium or hot, gradually add generous pinches of Cayenne pepper to taste. And remember, a little bit goes a long way.
Now that you’re well-versed on making the all-time best Buffalo Wing Sauce, you’ll probably need some wings to go with it. But, not just any wings. How about some seriously easy, seriously crispy wings? In fact, you’ll likely find this Crispy Baked Chicken Wing Recipe good enough to eat on its own. But, then again, where’s the fun in that?
YOU NEED THIS BAKED CHICKEN WINGS RECIPE!
Sure, we all love fried chicken, but not everyone has the patience for it. The good news is you can get truly crispy chicken wings without getting out the oil. Oven-fried chicken wings are not only a healthier alternative, they’re also far less messy and a much easier option for making buffalo wings at home.
This Baked Chicken Wings Recipe always results in perfectly cooked wings, with tender, juicy meat on the inside and crisp, flavorful skin on the outside, and it’s a recipe e-ver-y Buffalo Wing lover should have.
WHAT MAKES THEM SO CRISPY?
The crispy skin comes down to two very simple things. And, the flavor? Well, that’s all in the seasoning.
Cooking the chicken wings at a high temperature helps the surface moisture to evaporate, which in turn allows for proteins and sugars to break down within the skin, which then allows for the browning. Browning equals crispiness. This process is known as the Maillard Reaction. The Maillard Reaction equals crispy baked chicken wings. Yes, please.
THE SECRET’S OUT — IT’S BAKING POWDER.
But, wait — there’s more. In addition to high heat and our beloved Maillard Reaction, we’ll also be using a little reinforcement by the name of “baking powder.” I’m sure you’ve heard of it, maybe even used it once or twice before in a cookie recipe, but today you’ll be putting it to good use on chicken wings.
Baking powder enables the skin of your chicken wings to crisp up even more by raising the chicken skins’ PH level and helping to further break down those proteins. Remember, baking powder and baking soda are not the same thing, and baking soda should not be subbed in for this recipe.
BAKED CHICKEN WINGS SEASONING
Whether or not you intend to coat your Crispy, Baked Chicken Wings with Buffalo Sauce or not, you should season them prior to going in the oven. The best, most versatile seasoning that will go with any wing sauce, yet is good enough to eat all on its own, is a simple combination of:
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
STEPS FOR SERIOUSLY CRISPY BAKED WINGS
This Crispy Baked Wings Recipe comes together in a flash and only requires a few steps before taking a turn in the oven.
- Pat wings dry with paper towel.
- Combine baking powder, seasoning, and chicken wings in a zip-top bag and shake.
- Bake for 30 minutes, turn and bake 20 minutes more.
1. PAT THE CHICKEN
This step should never be overlooked when it comes to cooking meat, but when you’re looking to crisp up chicken skin? It’s essential. By patting the chicken wings dry with a paper towel, you are removing the excess moisture from the skin of the chicken and helping that Maillard Reaction to get a move on.
2. MIX BAKING POWDER AND SEASONING
Next, put that baking powder to work and flavor the chicken all at the same time. The baking powder and chicken wing seasoning are added to a gallon-sized zip-top bag, along with the chicken wings. Make sure the bag is sealed, and shake until the wings are evenly coated in the mixture.
If you do not have any zip-top bags on hand, you can always use a large mixing bowl and your own two hands to coat the chicken.
3. BAKE THE CHICKEN WINGS
You don’t need any fancy equipment for this recipe. Just a couple of rimmed baking sheets (or really, any oven-safe cooking vessel with a rim). The rim will help to keep any oils or juices from spilling over the sides.
A TWO PAN PLAN
When crispiness is the objective, it’s especially important that you do not overcrowd the pan. This is why two baking sheets (or cooking vessels) will be necessary for this recipe. If the wings are crowded onto one pan with no space for the heated air to circulate around them, they will steam. Steam does not make for a crispy wing.
Be sure you have lined the baking sheets with either parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil. The last thing you want is for your crispy chicken wing skin to end up on the pan instead of in your mouth.
BAKED CHICKEN WINGS: TIME AND TEMPERATURE
In order to get that Maillard Reaction going (as discussed above), we’ll need to cook the chicken wings at a high temperature. So technically, we’re roasting the wings. The wings will cook at 400°, allowing them to brown and crisp up beautifully.
The total bake time for the wings is 50 minutes, however, about halfway through, you’ll pull out the wings, flip them and send them back into the oven to finish crisping up. This ensures a gorgeous golden crust all the way around.
HOW MANY WINGS PER PERSON?
A full serving of chicken wings is about 2/3 pound per person, so if wings are going to be the main course, you’ll need to multiply your number of guests by .66 and that is about how many pounds of wings you will need. However, if you are serving wings as an addition to a large food spread, you can get away with a 1/2 pound per person or less.
Note, you can buy chicken wings whole or cut up into drumettes or wing portions. I prefer to buy my wings prepared, and pick up a combination of both drumettes and wing portions. This way, I save myself the trouble of disjointing whole wings and chopping off tips.
Once your wings are cool enough to handle you can eat them as is or toss them in that perfectly prepared buffalo sauce. If you’re making these wings for a party, toss them in the buffalo sauce and then transfer them to a slow cooker on warm. Note, it’s unlikely that the wings will stay super crispy in the slow cooker, but they will stay warm and they’ll most definitely be delicious.
Now, only one question remains: To dip…or not to dip?
BLUE CHEESE DIP, ANYONE?
The ultimate dip for Buffalo Wings could be none other than a classic Blue Cheese Dip, and no store-bought rendition could rival the quality of this homemade rendition. If you’re looking to serve up a stellar dipping sauce for your Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings, look no further.
This Blue Cheese Dip recipe is perfectly balanced in flavor, with a thick and creamy texture quite literally made for dipping.
BLUE CHEESE DIP INGREDIENTS
Homemade Blue Cheese Dip is extremely simple to make and requires few ingredients.
- Blue Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Salt and Pepper
The base of the Blue Cheese Dip is made up of a combination of sour cream and mayonnaise. Sour cream gives the dip is signature tang and mayonnaise gives it a smooth and creamy consistency.
Worcestershire sauce carries with it many different flavor profiles, and it just so happens every single one of them pairs perfectly with blue cheese. You’ll find just a dash of this sauce will take your Blue Cheese Dip from good to gourmet. However, if you don’t have any on hand, you can omit it from the recipe without affecting the texture of your dip.
WHICH BLUE CHEESE TO USE?
Some blue cheeses are much stronger in flavor than others. When it comes to picking out blue cheese for a dip, you should probably heir on the side of caution, especially if you’re serving it to a crowd.
Blue cheeses that fall on the milder side of the spectrum are Maytag and young Gorgonzola. Either of these cheeses would be great for Blue Cheese Dip.
HOW TO MAKE BLUE CHEESE DIP
- Whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, salt and pepper until smooth.
- Mash in the majority of the blue cheese, and mix to combine.
- Add remaining blue cheese crumbles and stir.
TIPS FOR WORKING WITH BLUE CHEESE
Here’s a helpful tip for mashing blue cheese: You’ll find using the back of a spoon much more effective than say a fork or a whisk when it comes to breaking down the blue cheese in your dip. This way the blue cheese will not get stuck in the tines of a fork or the innards of your whisk.
Be sure to leave some blue cheese crumbles whole and add them in at the very end. This makes for a truly divine texture and a little something extra to look forward to in every single bite!
With these recipes, you can make a better batch of Buffalo Wings than your favorite restaurant — guaranteed. It’s a foolproof combo perfect for parties and wing night at home. Please, enjoy!
6 MORE PARTY APPETIZERS YOU’LL LOVE
- Irish Nachos are where potato skins and nachos collide and the aftermath is seriously delicious. They feature crispy roasted potato rounds, a melty Cheddar sauce, crispy bacon, sliced green onions, and sour cream.
- Pulled Pork Sliders made in the crock-pot are easy to make, fun to assemble, full of flavor, and perfect for feeding a crowd!
- Homemade Bagel Bites are make-ahead, freezer-friendly, and a nostalgic favorite perfect for feeding a crowd!
- Mini Muffin Corn Dogs feature a quick and easy cornbread batter with sliced hot dogs inside! They’re kid-friendly, but rest assured — the grown-ups will love them too!
- Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is a gorgeous appetizer your guests will want to make a meal of! Loaded with shrimp, avocado, cucumber and more, it’s light and filling all at the same time!
- Crockpot Queso with Taco Meat is an easy, hearty dip featuring Velveeta cheese spruced up with taco-seasoned ground beef and Rotel.
An easy, foolproof Buffalo Wing Sauce perfect for coating crispy baked wings, chicken tenders, and more!
- 1 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
Add Frank's hot sauce, onion powder, Kosher salt, and garlic powder to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir and allow to come to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low. Begin adding in the butter 2-3 cubes at a time, whisking constantly. Once the butter has melted into the sauce, add another 2-3 cubes, and repeat until all of the butter has been incorporated. Do not rush this process.
Once all of the butter has been added, remove the sauce from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
Makes about 1 1/2 cup of sauce.
The all-time best crispy, baked chicken wings recipe!
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 4 pounds thawed chicken wings (drummettes, wing portions, or both)
If your wings are whole, using a sharp knife, find the joint and cut the wing portion from the drumette, remove the wing tip and discard.
Place 2 racks in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°. Have ready two rimmed baking sheets lined with either nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper. Parchment paper works best.
Add baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to a gallon-sized zip top bag and mix.
Pat the chicken wings dry with a paper towel and add them to the bag. Secure closed and shake until the wings are evenly coated in the baking powder/spice mixture.
Place the wings on the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip each wing and return to the oven to cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly, toss in prepared Buffalo sauce (if using), serve, and enjoy!
TIP: In most cases, parchment paper will work best for baking wings. If you used nonstick aluminum foil and your wings are sticking to the pan, allow them to sit for 5 minutes, then try to turn or remove them. The heat from the wing will allow condensation to build underneath, making removal easier.
A quick and easy recipe for the best blue cheese dip!
- 3/4 cup Sour Cream
- 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- 5 ounces Blue Cheese (such as Maytag or Gorgonzola Dolce), separated
In a mixing bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, pepper, and salt.
Using the back of a spoon, mash in about 3/4 of the blue cheese and stir. Add the remaining blue cheese and delicately fold it into the dressing, taking care not to break it apart.
Chill for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
Sources: BonAppetit.com | The hack for Golden Brown Chicken, The Cooks Illustrated Meat Book | Oven-Fried Chicken Wings, Serious Eats | For the Crispiest Chicken (and Turkey) Skin, Grab the Baking Powder.