Hot Damn! These are the best Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings you’ll ever make – we promise!
Where are my Buffalo wing lovers at?
Raise ’em up, people! Wing lovers, unite.
I have yet to meet anyone (outside of my vegan peeps) who don’t love Buffalo wings or anything Buffalo-flavored. It’s just such an intoxicating mix of spicy, savory and buttery with just a hint of vinegar and garlic. And then there’s the creamy dressing for dunking. Oh my…it’s notwonder that Buffalo wings are one of the most popular foods in America and in my household.The crispiest oven-baked Buffalo wings start with this one ingredient #paleo #whole30 #realfood Click To Tweet
Floppy wings need not apply
We might not all agree on how spicy the sauce should be but I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all loooooove our wings nice and crispy. After all, it’s those little ridges on the crinkly, crispy skin that catch the thick, spicy sauce. Wings that are soft, slimy or generally floppy are just not acceptable.
The only problem is that to get really crispy skin you have to fry your wings (which if you’re headed to your local wing joint, it isn’t going to be done with the healthiest of oils). Womp, womp.
I’m honestly not a fan of frying because it’s messy. And I really don’t have time to be mopping grease off the stove and countertops so in my quest for the perfect Crispy Baked Buffalo Wing I discovered the ‘secret ingredient’ thanks to one of my favorite foods sites to geek out on…. and that ingredient is baking powder.
No kidding. Baking powder**. Just like you use in baked goods. So simple!
The recipe I’m about to share would be considered the ‘fast track’ to crispy baked Buffalo wings since I just open the package, pat them dry and toss with baking powder immediately before baking. If you want ULTRA CRISPY wings and you have the good sense to plan ahead for your wing feast then tossing them in the baking powder and placing them in the fridge for 8-12 hours on the baking sheet with rack is the way to go. Allowing them to rest uncovered in the fridge helps them dry out a bit so that when they’re baked there’s less moisture released (and hence less steam generated) so you get baked wings with mega crunch.
Now that you’re armed with a wee bit of the science and the secret ingredient – let’s get cooking!
**Note: For the Whole30’er or Paleo Purist: Baking powder is not technically compliant if it contains corn starch. Feel free to leave it out and bake the wings naked or substitute 1 tsp. baking soda + 2 tsp. cream of tartar for the 1 Tbsp. baking powder in the recipe
Place chicken ‘flats’ (the middle section of the wing) and ‘drumettes’ (the part that looks like a mini chicken leg) into a large bowl. If wings were frozen then thawed, be sure to drain off any excess liquid then pat them dry with paper towels before moving onto the next step or you’ll have a gloppy mess.
Sprinkle baking powder (NOT BAKING SODA – those are two entirely different things and using soda will result in highly unpalatable wings. No bueno!)
If you have a quantity of chicken wings other than 3 pounds as called for in the recipe below – you’ll want to use 1 teaspoon of baking powder per pound of wings. Sprinkle with salt.
Gently mix the baking powder and salt into the wings. You can use a spoon if you like but since you’ll be using your hands in the next step you might as well roll up your sleeves and mix it with your hands.
Once your wings are coated with the baking powder and salt, carefully arrange them on a baking/cooling rack set on a large rimmed baking sheet. It’s important to use a rack here (like this one) so the fat can drip down below the chicken leaving the skin extra crispy.
I line the pan with foil for easy clean up but you don’t have to if you don’t mind using a little elbow grease when it comes to clean up.
For really crispy chicken, arrange the wing pieces to they’re not touching one another. Depending on the size of your pan and rack and if you’re doubling the recipe, etc. you may need to use two pans.
Place wings in a preheated 250℉ oven and bake for 30 minutes. NOTE: After 30 minutes the chicken will NOT be fully cooked – you’re not done yet – the next step is where the magic happens.
Now crank up the oven temp to 425℉ and bake for an additional 40 minutes or until the skin is crispy and lightly browned.
While the chicken is baking, prepare the Buffalo sauce. The key to da best wing sauce is ghee – so rich and buttery – it’ll be nearly impossible not to lick your fingers clean.
Our ghee of choice is Pure Indian Foods 100% Grass-fed ghee. Obvi.
Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk well to combine then remove from heat. You can always reheat the sauce if needed before tossing it with the wings.
Mmmmmmm…..that’s some saucy goodness right there. If you like yours extra spicy like I do you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or opt for a spicier sauce (Frank’s Red Hot isn’t all that spicy on it’s own). I love Horsetooth Hot Sauce – it’s Whole30-approved and comes in a variety of flavors. I know it’s not traditional, by the smoky chipotle flavor from their Smokestack Lightning sauce is crazy awesome in this wing sauce.
Ok! The moment you’ve been waiting for is almost here. Pull that chicken out of the oven when the timer sounds and admire that crispy, crackly skin all ready to doused with spicy goodness. That unreal crispiness is thanks to the baking powder. Crazy, I know! I won’t dazzle you with the science behind it here – though I really want to. I’m such a big food science nerd…. I’ll just tell you that you can read more here and we can get on with our wings, eh?
Wings wouldn’t be wings without sauce and something creamy to drizzle and dip in so before you dive in make sure you’ve got some of our Homemade Paleo Ranch Dressing on hand. Especially if you like those wings HOT!
No more, I promise. I’ll stop torturing you with pictures of beautiful Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings so you can get in the kitchen and whip some up yourself.
- 3 lbs. chicken wings, ‘flats’ and ‘drummies’ (About 36 pieces; thawed if frozen, then drained and patted dry)
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder (NOT BAKING SODA) - **Whole30 substitute: 1 tsp. baking soda + 2 tsp. cream of tartar**
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- Preheat oven to 250℉. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a baking/cooling rack on the baking sheet and set aside.
- Place chicken wing parts in a large bowl. Sprinkle with baking powder and sea salt. Toss well to coat.
- Arrange chicken on the baking/cooking rack in a single layer so that pieces are not touching one another (use a second pan with rack, if needed).
- Place pan in oven and cook chicken for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, turn the oven temperature to 425℉ and continue cooking for another 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, rotate the pan and cook an additional 20 minutes or until chicken is crispy and lightly browned.
- While the chicken is baking, prepare the sauce by combining all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once ghee is melted, whisk to combine and remove from heat.
- Transfer cooked chicken pieces to a shallow container (such as a 9x13-inch pan) and drizzle with ½ of Buffalo sauce. Toss to coat.
- Serve remaining sauce with wings or save for another use. May also serve with Homemade Paleo Ranch Dressing for extra dipping pleasure.
How do you like your wings? Mild or Spicy? Let’s talk wings in the comments below!
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