Crispy Baked Chicken Wings – Once Upon a Chef

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Skip the fryer and discover the secret to super crispy baked chicken wings. With a simple parboil trick and a spice rub that packs a tasty punch, these wings will become your new go-to for game day or casual gatherings.

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

I love crispy chicken wings but not always the thought of deep-frying. Grilled chicken wings are a great option in the summertime, but what’s a wing lover to do the rest of the year? Baked chicken wings are a popular alternative, but the problem with most recipes is that the wings are never quite crispy enough. However, my recipe introduces a game-changing approach—parboiling the wings before roasting. This step renders away excess fat and ensures the wings emerge from the oven perfectly crispy. And the spice rub—a blend of salt, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika—gives the wings delicious flavor.

Though the wings are flavorful enough to stand alone, I’ve included an easy Buffalo sauce recipe in case you’d like to serve them Buffalo-style. You can also serve them with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.

Table of Contents

“Super crispy…My husband, who is a wing nut, loved these. This is the only way I will be making my wings from now on.”

Daniella

What You’ll Need To Make Baked Chicken Wings

baked chicken wings ingredients.

Find the printable recipe with exact measurements below.

  • Chicken Wings: Feel free to choose between drummettes, wingettes (flats), or a combination of both, often referred to as “party wings” in stores.
  • Vegetable Oil: Helps to crisp the skin in the oven and allows the spices to adhere to the wings evenly.
  • Spices (Chili Powder, Cumin, Smoked Paprika): Lend a rich, smoky, and slightly spicy flavor.
  • Butter, Melted: Combines with the hot sauce to create a rich, flavorful coating that adds depth and mellows the heat.
  • Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce: Gives the wings their classic hot and tangy flavor, essential for achieving that signature buffalo wing taste.

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a rapid boil. Add the chicken wings, return to a boil, and boil them for 7 minutes.

parboiling the chicken wings.

Drain the wings thoroughly in a colander.

draining the chicken wings.

Place the wings on a 13 x 18-inch baking sheet. Using a wad of paper towels, blot the wings as dry as possible.

drained chicken wings on baking sheet.

Drizzle the oil over the wings and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika.

adding oil and spices to chicken wings.

Toss with a rubber spatula until the wings are evenly coated.

tossed chicken wings ready to bake.

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and, using tongs, flip the wings over.

flipping chicken wings halfway through baking.

Return to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes more, or until the wings are crispy all over.

baked chicken wings.

To make the Buffalo sauce, combine the butter and hot sauce in a small bowl.

butter and hot sauce in bowl.

Whisk to combine. It will solidify as it cools; you can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop if necessary.

buffalo sauce in bowl.

Transfer the wings to a serving platter and serve with the Buffalo sauce, if desired.

crispy baked chicken wings on platter

Frequently Asked Questions

Can these wings be baked ahead of time and reheated?

Yes, baked wings reheat well. I’d reheat them in a 350° oven and start checking them at 15 minutes to ensure they are heated through.

Many recipes call for baking powder to crisp up chicken wings. Do you recommend using it?

While baking powder is a popular ingredient for achieving crispy skin in baked chicken wings, it’s not necessary if you follow my method of parboiling the wings first. Parboiling helps to render the fat from the skin, which leads to even crispier results once baked. In my experience, parboiling followed by baking yields superior crispiness and flavor.

I have drumsticks in the freezer that I’d love to use up. Can I substitute them for the wings?

Sure, drumsticks can be used instead of wings. The boiling time will be the same, but they may take an additional 10 to 15 minutes to bake. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.

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Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

Skip the fryer and discover the secret to super crispy baked chicken wings. With a simple parboil trick and a spice rub that packs a tasty punch, these wings will become your new go-to for game day or casual gatherings.

Ingredients

For the Chicken Wings

  • Salt
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, split into drummettes and wings (tips discarded)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

For the Buffalo Sauce (optional)

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (or similar brand)

Instructions

For the Chicken Wings

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a rapid boil. Add the chicken wings, return to a boil, and boil them for 7 minutes. Drain the wings thoroughly in a colander.
  3. Place the wings on a 13 x 18-inch baking sheet. Using a wad of paper towels, blot the wings as dry as possible (wipe off any moisture from the baking sheet, too). Drizzle the oil over the wings and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika. Toss with a rubber spatula until the wings are evenly coated. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and, using tongs, flip the wings over. Return to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes more, or until the wings are crispy all over. Transfer the wings to a serving platter and serve with the Buffalo sauce on the side, if desired.

For the Buffalo Sauce

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter and hot sauce. The sauce will solidify as it cools; reheat if necessary.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 499
  • Fat: 37 g
  • Saturated fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 40 g
  • Sodium: 546 mg
  • Cholesterol: 252 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you’re following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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