Thanks to Cook’s Illustrated, I will never deep fry chicken wings again. Making oven baked wings that come out truly crispy is so easy that I was gob smacked. The results are phenomenal! Plus, I’ve now created a cooking video here so you can see just how easy to it is to make and how crispy they really are!
“These honestly taste like they have been deep fried.”
I am a food nerd. I know this because I enjoy the way Cook’s Illustrated explains the science behind why they do things a particular way (usually not the traditional way). I really like to use Cook’s Illustrated recipes as a base for my own recipes, like these wings which I make using my own sauce recipe.
There are two secrets to achieve truly crispy oven baked wings:
1. Coat in baking powder – yes, you read that right, baking powder! I won’t go into all the technicalities, but in a nutshell, the baking powder draws moisture to the surface of the skin so it can evaporate, thereby making the skin crispier; and
2. Bake for 30 minutes on low to melt the fat before blasting in a very hot oven to crisp up the skin. There’s a lot of scientific explanations around this and I’ll skip it because I’ll bore you! But basically, the wings are first baked on the lowest shelf in the oven at a very low temperature for 30 minutes which causes the fat under the skin to “melt”, then you move the wings up to the top shelf and crank up the heat which crisps up the skin.
When these come out of the oven and you tap the skin with your nail, you can instantly “hear” how crispy the skin is. They even look like they’ve been fried! And in case you are concerned, you don’t taste baking powder at all.
These wings really are simple to make – you will be absolutely amazed! I’ve made a little video for you so can see for yourself how easy they are and exactly how I make them.
“Another great thing about these wings is that because the fat is rendered out (melted), it means that these wings have less calories!”
You will notice that the wings are smaller than you are used to. That’s because so much of the fat under the skin melts off the wings – you’ll see it all pooled on the tray. So these have the added benefit of reduced calories too!
You can toss the wings in your sauce of choice or serve the sauce on the side. I choose to serve it on the side so the wings stay crispy. The sauce I used in this recipe is a classic flavour combination – honey, soy sauce, garlic and sriracha (optional). I want this sauce on tap, I love it so much! I use it for alot of things and I’m sure you will see it featured more on my blog.
Let’s get stuck into these wings! – Nagi
- 4 lb/ 2 kg chicken wings, cut into wingettes and drumettes (tips discarded)
- 2 tbsp baking powder (NOT BAKING SODA / BI-CARB SODA!!)
- ¾ tsp salt
- Oil spray
- 4 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp white vinegar (or sub with any other vinegar except balsamic)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (adjust to taste)
- If you are organised enough, uncover the chicken wings and leave them in the fridge for a few hours to dry out. Otherwise, use a paper towel to pat the wings dry.
- Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions.
- Preheat oven to 250F/120C.
- Line a baking tray with foil, then place a rack (like a cooling rack) on the foil. Spray the rack with oil spray.
- Place wings in a large bowl or in a ziplock bag. Add the baking powder and salt, then toss to coat evenly.
- Place the wings on the baking tray in a single layer with the skin side up. They should just fit snugly. They will shrink when they cook because the fat renders out so don't worry if they look too snug.
- Place wings on the lower middle oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.
- Move wings up to the upper middle rack and increase the oven temperature to 425F/220C. Bake for 40 - 50 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through.
- Remove baking tray from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes.
- Toss wings in sauce of choice (or serve it on the side to dip / drizzle on the wings), then serve.
- Place ingredients in a bowl large enough to toss the wings in. Mix until combined. Set aside until required.
2. The wings will not bake to a dark golden brown unless you leave them in for 1 hr+. They bake to a golden brown. You will know they are done because the skin will be lovely and crispy.
3. The recipe for the wings is from Cook's Illustrated "Meats Book" cookbook. The sauce recipe is my own.
4. To reheat: Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate. The skin will wrinkle and soften. Preheat oven to 200C/390F. Spread wings out on tray, skin side up, and bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until the skin puffs up so the wrinkles smooth out and becomes crisp again.
This nutrition analysis does not take into account that most of the fat on the wings renders out. So the calories are higher than it should be. This analysis assumes 8 servings.
PS I’ve now published the Buffalo Wings version! Here it is: Truly Crispy Oven Baked BUFFALO Wings.