Oven-fried and crispy don’t always go hand in hand. When we want the crunchy texture of fried chicken, it almost always means heating up a big pan of oil for deep-frying. However, there is a way to get that crispy texture from the oven—and the secret ingredient is probably sitting in your pantry right now. This recipe for oven-fried chicken wings is proof that it works.
For Crispy Oven-Fried Wings, Use Baking Powder
Yes! The mystery ingredient is the same canister of baking powder you pull out for cookie and biscuit recipes. And the method couldn’t be easier: seasoned chicken wings are simply dredged in baking powder before going into the oven. After baking, the wings emerge with a delectable browned and crunchy texture.
How does this work? The baking powder helps to pull a lot of moisture out of the chicken skin; that moisture evaporates away in the hot oven and allows the wings to brown and crisp up beautifully.
How to Make Oven-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Dipping Sauce
The wings take about an hour to bake. When served as an appetizer, the recipe makes enough for about 4 people.
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds chicken wings, a mix of drums and flats
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) baking powder
Spicy Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
Editor’s Tip: If you can only find whole chicken wings, follow our how-to guide to easily slice them into drums and flats.
Step 1: Dry and season the chicken
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. (An oven thermometer is a smart investment to make sure you’re getting the right temperature every time.) Melt the butter and vegetable oil together, then use a brush to spread the mixture over the foil/parchment paper.
Pat each chicken wing piece, one at a time, with paper towels until they’re as dry as possible, then lay them out on a cutting board. Mix together the salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a small dish. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the wings, and press the spices into the meat with your fingers. Flip the pieces over and repeat on the other side.
Step 2: Coat the chicken in baking powder
Measure the baking powder into a medium bowl. Take each chicken piece and toss it in the baking powder, coating the entire surface. Tap off the excess, then place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the chicken wings until they’re all coated. The chicken should be arranged on the sheet so that there’s space between each piece.
Step 3: Bake
Place the chicken in the oven and bake the wings for about one hour, flipping the pieces over every 20 minutes. (Use tongs to do this carefully so as not to tear the coating off the surface.) The chicken is ready when the pieces are crispy, deep brown and have an internal temperature of 165°.
Step 4: Make the dipping sauce
While the chicken bakes, whisk the sour cream, buttermilk, sriracha sauce, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Hold the sauce in the fridge until the chicken is ready.
Step 5: Serve
Transfer the chicken wings to a serving platter along with the bowl of spicy dipping sauce. Serve while the chicken is warm.
Tips for Making Oven-Fried Chicken Wings
Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder for oven-fried chicken wings?
Oh no, no, no—don’t do that! If coated with baking soda, the wings will be inedible. Baking powder is a mixture of one part baking soda with two parts cream of tartar plus some cornstarch; once the wings are baked, it leaves behind no aftertaste. Straight baking soda, however, is pure sodium with a metallic bitterness. If used to coat the chicken, baking soda will ruin the flavor.
How do you make sure oven-fried wings get crispy?
The trick of using baking powder for crispy wings will work best if you follow these other steps as well. Be really thorough when drying the chicken wings with paper towels. Have the baking sheet, seasonings and baking powder ready on your workspace before you begin coating the chicken—that way you can get them into the oven quickly to wick moisture away.
Finally, leave plenty of space between the pieces on the baking sheet; crowded chicken will steam and be soggy rather than crisp. The high oven temperature also helps the wings get crispy and browned on the outside as they cook through on the inside.
Here’s how to fry chicken like they do in the South.
What can you serve with chicken wings?
When you’re setting oven-fried wings out as an app or a snack, a dipping sauce is always a welcome accompaniment. We’re partial to the spicy sriracha dipping sauce in the recipe above, but our collection of wing sauce recipes includes more tasty options like Nashville barbecue or sweet and sour sauce.
Turn your wings into a meal by adding a side dish or two: Try pub favorites like crispy fries or onion rings. Other hot sides to pair with include mac and cheese, baked potatoes and Southern-style turnip greens. Or, try a classic cold side like a Marinated Three Bean Salad.
How do you store oven-fried chicken wings?
If you make your oven-fried chicken wings in advance or have leftovers, let them cool completely then stash them in a tightly sealed container. Store the wings in the fridge for up to five days, or in the freezer for up to three months.
When it’s time to reheat them, first let frozen wings thaw in the fridge. To reheat them in the oven, arrange the wings on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet greased with butter or nonstick spray. Place them in a 350° oven for about 5 minutes, then flip the wings over. Bake them for another 5-7 minutes until they’re heated through.
You can also reheat oven-fried wings in an air fryer. Arrange them on the rack in the air fryer basket. (Don’t over-crowd them; if there are too many, reheat them in batches.) Set the air fryer to the reheat setting for 350° for five minutes. Check the wings—if they’re not ready, flip the pieces and heat them for 3-5 minutes longer.