You can hear that crispiness when you tap these oven baked chicken wings. The Cooks Illustrated method makes them deliciously addictive without frying!
We’re using a honey garlic sauce with the chicken wings, but you can finish them with whatever sauce or dip you like best.
I usually stay away from wings (not exactly healthy food), but every once in awhile, I can’t get them out of my head until I make them. A much loved guilty treat for me.
These crispy baked wings with honey garlic sauce are delicious, plain and simple.
What to love about this recipe
I looked at a ton of recipes and settled on the Cooks Illustrated method which found the best way to make super crispy chicken wings when baked. Genius. And less guilt with no deep frying. Plus…
- No flour or breadcrumb coating.
- No deep fryer needed, no fry smell and no pot of oil to clean up.
- Minimal hands on time.
- Use any of your favorite sauces or dips, but the honey garlic sauce in the recipe is delish!
Ingredients – tailored to your taste
Chicken: Use whole wings (tips off) or split wings. I prefer the wings to be a little larger so the meat doesn’t dry out while the skin gets crispy.
Baking powder: This is the secret ingredient – tested by America’s Test Kitchen, Cooks Illustrated and Serious Eats – that accelerates browning and crisping of the chicken skin on the wings. Don’t use baking soda!
Honey garlic sauce: We are using a pretty common Asian-style honey garlic sauce with the ingredients in the picture above. Here are some alternatives if you’re not a fan: spicy honey-lime sauce (from our honey lime chicken recipe), herb vinaigrette dressing (from our lemon garlic herb chicken), hot sauce.
Toasted sesame seeds: These are optional but add a subtle nutty flavor as a garnish.
There are two tricks to these oven baked wings with crispy skin.
- Bake them with a light coating of baking powder at two different temperatures.
- Add the glaze or sauce after baking. The wings will stay crisp for 10-15 minutes once glazed, so add the sauce just before serving.
This guarantees crispiness and deliciousness.
Step by step instructions
Shake chicken wings, salt and baking powder in a bag to coat evenly.
Lay out wings on top of a wire rack sitting on top of a sheet pan. It’s OK if wings are close together but not touching.
Bake at 250F/121C first, then at 425F/218C until wings are browned and crispy.
Boil honey garlic sauce ingredients in sauce pan until slightly thickened.
Toss crispy baked wings with sauce in a bowl or drizzle sauce over wings.
Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped parsley.
- Get a butcher to cut off the wing tips and/or split the wings for you.
- Use a good store-bought BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce or favorite dipping sauce.
- Make the wings ahead without adding sauce, then reheat them at 400F for 6-8 minutes. They will crisp back up. Toss with sauce just before serving.
- The sauce, glaze or dip can be made a day or two ahead as well, stored in an airtight container.
Figure about 1 pound/450 grams per person to be on the safe side for bigger eaters as a main course. A bit less if you are serving the wings with a few sides. Generally 4-5 wings per person.
So 4 lbs/1.8 kg of wings will serve 4-6 people for a main or 8-10 as an appetizer. This means 16-20 whole wings in total, depending on the size of the wings. (Or 32-40 pieces if split).
No. While they both make baked goods rise, they contain different ingredients. Baking powder is more powerful. In a nutshell, use baking powder when the dish has no acid component in it. In some instances (in a pinch) you can substitute 1 teaspoon baking soda with 1/3 teaspoon of baking powder. For this recipe, only use baking powder. Healthline explains the science of baking soda vs baking powder and when to use both.
Best sides for chicken wings
As a main dish I love to serve the honey garlic chicken wings over white rice to soak up the sauce with a side of:
- purple cabbage slaw (grilled)
- citrus salad with greens
- lemon herb cauliflower rice (for a low calorie option) or
- Thai mango salad
If you’re serving party wings or an appetizer, all you need is a good dip. We listed a few good options above. For game day, a traditional side is celery sticks with blue cheese dressing.
More chicken wing recipes
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Oven Baked Chicken Wings (Crispy with Honey Garlic Sauce)
- wire rack or cooling rack/grate
- 4 pounds (1.8 kg) chicken wings, split into 2 wing pieces if preferred, tips discarded. (about 16-20 whole wings) Note 1
- 2 tablespoon baking powder NOT baking soda!
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- oil for spraying wings
- Garnish: 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, chopped cilantro or parsley.
Honey Garlic Sauce
- 1/2 cup honey (170 grams/6 ounces)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced (4 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoon dry sherry, fortified wine or rice wine (or 1 tbsp rice vinegar in a pinch)
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce I use low sodium
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon -1/2 tsp chili flakes, optional
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- PREHEAT OVEN to 250F/120C. Position one oven rack in lower 1/3 of oven and one rack in upper third of oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and place wire rack on top. Spray rack with a little oil.
- PREPARE WINGS: Pat wings dry with paper towels. Place baking powder and salt in a bag and toss in wings. Shake to coat evenly. Lay wings on the baking tray in a single layer with smooth side up. It's ok if they fit snugly as they will shrink when they cook. If you haven't spit the wings, you may need to use a second pan.
- BAKE WINGS AT LOW HEAT: Bake wings for 30 minutes in the lower third of the oven at 250F.
- BAKE WINGS AT HIGH HEAT: Raise heat to 425F/218C. Move wings to upper third of oven for another 30-40 minutes, depending on size of wings, until crispy and golden brown, rotating the tray halfway through. The internal temperature on an instant read thermometer will be about 160F/71C. Let wings rest for 5 minutes.
- MAKE SAUCE/GLAZE: While wings are baking, place all sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until glaze has reduced and thickened a bit. Taste and adjust flavors. Remove from heat.
- FINISH AND SERVE: There's 3 options. 1) Place cooked wings in a large bowl, pour on sauce and toss together. 2) Place wings on a plate and drizzle on sauce. OR3) Serve wings with sauce or dip of your choice on the side. Note 2 for sauce and dip suggestions. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro, and sesame seeds if desired.
- Portion size: Figure about 3/4 lb per person or 1 lb to be on the safe side for bigger eaters as a main course. 4-5 wings per person. So 4 lbs of wings will serve 4-6 people for a main (or 8-10 as an appetizer).
- Sauce/Dip suggestions: Sauces: honey garlic sauce as per recipe, spicy honey lime, lemon garlic herb dressing. Dips: Thai chili sauce, honey mustard, peanut sauce, Buffalo wing sauce, ranch dressing, salsa, Caesar dressing, blue cheese dip.
- Make Ahead: Make wings ahead without adding sauce, then reheat them at 400F for 6-8 minutes. They will crisp back up. Toss with sauce just before serving. The sauce, glaze or dip can be made a day or two ahead as well, stored in an airtight container.