Baked chicken wings are easier and less messy, and the results are just as delicious.
oven baked wings with orange slices
Credit: Aaron Dyer

Using your oven to cook chicken wings instead of deep-frying them isn't a compromise at all. It's actually a great way to make this super popular game-day snack. Not only will it mean you can feed a crowd in one or two batches and be much healthier than deep-frying, making baked chicken wings isn't nearly as messy or labor-intensive, either. Here's what you need to do.

Prep Wings for Takeoff

Preparation is everything here. A first vital step is patting the wings as dry as you can with paper towels; if there's excess moisture, then they'll steam instead of roast, delaying that coveted browning and crisping of the skin that we all want.

Get Equipped

For wings that have a lighter caloric load, set your pan up to let the rendering fat drip down and separate from the chicken. Lightly coat an oven-safe wire rack with cooking spray and set it inside a rimmed, foil-lined baking sheet (the foil is optional but it will result in less grease to clean for whoever is on dish duty!). A broiler pan will also work fine here. If you don't mind a little rendered fat on your wings, you can skip using a rack and put the wings directly on the baking sheet.

Roast Away

A hot oven—450°F—is our recommended temperature for oven-roasted wings. It will get the job done fast and efficiently without making a smoke show out of your kitchen, which can happen if you use higher temperatures. As soon as you put the tray of wings in the oven, assemble the sauce you'll be tossing them in once they've finished cooking. Our recipe for Baked Chicken Wings was tested out with three wildly different but equally delicious sauces: Sriracha-Buffalo, Maple-Dijon, or Sweet-and-Sour Orange. Clearly, you are going to have a hard time choosing just one, which is why we recommend doubling the base recipe and trying a couple of different coatings for variety.

With this simple method and a few smart preparations, you'll make a tray of chicken wings that will rival the version at your favorite sports bar. Now it's time to roll up your sleeves and make your crowd go wild with a platter of delicious oven-baked wings.


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