The best crispy baked buffalo wings are bold and flavorful thanks to a dry rub that makes them tender, juicy, and so easy to make without the mess of deep frying.
There’s nothing quite like the finger-licking, lip-smacking, dressing-dipping deliciousness that comes from devouring a batch of the best Buffalo wings—unless it’s my Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks. Introduced in the 1960s as a bar bite in Buffalo, New York, Buffalo wings have transcended time and borders to become an American classic—especially for Super Bowl. Unlike the original version, my wings are baked not fried, making them even easier to prepare. And yes, the skin is crispy! To make baked Buffalo crispy wings without frying, I took a lesson from my dry-brined turkey, tossed the chicken wings in a spice rub, and refrigerated them uncovered overnight. This method dries out the chicken skin while sealing in flavor before baking them in a hot oven and tossing them in tangy Buffalo hot sauce. The result? Finger-licking, crisp Buffalo wings you’ll toss your deep fryer over for.
What’s In This Buffalo Wings Recipe
I like the meatier drumettes. My husband prefers the flats. Choose a combination of chicken wings depending on your taste.
- Chicken wing sections, flats, and drumettes. You should get about 10 chicken flats or drummettes per pound.
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Dried thyme—Crush the thyme between your fingers to release the oils and flavor
- Smoked paprika
- Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce—Frank’s tangy vinegar wing sauce is now sold in the bottle so there’s no need to mix Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce with melted butter (unless you want to.)
- Ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing
- Sliced carrots, celery, and cucumbers
How to Make Baked Buffalo Wings
- Prep the chicken. Trim and loose skin or fat from the wings and pat them dry with paper towels.
- Prepare the spice rub. Not only does it add flavor, but the paprika-based spice rub infuses the wings with salt to dry out the skin and make it crispy when baked.
Spice Them Up, Then Refrigerate
- Toss the dry wings in the spice rub. I use my hands to really massage the rub into the wings for max flavor.
- Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and refrigerate the Buffalo wings skin-side up, uncovered, for 4 hours up to overnight. Refrigerating the wings uncovered dries out the skin so it won’t be soggy after baking.
Prep the Wings for Baking
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Layer the wings in a single layer, skin side up so the fat renders into the meat as it cooks. The chicken’s contact with the baking sheet will crisp from the bottom with the direct heat roasting the tops. Or, you can cook on a wire rack rimmed baking sheet so the hot air circulates.
- Arrange the meaty drummettes along the outside rim of the baking sheet for maximum exposure to the heat. Place the thinner flats in the center.
Bake Buffalo Wings at High Heat
- Bake Buffalo chicken wings at 400°F for 50-60 minutes. The wings should be golden and crisp. Depending on the size of the drummettes, add more time in 10-minute increments if needed.
- Do you need to flip baked chicken wings? I’ve flipped chicken wings mid-way through baking and I’ve skipped that step too and haven’t noticed much of a difference either way.
Toss the Buffalo Wings In Sauce
- Let the wings rest for 5 minutes or so before tossing in Buffalo sauce. This is another layer of defense to help them stay crisp.
- Toss the wings in the bottled Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce. Frank’s now sells the wing sauce pre-mixed.
- Or, make your own Buffalo sauce in a small saucepan or microwave together:
- ½ cup Frank’s RedHot Original Red Pepper Sauce
- mixed with 4 tablespoons melted butter
What to Serve with Buffalo Wings
- My favorite dipping dressings to serve with Buffalo wings are my homemade Ranch Dressing and Blue Cheese Dressing.
- Cool the heat with carrot sticks, sliced celery, and chunks of cucumber. Black olives are yum too.
How to Cook Buffalo Wings in the Air Fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
- Spray the fry basket with cooking spray and fill the basket with a single layer of chicken wings, skin side up.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes or until crispy.
- Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a preheated oven.
- Repeat with the remaining wings.
Why They Call Them Buffalo Wings
Buffalo wings originated in Buffalo, New York as a late-night bar snack that drenched deep-fried chicken wings in a tangy pepper hot sauce. Served with blue cheese dressing, carrot sticks, and celery, fans discovered the tangy Buffalo wings were best served with beer and football.
More Chicken Appetizers to Love
- Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks
- 5-Ingredient Chicken Chipotle Taquitos
- Chicken Satay
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings
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How to Make THE BEST Baked Buffalo Wings (Crispy and Juicy!)
- 6 pounds chicken wing flats and drumettes
- 3 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme , crushed
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 12 ounces Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce
- Ranch dressing
- sliced carrots, celery, and cucumber
- Trim any extra fat or loose skin from the wing flats and drummettes. Pat dry with paper towels and place on a baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, dried thyme, and smoked paprika. Sprinkle the spice mix over the chicken and toss to coat. Arrange the wings in a single layer and refrigerate uncovered for 4 hours up to overnight for the skin to dry out.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray then arrange the wings in a single layer skin side up. Place the meaty drummettes on the outside of the baking sheet with the flat wings in the center. Bake for 50-60 minutes until cooked through and golden crisp. Transfer the cooked wings to a large bowl and drizzle with 10 ounces of the wing sauce, adding more as desired. Toss to coat well and serve with Ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing with carrot and celery sticks and sliced cucumbers.
More Buffalo Chicken Recipes
- Buffalo Chicken Meatball Subs
- Easy Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Meatball Subs
- Buffalo Chicken Fettuccine
- Sheet Pan BBQ Blue Cheese Chicken Pizza
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