Barbecue Chicken Wings Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Barbecue Chicken Wings

Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Bake: 40 min.
What's the secret to creating sweet and tangy baked barbecue chicken wings? Coat them in baking powder to help them crisp up in the oven, then wait until the end to add the barbecue sauce for a perfect glaze.

Updated: May 08, 2024

These baked barbecue chicken wings are a welcome change of pace from typical hot wings. Instead of deep-frying, we bake the chicken wings with a light coating of baking powder (the secret behind the crispy texture of our baked chicken wings). Then, we glaze the crispy wings with barbecue sauce to give them a saucy finish.

Spiced and tangy with a sticky-sweet texture, these baked barbecue chicken wings make us understand what it means for something to be finger-lickin’ good!

Ingredients for Barbecue Chicken Wings

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  • Chicken wings: We usually start our chicken wing recipes with whole wings to create a perfect mix of drumettes and wingettes (aka “flats”). If you don’t want to separate them at home, pick up a package of already-separated party wings from the store.
  • Wing seasoning: Baking powder helps oven-baked wings become crispy. We also add seasonings, including salt, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and cayenne pepper, to the baking powder.
  • Butter and vegetable oil: Cooking oil helps the wings crisp up in the oven, and butter adds richness.
  • Barbecue sauce: The best barbecue sauce for chicken wings is the one you like the most! Use a store-bought bottle or make a homemade version of your favorite regional barbecue sauce.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the chicken wings

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Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil or parchment. Pour the butter and oil over the foil, and brush to coat evenly.

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Using a sharp knife, cut through the two wing joints to separate the drumettes from the wingettes, and discard the wing tips.

Editor’s Tip: If you have room in the freezer, save the wing tips. Add them to your next batch of homemade chicken broth to give the broth a collagen-rich boost.

Step 2: Season the chicken wings

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In a large bowl, combine the baking powder, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and cayenne. Add the wing pieces, a few at a time, and toss to coat. Shake off any excess seasoning.

Step 3: Bake the chicken wings

Place the wings on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

Step 4: Baste the wings with barbecue sauce

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Brush both sides of the wings with half the barbecue sauce. Bake until the wings are browned and the juices run clear, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Brush with the remaining 1/4 cup sauce.

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Barbecue Chicken Wing Variations

  • Air-fry the wings: For air-fryer chicken wings, coat the chicken wings in the wing seasoning as directed. Air-fry the chicken in a 300° air fryer for 15 minutes. Then increase the heat to 400° and continue cooking until the wings are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, turning once. Once cooked, toss the chicken with the barbecue sauce.
  • Try them grilled: For grilled chicken wings, prepare the wing seasoning with cornstarch instead of baking powder. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat, and grill the wings until crisp, 20 to 25 minutes, turning occasionally. Once grilled, toss the chicken with the barbecue sauce.
  • Use a deep fryer: For fried chicken wings, skip the baking powder and season the chicken wings simply with salt. Then, deep-fry the wings in batches in 375° oil until the skin is crisp and the meat is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the wings on a paper towel or wire rack, and toss with the barbecue sauce.

How to Store Barbecue Chicken Wings

Store leftover barbecue chicken wings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat the wings in a 350° oven on a greased baking sheet until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°, flipping the wings occasionally as they reheat.

Barbecue Chicken Wing Tips

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When do you put the barbecue sauce on chicken wings?

It’s best to add the barbecue sauce after cooking the chicken wings. Some recipes call for adding barbecue sauce to raw chicken, but the sugars in the barbecue sauce can burn in the hot oven. If you add the sauce during the last 10 minutes, the risk of burning is minimal.

How do you get barbecue sauce to stick to chicken wings?

To ensure the barbecue sauce will stick to the chicken wings, coat the wings in flour or baking powder before baking them. The lightly breaded exterior will give the sauce something to cling to. It also helps to add the sauce to the wings during the final 8 to 10 minutes of cooking time, creating a sticky glaze.

Watch how to Make Barbecue Chicken Wings

Baked Barbecue Chicken Wings

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 40 min
Yield about 20 pieces.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a 15x10x1-in. baking pan with foil or parchment. Pour butter and oil over foil; brush to coat evenly.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut through the 2 wing joints; discard wing tips. In a large bowl, combine baking powder, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and cayenne; add wing pieces, a few at a time, and toss to coat; shake off excess.
  3. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Brush both sides with half the barbecue sauce. Cook until browned and juices run clear, 8-10 minutes longer. Brush with remaining 1/4 cup of sauce.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 78 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 18mg cholesterol, 224mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 5g protein.

These crispy barbecue chicken wings are bursting with flavor. Seasoned in a coating of onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper, these wings get tossed in barbecue sauce for a tangy, sweet flavor profile with a hint of spice. —Nancy Mock, Southbridge, Massachusetts