The Cooking Tip To Ensure Your Chicken Wings Stay Crispy In The Oven

Americans love crispy chicken wings, like really, really love them. According to Pitco, Americans consume almost 1 billion servings of wings per year, and the National Chicken Council states that 1.4 billion individual wings will be consumed on Super Bowl weekend alone. The tasty, saucy treats are an enduring staple of bar menus and takeout pizza joints, perfect with a cold beer. They are also great blank slates for a truly outstanding array of sauces and flavors, which means almost anyone who eats meat can find a wing they love.

Wings are so popular that figuring out how to replicate your favorite bar's buffalo wings at home has become a nationwide culinary crusade. Deep-frying is always an option, but a hot and messy one that not everybody feels comfortable doing. Air fryers also get the job done, but not everybody owns them. That leaves making chicken wings in the oven as your best bet for a crispy, crunchy wing that doesn't get too soft after being doused in sauce. 

While it would seem like an oven could never replicate the results of a deep fry, there are plenty of tips from the experts that can get you closer than you would have ever imagined. And, there is also one big precaution you should take with oven wings that will help them stay crispy.

Keep your wings spaced out in the oven for maximum crisp

Like Chinese general Sun Tzu, who was probably not talking about food, once said: "Know thy enemy." And as Serious Eats notes, the enemy of crispy skin on chicken is moisture. The key to perfect oven-baked wings is doing everything you can to keep the outside dry before, and while, you cook them. This can be as simple as making sure you pat them dry before cooking, or you could go full food science by drying them in the fridge overnight and dusting them with baking powder. But, the battle against moisture doesn't end once the wings go in the oven.

Something you should always do with oven wings is spread them out on the pan before they cook. According to Food52, crowding your baking pan with too many wings will create steam, which will leave you with a wet, rubbery skin. It's better to work in multiple batches and guarantee good wings than to try and rush it by piling all your wings in at once. South Coast Today agrees, saying "the less they touch the crisper they will be."

You can also help dry out your skin quickly by cooking your wings at a high temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit to start, then lowering the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for the second half of the bake, per Food52. Follow a few simple steps to drive moisture away, and you can make oven wings every bit as crispy and delicious as a deep fryer will.