The Ideal Time To Add Sauce To Wings To Keep Them Crispy

Whether you're cooking for a Sunday night football game or a casual get-together with friends, chicken wings are among America's ultimate finger foods. The best batch comes with a crispy exterior and a generous, flavorful coating of Buffalo sauce  — two characteristics that often oppose one another. In general, it's best to add your sauce only at the end of baking or until you're ready to serve. Doing so will preserve the crispiness of your wings and maintain the desired texture and taste all throughout the big game.

Indeed, it's challenging to achieve the right balance between crispy and saucy wings. When coating your homemade crispy baked chicken wings with lemon pepper, teriyaki, or BBQ sauce, you run the risk of turning your wings soggy, especially if your chicken has had too much time in too much of the liquid. Luckily, this conundrum can be easily resolved with some careful and strategic timing when it comes to baking your wings and adding your sauce.

Add sauce at the very end to maintain and maximize wing crispiness

As for the baking stage, make sure to dry your chicken wings with paper towels before you put them in the oven. If there's any moisture on the wings, this can inhibit their ability to crisp nicely before they've even had the chance to cook. By ensuring the exterior of your wings are dry, your sauce of choice should stick perfectly to the crust without seeping into the chicken too much. 

Once you've finished baking your wings and you're ready to dig in, you can go about adding sauce in one go. Place your wings in a large bowl, depending on how many you're making, and pour the sauce over them. Cover it with a lid or plate, and give it a good shake until your wings are evenly coated. So long as you follow this sequence, your chicken wings may rival some of America's best.