Restaurant-worthy baked hot wings are easy to make at home! Doused in hot sauce, this boldly-flavored game day recipe yields crispy and almost addictive spicy chicken wings every time.
As much I love some simple air fryer chicken wings or grilled chicken wings, I sometimes like to change things up for my family and serve them my famous fiery hot wings. It needs just a handful of spices to transform a flavorful cut of chicken into something pretty spectacular.
I dust the wings in some spices and douse them in hot sauce. Just like I do with my garlic parmesan wings recipe, the secret to crispy wings is to brush them with sauce and broil for the last two minutes- they turn out crispy, juicy, and finger-licking good.
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
- A bold kick of spice! Hot wings are even spicier than buffalo wings! They’re perfect for the spice lovers in your life.
- The perfect game day appetizer. What could be better than snacking on a plate of hot wings with ranch dressing for the big game? Just like lemon pepper wings, this hot wings recipe is always popular at parties, game day get-togethers, and for fun weeknight dinners.
- Incredible texture. The outside is sticky, saucy, lightly charred, and, most importantly, super crunchy.
All you need are a few baking staples and simple seasonings to help these baked chicken wings taste their best:
- Chicken wings. Make sure the wings are separated into flats and drumettes before you get started. Feel free to make this recipe with frozen chicken wings if that’s all you have at home! Just remember to thaw them completely and pat them dry with a paper towel before dredging them in the flour.
- Flour. Use all purpose flour for the best results. To make gluten free hot wings, swap the all purpose flour for a 1:1 gluten free flour blend.
- Corn flour. It’s the secret to extra crispy wings! Cornstarch works as a substitute.
- Baking powder. This is another key ingredient in achieving the crispiest wings. As the wings bake, the baking powder seals to the outside and creates a crunchy coating. Do not replace this with baking soda, as it can leave an unappetizing metallic flavor behind.
- Salt and pepper. For flavor.
- Paprika. For a sweet and subtly smoky flavor.
- Garlic and onion powder. These give the wings a deep savory flavor.
- Hot sauce. I like to coat the wings in Sriracha, but you can use any hot sauce or buffalo sauce you love.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to make hot wings
Step 1- Dredge the wings. Whisk the flours with the baking powder and spices in a large mixing bowl. Toss the wings in the mixture so they’re evenly coated, then place them on a parchment-lined baking tray.
Step 2- Bake. Bake the chicken wings until they’re lightly golden.
Step 3- Brush with hot sauce. Use a silicone or pastry brush to brush the hot sauce over the baked wings.
Step 4- Broil. Place the hot wings back in the oven on the highest rack. Broil until they start to char.
Alternative cooking methods
What I love about this recipe is that you can use these exact measurements to cook the wings in several other ways. Here is what I have personally tested successfully-
- Air fryer: Dredge them in flour as normal, then place them in a single layer in the air fryer basket (work in batches if needed). Air fry at 400ºF (200ºC) for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Brush the wings with hot sauce and air fry for another 3 to 5 minutes or until crispy.
- Smoker: Preheat the smoker to 225F using mild wood chips (I like apple). Smoke the wings for 2 hours. Dredge with more sauce.
- Deep frying: Add 1-2 inches of oil to a large pot or deep fryer. Once hot, drop the wings in the hot oil and deep fry for 4-5 minutes, or until golden. Remove them from the oil and place them on a wire rack. Brush all sides of the chicken with the hot sauce.
Just remember, regardless of which method you choose, the best way to check the doneness of the chicken is to use an instant read thermometer. Fully cooked chicken is ready to eat once it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Room temperature chicken. As with most of my baked chicken recipes, I recommend setting the chicken wings on the kitchen counter for 20 to 30 minutes or until they come down to room temperature. This always helps the wings bake more evenly.
- Pat them dry. Use a paper towel to pat the wings dry before tossing them in the dredge. This will ensure they do not hold onto extra moisture which in turn will affect the crispiness.
- Bake in a single layer. Do not pile the wings on top of each other or too close together because this will cause them to steam instead of crisp.
- Bake on a wire rack. This is optional, but I personally prefer to bake the wings on a wire rack on top of the baking sheet. This helps the heat circulate around all sides of the wings, making every inch perfectly crispy!
- Serve with sides. These wings are perfect with fresh celery sticks and carrots, a blue cheese dip, or some simple BBQ sauce.
To store: Place the cooked and cooled hot chicken wings in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To freeze: The leftover wings also freeze well for up to 3 months. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating the next day.
To reheat: Transfer the wings to a parchment-lined baking sheet and reheat in a 350ºF (175ºC) oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until they’re warmed through.
Frequently asked questions
Both buffalo wings and hot wings are sticky and saucy chicken wings with plenty of heat! But the main difference is the spice level. Hot wings are coated in chili-based hot sauce, which is super spicy. Buffalo wings aren’t quite as spicy because buffalo sauce is cayenne-based and mixed with butter to temper the overwhelming heat.
Enhance the bold flavors by whisking red chili flakes, chili powder, or a pinch of cayenne into the flour dredge.
Yes! Cooking chicken wings in the air fryer takes less time than in the oven and always yields crispy results. To air fry hot wings, dredge them in flour as normal, then place them in a single layer in the air fryer basket (work in batches if needed). Air fry at 400ºF (200ºC) for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Brush the wings with hot sauce and air fry for another 3 to 5 minutes or until crispy. Enjoy!
More delicious ways to enjoy chicken wings
Crispy Hot Wings
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine flours and spices and dredge the wings in the mixture until evenly coated on all sides.
- Place the wings on the lined pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the wings from the oven and turn the broil setting on. Brush the wings with the hot sauce and return it to the oven, on the higher rack position, and broil for 10 minutes, until they start getting charred.
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