Buffalo Hot Wings (Honey and Traditional)
Was researching ways to keep chicken skin crispy when I struck upon a recipe with a helpful tip from Jen at Carlsbad Cravings. Jen noted that the baking powder draws moisture from the surface of skin, breaks down proteins within the skin, and accelerates the browning process resulting in crispy, baked wings...but all you taste is the flavorful ingredients in the rub. I had to test this out. Which sauce to choose is the big question. Many are loyal to the traditional hot sauce, some prefer a sticky barbecue option. Of course, there are endless other option and hugely varied tastes on how hot a good wing should be. The following recipe offers a classic option and a mildly sweet and sticky counterpart. With both, you can tinker with the amount of spice if fiery wings are in order. We love them both... As Jen says, you won’t be able to taste the baking powder but in simplified terms it helps draw moisture to the surface of the skin

Yields 4-6 servings


  • 24 chicken wing pieces with skin (approximately 3 pounds*)

!For the Spice Rub

  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder (not garlic salt)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder (not onion salt)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

!For the Traditional Buffalo Hot Wing Sauce

  • 2/3 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (NOT their extra hot wing sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot flour
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon butter

!For the Sticky Honey Buffalo Sauce (mild heat)

  • 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (use 2/3 cup for medium heat; do not use their extra hot wing sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • *Optional for hotter wings:* 1 or more teaspoons of the _Hot Wing Sauce_
  • Optional for serving: blue cheese or ranch dressing, celery sticks, wet wipes


  1. In a small bowl, mix the spice rub ingredients. This may be done well in advance and stored in an air-tight container.
  2. In a different bowl, mix all of the sauce ingredients *except* for the butter. This may be done up to a few days in advance and stored, covered, at room temperature.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Place a baking rack or ovenproof cooling rack on top of the foil, and brush or spray with oil. (The rack allows the air to circulate, drying out the skin on both sides of the wings. If you do not have a rack, grease the foil and turn the wings halfway through the cooking time.)
  4. Place half of the wings in a large zipper-top bag. Sprinkle with *half* of the spice rub and shake until coated evenly. Place the wings on the prepared baking rack so they are not touching. Add the remaining wings to the bag, sprinkle with the rest of the spice rub, shake to evenly coat, and place on the baking rack.
  5. Bake the wings in the upper middle portion of the oven for 45-50 minutes. (If the wings are cooked but you would like them to be a little browner, move the oven rack approximately 6 to 8 inches from broiler and briefly broil. Flip the wings and broil the other side. Watch _very_ closely so the wings don’t burn. The need for this will vary based on oven and personal preference.)
  6. The prep for the sauces is the same**: Immediately after removing the wings from the oven, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and cook until slightly thickened, stirring often, approximately 3-4 minutes. (Take care not to overcook the sauce and make it too thick.) At this point, you may taste and add additional hot sauce for a spicier sauce or more honey for a sweeter sauce.
  7. Place the cooked chicken wings in a large bowl, and pour the sauce evenly overtop. (There is enough sauce to liberally coat the chicken, so you may wish to save a little to serve on the side.) Gently toss the wings until evenly coated. Serve with optional dressing and/or celery and enjoy!


  • *When starting with whole chicken wings as opposed to wingettes (flats) and drumettes: Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Then, using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, separate the wings at the joint.
  • **To keep the sauce from becoming too thick, do not simmer it until you are about ready to pour it over the cooked wings.

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