These easy BBQ Wings can be oven-baked or air fried for the BEST finger-licking good chicken recipe! These sweet and smoky wings are perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
BBQ Chicken Wings
Classic BBQ Wings are the perfect blend of so many things. Smoky, sweet, spicy, juicy, crispy… They should leave you licking your fingers and reaching for the next piece. While these are most often made on the grill, it’s possible to get the perfect barbecue wings from your oven or air fryer, too!
These start with a super flavorful blend of seasonings and herbs, plus a good dose of baking powder for super crunchy chicken skin. Baked to a crisp, they’re then coated with your favorite BBQ sauce and broiled to bubbly perfection… This will be the biggest hit the next time you invite friends over to watch the big game!
Wings are easy to cook, versatile, and even great for meal prepping. Cook up a double batch of wings, then freeze half for a delicious dinner without all the work later. Bake a tray or two, then carry them to the next potluck in a crock pot for easy serving. Wings are great for leftover lunches, parties, game days, and so much more!
BBQ Wing Ingredients
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need for this recipe. For exact measurements, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card below.
- Chicken Wings – This recipe is for “party wings,” the wings that are separated into drummies and flats. If you’re using full, attached chicken wings, you’ll require a longer cooking time.
- Baking Powder – This might seem like a weird ingredient, but it’s exactly what you need if you love crispy chicken skin! Baking powder soaks up moisture on the skin and increases surface area which leads to a better crunch in every bite.
- Brown Sugar, Paprika, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Oregano, Salt, Pepper – This blend gives a great balance of sweet and spicy! The brown sugar balances out the smoky flavor and gives a much more complex taste to the wings.
- Barbecue Sauce – You can use your favorite variety. We love Sweet Baby Ray’s or G Hughes. You may want more for dipping as well.
How to Make BBQ Wings
There are a few steps involved, but this is an easy, straightforward recipe! Here’s a step-by-step guide for the best barbecue wings!
Dry & Trim
To start, it’s important to properly prepare your chicken wings. The key to crispy chicken skin is to start with VERY DRY skin. If you’re in a hurry, simply trim off any loose bits and dry the wings as much as possible with a paper towel. If your goal is the BEST wings, pat them dry and let them air dry in the fridge for several hours (up to a full day) covered with a paper towel.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then top this with a baking rack. Grease or spray with oil if your baking rack isn’t nonstick.
Season & Bake
Place your dry wings in a bowl or plastic bag. In a small bowl, mix together your brown sugar, baking powder, and seasonings. Dump this over the chicken and toss until every piece is completely covered with the mixture.
Place the chicken wings on the prepared baking rack, making sure there is room between each wing for air to circulate. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip and continue baking another 15-25 minutes. Time required will depend on the size of your wings.
Sauce & Broil
Once wings read 160 degrees F with a meat thermometer, remove them from the oven. Brush the wings with barbecue sauce. If you love them super saucy, add sauce to both sides. Turn the oven broiler on high and return the wings to broil for 30-90 seconds. Once the sauce is perfectly bubbly and glazed on, remove and serve.
We love these wings served piping hot with a side of Jalapeno Ranch for dipping! Round out the meal with carrots, celery, and other fresh veggies with the dip. For a great game day spread, serve Stuffed Mushrooms, Jalapeno Poppers, and Air Fryer Cauliflower.
Allow wings to completely cool, then store them in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days.
Wings are great for freezing! Allow wings to completely cool, then place them on a plate or baking sheet (not touching) and freeze for at least 2 hours. Transfer frozen wings to a freezer-safe container and enjoy within 3 months for the best taste and texture.
The two best reheating methods for chicken wings are baking and air frying. Both options keep the meat juicy while keeping some crunch in the skin. I don’t recommend the microwave because the skin becomes soggy and the meat overcooks and dries out.
To evenly reheat a large number of wings, reheating in the oven (350 degrees for 10-14 minutes) is your best bet. To avoid any drying out, you can spray the wings with water before reheating. You can turn them halfway through for the most even cooking, but it’s not necessary.
The air fryer gives you the quickest, crispiest reheated wings. With the air fryer on 360, reheat wings in a single layer for 5-6 minutes. For the crispiest skin, flip at the 3 minute mark.
If you love these wings, you’ll love these chicken recipes!
- Air Fryer Buffalo Wings – A tangy buffalo sauce gives these a great heat, and the air fryer makes wings so fast and crispy.
- Garlic Parmesan Wings – SUPER flavorful and perfect for people who don’t enjoy spicy dishes. The buttery sauce really makes these the ultimate favorite at parties.
- Lemon Pepper Wings – Fresh lemon zest packs a huge punch of flavor in these delicious oven-baked wings.
- Crockpot Crack Chicken – This is the perfect dip for parties, and it makes an amazing sandwich, too!
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets – These tasty nuggets are gluten free and low carb! Super kid friendly and an easy dinner!
FAQs about Chicken Wings
Using baking powder on the wings helps soak up moisture and expands the surface area for great crispy skin. Allowing wings to air dry for several hours also helps because the drier the wings, the crispier it will get in the oven.
Absolutely! For the air fryer, cook these for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees F. You may need to work in batches because you don’t want the wings stacked up on top of one another. Leave enough room for air flow for crispy, evenly-cooked chicken.
Yes, these could easily fit into the keto diet. Replace the brown sugar with a substitute like monk fruit, Swerve, or Stevia. Check the nutrition labels and grab a sugar-free barbecue sauce, too. That brings 1 pound of wings to 6.8 net carbs.
- 2 pounds party wings
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar or brown sugar monkfruit if keto
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 tablespoon EACH chili powder and paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce*
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup, then place a baking rack on top. Spray with oil or grease if it’s not a nonstick rack.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, baking powder, and all seasonings.
- Pat wings dry (as dry as you can possibly get them), then transfer to a bag or large bowl. Pour seasonings over top and toss to coat.
- Place wings on prepared baking rack, making sure to leave room between pieces for air circulation. Bake for 20 minutes, flip, and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes.
- Remove wings from the oven and turn it off. Brush the wings heavily with barbecue sauce.
- Return wings to the oven and broil for 30-90 seconds or until sauce bubbles. Serve immediately.