These Jerk Chicken Wings are the absolute BEST on game day, at a pool party, or at the end of a long day! Bake or air fry these to crispy perfection and adjust the heat with your favorite jerk seasoning!
Jerk Chicken Wings
The best jerk chicken wings have some heat, a bit of sweetness, and a ton of flavor! These are perfectly juicy, and you can get deliciously crispy skin with just a few tips and tricks. The key difference with these wings lies in the amazing lime butter sauce we toss the wings in right before serving. This citrusy addition complements all the flavors you love in your jerk seasoning while also giving every bite a buttery finish!
Ingredients for Jerk Chicken Wings
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need for this recipe. For exact measurements, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card.
- Party wings – Party wings are just chicken wings that have already been separated into “drummies” and “flats.” These cook quickly and are a favorite for how easy they are to eat. This recipe also works for whole chicken wings, though you would need to increase the cooking time.
- Baking powder, Salt-free jerk seasoning, Salt – Baking powder helps soak up moisture and increase the surface level on the chicken skin, making for super crispy wings! I used Penzeys jerk seasoning, but you could use your favorite brand. Check the tips near the bottom of this page for tips to make yours hotter or milder.
- Unsalted butter, Lime juice, Lime zest, Dried thyme – This mixture comes together for a super flavorful finishing sauce to coat the wings. The lime brings out great flavor in the jerk seasoning while the butter makes sure even the crispiest bits don’t taste dry or overcooked. You can add red pepper flakes to this if you prefer spicier wings.
How to make the BEST Jerk Chicken Wings
This is a simple process with a few easy steps! Just follow this guide for the best, mouthwatering jerk chicken wings.
Dry & Prep
Pat your wings dry and discard any hanging bits or extra skin. If you’re going for the crispiest wings possible, place on a baking rack, cover with paper towels, and allow to air dry in the fridge for 1-24 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup), then place a baking rack on top of it. Grease or spray with oil to prevent sticking.
In a small bowl, mix together baking powder, jerk seasoning, and salt. Place the dried, trimmed chicken wings in a bag or large bowl, then pour the seasoning mixture over them. Toss and mix to coat.
Place the seasoned wings on the baking rack, making sure they aren’t touching (air flow = crispy skin!). Cook for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and flip each wing over. Return to the oven and continue cooking 20-25 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, melt the butter in a small bowl. Mix in the dried thyme, lime juice, and zest. Once the wings have reached 165 degrees F, remove from oven and transfer to a large bowl. Pour over the lime butter and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- FRIDGE: Wings will last up to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
- FREEZER: Allow wings to cool completely, then freeze in a single layer (not touching) on a plate or baking sheet. After about 2 hours, transfer to a freezer bag and enjoy within 3 months for the best taste and texture. Before reheating, thaw overnight in the fridge.
- REHEATING: Reheat in the microwave (30 second increments until warmed through), air fryer (350 for 3-5 minutes), or oven (350 about 10 minutes).
What to serve with chicken wings?
As a meal, we love serving these crispy jerk wings with a simple veggie plate and a good dipping sauce like Jalapeno Ranch or Smoked Queso! Top with chopped green onions and fresh thyme if you want to add some color. A side of Sweet Potato Fries or Air Fryer Potato Chips would work well, too (try Zucchini Chips or Green Bean Fries if you’re keeping it low carb)!
If these are a part of a buffet-like party spread, there are SO many options to include! We love having crispy, fried-ish options like Air Fryer Cauliflower, Corn Fritters, or Keto Mozzarella Sticks. Keto Beer Cheese Dip is an easy, low-maintenance favorite, and it’s great with the crowd-pleasing Chicken Bacon Ranch Crescent Ring.
If you love these wings, you’ll love these chicken recipes:
- BBQ Wings – Spicy, saucy, and finger-lickin’ good! These have your classic cookout flavors, but can easily be made indoors in the oven or air fryer.
- Air Fryer Cajun Chicken Thighs – Full of delicious Cajun seasoning, these tender chicken thighs are a little spicy and full of flavor!
- Garlic Parmesan Wings – When you want to blow your guests away with flavor, but they don’t like spicy food, these wings are the perfect solution! The buttery finishing sauce sends them over the top.
- Keto Chicken Nuggets – These gluten free, low carb chicken nuggets are super kid-friendly! They’re easy to meal prep for freezer dinners, too.
- Lemon Pepper Wings – High quality chicken wings really shine when given a big dose of buttery lemon pepper! These are crispy, easy, and a big fan favorite.
Some tips for preparing for making this recipe
- CRISPY SKIN: For the absolute crispiest skin, pat your wings dry and then allow them to air dry for 24 hours in the fridge. Simply place them on a baking rack (on a baking sheet) and cover with paper towels while any and all moisture evaporates. If possible, choose the air fryer method instead of the oven method for the crispiest wings.
- MORE SPICE: If you want more heat, use a hot jerk seasoning or add red pepper flakes, paprika, or cayenne to your seasoning. You could place 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of red pepper flakes in a small sauce pan with the butter on medium low, allowing it to infuse more heat in the lime butter sauce as well.
- LESS SPICE: If you don’t handle heat well, use a mild jerk seasoning and consider adding additional brown sugar and cinnamon to your seasoning.
Chicken Wings FAQ
This depends on your priorities! If you need to cook a double batch for a large crowd, it will be faster and simpler to use the oven method. If you want the crispiest of the crispiest, choose the air fryer method. This method may take longer because you might have to work in batches to get all wings cooked (depending on the size of your air fryer).
A few easy steps gets you crispy wings, and it revolves around starting with dry skin. 1. If possible air dry your wings up to 24 hours in the fridge. 2. Use a tablespoon of baking powder to coat ever 2 pounds of wings. 3. Keep space between the wings during cooking so that air can circulate. Air fryers have more powerful convection fans, so opting for the air fryer will give you crispier results.
Preheat the oven to 425, then cook them for 45-50 minutes. Flip the wings halfway through the cooking time to ensure both sides are crispy and cooked throughout.
Preheat the air fryer to 375, then cook them for 20-25 minutes our until the largest one reaches 165 degrees F in the center. Shake the basket a few times during cooking or flip the wings halfway through for even cooking.
Jerk Chicken Wings
- 2 pound party wings
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon salt-free jerk seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1-1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest or yield of 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and top with a baking rack. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Pat wings as dry as possible with paper towels and trim off any excess bits.
- In a small bowl, mix together baking powder, jerk seasoning, and salt. Sprinkle mixture over wings and toss to coat.
- Bake 20 minutes, then remove wings from oven and flip. Cook another 20-25 minutes or until wings are cooked through.
- In another small bowl, stir together melted butter, lime juice, lime zest, and dried thyme. Transfer cooked wings to a large bowl, then pour over lime butter and toss to coat. Serve immediately.