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Bake Chicken Wings Without Starting A Grease Fire!

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  • pie22 Oct 18, 2010 07:55 AM
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Last night I tried my hand at baking some chicken wings (I am a horrible "fryer"). They came out great! I got the oven hot to 425 degrees and put well dried seasoned wings in for about 20 mins then I flipped them and set them to broil on high for about 5 mins took them out and I could visibly see the fat on the foiled baking dish, I coated the wings in sauce (i melted together butter and garlic till the garlic was soft and then added Texas Pete's hot sauce and parm cheese, amazing) and put them back in the oven to broil for another 5 mins....they came out amazing, crispy skin and fully cooked. (So amazing I may never order wings again from a bar). However, towards the end I could have sworn I was going to start a fire, cause I kept thinking I saw little fire shots coming from the oven but it could have been from the broiler action, though there was a ton of fat on the sheet.
What can I do to avoid this? Maybe change the foil and remove the fat when I sauce?
Any tips would be helpful as I have a ton more wings marinating (in buttermilk) for tonight to try out.

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  1. We bake a lot of chicken wings but have never seen anything like what you describe. There is some rendered fat but not a ton - the wings aren't sitting in a pool of it. I wonder if it is something to do with the hot sauce and parm hitting temps that hot?

    I'm interested to hear how the buttermilk soak works for wings - I've never tried that.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Aravisea

      would you mind sharing your way?

      also "luckily" my baking sheet isn't really flat, kinda uneven so the grease kinda flowed to a corner of the sheet with little puddles in a few areas.

      i agree with you, maybe i should try an unsauced version as the extra butter from the sauce prob did not help and the more i think of it, i cut the butter with some olive oil which has a lower smoking point and i bet that had something to do with it too...possibly cooking the way i did, broil unsauced for 5 mins and then sauce and go bake to baking on a lower heat, say 350 to glaze the sauce onto the wings?

      1. re: pie22

        Sure thing! I dry the thawed wings in paper towels and lightly salt them on each side (I let the salt sit a bit before proceeding - 20 minutes a side - brining the wings would also work) before dredging in seasoned flour (usually just flour, salt, and pepper) and throwing them on a baking sheet and into the oven. Usually somewhere between 375 and 400 degrees, 20-25 minutes a side. When done, they should be browned and crispy all over. We sauce after they come out of the oven - I put two or three bottled sauces in a few small skillets, heat them lightly to get the refrigerator chill off and then we all dig in.

        I haven't tried baking wings with sauce on them, or baking then tossing in sauce then baking again. We like really crispy wings so I'm not sure doing either of those would give us the crunch we want, but that's just my family. :)

        PS - I am totally with you on frying - I break out the oil for tempura, fritters, certain Chinese dishes - but avoid it when I can. I tried doing wings several ways one night - fried, baked, etc. - baked won hands down.

        1. re: Aravisea

          thank you very much - i actually was able to obtain a nice crispy crunch - you should give it a try, just a quick coat and shake off the excess before putting them back in the oven - you can always re-sauce later.

          1. re: pie22

            Good to know! I'll try that next time.

    2. I like mine super crispy, so I bake at 450 in the middle of the oven on a baking rack over a deep roasting pan. Done in about an hour. No splatter or burn. I actually prefer cooking them outdoors in my Weber Smoker with the water pan removed: it's high enough over the coals that they don't burn and the fat just wicks away. The skin is like a potato chip.

      2 Replies
      1. re: monkeyrotica

        hmmm i like the idea of the fat dripping off...and no issue with the fat overheating below?

        1. re: pie22

          You do get a big of smoking, but if you have a decent overhead vent, it isn't really an issue. I wouldn't try it if you have one of those cheap-o vents that just blows fumes back into the kitchen.

      2. What about using a classic broiler pan, the kind with a top plate full of holes fitted into a shallow tray? That would allow the fat to drip through but keep the rendered fat away from the broiler element. I use mine for broiling all sorts of chicken parts, not just wings.

        1. Alton Brown has a recipe over on FoodNetwork.com that calls for steaming the wings beforehand, then refrigerating them for an hour before baking.

          I've made them this way a couple of times, and they've come out really excellent -- the steaming pulls out enough fat that the skin then dries out a little in the fridge (I left mine for 2 hours and it made a huge difference)...then they get really crispy in the oven.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sunshine842

            I've used the Alton Brown steam-first method also. Definitely works. Its an easy step, steaming for just a few minutes. No need to add fat, and a result almost as crispy as if as if the wings were fried.

          2. i tried 2 other batches last night, both i breaded - the ones in the oil i shallow-fried came out cooked but i got more crunch out of the non-breaded baked ones the night before - the others i breaded and put in the oven turned out super juicy but the breading just didn't cook like i wanted. i have no desire to deep-fry, it simply scares me a bit.

            so i will try the steaming method one of these days and will def be trying to use a broiler pan for baked buffalo style ones in the future...no breading...and positive note they are prob the healthiest preparation!