So, we at tcbuff.club hear there’s a “big game” this weekend and thought it would be a good time to share some of our favorite methods of making wings at home. It’s hard to compete with the deep fryer, and even harder to compete with a commercial-grade deep fryer and professional chef, but sometimes you just have to stay home. This list is for those times.
For the sake of remaining interesting, we’re not including fried wings in this list. I mean, if you have a fryer, that’s great. Many don’t, and even if you do have the ability to fry, sometimes filling your studio apartment with evaporating animal fat is not appealing.
So as you prepare for your SportBall Sunday party, here are some of our personal favorites with some comments from our team. Did we miss your favorite method? Please tell us in the comments!
First, a word on meat
Whatever recipe you choose, DO NOT CHEAP OUT ON THE MEAT. You simply cannot make good wings with poor-quality meat. Not to mention, indulging in large amounts of meat is a major luxury, so respect the food chain, alright? That way, our grandkids will be able to get down with the buffalo. If you’re in the Twin Cities, I’ve had great luck with chicken from Kadejan Farms available at the local co-ops. From our wing taster Nellie:
All I got to say is: If you are able, buy local and/or organic – most preferably pasture raised, but free-range or cage-free will also do. ~ “Preachy Nellie”
Getting the “sog” out
Raise your hand if you’ve had soggy homemade wings. We all have and it’s awful. The majority of these recipes have been chosen because they avoid sogginess – what separates them is their approach. Most of the time, we want something simple and consistently effective. For that, our winner is Chef John.
Chef John’s simple but delicious baked wings
Chef John is the proprietor of foodwishes.com and consistently puts out great videos of fantastic recipes. Several of us have been following him for awhile and – trust us – he’s the real deal. Not surprising then that his wing recipe is so solid.
It’s actually a recipe for Honey Sriracha Wings, but the baking method is what’s important here. By coating the wings in baking powder, Chef John gets them to crisp up in the oven. There might be crispier, oven-baked wings out there, but for simple and effective, Chef John is our winner. Check out the video below. .
My favorite wings are deep fried to perfection and then tossed in buff, but frying at home can be disgusting and a total mess. For me, these are hands down the only other way to make faux fried wings at home. It does take a little trial and error to perfect the method, but once you do they are unbeatable. ~Alex
Tried and true. My go-to method for quick crispy wings at home with minimal effort and great results. ~Blake
Note: If you’re going for buffalo wings (and not honey sriracha) omit the salt Chef John has in his recipe. For us, the buffalo sauce added the right amount of saltiness all on its own
Some more involved options from Serious Eats
So, if you want more, J. Kenji López-Alt over at Serious Eats takes a similar approach to Chef John but adds an overnight sit in the fridge. Is it worth it? I’m guessing yes, as Mr. López-Alt rarely disappoints. In fact, he and the team at Serious Eats has a huge how-to wing compendium currently out for game day. Lots to learn there.
Another option from The Food Lab over at Serious Eats: López-Alt’s “ultimate” double-fried confit wings. Sure, I know we said this was a non-frying list, but I had to include these as their fancy approach has been wonderfully successful in our tests. Blake recommends this sweet and spicy chili sauce if you’re looking for an alternative from buffalo.
Time consuming and messy, but produces wings like no other. Worth the effort? Test it out and see for yourself! ~Blake
Can confirm. Blake’s not lying. ~Andrew
Probably not worth it, but maybe you’re bored…
We also enjoyed the results of this approach from Alton Brown that involves steaming the wings, chilling them down, and then baking them, but ultimately agreed that the workload was too high. Especially when simpler methods like those from Chef John and Serious Eats worked so well. Who knows, though, maybe you’ll dig it! Plus, you can brag to your friends.
I would never do Alton’s steam-chill-bake method again. Just as messy as deep frying but takes much longer with worse results. ~Blake
Oh haha yeah those were a pain in the butt. Good to do once, but worth the work? Not really when we have Chef John’s method. ~Alex
Vegetarian friends coming over?
Try these Buffalo Cauliflower Bites…they honestly look delicious.
Looking for more? Did we miss your go-to method?
Maybe you don’t want buffalo wings? Chef John just released this delicious looking buffalo chicken nugget recipe. Looking for another alternative to buffalo? Try these Pastrami Wings. Alex, Blake, and I made these a few years back and they were fantastic. Maybe you want still more ideas? Check out this compilation of 25 wing recipes from YouTuber Larry Wolfe.
Know a better way to buff at home? Tell us in the comments!