Best-Ever Fried Chicken Wings

Total Time

Prep: 10 min. + chilling Cook: 20 min.


about 4 dozen

Updated: Nov. 08, 2023
For game days, I shake up these saucy wings. When I run out, friends hover by the snack table until I bring out more. When they ask me how to fry chicken wings, they never believe it's so easy! —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
Best Ever Fried Chicken Wings Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4 pounds chicken wings
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 3/4 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh gingerroot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 minced Thai chile pepper or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar


  1. Using a sharp knife, cut through the 2 wing joints; discard wing tips. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Toss wings with kosher salt. Place on a wire rack in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry wings in batches until skin is crisp and meat is tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  3. For Buffalo wing sauce, bring hot sauce just to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. Stir in molasses and cayenne pepper.
  4. For Thai sauce, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic and chile pepper; cook and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and lime juice. Bring to a boil; cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and fish sauce.
  5. For barbecue sauce, heat prepared barbecue sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in chipotle peppers, honey and vinegar. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Toss wings with desired sauce.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Whip up these sauces and toss with chicken nuggets, grilled shrimp, even steamed veggies.
  • The next time you make burgers, mix leftover sauce into the meat to spice things up a bit (literally).
  • To prepare in air fryer: Preheat to 400°. Working in batches, place wings in a single layer on greased tray in the air-fryer basket. Cook 6 minutes; turn and brush with sauce mixture. Return to air fryer and cook until browned and juices run clear, 6-8 minutes longer. Remove and keep warm. Repeat with remaining wings./LI>
  • Whole Chicken Wings
    Uncooked chicken wing sections (wingettes) may be substituted for whole chicken wings.

    Nutrition Facts

    1 piece: 87 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 15mg cholesterol, 218mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.