Authentic Buffalo Chicken Wings

Traditional buffalo wings recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yields: 16 drumettes
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
478 Calories
48g Fat
5g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 478
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 48g 62%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 415mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 94mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are hot wings and then there are Buffalo wings. Buffalo, New York, is the home of the hot wing, and unlike other wings, these prized poultry parts are never battered or breaded. Instead, Buffalo wings are fried naked, making them gluten free and safe for people with Celiac disease (assuming they're fried in a fresh, uncontaminated batch of oil). The signature sauce is also what sets Buffalo wings apart—a simple but tasty combination of hot sauce and butter.

These wings are easy to prepare with just a few pantry ingredients. If you want more heat, you can adjust the proportion of hot sauce. If you'd like a hint of sweetness, you can stir in a little brown sugar to taste. It's really that simple.

These wings are perfect for game day, an informal party, or those nights when you simply want to pig out on Buffalo wings. This recipe can be used as a main dish to serve two people or as an appetizer for a party of four to six. If you want to make more, just increase the ingredient proportions for a larger yield and fry in batches.

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Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for authentic Buffalo wings
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Remove the tips from the wings and reserve for making chicken stock.

    Wing tip removed with a knife
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Cut the joint between the drumette and the flat portion of the wings. Pat the wings dry with paper towels—this will ensure they fry up crispy, and there will be less spatter from water hitting the hot oil.

    Chicken wing separated into drumettes with a knife
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pan to 375 F.

    Oil heating in a pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Meanwhile, in a small separate saucepan, combine the hot sauce, butter, and vinegar over low heat until the butter melts.

    Buffalo sauce in a pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Taste the sauce to see if it's to your liking. If you'd like to reduce the heat of the sauce, feel free to add more butter, a little water, or some brown sugar. To increase the heat, add more hot sauce. Add salt if needed.

    Buffalo sauce in a pan with butter, salt, and brown sugar on the side
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  7. Fry the wings in 2 to 3 batches for 12 to 15 minutes per batch, or until crispy and cooked through. Give the oil time to reheat before frying the next batch to ensure all of the wings are crispy.

    Buffalo wings frying in hot oil
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  8. Toss the wings in a bowl with the warm sauce.

    Toss Buffalo wings in sauce
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  9. Serve with blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, or garlic Parmesan dip. Enjoy.

    Serve Buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

How to Store and Freeze

  • Refrigerate leftover wings in an airtight container or zip-top bag within 2 hours.
  • To freeze, place the cooled wings in a freezer bag or container and squeeze out as much air as possible. Seal the bag and freeze the wings for up to three months.
  • To reheat leftover wings, place them in a baking dish and bake in a preheated 375 F oven for about 20 minutes, or until they register at least 165 F on a digital thermometer inserted into one of the meatiest pieces.

Tips

Wings are commonly served as an appetizer but can be a substantial main dish as well.

  • To make ahead, prep the wings and make the sauce in advance. Rewarm the sauce before tossing with the freshly fried wings.
  • After frying a batch of wings, place them on a parchment-lined rimmed sheet pan in a 200 F oven to keep them warm while you cook the rest. If desired, cover them loosely with foil, but you don't want them to steam since they will lose their crispiness.
  • To serve Buffalo wings as an appetizer, serve with a blue cheese dressing for dipping and celery sticks on the side. Celery sticks are a nice, crunchy respite from the heat of the wings.
  • Pair a main dish of Buffalo wings with a wedge salad dressed with blue cheese.

Recipe Variations

  • Add about 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder to the wing sauce.
  • For a spicier sauce, add a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • Instead of frying, bake the wings in a preheated 425 F oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, turning once halfway through. Prepare the sauce as directed and toss the wings in the warm sauce.

What's the Difference Between Wings and Buffalo Wings?

Prepared chicken wings come in a variety of preparations and flavors, from spicy to sweet to tangy, from baked to fried to grilled. Buffalo wings are a specific preparation and style of sauce that originated in Buffalo, New York. The wings are fried naked (with no batter) and tossed in a mixture of butter and hot sauce.