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Learn how to bake salt and vinegar chicken wings that taste just like the famous potato chips! This easy recipe yields crispy and delightfully lip-puckering wings without any excess oil or messy cooking methods.
Salt and vinegar isn’t just for chips!
Salt and vinegar chips are famous because they’re the only potato chips that pack in some seriously tangy and salty flavors that immediately make your mouth water. Now, with these baked salt and vinegar chicken wings, you can capture the lip-puckering goodness of these potato chips into the perfect game day snack!
I’ve been making chicken wings for parties and get-togethers for years. I love experimenting with fun flavors, like honey lemon pepper and ranch dressing, to create wings that are even better than what you’d find at a sports bar!
The best part? You don’t need a deep fryer to make the best homemade chicken wings. Over my 10+ years as a culinary professional, I’ve learned how to make perfect oven-baked chicken wings, AKA one of the easiest and most hands-off cooking methods. This recipe will help you achieve golden and crispy salt and vinegar chicken wings without excess oil, mess, or stress!
This carefully chosen list of ingredients helps this recipe for salt and vinegar wings taste just like salt and vinegar chips. Try not to make any substitutions:
White wine vinegar
White wine vinegar is made from fermented white wine, which gives it a sweet, fruity, and mild flavor. It’s tangy, but not TOO tangy, so you’re left with a salt and vinegar sauce that tastes similar to the classic potato chips.
Can’t find white wine vinegar? The best replacement would be rice vinegar because it’s the closest in flavor.
Distilled white vinegar does not work as well because its strong flavor can make the wings too sour.
It just wouldn’t be salt and vinegar without the salt! Diamond kosher salt is used in every part of this recipe so make sure to get yourself a big box.
The sweetness from the sugar cuts through the stronger flavors in the wing sauce to help it taste perfectly balanced. White granulated sugar is best but granulated cane sugar should work well, too.
When combined with sugar, salt, and vinegar, melted salted butter adds a nice richness and smooth mouthfeel to the wing sauce. It also balances the other tangy and tart flavors.
Feel free to use unsalted butter if that’s all you have at home. You can add an extra ½ teaspoon of salt to the sauce to make up for what’s missing.
Want to use the luscious salt and vinegar wing sauce on more cuts of chicken? Scroll down to the FAQs to see which cuts work the best.
Make sure to separate the flats and drumettes if your wings come connected. Also, dry them really well with paper towels so the cornstarch sticks to the skin and they can become nice and crispy!
The chicken wings are coated in a mixture of salt and cornstarch to help soak up excess moisture and form a crispy coating around the exterior. The longer you let the wings sit in this coating, the better!
While these wings only use cornstarch and salt, some of my other baked chicken wing recipes add aluminum-free baking powder to the mix. We don’t need it here because the baking powder neutralizes the sourness of the vinegar, which takes the distinct tanginess away. I tested the salt and vinegar sauce with baking powder and the wings were not as good as the version with just cornstarch!
How to make baked salt and vinegar chicken wings
These salt and vinegar wings are dried, coated, and baked in the oven to achieve a perfectly crispy crunchy bite. You’ll never want to babysit deep fried wings again after trying this simple method:
Step 1: Dry the wings as much as possible with paper towels.
Step 2: Mix the cornstarch and salt together in a small bowl.
Add the dried chicken wings to a large bowl, sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the wings, and toss to coat.
Step 3: Place the coated wings on a wire rack on a baking sheet and let them rest for at least 1 hour.
Step 4: Bake the chicken wings in the oven until they're golden brown and crispy.
Step 5: While the wings bake, add all of the sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved and the butter is melted.
Step 6: Place the baked wings in a bowl, pour the sauce over top, and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!
Tips and tricks
Check out these tips before you start this recipe! They’ll help you make the best baked tangy chicken wings:
Dry the wings
Always pat the raw chicken wings dry with a paper towel before you get started. This way, the cornstarch/salt mixture will have an easier time sticking to the chicken wings and they’ll have a better chance of becoming crispy in the oven.
Let them rest
When it comes to baked salt and vinegar wings, it’s always best to let them rest in the fridge for 1 to 12 hours before baking. This gives the cornstarch and salt time to soak up any remaining moisture from the outside of the chicken, thus giving you wings with a major crunch factor.
Bake on a wire rack
Always bake the chicken wings on a wire rack placed on top of a baking sheet. This physically elevates the wings and gives the dry heat of the oven a chance to reach every inch of the chicken. Dry heat = crispy-on-the-outside and tender-on-the-inside wings.
I do not recommend baking the wings on a parchment-lined baking sheet. This usually causes the wings to steam rather than crisp, leaving you with soggy wings.
Frequently asked questions
Marinating the wings in the sauce isn’t necessary here. The wings are coated in the sauce after baking for an over-the-top, finger-licking good experience!
Absolutely! Whip up a batch of the sauce and use it as a baste, glaze, or finishing sauce for baked or grilled chicken drumsticks, breasts, and/or thighs.
Make sure to pair your plate of wings with a cool and refreshing dipping sauce on the side, like ranch dressing or jalapeno Greek yogurt dip. Don’t forget the celery and carrot slices!
They’re a must-have snack on game days, too. Pair them with even more flavor-rich appetizers, like a meat and cheese board, pigs in a blanket, queso dip, and nachos.
Lastly, enjoy the wings for fun dinners served with french fries, mac and cheese, roasted vegetables, salad, or baked beans on the side.
The most famous chicken wing sauce has to be buffalo sauce. It’s a rich, spicy, and smoky sauce that compliments juicy chicken wings perfectly. The bold bites only get better when they’re dipped in ranch dressing!
Other sauces you can use for chicken wings are soy garlic sauce, teriyaki sauce, lemon pepper, honey garlic, honey sriracha, mango chili, and so much more.
Crisp-Baked Salt and Vinegar Chicken Wings
- 2 pounds chicken wings separated into drumettes and flats
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Salt and Vinegar Sauce
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- Optional: additional flakey salt
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place a wire baking rack on top of each. Spray the racks with nonstick spray.
- Place wings in a large bowl and thoroughly dry with paper towels.
- Mix cornstarch, and salt together in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture evenly over the wings and toss to coat.
- Evenly place on the racks and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 12.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake the wings for 30 minutes. Flip the wings, and continue to bake until they are crisp and golden brown about 15 minutes.
- When the wings are almost done cooking, make the sauce.
- Combine the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved and the butter is melted, abbot 3 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked wings to another large bowl, add the sauce, and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with flake salt if desired and serve immediately.