Hack Of The Day: Better Baked Chicken Wings

Not everyone has a deep-fryer at home, and yet everyone can make great chicken wings. How is that possible? The last time you tried to pop wings on a foil-covered baking sheet into the oven they came out soggy and gross. The skin wasn't crispy. The sauce wouldn't adhere. That's because you can't bake wings like that and expect them to be good. Here's what you have to do.

Implement a baking rack! That is all. We could end right here, but we'll dive a little deeper. If you arrange chicken wings, which are tough and fatty, directly on a baking sheet, the part of the wing in contact with the baking sheet will undergo something closer to steaming than roasting. Steaming is not what we do with wings, correct? Elevating the wings just slightly above the baking sheet allows the heat to penetrate evenly around the wing during the whole cooking process, and the fat to drip off rather than just bathing the poor thing in its own warm grease. That is why without a baking rack, even if you flip them, they'll still be a little gummy. Dig?

Season and bake whole wings at 425F for 45 minutes and separated wing and drumettes for 35, turning them halfway through, then cool slightly and sauce as you normally would. Peel off the greasy foil and hey, you cleaned up!

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