Crispy baked honey buffalo wings are sweet, spicy, and ready for game day. Better yet, these wings will please both teams—slightly spicy, but sweet enough to serve as a mild buffalo wing.
This past summer, my good friend’s dad challenged me to come up with the perfect honey buffalo wing sauce. We were down on the beach in the Outer Banks in North Carolina on a family vacation when the inspiration for this recipe came to be.
As always, challenged accepted.
I’ve been vacationing the Outer Banks with my family and close family friends for almost 13 years. We spend a week at the beach and grill everything from hot dogs to seared teriyaki tuna just feet from the shore. I’ve mixed up bloody marys and margaritas, and even brought a keg of home brewed blueberry beer. I know, I’m crazy (picture tailgating, but right on the beach). It’s the greatest week ever and it’s truly my paradise.
This is a shot of our tents taken from the dunes a few years back in Avon, NC. I wasn’t lying when I said tailgating on the beach. Special thanks and photo credit to Mark Maxwell for letting me use his photo.
Anyway, long story short, with very minimal resources on the beach (you know, really roughing it), we threw together a makeshift honey buffalo sauce consisting of, wait for it…honey and buffalo sauce. Because sometimes when you’re on the beach, you just gotta WING IT, AMIRITE!? Sorry, just ignore me.
The wings were good, but how can we perfect the honey buffalo sauce? The goal: A spicy, but sweet buffalo sauce with lots of flavor that is thick enough to stick to the wing and not leave you with a sad, thin coated, and bland wing. Can you tell I’ve been there before? The secret: Nearly equal parts honey and buffalo sauce, plus a handful of my favorite seasonings.
Now, the real secret lies in thickening/simmering the sauce on the stove top with corn starch so it really sticks to the wings. The honey will naturally thicken the sauce when heating, but the cornstarch will give it even more consistency. Then you toss the fully cooked wings and liberally coat in simmering honey buffalo sauce just before serving. Adding the wing sauce last prevents the juices from running off in the oven, leaving you with those much desired sticky wings.
Moral of the story, to do honey buffalo wings right, it’s best suited for your kitchen, however I wouldn’t be against cooking up some wing sauce in my cast iron skillet on the grill. After all, cast iron can weather the elements.
- 36 chicken wings
- salt and pepper to taste
Honey Buffalo Sauce:
- 1 cup buffalo sauce
- ¾ cup honey
- ¼ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Season chicken wings with salt and pepper and bake for 40-45 minutes until fully cooked through and skin starts to slightly brown.
- Meanwhile, in the last 10-15 minutes, combine all honey buffalo sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until fully mixed.
- In a large saucepan or skillet on medium heat, bring the sauce to a low simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the fully cooked wings, a few at a time, to the skillet and coat in the honey buffalo sauce, flipping until fully coated. Serve immediately.