The Washington Post

Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Wings 4.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Sep 15, 2021

Buffalo wings were reportedly first served in 1964 at Anchor Bar in Buffalo. Traditionally, they are deep fried without any coating, but tossing the wing sections with potato starch or cornstarch gets the skin nice and crispy, and a double-fry makes them even more so. Once tossed in a simple mix of hot sauce and butter, they are best eaten immediately, while they're still crunchy.

Total time: 1 hour

Storage Notes: Leftover wings can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes about 20 pieces

  • 2 pounds chicken wings (drumettes and flats)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup potato starch or cornstarch
  • Neutral oil, for frying
  • 3/4 cup Cajun pepper hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Blue cheese or ranch dressing, for serving
  • Carrot and/or celery sticks, for serving (optional)


Pat the wings dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, add the wings, garlic powder, salt and pepper and toss until the seasonings are evenly distributed. Add the potato starch or cornstarch and toss until the wings are evenly coated. Let them sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to help the coating adhere.

Meanwhile, add enough oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot to come 2 inches up the sides and set it over medium-high heat. Heat until a deep-fry or instant-read thermometer registers 350 degrees. (If you don't have a thermometer, you can test the oil by adding a pinch of potato starch or cornstarch; the oil should be at the proper temperature when it quickly, but not too vigorously, sizzles away.) Place a wire rack over a sheet pan or line a tray with layers of paper towels and set it near your work area.

Give the wings another toss or two to refresh the starch coating, and working in two batches (see NOTE), shake off any excess starch from the wings, carefully add them to the oil. Fry, occasionally turning the wings with a spider to promote even cooking, and adjusting the heat as needed so that the oil doesn't drop below 325 degrees, until the wings are cooked through and have started to get crispy, about 12 minutes. (The bubbling will have quieted when they are ready.) Transfer the wings with a spider to the prepared wire rack or paper towels. Repeat with the remaining wings.

Starting with the first batch, return them to the oil and fry until extra-crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a spider, return the wings to the wire rack or paper towels. Repeat with the remaining wings and let the last batch rest for 2 minutes before saucing.

While the wings are frying, in a small or medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the hot sauce and butter and cook until the butter has melted, about 2 minutes; whisk until combined.

In a large bowl, add the wings and sauce and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to a platter along with the dressing, carrot and/or celery sticks, if desired, and serve.

NOTE: It’s important to divide your wings into batches to prevent the temperature of the oil from dropping too much. Equally important is to allow the oil temperature to return to 350 degrees before frying the second batch.

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Recipe Source

From Voraciously staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.

Tested by Aaron Hutcherson and Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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