Learn how to make irresistibly tender and flavorful Crock Pot Chicken Wings that are perfect for game day gatherings or any casual get-together. With a homemade buffalo sauce that's both tangy and spicy, these wings will be a crowd-pleaser every time!
Buffalo chicken wings are a beloved American classic, and it's not hard to see why! These wings are typically coated in a tangy and spicy buffalo sauce, made with a combination of Frank's hot sauce, butter, garlic powder, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. The flavors work so well together, creating a mouthwatering combination of heat, sweetness, and tang that has everyone coming back for more.
When it comes to making chicken wings, using a crock pot is hands down the best method. The slow and gentle cooking process in the crock pot ensures that the wings become incredibly tender and juicy while also allowing the flavors to infuse deeply into the chicken. And cooking the wings in the crock pot frees up your time and eliminates the need for constant monitoring. Simply set it and forget it, and you'll end up with perfectly cooked wings every time.
Buffalo wings are an absolute must-have for game day parties, where they are most popular, but they also make a fantastic addition to any casual gathering, such as backyard barbecues or potluck dinners! They can be enjoyed as a main course alongside some crispy fries and a side salad, or they can be served as a delicious appetizer with celery sticks and blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping. Whether it's a casual family dinner or a big celebration, buffalo wings are always a hit!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- With just a few minutes of preparation, you can let the slow cooker do all the work, resulting in tender, flavorful chicken wings without the need for constant monitoring or hands-on cooking.
- Made with a perfect balance of Frank's hot sauce, butter, honey, and spices, the easy homemade buffalo sauce delivers a bold, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor that makes the best flavor.
- Whether you're hosting a game day gathering, throwing a backyard barbecue, or simply craving a delicious appetizer, these buffalo chicken wings are simply the perfect food.
- The finishing touch of broiling the wings in the oven adds a delightful crispiness that enhances the overall texture and taste.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Fresh Chicken Wings - The star of the recipe, the chicken wings provide the base for this delicious dish. Their tender and juicy meat will soak up the flavors of the buffalo sauce, making the best chicken wings.
For The Buffalo Sauce:
- Frank's Red Hot Sauce - This popular wing sauce is a blend of cayenne pepper and vinegar to give it a spicy zest that makes up the base of most buffalo sauce recipes. It can be found bottled in any grocery store.
- Unsalted Butter - Adds richness and a creamy texture and helps balance out the heat.
- Garlic Powder - Adds a savory and aromatic element to the buffalo sauce, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
- Honey - Brings a touch of sweetness to the buffalo sauce, helping to balance out the heat in a subtle contrast.
- Worcestershire Sauce - Contributes a deep umami adding complexity and richness.
- Black Pepper - Provides a hint of spiciness and earthiness that enhances the overall flavor.
- Egg Yolk - Used in the sauce to create a thick and creamy texture while helping to bind the ingredients together.
- Cornstarch - Combined with the egg slurry to create a thickening agent for the buffalo sauce that helps give the sauce a slightly thicker and more clingy consistency.
How To Make Chicken Wings In The Crock Pot
Prepare the chicken wings: Pat the wings dry with paper towels on both sides, then add them to the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot.
Cook the buffalo sauce: To a medium-sized pot, add the hot sauce, butter, garlic powder, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper in a medium pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a boil stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Thicken the sauce: While the sauce is simmering, make the slurry. Combine the egg yolk, water, and cornstarch in a small bowl with a whisk until fully mixed together. Slowly add it to the pot with the sauce, vigorously mixing until the sauce is thickened—reserve ½ half cup of sauce.
Cover and cook: Pour the rest of the sauce into the crock pot over the chicken wings. Add the lid to the top and cook for 2½ hours on LOW for 3-4 hours or until the chicken reaches 165℉ internal temperature.
Broil the wings: Once the chicken wings are fully cooked, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the cooked wings on top. Brush the wings with the remaining buffalo sauce. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until brown and crispy.
Serve and enjoy: Remove from the oven and serve while hot with blue cheese, ranch, carrot sticks, and celery. Enjoy!
- For the best results, it is recommended to use fresh chicken wings instead of frozen ones. Frozen wings tend to release moisture as they thaw, which can dilute the buffalo sauce. However, if you choose to cook them in a frozen state, it is recommended to cook them on high for 3 hours or on low for 4 to 5 hours. I also highly recommend rinsing and then draining in a strainer for 4-5 minutes.
- To achieve that classic buffalo wing texture, it is crucial to broil the wings in the oven after cooking in the crock pot. This step will help crisp up the skin and give the wings a slightly charred and caramelized exterior. Keep a close eye on them during broiling to prevent burning.
- If the buffalo sauce thickens too much while cooling, gently warm it up before brushing it onto the wings. The butter in the sauce can cause it to thicken as it cools, but a quick reheating in a saucepan or microwave will restore its smooth and pourable consistency.
- To ensure the chicken wings are fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check their internal temperature. The wings should reach 165℉ to ensure they are safe to eat. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding the bone, for an accurate reading.
What Goes With Buffalo Wings?
Buffalo wings have a uniquely zesty and spicy taste which pairs well with different types of foods and sauces!
- Blue Cheese Dip: Buffalo wings and blue cheese dip are a classic combination. The creamy and tangy dip complements the spicy wings perfectly, creating a delicious flavor contrast.
- Ranch Dressing: Provides a cool and creamy element that balances the heat of the buffalo wings. Its mild and herby flavors make it a crowd-pleasing option.
- Carrot and Celery Sticks: Both are a refreshing and healthy accompaniment to buffalo wings. They provide a crunchy texture and help cool down the heat of spicy wings.
- Coleslaw: Creamy coleslaw serves as a creamy and cold side dish to balance out the spiciness of buffalo wings.
- French Fries: The combination of hot and spicy wings with golden and salty fries is a match made in heaven.
- Onion Rings: Their crunchy texture and sweet onion flavor provide a delightful contrast to the heat and tanginess of the wings.
- Beer: Nothing complements buffalo wings better than an ice-cold beer. The refreshing and effervescent qualities of beer help cool down the heat from the wings while enhancing the overall flavor.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: To store leftover buffalo wings, place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the wings for up to 3-4 days. When ready to enjoy, you can reheat them in the oven or microwave until warmed through.
Freezing: Allow the cooked wings to cool completely before transferring them to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw wings in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Buffalo sauce is typically applied after cooking the wings. In this recipe, the buffalo sauce is poured onto the chicken wings in the crock pot during the cooking process AND brushed on after for maximum flavor.
While the crock pot is great for slow cooking the wings, it is not recommended to use it solely for reheating already cooked wings. For reheating, it is better to use methods like oven baking or air frying to help retain the crispy texture.
Make sure to broil the wings in the oven after cooking in the crock pot to crisp up the skin. You can also achieve this texture in the air fryer.
More Crock Pot Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Philly Cheesesteak
- Crock Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken
- Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
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Crock Pot Chicken Wings
- 4 lbs chicken wings (fresh, not frozen)
- Add chicken wings to the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot.
- Add butter, garlic powder, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper in a medium pot. Heat sauce over medium heat until the sauce starts to boil, whisking occasionally. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Allow sauce to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk egg yolk, water, and cornstarch. Then vigorously whisk egg slurry into the sauce and continue to whisk for 2 minutes.
- Reserve ½ cup of sauce for later. Pour the remaining buffalo sauce onto the chicken wings.
- Cover and cook on high for 2½ hours or low for 3-4 hours. Make sure that the chicken reaches 165℉ internal temperature.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Then using tongs, place the chicken wings onto the baking sheet. Then brush the wings with reserved sauce. You may need to warm up the sauce due to the butter thickening in the sauce.
- Set the oven to broil and Broil for 3-5 minutes or until crisped and slightly browned.
- Serve with blue cheese, ranch, carrot sticks and celery.
- I advise against using frozen wings because as they thaw out, they tend to dilute the sauce. However, if you choose to cook them from a frozen state, it is recommended to cook them on high for 3 hours or on low for 4 to 5 hours. I also highly recommend rinsing and them them drain in a strainer for 4-5 minutes.
*Nutrition information is an estimate. It may vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact ingredient numbers, I recommend calculating them with your preferred nutrition calculator.