These Crock Pot wings are about to become your new favorite party food.
We love chicken wings any which way: baked in the oven, deep-fried, grilled, or crisped in the air fryer. But these Crock Pot wings are a thing of true beauty. They’re easy, of course, but also incredibly tender and suffused with smoky, spicy flavor. Plus, they get crisped up at the end so you don’t have to sacrifice that perfect texture.
They’re clearly ideal game-day food, but just as welcome at any party. Messy, true, but that’s what napkins are for. You could even serve them with a crisp green salad for a simple dinner. And while they’re not the traditional buffalo flavor, they’d still be good with creamy, cooling blue cheese dressing.
Honestly, there’s not much to it—yet it turns out such spectacular results. You simply dump all the sauce ingredients into the slow cooker, then add the wings and toss to coat, and let it all cook for four hours. They’ll emerge totally tender and full of flavor.
Crock-Pot Cook & Carry 6-Quart Slow Cooker, $24.71 on Amazon
A basic slow cooker is all you need to get the job done.
To get a nice crisp exterior, you bake the wings in the oven for 30 minutes once they’re done, and in the meanwhile, simmer the sauce with a bit of sugar for a thicker mixture to pour back over the wings when you’re ready to eat.
Related Reading: How to Clean Dingy Baking Sheets
If you’re short on time, you can use the same trick to finish off a batch of Instant Pot wings; cook them in a flash and then crisp them in the oven. (And taking a cue from the Instant Pot wings recipe, you can also cook chicken wings from frozen in the Crock-Pot!)
We love buffalo wings, but this is a nice change of pace, less tangy and more smoky, yet still just as easy to throw together. Choose your favorite hot sauce and pour it into your slow cooker along with a little umami-boosting soy sauce, liquid smoke, butter, tomato paste, and a few seasonings (oregano, onion powder, and garlic powder).
The teaspoon of sugar added at the very end, when you’re thickening the sauce to finish the wings, helps balance out the smoky, spicy savor without making it too sweet. But as always, adjust everything to your taste. And enjoy!
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 (5-ounce) bottle hot sauce
- 3 pounds chicken wings
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Melt the butter and add it to the crock of your slow cooker along with the oregano, onion and garlic powders, soy sauce, tomato paste, liquid smoke, and hot sauce. Whisk everything together to form a sauce.
- Add the wings to the crock and stir to coat them with the sauce. Cover the crock and set the slow cooker to high. Cook for 4 hours.
- Just before the wings are done, heat the oven to 400°F and get out 2 baking sheets. With tongs, remove the wings from the slow cooker and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheets.
- Place the wings in the hot oven and bake until they’re browned and the top surface is crisp, about 30 minutes.
- While the wings are baking, transfer the cooking liquid from the slow cooker to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to a large bowl. Add the sauce and gently toss until the wings are evenly coated. Serve while hot.