Easy, effective, and largely hands-off, these sous vide chicken wings are the most tender wings you could ever hope for. Slow cooked in a water bath for mouth-watering juiciness, then crisped under the broiler and toss in a simple buffalo sauce. This method is totally foolproof and the absolute best way to prep your wings for game day!
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- Using a sous vide probably seems intimidating, especially when you could use a Crockpot, an air fryer, or an Instant Pot instead. I promise you – this method is just as simple and foolproof as any other method, and the results are unbeatable! The wings are vacuum-sealed so they cook in their own juices, and the slow-cooking effect of the water bath makes the meat tender, not dry or tough.
- Of course, wings aren’t the same without a crispy skin, and unfortunately, the sous vide just won’t give you that crispy texture. But that’s okay – that’s where the broiler comes in! A few minutes under the broiler crisps the skin of the chicken wings up nicely, while keeping the meat juicy at the same time. After that, just toss them in sauce and serve with your favorite wing stop sides!
- Chicken wings are super versatile, so you can season and sauce them up any way you like. As written, this recipe works with keto, low carb, paleo, Whole30, dairy free, and gluten free dietary needs. Can’t get much more versatile than that! (If you’ve got vegans or vegetarians at your party, maybe they’d be interested in some tofu fried “chicken” instead of wings?)
- It’s really important that you pat the chicken wings completely dry both before you put them in the sous vide bag AND before you put them under the broiler! Before they go in the bag, you want them completely dry to ensure the salt coats the wings like it should. Then, you need them completely dry when they go in the broiler, or the skins just will NOT crisp up. Seriously, for the best results, pat them dry twice.
- This version of sous vide chicken wings is written for fresh or defrosted bone-in chicken wings, not completely-frozen ones. If you’ve got wings in your freezer right now, make sure you move them over to the fridge so they can thaw overnight. Too late for that? You can put the frozen wings in a food-safe bag and submerge them in cold water for 30 minutes or so, until they’re completely defrosted.
- No vacuum sealer? No problem. You can actually get the same results just by using your preheated water! Follow the instructions as written, all the way up to putting the wings in the bag. Seal your food-safe bag a little more than halfway, then very, very slowly lower the bag into the hot water. As the hot water pushes out the air in the bag, you’ll see the bag draw up around the wings. Once all the air in the bag has been forced out, seal the bag the rest of the way and submerge the wings in the water.
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- 1 pound chicken wings drums, flats, or a combination
- salt to taste
- ½ cup buffalo sauce store-bought or make your own
- ranch dressing optional, to serve
- blue cheese dressing optional, to serve
- celery sticks optional, to serve
- Large pot or other large, heat-resistant container
- Sous vide immersion circulator
- Cutting board
- Paper towels
- large food-safe vacuum sealing bags or large, sealable food-safe storage bag
- vacuum sealer optional, see Notes for alternative
- Large baking sheet
- Large bowl
- Fill large pot or other large, heat-resistant container with water. Insert sous vide immersion circulator and set to 160° Fahrenheit. Note: pot must be deep enough that water level falls between minimum and maximum indicators on circulator.
- When water is preheated, place chicken wings on cutting board. Pat each wing completely dry with paper towels, then liberally season all sides of wings with salt.
- Transfer wings to sealable, food-safe bag. Close bag and use vacuum sealer or water displacement method (see Notes) to remove as much air as possible.
- Fully submerge chicken wings in preheated water bath. Cook wings 2 hours at 160° Fahrenheit.
- Once 2-hour cook time is up, immediately remove bag of chicken wings from water bath. Preheat broiler on high heat. While broiler preheats, transfer chicken wings from bag to baking sheet. Pat wings completely dry with paper towels.
- When broiler is preheated, place baking sheet under broiler and cook wings 5 to 6 minutes or until skins are crisp and golden brown. Carefully remove baking sheet from broiler.
- Transfer wings to large bowl. Pour buffalo sauce over wings and toss or gently stir until wings are completely coated with sauce. Transfer wings to serving plate(s) and serve immediately with ranch or blue cheese dressing and celery sticks, if desired.
- The chicken wings must be fully submerged in order to cook properly. If any portion of the chicken is above the water, you risk the wings not cooking all the way. If needed, you can tie or tape weights or silverware to the bottom of the bag to keep it submerged.
- Water Displacement Method: If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, place your ingredients in an appropriately-sized plastic bag (like a Ziploc gallon-sized bag) and seal bag halfway across the top. Heat water with sous vide immersion circulator, then slowly lower the bag into the water. You should see the plastic cling to the food as the pressure from the hot water forces the air out. Once the food is entirely submerged and the air is completely out, seal the bag completely and continue with the recipe.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.