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Slow-Cooker Buffalo Chicken Wings

Why This Recipe Works

Great wings should have juicy, tender meat and a crisp coating. You might not consider making them in your slow cooker, especially when trying to achieve both is challenging to do simultaneously. The gentle heat of the slow cooker is great for achieving meltingly tender wings, but terrible at producing a good crisp coating. However, great wings are possible in the slow cooker with a little re-imagination. To add serious flavor, we first tossed the wings with a hefty blend of spices and aromatics. We then cooked the wings on low for 4 to 5 hours, which ensured they remained moist and became perfectly tender. For a crisp exterior, a few minutes under the broiler was all it took. We found that basting the wings with sauce while they broiled kept the skin from fully crisping. Instead, we broiled the wings sans sauce and gently tossed them with it after broiling. This recipe can easily be doubled in a 7-quart slow cooker; you will need to broil the wings in two batches.

Serves 4 to 6
Cooking time:
 4 to 5 hours on Low
Slow cooker size: 4 to 7 Quarts

4 pounds chicken wings, cut at joints and trimmed, wingtips discarded
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons molasses

1. Lightly coat slow cooker with vegetable oil spray. Toss chicken with paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper in slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4 to 5 hours on low.

2. Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element; heat broiler. Set wire rack in aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet; coat with vegetable oil spray. Transfer chicken to prepared rack. Broil chicken until lightly charred and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through broiling.

3. Whisk hot sauce, melted butter, and molasses in large bowl until combined. Gently toss chicken with sauce to coat. Serve.