Chicken wings are scrumptious! From garlic blue cheese to Asian-style ginger miso and spicy barbecue to classic buttermilk ranch, they’re all mouthwatering. But when making these at home, there’s a trick to coating them. So, how do you toss wings in sauce?

The best way to toss wings is to use a warm metal or glass bowl with a lid. With the sauce sitting on the bottom of the bowl, you put the chicken over the top, cover with a lid and gently shake it around. Of course, you could always use a spoon or your hands to cover them as well.

But, the trick to wings is in ensuring the skin is golden brown and crispy. Without this, the gooey delicious sauce will have difficulty sticking to the surface. Consider the steps below to toss wings in sauce perfectly every time.

Steps Overview

  1. Prepare ; Cook the Chicken
  2. Warm a Large Bowl
  3. Pour the Sauce into the Bowl
  4. Cover ; Shake OR Stir Gently
  5. Let the Coated Chicken Rest

1. Prepare ; Cook the Chicken

Unless you’re ordering bare naked cooked chicken from a restaurant, you will have to prepare and cook the chicken first. This means thoroughly rinsing the chicken and drying it well with paper toweling.

To ensure crispiness, lightly salt the chicken or brush it with salted and melted butter or olive oil. However, if deep-frying, just use salt and avoid additional butter or oil.

Then, cook the chicken until the skin is golden brown and crispy. For baking and deep-frying, this will take about 25 to 30 minutes. Grilling or broiling will be about 10 to 15 minutes. If they need longer, cook them in five-minute increments until they reach the desired crispiness.

2. Warm a Large Bowl

While the chicken cooks, pull your sauce from the fridge and let it get to room temperature. In the meantime, warm a large metal or glass bowl. You have several options to do this.

You can use a plastic bowl for this, but it’s not advisable. The heat can cause chemicals to leech into the food. So, unless you know the material of the bowl is BPA-free, use metal or glass instead.  

For metal bowls, you can let hot water from the sink’s faucet pour over the bottom until the entire bowl is warm.  For glass, you can do the sink trick or use the microwave.


Put some water into the glass bowl and place it in the microwave for two minutes. Take it out of microwave with hot pads and let this sit out on the counter. Pour out the contents.

3. Pour the Sauce into the Bowl

Continue allowing the sauce to warm up by pouring in the proper amount into the heated bowl. How much will depend on how saucy you like your wings. For a light sauce, use one tablespoon. But, if you like them thickly covered in sauce, then use two to three tablespoons.

If the chicken is done, go ahead and throw them into the sauce while they’re hot. This will loosen the sauce to make it easier to cover the chicken. However, if you have yet to wait for the chicken to finish cooking, let the sauce rest in the bowl.

Preparing the Sauce

In the event the sauce is rather thick before coating the wings, you can add a tablespoon of olive oil or melted butter into it to loosen the sauce a little bit. You can also use some hot water to do this as well if you want to avoid additional fat. This will ensure even distribution of the sauce over the chicken.

However, you want to ensure you don’t make the sauce too thin. If it’s too loose before coating the wings, the sauce may not stick to the chicken at all. In the case you thinned the sauce too much, you can add a teaspoon of cornstarch. This should thicken the sauce back up without losing flavor.

Ideal Sauce Consistency

The best coating sauce is one that’s light, fluffy and slightly foamy. So, it may be good to use a whisk in preparation of the wings. If you know the sauce you’re using is already at the desired consistency, you can also pour the sauce right over the wings before tossing instead.

4. Cover ; Shake OR Stir Gently

Ensure you add the wings to the bowl of sauce while the chicken is warm. Cover the bowl with a lid or with a plate and toss the bowl. But, you don’t want to be rampant and mindless about it. So, don’t beat the chicken around inside the bowl but rather gently toss it away, forward and up.

Essentially, you’ll be rolling them backwards in a counterclockwise motion toward your body. Check the wings every few tumbles or so to ensure all the sauce has coated every area of each wing. Continue tossing until everything slathers in sauce to your liking and preferences.

Using a Spoon

If you don’t have a lid or a plate that will fit over the top of the bowl, you can use a large but soft spoon. Something like a silicone or wooden spoon will be ideal. Here, you will have to be even more careful and ginger so as not to tear the skin. You can use plastic or metal, but you will have to exercise deliberate caution.

Using Your Hands

There are those who prefer using their hands to toss the wings in sauce. They feel this is the best way to ensure even distribution over each and every piece of chicken. It also helps prevent the chicken from falling apart or tearing into the surface of the skin. If you opt for this, make sure your hands are clean.

Adding More Sauce

If you think you need more sauce, pour a tablespoon into the bowl and shake or stir it around.  However, avoid adding too much sauce. So, incorporate the sauce in tablespoon increments as you coat the chicken.

5. Let the Coated Chicken Rest

Once you’ve finished coating all the wings in the sauce, allow it to sit in the bowl undisturbed for about five minutes. This will allow the chicken’s skin to soak up the sauce and its flavor. Give it a gentle stir once or twice after this five-minute resting period.

Then, using a tongs, remove the chicken and put it onto a plate or tray covered in wax or parchment paper. Continue allowing the chicken to rest for another five to 10 minutes. You can also use some sauce for dipping when you’re ready to eat.


Can You Coat the Wings Before Cooking Them?

It’s not advisable to cook the wings covered in sauce the entire time. Don’t deep-fry them with sauce, this will cause a mess inside the fryer or pot you’re using and it will be next to impossible to clean.

But, if you want to add it while baking, grilling or broiling, there’s a trick you can do. Cook the wings about ¾ of the way through and brush heated sauce onto the meat. Allow this to cook for about five to 10 minutes.

See Also:
Can You Use A Microwave Without The Glass Plate?
Can You Put A Metal Bowl In A Microwave
Cheese Curds Vs. Mozzarella Sticks: Here Are The Difference
4 Best Air Fryer For Whole Chicken
8 Best Cheese Options For A Chicken Sandwich

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