Alton Brown Takes Chicken Wings To The Next Level With A Toaster Oven

Cooking chicken wings in a toaster oven may sound unconventional, but according to Alton Brown, it's an ingenious method that delivers unparalleled results. As he states on his website, "I adore crispy wings (especially when coated with an appropriately mouth-searing sauce), and I've found that the best way to get them is from my toaster oven." The Food Network personality is a staunch advocate for the appliance as the ideal choice for preparing the popular appetizer — just one of Alton Brown's many food hacks.

The key to success lies in the toaster oven's ability to heat quickly and its incorporation of a convection fan for roasting. While regular ovens, especially convection models, can achieve similar results, Brown argues that a decent toaster oven is the ultimate tool for achieving the desired level of crispiness, describing it as the quintessential appliance for embracing "bar-food trashiness — and I mean that in the best way possible."

Brown's recommended approach involves using a toaster oven with a roast or convection roast setting, which facilitates a two-step cooking process. The wings are first low-roasted for 20 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. This initial phase allows the meat to cook thoroughly. Subsequently, the temperature is increased to 450 degrees for an additional 20 minutes, crisping the wings to perfection. This dual-cooking technique ensures the coveted tenderness and crunch wing zealots crave.

The toaster oven creates incredibly tasty wings

To enhance the flavor and texture of wings, Alton Brown has devised a dry marinade featuring baking powder, finely ground kosher salt, cayenne powder, garlic powder, and smoke powder. This combination works to lay the groundwork for mega-savory drumsticks and flappers. Baking powder is particularly crucial, as it promotes a chemical reaction that aids in achieving the crispiest skin ever.

To complete this masterpiece, one needs a lip-smacking, finger-licking good sauce. Brown's special wing sauce recipe is a delectable concoction of butter, white vinegar, dark brown sugar, cayenne powder, Worcestershire sauce, wasabi powder, salt, dry mustard, and of course, your favorite hot sauce (Louisiana Hot Sauce is Brown's go-to). The succulent, peppery glaze strikes a balance between sweet, tangy, umami, and spicy elements.

The trusty toaster oven's compact size and expeditious heating capabilities make it an efficient and versatile tool for preparing an entire menu of game-day staples, including hot wings. As a result, enthusiasts can whip up the beloved handheld fare in the comfort of their homes, thanks to Brown's innovative insights. Just don't ask him for any air fryer tips.