Sous Vide Buffalo Chicken Wings

I love Buffalo wings, but always have a few challenges when I fix them at home:

They have to be cooked in batches, and at 12 minutes per batch, plus time for the fryer to get back up to temperature, it’s hard to keep up when feeding more than 2 people or you have to try to keep them hot and crispy in the oven before you sauce them.

Using my 12 minute rule to ensure the chicken is cooked, the wings usually dry out or shrink a little during cooking.

Pre-cooking the wings by the sous vide technique allows you to just cook the wings until the skin is crispy (about 3-5 minutes at 375 F) because you don’t have to worry about getting the chicken done.  You can also increase the temperature of your fryer oil.


Cut the chicken wings into segments and discard the tips or save for broth.

Seal wing segments into a vacuum bag.  The wings should be in a single layer and not too crowded.

Place in a water bath at 160 F for 30-60 minutes to cook the wings completely.  Sous vide wings may show a little reddish discoloration.  The meat is done, but give it a little more time to get rid of the color.

While the chicken is cooking add butter to your favorite hot sauce to get the desired temperature.   Melt the butter into the hot sauce in the microwave and stir well.  Add a little butter to the hot sauce even if you don’t want to temper the heat.  The butter helps the sauce stick to the wings.

After cooking sous vide, you can dry the wings with a paper towel to use immediately, or plunge into ice water and refrigerate for use later.

Deep fry the wings at 375F (or higher if your fryer will do so) till the skin is crispy and the color you desire.

Toss the wings in the sauce and serve with veggie sticks and your favorite dip (big discussion of Ranch vs Blue Cheese here).

Post Mortem

Since I have discovered this method, I almost always cook my wings using this method.  The wings are plump and juicy and poultry skin crisps well after being cooked sous vide.


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