Slow Cooker Buffalo Wings


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If you hate deep frying foods, try Slow Cooker Buffalo Wings instead! The slow cooker makes the hot wings tender, then popping them in the oven to make the classic crispy skin. Game day just got easier with this crock pot buffalo wings recipe.

Other game day favorites we love to make are Grape Jelly Meatballs, Crockpot Rotel Dip, and a Nacho Bar!

cooked buffalo wings in the crockpot.

Can I make buffalo wings in crock pot?

Yes! Try making your chicken wings in the crock pot instead of frying them for great results. These wings are super saucy with extra buffalo sauce, nothing is worse than when you order wings, and they are all dried up with no sauce! I add butter to the sauce because this is what restaurants do; the butter mellows out the hot sauce a tad. Try my Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Wings or Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Wings next!

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for buffalo wings on a table.
  • Chicken Wings – Try to find packaged chicken wings that are not frozen and have the drumsticks and the “flats” separated for you already. If you can’t find them separated, you need to cut them yourself and discard the wing tip. If you buy frozen wings, be sure to thaw them completely and drain any liquid off.
  • Buffalo Sauce – I recommend Frank’s Red Hot Original sauce. Note that it doesn’t say “wing sauce” on it. This is the straight hot pepper sauce that you want to buy. You can make a homemade buffalo sauce, if desired, which has a few more seasonings than this store-bought sauce.
  • Salted Butter -This is the KEY to good buffalo wings. Restaurants add butter to the buffalo sauce to MELLOW it out. It also is a flavor explosion when paired with the buffalo sauce. Place the butter on top of the wings in pats, or you can use melted butter.

Step-by-Step Directions

4 images showing how to make buffalo wings in a crockpot.

Step One – Add the fresh chicken wings (not frozen) to your slow cooker.

Step Two – Pour over the Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

Step Three – Lay over the pats of salted butter.

Step Four – Cook chicken wings on HIGH for 2.5 – 3 hours. Or until cooked through and the meat is fall off the bone tender.

4 images showing how to crisp buffalo wings from crockpot.

Step Five – Preheat the oven to broil.

Step Six – Add the wings onto a sheet pan. You can use a foil lined baking sheet).

Step Seven – For crispy chicken wings, add the wings under the broiler and let crisp up; flip the wings and do for the other side too.

Step Eight – Remove all but one cup of the buffalo wing sauce from the slow cooker. Add the wings back into the sauce mixture and serve!

Spoon in buffalo wings in a crockpot.

Recipe Variations

  • Use barbecue sauce for part of the buffalo sauce, sounds like a weird combination, but they balance each other out perfectly.
  • Whole chicken drumsticks can be used instead of small wings for a complete dinner. You’ll want to cook longer to ensure the chicken is done.
  • You can add a packet of ranch seasoning mix for a punch of ranch flavor right into the slow cooker chicken wings.
buffalo wings on a sheet pan with ranch and vegetables.

How to serve

  • Ranch Dressing – Always have ranch dressing available, for many do not like blue cheese dressing.
  • Blue Cheese – Serve the crock pot chicken wings with really good blue cheese dressing. Don’t buy the shelf stable blue cheese from the regular salad dressing aisle; instead, get it next to the salad mixes in the refrigerator section; this blue cheese dressing is really good. You can even add blue cheese crumbles on top of the wings.
  • Sides – A refreshing side for crock pot buffalo wings is celery sticks and carrot sticks, and they go great with ranch or blue cheese as well.
overhead shot of buffalo wings in slow cooker and on metal serving trays.

Recipe FAQs

Can I cook frozen chicken wings in a crock pot?

No. If that is all you have, you must thaw them completely before using the recipe and drain them well.

Should I season my wings first?

It’s not necessary to season the wings, for the buffalo sauce is so powerful you won’t be able to taste the seasoning. Though, if you can’t resist, you can season the chicken wings with garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and freshly ground pepper.

Can I use whole chicken wings?

If you don’t feel like cutting up the chicken wings, you can add them whole to your slow cooker.

Are these soggy?

After you cook the buffalo wings in the crockpot, this recipe has you broil them in the oven to get that classic crispy skin buffalo chicken wings have.

How can I make buffalo wings not so hot?

Look for “mild” red hot sauce for starters. Add more butter to the recipe and also a touch of brown sugar to tame the heat. And don’t forget a heaping amount of ranch or blue cheese dipping sauce if you don’t like the heat, but still love the flavor of frank’s hot sauce.

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Spoon in buffalo wings in a crockpot.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Wings Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 6
Buffalo wings made in the slow cooker are tender a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients 
 

  • 3 lbs. chicken wings, thawed not frozen
  • 12 oz. Franks Red Hot Original Sauce
  • ¼ cup salted butter

For Serving

  • good blue cheese dressing, I used Litehouse “Big Blue”
  • ranch dressing
  • carrot sticks
  • celery sticks
  • green onion for garnish, optional

Instructions 

  • Add the chicken, sauce, and butter (slice it up and lay on top of wings) to the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 2.5 – 3 hours. DO NOT open the lid while the wings are in the slow cooker, heat will escape and they will not cook.
  • After cooking time is done, preheat the oven to broil. Take the wings out of the slow cooker onto a baking sheet, leaving the sauce in the slow cooker.
  • Broil the wings in the oven for a few minutes on each side until browned and crisp. Remove all but one cup of the sauce from the slow cooker.
  • Add the wings back to the slow cooker, and stir them back into the sauce.
  • Serve with ranch dressing or blue cheese, carrot sticks, and celery sticks. Sprinkle the wings with green onions (optional).
  • Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Do not use frozen chicken wings. Thaw them completely and drain well.
  • You can use full size drumsticks for a complete meal. Cook for 4 hours on high.
  • For mild wings, look for “mild” red hot sauce.
  • Nutritional values do not include dipping sauces or sides.

Nutrition

Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1878mg | Potassium: 191mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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51 Comments

  1. Deanna says:

    Hi.
    I am allergic to dairy. Do you think I can substitute olive oil for the butter? Thanks

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      I’m unsure if that would be overbearing, I personally would use earth balance instead.

  2. Victoria Quink says:

    Sarah, I want to make these wings for Super Bowl and we like crispy wings after I broil them can I not put them back in the crockpot? We don’t like them very spicy can I put less hot sauce in? This sounds like a really great recipe and a lot less maintenance then the way I make them now, thank you for your response. I love your recipes!!

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      You can put them back, though they get a little soggy again.

  3. Joe says:

    Should broil in oven be on low or high?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      On high, keep an eye on them.

  4. Mr. Marcus says:

    5 stars
    So, easy and so delicious.
    Speaking as a Western New Yorker, I thank you for your fidelity to the original recipe… bleu cheese dressing, and Frank’s Hot Sauce.
    Go Bills!

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Great to hear! I need to redo the photos and make a video of this recipe.

  5. Kyle says:

    If I do a double batch do I still cook for 2.5 hours?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      I would do longer at least 3 hours

  6. Ally says:

    If you add some garlic powder, red chilli flakes and paprika it would taste even better! πŸ™‚

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      That’s such a great idea. I saw an idea like that on food network a few months ago. Will do next time.

      1. Ally says:

        I also meant to ask – if you don’t have a ‘broil setting or broiler, can you just finish these off in the oven? For how long and at what temp? Im in Ireland so I can convert!

      2. Sarah Olson says:

        Hi Ally! In the US, the broiler is in the oven. Do you have anyway to set your oven so the top part is on, letting the items in the oven get a blast of heat from the top? If not I would set the oven pretty hot and keep and eye on them while they brown.

  7. Kary says:

    My husband is a HUGE FAN of buffalo wings, we’ve always bought them from restaurants, I decided to give this recipe a try, I’ve never cooked buffalo wings in my life, and I was hoping he would like them, aaaand he was AMAZED!!! He said those are the BEST buffalo wings he has ever had in his life!!
    I’m so happy with this recipe, thank you so much for sharing it!!! We are adding this recipe to our cookbook!
    Love, Kary

  8. Gina says:

    I made these last year for the Super Bowl. They were SO goood! I pinned it & am making them again this year. I made sure I had everything ready for tomorrow. It was a good outcome last game, hopefully it will be again πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  9. Patrick says:

    Do you have a lemon-pepper sauce?
    Pat

  10. Ron says:

    Suggestion, I use 2 TBS of red wine vinegar to Frank’s hot sauce and the butter. This brings out the flavor even more πŸ™‚