March 05, 2020



Who doesn't love simple and delicious wings? These sweet and sticky chicken wings look as if they  came off the grill, but they didn't. A simple marinade and oven baking are all they need for deep caramelization and charring. 

Sweet and Sticky Chicken Wings
   Instagram Yummy

I love wings! I can eat them by the dozen. As such they are a dangerous food to have in front of me. For that reason, they are an indulgence that I infrequently partake in.

It's been years since I made these wings. Time to take them out of retirement to share with you! After tasting one, I remembered why they used to be a fixture on my kitchen table. They are a bit sticky and sweet, with a earthy undertone. They are great as a snack, an appetizer, or as party food for a crowd.

What's in the marinade? Brown sugar, and molasses are two main components. The former provides sweetness while the molasses imparts sweetness, slight smokiness, and a depth of flavor. The two also provide a rich color and great browning and charring for that from-the-grill look and feel. The third main ingredient is soy sauce, which imparts saltiness and balance to the sweetness. For added dimension, a small amount of red pepper flakes provide warmth. Double up for a touch of heat as this recipe requires only 1/2 teaspoon. Garlic, ginger, black pepper, and vinegar round off the list of marinade ingredients. 

Sweet and Sticky Chicken Wings

Recipe Highlights:
  • Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add to chicken wings.
  • Marinade overnight to 24 hours, refrigerated.
  • Place wings on layers of paper towels to blot off excess marinade.
  • Reserve marinade.
  • Place chicken skin-side-down on a foil lined, greased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 35 minutes.
  • Gently boil down reserved marinade for 15 minutes.
  • Drain liquid and turn wings over.
  • Baste with marinade.
  • Bake for an additional 35 minutes or until cooked through.

Bowls of chicken wings and marinade ingredients

A bowl of chicken wings and bowl of marinade

Marinade being poured into a bowl of chicken wings

Bowl of marinade, plate of chicken wings, baking sheet with wings

How to ensure good browning?
Use a large enough baking sheet to prevent overcrowding, which causes the wings to steam instead of sear. Allow space between wings for good browning. Use two baking sheets, if needed. 

Blot excess liquid off the wings prior to baking. Excess liquid hinders browning and prevents the wings from crisping up. Don't worry about removing all of the flavor that developed while marinating. Basting midway through the baking process adds another layer of flavor. The wings pictured here were marinated for 24 hours, were not basted, yet were full of flavor.

There will be a small amount of juice released while baking. It is drained when the wings are flipped midway to optimize browning.

Should the wings bake skin-side-down or up?
Bake skin-side-down for optimal searing and charring. The direct contact between the skin and the dry, hot baking sheet produces a great sear. The wings are flipped over midway once the sear has been achieved. Make sure to prep the baking sheet with cooking spray to prevent the skin from sticking.

Is it safe to reuse marinade the wings have been in?
Yes it is! According to the Department of Food Agriculture Safety and Inspection Service, it is safe to reuse marinade if it has been refrigerated and boiled first to make it safe for consumption. 

In the interest of not being wasteful, I reuse marinade all the time. If you are weirded out by this practice, just make extra marinade to use specifically for basting. Remember to reduce it first to slightly thicken and concentrate the flavor.

Sweet and Sticky Chicken Wings

Other chicken recipes you might like:


Sweet and Sticky Chicken Wings


3 pounds chicken wings or drumettes
1/3 cup molasses (affiliate link)
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil (affiliate link)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Suggested supplies (affiliate links):
Extra large sheet pan
Glass mixing bowls
Silicone spatulas
Turkey baster

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for wings.
  2. Place wings in a large container or bowl.
  3. Add marinade to the chicken. 
  4. Allow to sit overnight to 24 hours, refrigerated. Stir wings once during marination, if possible.
  5. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease bottom of a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  6. Place wings on layers of paper towels to blot off excess liquid. Reserve liquid.
  7. Place wings skin-side-down onto a foil lined and greased baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes.
  9. Gently boil reserved marinade for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. After 35 minutes of baking, drain liquid and turn wings over.
  11. Brush with boiled marinade.
  12. Continue to bake for 35 minutes or until chicken has in internal temperature of 160° F.
Makes 4 servings.

Great finds for the home and family! Any commission made on purchases help towards the running of this blog.


Rosemary Garlic Wings

Crispy Chicken Tender with 
Sweet Pepper Relish Dip

Coconut Chicken Tenders with Sweet 
and Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce

Honey Beer Glazed Wings

Disclosure: This site contains paid advertising and affiliate links. In Good Flavor is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


  1. We're actually having wings tomorrow night for dinner, so I might have to try this sweet and sticky recipe!! Yum!

    1. Yay!!! If you do, I hope you'll like them! I would love to hear what you think!

  2. Wings are absolutely THE best appetizer or snack! These look so good!

    1. Thank you Inger! I agree. It’s SO hard to stop once you dig in!