Crispy chicken wings in hot honey lemon pepper sauce are sticky, sweet, & spicy. There is no resisting this chicken wing recipe. Deep-fried wings tossed in a sauce with hot honey, lemon, black pepper, butter, & garlic are a flavor explosion.
These wings have it all & are so easy to make. The wet sauce clings to the wings and drummettes so every bite bursts with heat perfectly balanced with the sweetness. Fry up a batch, grab some wet naps, & enjoy.
If you love the lemon pepper wings from Wingstop or Buffalo Wild Wings, these wings are even better. These crispy fried chicken wings do not have a coating or batter. They are gluten-free, grain-free, & made without flour. The crunchy skin ensures you don't miss the breading, trust me.
They are the best wings for game day, Super Bowl parties, birthdays, and events. Hot honey lemon pepper wings are an easy appetizer recipe that is also perfect as a snack or lunch. I love serving these with some air fryer fries for a complete meal.
Hot honey lemon pepper chicken wings are a simple recipe with yummy ingredients that are the star. This recipe uses fresh lemon juice, tons of black pepper, homemade hot honey, & a seasoning blend for tons of flavor. They combine for a sauce that clings to every bite of chicken. These wings are a delight to all the senses.
These wings are made with a fantastic homemade hot honey recipe. It is not only sweet & spicy but it is thick & divine. Unlike most bottled hot honey, using my recipe has the addition of actual sliced hot peppers. This adds so much flavor plus color & texture. I highly recommend you make it.
- Chicken Wings
- Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Lemon Juice
- Hot Honey
- Garlic Powder
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning - optional
See the recipe card for quantities.
This recipe begins by seasoning and deep frying the chicken wings. While they are hot, toss them in the sticky & sweet hot sauce. Together this saucy, crunchy, & spicy wings are tasty.
There are really only two steps in making chicken wings at home. You begin by frying the wings. Then toss them in the sauce. In less than 20 minutes these quick & easy chicken wings are ready to eat.
How to Deep Fry Wings
Start this recipe by deep-frying the chicken wings. I use a deep fryer for this step. See notes below on how to cook the wings without a deep fryer. If you want to crispiest wings, I recommend buying a deep fryer.
Preheat the deep fryer until the oil comes to heat, 375°. This is the best temperature for frying chicken. It ensures the meat is cooked to a safe internal temperature while also making the skin crispy without overcooking them. The wings will be tender & juicy.
Begin by patting dry all surfaces of the chicken pieces. You do not want to add wet chicken to the hot oil! Moisture will cause hot oil to splatter which is dangerous.
Combine the salt, pepper, & garlic powder in a small bowl. Mix the spices together and then liberally sprinkle them on the chicken. Coat all sides and surfaces of the chicken wings.
Fry the wings in 375° oil in the deep fryer for 8-10 minutes. The internal meat temperature should be 165° when ready.
Use tongs to remove the chicken wings from the oil. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels.
Make the Hot Honey Lemon Pepper Sauce
Once the wings are done frying, time to make the wing sauce recipe. In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter. Make sure the bowl is large enough to add the cooked wings to later on. Microwave the butter for 20 seconds to melt.
To the bowl add the remaining sauce ingredients. This includes hot honey, lemon juice, and coarse ground black pepper. The coarse ground pepper adds more flavor, texture, & heat than fine ground black pepper. Stir or whisk together.
Add the chicken wings to the bowl with the sauce. Using tongs, toss the drums, flats, & wings so all sides are covered in the hot sticky sauce.
Once the wings are coated, pile them up on a plate or platter. Pour any remaining sauce over the top. You don't want to waste any tasty drops. Sprinkle on the optional lemon pepper seasoning if desired. Enjoy immediately.
If you are enjoying these as part of a meal, serve them with one of the many great recipes that go well with chicken wings.
Hint: If making dozens of wings for a party or a crowd, serve them as soon as they are ready. Chicken wings are best when they are hot and crispy. So plate them up as soon as they are sauced. Then keep the wings coming as more are ready. Just don't forget to grab a few yourself before they are all gobbled up.
Substitutions & Variations
This is a simple recipe with just a few common ingredients. You likely have everything already on hand but in case you don't, here are a few substitutions you can make.
You can add a few more ingredients to really level up these wings too. Try a few variations to spice things up a bit.
- Extra Spicy - add 2 tablespoons of buffalo hot sauce or double the amount of hot honey to the sauce.
- Low-Sodium - use unsalted butter and cut the salt in half.
- Hot Honey - instead of homemade hot honey, try a store brand like Mike's or Trader Joe's.
- Mild/Kid-Friendly - use plain honey instead of hot honey for mild lemon pepper wings.
These wings are already gluten-free and made without flour or other grains. If you wish to make this dairy-free, substitute the butter for margarine. For a delicious mild wing recipe, try Garlic Butter Chicken Wings.
Cooking Wings Without a Deep Fryer
If you do not have a deep fryer, here are alternate ways to cook the chicken wings. You can bake, air fry, or grill these chicken wings. Keep in mind, these alternate cooking methods will take longer.
- Air Fryer - preheat to 375° & air fry for 17-20 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking.
- Oven - bake the wings at 400° for 30 minutes.
- Grill - grill the wings on your BBQ over indirect low heat for 20-30 minutes.
As with all the ways to cook chicken wings, make sure they are cooked through and safe to eat. Always make sure the internal temperature is 165Â°. See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
This recipe for chicken wings uses a deep fryer. This kitchen equipment is relatively inexpensive and easy to use. I also find it safer & cleaner than frying in open pots and pans that can splatter hot oil. Here are a few deep fryers & other kitchen tools that I recommend.
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These wings are best eaten while they are hot & fresh. If you have leftovers, store them in the refrigerator to enjoy later. Place the wings in an air-tight container or Ziploc bag. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze the precooked wings, even if they are sauced. Place them in an air-tight container or Ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours before reheating.
Use fresh oil in your deep fryer if you can. The clean oil will crisp the chicken wings without leaving any residue behind. Clean oil also ensures no other "flavors" from previously cooked items transfer to your food.
As mentioned, I prefer using a deep fryer. If you do not have one, you can dry chicken wings in a large pot of oil on the stove. You can also use an electric fryer. Make sure to use enough oil so the wings are submerged and not a shallow fry. The oil should be at 375Â° before adding the wings.
You should only deep fry chicken that is dry. This is why we pat it down so that there is no moisture on the surface. Wet wings will splatter and are VERY unsafe in hot oil. Always sauce the wings after cooking.
I think the best way to reheat chicken wings is in the air fryer. It takes just a few minutes. Plus the wings will be crispy and not soggy.
If you do not have an air fryer, you can also reheat them in the oven. Preheat to 350° and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Warm leftover wings for 15-20 minutes.
Hot Honey Lemon Pepper Wings
- deep fryer
Deep-Fried Crispy Wings
- 1 pound chicken wings
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Hot Honey Lemon Pepper Sauce
- ¼ cup hot honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon course ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- lemon pepper seasoning optional
- Preheat the deep fryer until the oil comes to heat, 375°.
- While the oil is coming to heat, prepare the chicken wings. Pat dry the chicken pieces.Mix the salt, pepper, and garlic powder together in a small bowl. Next, liberally sprinkle the spices on all the wings. Make sure to coat all sides and surfaces of the chicken wings.
- When the oil is hot and reached 375°, carefully add the chicken wings in the deep fryer basket. Submerge in the oil and fry for 8-10 minutes.
- The wings are ready when the skin is brown and crispy. Check that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°. Using tongs, remove them from the deep fryer. Place wings on a plate lined with paper towels.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter. Microwave for 30 seconds to melt.
- To the bowl add the remaining sauce ingredients. This includes hot honey, lemon juice, and more black pepper. Stir or whisk together.
- Add the chicken wings to the bowl with the hot honey and more. Using tongs, toss the wings so all sides are covered with the sticky sweet wing sauce.
- Plate the spicy wings. Sprinkle on the optional lemon pepper seasoning if desired. Enjoy immediately.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 11.4g||15%|
|Saturated Fat 4.2g||21%|
|Total Carbohydrate 17.6g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.1g||0%|
|Total Sugars 16.3g|
|Vitamin D 2mcg||10%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
I love hot and sticky wings so I had to try this recipe. I used bottled hot honey and it was still good. I also did not deep fry them and did them in the air fryer per the instructions.
I am glad the recipe still worked out for you even with a few changes. I highly recommend trying my hot honey recipe also on the blog. It is so good and the added slices of spicy peppers are a bonus.