Sticky, saucy, finger-licking-good, fall-off-the-bone sweet and spicy Honey Ginger Garlic Wings - in other words, the best chicken wings recipe ever!
This recipe feeds a crowd and is perfect for game day. Make these chicken wings in the Instant Pot or the Slow Cooker - your choice.
Ya'll. These honey ginger garlic wings are fantastic! We always make these when we are craving wings.
Perfect honey garlic wings
These wings are so tender, and the meat just falls off the bone. The sauce is absolute perfection - sweet but not overly so, a bit spicy which went perfectly with the sweetness, a bit tangy, and just absolutely sticky and finger-licking good.
The flavors of the sauce are amazing: honey, ginger, lots of garlic, and orange juice which adds a subtle sweetness and flavor.
And the best part is that this recipe so easy! Yes, there are a few separate steps, but they are so worth it end up with such delicious wings.
Related recipe: Air Fryer Orange Chicken
Slow cooker *OR* Instant Pot Wings
You can make this wing recipe in the instant pot or in the slow cooker - your choice. Of course, the instant pot is much faster. The instant pot cooking time is only 5 minutes and you can have these wings ready from scratch in under an hour.
But the slow cooker is not a bad option either, since it doesn't require any extra work on your part. You just need to start on the wings 4 hour earlier than for the Instant Pot. Not a problem if you're just hanging out at home anyway.
I'll show you how to cook these wings in the slow cooker and the instant pot. Trust me, this extra step is absolutely worth it for fall-off-the-bone wings. Without the slow cooker or instant pot step, the wings are always a little tough if you try to cook them only by roasting them.
After the Instant Pot or the slow cooker, the wings are brushed with sauce and placed in the oven to get that beautiful browned crisp and make the sauce sticky-saucy-perfect.
More sweet n tangy recipes: Instant Pot Glazed Meatballs
Chicken wing recipe to feed a crowd:
This recipe uses 6 pounds of chicken wings, which makes about 4 dozen (FORTY EIGHT!) wings. This is a good amount to feed 8-12 people, if you have lots of other snacks you will be serving. That will be about about 4-6 wings per person.
Related recipe: Honey Rum Chicken Breast
What kind of wings to use
When I say "wings" here, I mean the American/US definition of chicken wings - each "drumette" and "wingette" is called a "wing" even though, technically, each piece is half a wing.
You can take a look at the description of a chicken wing on thekitchn if you are not sure what I mean. Or, don't worry about the semantics. Just know you're making about 6 pounds of wings, which is a nice amount.
What you'll need to make honey garlic chicken wings:
Instant Pot: We have the 8-quart Instant Pot and it's perfect for this recipe. The 6-quart one is a little tight for this many wings - but it all depends on the actual size of your wings! Don't overpack your Instant Pot - follow the maximum fill line recommendations from your manual.
You can always cook the wings in the Instant Pot in 2 batches - since it only takes 5 minutes of cook time.
Slow cooker: We have this 6-quart slow cooker and it's just the right size for this recipe - the wings fill up almost the whole thing.
Lots of garlic: I use lots of garlic for this recipe, which gives the sauce an amazing flavor. It doesn't come out too garlicky, because garlic mellows as it cooks. To make this easier on yourself, get a good garlic press (such as this one) so you can just squeeze the garlic right into the saucepan instead of having to mince each garlic clove.
Fresh ginger. The powdered stuff won't work for this recipe. I find it easiest to use a microplane zester/grater (such as this one) to grate fresh ginger. If you want, you can use the same zester to mince the fresh garlic as well.
Spices: In addition to fresh garlic and ginger for the sauce, you'll also need powdered spices to season the wings: garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper powder. I know I often talk about using fresh spices, but the powdered stuff definitely has its uses, such as in this recipe.
Honey: The honey is cooked pretty thoroughly in this recipe, so there's no need to get the highest quality honey. There's no point in getting fancy, local honey or anything expensive for this recipe. Just use the cheapest honey you can find - the honey garlic sauce will taste amazing either way, I promise! This large bottle of honey is perfect for cooking - you won't feel bad using lots of it in one recipe!
Looking for other great entertaining recipes?
- Slow cooker honey chicken
- Bourbon chicken - restaurant quality bourbon sauce chicken, so good!
- Instant Pot BBQ pulled chicken
- Instant Pot shredded Buffalo chicken
- Buffalo chicken cheese dip
- Easy salami appetizer
- Cheesy chicken corn dip
- Spicy crunchy chicken salad
- Orzo coleslaw salad
- No mayo potato salad
- Refried bean dip
I hope you make this chicken wing recipe, and I hope your guests love it as much as we did! If you end up making it or saving it on pinterest for your next party, please let me know in a comment below! I love to hear from you.
Honey Garlic Wings - Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Instructions
- 6 lbs chicken wings - (about 4 dozen small wings), thawed
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon powdered cayenne pepper - (or less to taste)
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup soy sauce - (less sodium preferred)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 5-6 garlic cloves - , grated or minced
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger - (about 2 1-inch pieces)
- 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes - (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Optional garnish: Sliced green onions, sesame seeds
- Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper together. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken wings. Use the Slow Cooker option or Instant Pot option below to cook the wings.
- In a 6-quart slow cooker, cook the seasoned wings on HIGH for 2 hours, and then on LOW for 2 more hours. When the wings are done cooking, they will have released a lot of liquid. Just take out the wings with tongs when you are ready to Bake the wings.
- Place the steamer insert inside the Instant Pot. Add 1/2 cup water. Gently place the seasoned wings on top of the steamer insert. Put the lid on and turn the valve to sealing. Cook on manual setting on high pressure for 5 minutes. Use the natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes, then you can quick release if needed.
- While the wings are cooking, prepare the sauce: In a small/medium saucepan, combine the soy sauce, orange juice, honey, grated garlic cloves, grated ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring a few times to make sure the honey is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the corn starch, stirring constantly so it doesn't clump together. Continue to cook the sauce for another minute, until it thickens to the desired consistency.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil (for minimal clean-up )and spray the foil with non-stick spray. Place the cooked wings on the baking dish, and brush the wings with the sauce. Flip each wing over, and brush the other side with the sauce.
- Bake the wings at 350F for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the wings - if the sauce starts burning on the foil, lower the temperature to 325F. It's OK if the sauce burns a little on the foil - the sauce on the wings won't burn and will turn into a delicious sticky sauce.
- Remove the wings from the oven and brush them with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with sliced green onions or sesame seeds.
The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.
Saturday 31st of October 2020
Thanks Guys, Your Recipe Was Too Fantastic. Me and My Family Loved it. I Will Share your Rrecipe with my friends. Hope they will love it too.
Saturday 31st of October 2020
Awesome, so glad you liked these wings!
Sunday 17th of November 2019
I just made these for dinner. they are awesome! The smell of the juices from the slow cooker lets me know the juice will be amazing for my next batch of soup as well.
Thursday 21st of November 2019
I'm so glad to hear you liked these!! I also use the liquid as stock for soup or for cooking rice or quinoa instead of water.
Wednesday 29th of June 2016
Do you think it would be ok to make the sauce first, add it to the crock pot with the raw wings, and then cook together? I'm sure I'd miss out on some extra crisp but would prefer to condense the process if possible. Thanks!
Wednesday 29th of June 2016
Hi Ashley, I don't think that would taste good because the wings release a lot of liquid while cooking in the crock pot, so the sauce would get totally diluted. If you are short on time (or don't want the fuss) you can just bake the wings until they are fully cooked, brushing on the sauce every ~10 minutes or so. The wings won't be fall-off-the-bones tender as they are after slow cooking, but the sauce is so delicious and would be sticky and thick and the wings would still come out great! Let me know if you end up making this.
Wednesday 7th of October 2015
Wow - the slow cooker for wings! That is brilliant - I have to try it. :)
Sunday 8th of February 2015
I will have to try this with all the chicken thighs I bought this weekend. Looks good. :)