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Wings: Baking soda vs cornstarch

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    Wings: Baking soda vs cornstarch

    Recently I’ve been reading about people adding baking soda or cornstarch to their chicken rubs. I was curious if their were any experiments done as to which one produced the “better” results (for adding a little more crunch to wings). TIA

    I’ve not tried either, however I get great crispy wings if dry brine and leave uncovered in fridge over night!
    I know others have used the baking soda cornstarch so I’m sure you’ll get some feed back soon


      So,I have never used anything other then more flame, but, when I want a bit more crunch in pizza crust, I will add diastatic malt powder, adds a better crunch through a browning agent.


      • snowswamp
        snowswamp commented
        Editing a comment
        I use malt powder for my French bread. How much do use use in your pizza dough?

      • Richard Chrz
        Richard Chrz commented
        Editing a comment
        snowswamp un a 500 gram flour, I use 10 grams.

      I have seen this technique on youtube. I have not tried it to date, and I do not intend to for a while. At least until I may pair it with PBR of course.


        I have not tried it. If you want crispy wings, get a Weber kettle and a vortex.


          I have tried it. I no longer do. You can add a little into your rub it you want to try. The corn starch you can tastes. My family don't care for it. Baking soda has less taste.
          But adding a little with the rub is a lot easier otherwise it goes on to thick.
          If your wings were completely dry before adding it, it wouldn't be as bad I guess.

          But grilling them at about 350° or hotter does a good job. You can mist with a little oil towards the end of the cook will also help.

          I just don't like the taste of the powders.


            My wife has done the baking soda thing many times.
            I don't mind it although can be too salty sometimes.


            • Joetee
              Joetee commented
              Editing a comment
              Baking soda is far better than corn starch taste wise.

            I've tried both, could taste both and it was enough that before sauce it was offputting. IMO you're better off making sure the skin is dry, give it some salt the night before and let it sit on a raised rack in the fridge... pat dry again before grilling. I assume you are doing this to get more smoke, if so dial in your smoking time (short period of lower temp high smoke) to grill/higher heat time ratio that still produces crispy skin. If using a pellet grill you're probably better off going with a proven crispy skin grill temp/time and supplementing smoke with a smoke tube or burning some pellets on foil during the cook.


              I just did a batch using Kenji’s method of one part kosher salt, one part baking powder, 1/2 part corn starch. Went into my pellet at 400* and came out super crispy. Was going to Buffalo sauce them but family ate them plain. I’ll post a pic next time I’m at my computer. Try a small batch in your oven and see if you like it.


              • barelfly
                barelfly commented
                Editing a comment
                This is what I was going to post...it’s a great method!

              I have never used baking soda, but I have used aluminum free baking powder. It works well. But I do agree that the Vortex is the way to go.


                Sorry to be limited to only havin a simple, but elegant solution, bein th Rural Unsophisticate that I am...

                I use a Vortex, an FIRE on a Weber 22.5"...

                Worst ones ever, usin this ^^^method^^^, I'da not been afeart to sell, at My Place...

                Best ones? Hail I coulda / shoulda upcharged, bout 500%...they'da paid it lol

                ¡Pollo del Fuego!


                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  jhoskins I go Hot n Fast alla th way, shootin fer 450°~500°~ish, vents wide open...

                • jhoskins
                  jhoskins commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Mr. Bones how long does that normally take? Gotta imagine it’s pretty quick

                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  jhoskins actually takes ~bout an hour~, most times...rotate th lid 90° every 15 mikes to redirect airflow, flip wings @ 30 mikes...always meatiest part t'wards th fire...

                Like Thunder77 , I have found that using aluminum free baking powder, not soda, added at 1 part to 3 parts salt for dry brining produces nice crispy skin without altering the taste, whether wings, whole chickens, or turkey. I usually dry brine at least overnight in the fridge, uncovered to dry out the skin.


                • Thunder77
                  Thunder77 commented
                  Editing a comment

                Kenji recommends baking POWDER because there is no weird metallic taste like you get from Baking soda.


                  Baking powder and baking soda are different, though baking soda is an ingredient of baking powder.

                  Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is alkaline, and is a tenderizer. Baking powder is typically made from sodium bicarbonate + an acid.

                  Baking soda, besides being a tenderizer, can have a "soapy" taste.

                  When baking powder is heated in the presence of a liquid, it gives off CO2, which is why it's used in leavening. When used in a coating, it will "leaven" the coating a little and make it fluffier or crispier.

                  Cornstarch is a a thickener when combined with water (starches swell up and gelatinize in the presence of water), and will help keep a coating from washing away.


                  • Joetee
                    Joetee commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks. That's very informative.

                  If the point is to crisp the skin there are other ways of doing so that don't involve corn starch or baking soda. As mentioned above, dry-brining and then leaving uncovered in the fridge will dry out the skins which will accelerate crisping. Toss them into the freezer for an hour beforehand will further increase crisping at they will take longer to cook before hitting a safe internal temperature.



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