Air fryer chicken wings coming in hot! Do you love chicken wings? Do you love your air fryer? To me, chicken wings and the air fryer are a match made in heaven.
When Mike and I went out for happy hour – back when it was actually the happiest hour instead of being kind-of-happy but kind-of-dangerous because covid hour – I always, always got wings. Wings and ranch and celery sticks make me one happy bunny. Make it rain ranch!
But these air fryer chicken wings are faster than going to the bar, ordering, and waiting for them to fry your wings. Even better, they’re super juicy, taste amazing and only take 20 minutes in the air fryer. And they’re not deep fried!
Chicken wings in air fryer?!
Yes! To me, the air fryer is the best option for juicy crispy chicken wings. Air fryers circulate hot air and oil all around the wings to get a perfectly crisp shell while keeping the insides extra juicy. Baking wings in the oven takes an hour, but air fryer chicken wings only take 20 minutes from start to finish which means your wings don’t have a chance to dry out.
The secret to extra crispy air fryer chicken wings
The secret to extra crispy air fryer chicken wings is baking powder (not baking soda) and salt. Basically, the pH of the baking powder makes the surface of the wings brown more easily. A bit of salt draws out any extra moisture off the surface of the skin and your air fried chicken wings end up crispy and golden.
My Secret Base Air Fryer Chicken Wings Recipe
The key to really tasty air fryer chicken wings is a well seasoned base. You know how wings taste super good and flavorful at restaurants in way that never seems achievable at home? The secret is seasoning your wings before you sauce them. It’s layers on layers of flavor, all the way down!
For these wings, I coated them in a bit of baking powder, along with some salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. The result was unbelievably juicy, crisp, and flavorful.
This basic seasoning mix of salt, garlic, onion, and pepper is the perfect base layer for all other sauces. It will make your wings extra: extra flavorful, extra saucy (because the sauce will have something to cling to), and extra delicious.
Buffalo wings vs other sauces
These wings are 100% good enough to eat naked, on their own. But variety is the spice of life too, amirite?!
Air fryer chicken wings make the best ever buffalo wings. Buffalo wings are super simple: equal parts Frank’s Red Hot and melted butter. We like to mix it up and use other hot sauces too, like sriracha buffalo or Crystal buffalo.
Truth is, we almost always reduce the amount of butter or leave it out entirely for a healthier twist. We made these specific wings with just Secret Aardvark Habanero Sauce (the best hot sauce EVER) and they were phenomenal. You can also make these wings:
- Korean wings – in small pan, heat up 1 tablespoon each of ketchup, gochujang, honey, and brown sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and grated ginger, along with 2 cloves crushed garlic. Read more about Korean Fried Chicken here.
- Pok Pok fish sauce wings – combine 1 tablespoon each of lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar, along with 1 clove crushed garlic and 1/2 sliced Thai bird’s eye chili. Let sit for 10 minutes for the flavors to meld before tossing. Read more about Pok Pok Style Fish Sauce Chicken Wings here.
- Honey garlic wings – Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan over medium heat and add 8 cloves of crushed garlic and cook until soft but not brown. Stir in 2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon water, bring to a simmer, then toss with the wings.
- Ranch Wings – See below.
Okay, I know people don’t coat their wings in ranch, but sometimes I do?! Ranch is a must for dipping and let me tell you, tossing wings in ranch is a pro move.
You can make ranch dust by combining:
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill.
Ranch dusted wings are heaven in a chicken wing.
How to make extra crispy air fryer chicken wings
- Lightly pat your chicken dry. Moisture is not your friend when you want a crispy chicken wing, so be sure to pat your wings dry with a paper towel.
- Lightly oil. Lightly oil the chicken by tossing it with oil or spraying it with spray oil. This will promote even browning.
- Coat the chicken. This is where the magic happens. Toss the wings in a large bowl with a bit of baking powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Air fry. Lightly spray (or brush) the air fryer basket with oil. Arrange the wings in a single layer, with some space in between each wing.
- Flip. Flip the wings and fry again.
- Toss. Enjoy the wings as is or toss with sauce!
Air fryer frozen chicken wings
Can you make frozen chicken wings in the air fryer? Surprisingly, you can! You’ll need to cook the wings a bit longer and they won’t come out as crispy, but if you’re in hurry, it’s a pretty amazing party trick.
To make air fryer frozen chicken wings:
- Toss the wings in the baking powder spice mix and lay the wings out in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- Set the air fryer to 400°F for 15 minutes, flip, and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Flip them again, give them a spray with some oil, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Give them one final flip, spray, and cook for a final 5 minutes.
In total, air fryer frozen wings will take about 35 minutes depending on how crispy you want them.
How long to cook chicken wings in air fryer:
It takes 20 minutes to cook wings in the air fryer. Cook your wings for 15 minutes at 400°F, flip them and cook them for another 5 minutes at 400°F. If you want extra crispy wings, let them rest for 5 minutes then give them another 5 minute blast at 400ºF to get them extra crunchy.
Wings cook based on wing size and how packed your air fryer is, if your wings are extra big, add an extra 5 minutes to the cook time.
How many wings can I make at once?
You can make about 1 pound of wings at once, depending on how big the wings are. If you’re a wing lover, look into getting a rack for your air fryer because you can triple your wing making abilities.
If you’re buying a rack, whether online or offline, don’t forget to check the diameter so you can be sure it fits in your air fryer!
What’s the best air fryer?
Can I make these in an oven?
Yes, you can bake them in the oven, it takes 45 minutes @ 400ºF. Stick them on a wire rack on a foil lined baking sheet and flip them half way through. If you have convection mode, it means you have a giant air fryer! Just follow the same instructions as with an air fryer, maybe with an extra 5 minutes in case the oven temp is not as accurate.
Tips for the best air fryer chicken wings:
- Season your chicken
- Dry the chicken as much as possible, the drier the chicken, the crispier
- Don’t crowd the air fryer
- Use tongs to flip your wings instead of shaking the basket
- For ultimate crisp ones, double fry: let the chicken rest after frying, the pop it back into the air fryer for an extra 5 minutes
More Air Fryer Recipes!
Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- 1 tsp baking powder not baking soda
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt or to taste
Optional Buffalo Wing Sauce
- 1.5 tbsp hot sauce optional, see notes
- 1.5 tbsp butter melted, optional, see notes
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. In a bowl, toss the wings in oil.
Mix the baking powder, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and salt together in a small bowl. Add to the wings and toss to coat evenly.
Spray the air fryer basket with oil or lightly brush with a thin coat of oil. Arrange the chicken in a single layer and air fry at 400°F for 15 mins. When the 15 minutes is up, flip the chicken and air fry for another 5 minutes.
Remove the chicken immediately. Enjoy as is or toss with your sauce of choice!
Nutrition facts are for wings only and don’t include sauce.
Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Amount Per Serving (5 wings-ish)
Calories 504 Calories from Fat 298
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 9.3g58%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.