The next time you need to woo a Buffalo wing lover in your life, make these easy Air Fryer Chicken Wings! Crispy on the outside, with juicy meat and a finger-licking sauce, this foolproof method for cooking wings in the air fryer gives you perfect results that rival your favorite sports bar.
Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Wings
- Crispy Outside, Juicy Inside. Like my Air Fryer Whole Chicken, Air Fryer Chicken Legs, and Air Fryer Chicken Thighs, air fried wings have a fabulously crispy skin and tender meat.
- Healthier Than Fried. The air fryer creates healthy versions of foods that are typically deep-fried, making it ideal for slimmed-down versions of your favorite bar foods (Air Fryer French Fries, Air Fryer Egg Rolls, Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks, and Air Fryer Pickles). You don’t even need olive oil for these wings!
- Sauce is Boss. This method is perfect for any of your favorite sauces. Spicy Buffalo is the reigning favorite around here (as indicated by the cult following of this Slow Cooker Healthy Buffalo Chicken and the Buffalo Chicken Burgers in my cookbook).
These wings might just be the best of all of my air fryer recipes so far!
The Secret to Crispy Air Fryer Wings
Wings are the best cut of chicken to fry, because of their high skin-to-meat ratio, but that ratio also makes them the trickiest.
To make wings crispy in the air fryer, you need to ensure that the fat in the skin can fully render (a.k.a. cook out) so the wings are not soggy.
To ensure the fat renders and the wings crisp, air fry chicken wings at two separate temperatures.
- First, air fryer the chicken wings at 360°F for 24 minutes, turning once halfway through. This step renders the fat.
- Then, turn up the heat to 390°F. This high temperature crisps the outsides of the wings, leaving the interior meat moist.
The two-temperature approach is easy, and it’s less messy than making air fryer chicken wings with baking soda or flour.
You can use this method with frozen air fryer chicken wings too.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Wings
No frying oil or baking powder tricks are needed in this easy recipe!
- The wings cook in 30 minutes in the air fryer.
- If your wings are especially large or small, you may need to adjust the time by a few minutes in either direction.
- Once the wings are air fried, you can toss them in any sauce of your choosing.
- Chicken Wings. This recipe calls for 1 ½ pounds of chicken wings, which is the max amount that I can comfortably fit in a single layer in my air fryer. If you are cooking more, you’ll need to air fry them in batches.
- Hot Sauce. Frank’s RedHot Original is my go-to, though you can use a similar mildish hot sauce you prefer (something like Tabasco would be too spicy).
- Garlic. Minced garlic gives the sauce extra zip that’s a step above garlic powder. It’s worth it for these air fried chicken wings.
- Vinegar. A small splash helps cut the richness of the wings and balance the sauce.
- Butter. What makes the wings finger-lickin’ delish.
- The Fixings. Blue cheese sauce (the Greek-yogurt based one in my cookbook is perfection), Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip, and celery (or carrots) sticks bring the bar experience home to you. Ranch dressing is a favorite of readers too.
- Split the Wings. Cut away the wing tips and split the “drumette” side of each of the “wingettes” from the flat side. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Air Fry at a Moderate Temperature. Place the wings in the air fryer in a single layer and cook at 360°F. This renders the fat so they don’t get soggy.
- Turn Up the Heat. After the first stage of cooking, flip the wings again, and increase the temperate to 390°F. The skin will get nice and crispy.
- Make the Sauce. Buffalo sauce is hot sauce that has been doctored up with melted butter and garlic. These simple ingredients create wing magic.
- Toss. Combine the crispy chicken wings and Buffalo sauce in a large bowl. ENJOY!
- Honey Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Wings. Use the sauce from my Honey Garlic Chicken Wings.
- Lemon Pepper Air Fryer Chicken Wings. Use the sauce from my Lemon Pepper Wings.
- Asian Air Fryer Chicken Wings. Try these sweet and sticky Korean Air Fryer Chicken Wings.
- BBQ Air Fryer Wings. Toss the wings in Homemade Barbecue Sauce.
- Extra Spicy Chicken Wings. Add a few pinches of cayenne pepper to your Buffalo sauce.
- Boneless Air Fryer Chicken Wings. I haven’t experimented with boneless wings, but I suspect they will cook more quickly. For another great boneless chicken recipe, check out my Air Fryer Chicken Tenders.
What to Serve With Buffalo Chicken Wings
- Baked French Fries. Because Buffalo wings and fries are a match made in comfort food heaven. You can plan these recipes so that both are ready at the same time.
- Sweet Potato Fries. Another tasty option in the fry department.
- Air Fryer Broccoli. This quick-cooking air fryer side can be ready shortly after you finish up the wings. Or try oven Roasted Broccoli.
- To Store. Refrigerate chicken wing leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Let the wings come to room temperature. Mist with water to help make them juicy, then reheat in the oven or air fryer at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes, or the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 6 minutes, turning once halfway through.
For max flavor, toss the reheated wings in a fresh batch of Buffalo sauce.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Knife Block Set. Ergonomic and with a broader blade curve for easy rocking cutting, this knife set is worth every penny!
- Kitchen Tongs. These 16-inch tongs easily reach deep into the air fryer’s basket.
- Glass Mixing Bowls. With 10 different stackable sizes and easy to wash, they’re ideal for tossing or dipping air fryer chicken wings recipe in any type of sauce.
Air Fryer Chicken Wings Video
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Air Fryer Chicken Wings
FOR THE WINGS:
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken wings
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup hot sauce Frank’s RedHot is what I use
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Blue cheese sauce The Well Plated Cookbook, page 212 or blue cheese dressing of choice
- Celery sticks
- Chopped fresh chives optional for color
- Coat the basket of a 3 quart or larger air fryer with nonstick spray.
- Trim off the wing tips (you should be able to feel the joint soft spot). It should separate fairly easily, but if not, put the blade in place, then carefully but firmly hit the top of your knife to apply extra pressure. Discard. Next, split the drumette side of each wing from the flat side at the joint: slice down through the skin feeling for the “soft spot” and wiggle your knife as needed.
- Pat the wings very dry. Sprinkle all over with salt.
- Place the wings in the air fryer in a single layer, making sure they do not touch (if needed, stand up the drumettes along the side). Set the air fryer to 360 degrees F. Cook the wings for 12 minutes, then remove the basket and with tongs, flip the wings over. Return to the air fryer at 360 degrees for 12 additional minutes.
- Slide out the basket, flip the wings once more, then return them to the air fryer. Increase the air fryer temperature to 390 degrees F. Cook the wings for 6 minutes, flipping once more halfway through. The skin should look nice and crisp (if your wings are on the larger side, they may need a few more minutes).
- While the wings finish up, melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl in the microwave or a saucepan on the stove. Stir in the hot sauce, garlic, and vinegar until smooth.
- Transfer the wings to the bowl with the hot sauce mixture. Toss to throughly coat the wings. Transfer the wings to a serving plate. Sprinkle with chives as desired. Enjoy warm with blue cheese sauce and celery.
- TO MAKE IN THE OVEN: Place a broiler rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler. Preheat to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place an oven safe baking rack on top. Arrange the wings on the rack in a single layer so they do not touch. Broil for 20 to 25 minutes, until the wings are browned and crisp, flipping once halfway through.
- TO STORE. Refrigerate leftover chicken wings for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT. Let the wings come to room temperature. Mist with water to help make them juicy, then reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes, or the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 6 minutes, turning once halfway through.
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Frequently Asked Questions
For the crunchiest wings, be sure to air fry your wings at two temperatures—first lower to render the fat, then higher to crisp the skin. Also, make sure not to overcrowd the air fryer or the wings won’t crisp.
Yes, you can cook frozen wings in an air fryer! If you are using frozen wings, the air fryer chicken wings cook time will need to increase by 5 additional minutes at 360 degrees F (29 minutes total at this temperature). The wings may stick together at first. Simply shake the basket after a few minutes to separate them, then use tongs to arrange them so they are not touching.
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can still make this recipe. See the “Recipe Notes” section below for tips on how to make these in an oven.