My new favorite way to make the crispiest wings: in the air fryer! You won’t believe how easy it is to make these Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings!
Chicken wings in our house are a way of life. Crispy, totally crunchy, amazingly delicious wings.
I’d made it my life’s work to come up with the best way to make crispy wings in the oven and then BAM- the Air Fryer came out.
Air Fryer Chicken Wings Recipe
Cooking chicken wings in the air fryer totally changed the game. Amazingly crispy wings without all the oil, grease and mess of traditional frying but with all of the crunchy flavor.
A few things to keep in mind when making this recipe:
- Use smaller, cut wings that are separated into drumettes and wings. They are easier to manage and cook faster.
- Never overcrowd your air fryer. This is the number one rule for nearly any recipe. Putting things in anything more than 2 thin layers will prevent that crunchy goodness you are looking for.
- Don’t use too much oil. Oil will help to crispy up the wings, but use sparingly or they won’t crispy at all.
- Sauce comes last. So many folks try to bake the sauce on their wings. The trick is a dry seasoning while cooking and then either dipping sauces or toss in sauce before serving.
Seasoning for wings is truly personal preference. I like to keep mine simple and then offer an array of sauces for dipping. To make sure the season complements them all, it’s these simple ingredients.
- Fine sea salt – please, no iodized salt, it can end up tasting metallic and being too salty. Fine sea salt is best here.
- Ground black pepper – I like to use freshly ground pepper, but if you want a milder pepper flavor, use white pepper.
- Garlic Powder – You don’t need a lot of ingredients for this batch of wings. The majority of the flavor will come from
- Onion Powder – Same here. We don’t want the seasoning to be overpowering, but onion powder is a nice blend of flavors.
- Olive oil – For oven baked wings, I’d tell you to get them as dry as possible, but for Air Fryer (AF) you’ll need a little bit of oil. Olive oil works best for this recipe because of it’s high smoke point.
How to Cook Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer
Now that you’ve got a seasoning and the basic of what we are doing, follow these directions.
- Dry wings well and pat dry.
- Toss in olive oil, just enough to coat. Discard any extra oil.
- In a large bowl, toss in seasoning blend of choice so wings are evenly coated.
- Place in a single-ish layer in the air fryer basket. A few overlays won’t make a big difference, but you don’t want full layering.
- Cook the air fryer wings, tossing/flipping halfway through cooking.
- Remove and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
- Frozen – You can make this same recipe using frozen chicken wings and be just fine. Just change the cooking temperature. Instead of the same temp the whole cooking time, we are going to start lower and increase when we take them out for the first shake. Also increase in cooking time.
- Seasonings – Other seasoning blends work too like Cajun, blackened, taco, seasoning salt and Thai. And if you like it truly basic, dial it back and few notches and go with just salt and pepper. Totally versatile!
Now you’ve made the crispiest wings in all the land, you’ll need some fabulous dipping sauces. Of course you can go with a plain hot sauce or your favorite sauce, but here are some suggestions:
- Buffalo Sauce
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Ranch Dressing
- Chipotle Ranch
- Green Curry Sauce
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Creamy Honey Mustard
- BBQ Sauce
- Honey Garlic Sauce
- Honey Sriracha Sauce
Air Fryer Tips
Before you get started, check out our tips for any recipe in the air fryer!
- Always preheat the Air Fryer. Just like the oven, it needs to get hot.
- Have your food ready to go, every minute the basket is out of the machine, it loses heat, just like opening the oven door.
- Grease the basket. Even though the baskets are non-stick, a little olive oil spray or nonstick cooking spray never hurt.
- Use olive oil in a spray bottle. Aerosol sprays can cause damage to the nonstick finish. That said, I’ve sprayed mine with Pam several times and never had an issue.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket. Most foods cook best in a single layer, filling the whole basket will result in unevenly cooked foods. There are some foods you can pile like shrimp, fries, tots and wings.
- Shake or flip foods while cooking. But again, don’t have the basket out too long, it will lose heat.
- Add a small amount of water to bottom when cooking fatty foods. Literally just a little. This prevents them from falling and burning to the bottom creating a mess and also smoke.
- For super messy foods, like the basket with aluminum foil for easier cleaning. If the food has grease or oil, like chicken wings, make holes to allow to drain. You’ll still need to wash the basket, but with less caked on mess.
- Allow space around your Air Fryer. Not just in the basket, but the actual appliance. It relies on circulated air, so it pushes and pulls air in and out at a high rate. Don’t stuff between other appliances, give it some room to breath.
- Add your crispy chicken wings to a layer of paper towels after air frying. This allows them to drain the grease off a little bit.
- Hand wash the parts. I know it says dishwasher safe, but your Air Fryer will last a lot longer if you take the time to hand wash the baskets.
- AF stands for “Air Fryer”- not “As f-word” like the kids tend to say. 🙂
Storage and Freezing
Storage: Store any leftover extra crispy wings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. For best results, reheat in the air fryer to keep that crispy skin.
Freezing: You can also freeze these air fry chicken wings. Leftover wings can be stored in a freezer bag and stay for up to three months.
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Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Rinse and pat dry chicken wings.
- Toss in a large mixing bowl with olive oil. Remove excess oil from the bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together fine sea salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders. Sprinkle over wings, tossing to evenly coat.
- Lightly coat basket with cooking oil.
- Working in batches, cook wing a single layer. Cook at 380 degrees for 10-15 minutes total, shaking/flipping halfway through cooking. Cooking time will depend on size of wing. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.
- Repeat with remaining wings.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.
- Toss frozen wings in olive oil. Discard excess.
- Toss wings in seasoning blend.
- Cook in preheated air fryer at 360 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Remove, flip, return to air fryer on 380 degrees for an additional 15-20 minutes. This will depend on the size of your wings and how much they overlapped.