by Olena

Air Fryer Chicken Wings

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Olena Osipov
5 from 1 vote

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How to make super crispy, tender Air Fryer Chicken Wings (with NO oil!), using fresh or frozen chicken wings, ready in under 30 minutes! These air fryer fried chicken wings are juicy in the middle, contain just a fraction of the fat/calories and are easily customizable with 5 flavor variations.

For more simple chicken basics, you might also like this other method for healthy ‘fried’ chicken, baked chicken thighs, Instant Pot whole chicken, and/or slow cooker whole chicken!

chicken wings in air fryer basket

The Best Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Flavorful tender chicken is a must in my house- from baked cajun chicken and pesto topped chicken, to grilled lemon rosemary chicken. With an Air Fryer now at my disposal, I’ve jumped right into experimenting with air fryer chicken breast and now these ready in under 30 minutes super crispy oil-free air fryer chicken wings (with no marinating!).

Even better, the excess fat drips from the wings too, making for a leaner treat that tastes almost exactly like deep-fried chicken wings! The result is a perfect combination of juicy and ‘fall-off-the-bone’ tender meat with wonderfully crispy skin that is so difficult to replicate in the oven (and believe me, I’ve tried). It’s finger-licking guaranteed!

Why Make Chicken Wings in Air Fryer?

  • NO added oil: Deep-fried results with a fraction of fat and calories!
  • 30 minutes: Total time from kitchen to table with minimal clean up.
  • Skip the marinating: Open the package and place wings in air fryer! 
  • Choice of five wing seasonings: Bbq, buffalo, salt and pepper, lemon pepper and honey garlic – with even more suggestions below! 
  • Crispy chicken wings exterior with tender, juicy interior: Consistent results every time!
  • A sure crowd-pleaser: Everyone loves wings!
  • Low-carb, keto, gluten-free, Paleo, and whole30: Based on what seasonings you use. 
chicken wings that have been air fried with garnish

Ingredients

The main ingredient that you’ll need for chicken wings in an air fryer is, of course, chicken wings:

You can use raw or frozen chicken wings, with or without the bone. I prefer using raw, bone-in wings that have been separated into the drums and wings already. If you have whole wings, you’ll need to separate them yourself.

Keep reading below (after the recipe how-to) for more information on optional ingredients and the various flavor variations!

How to Make Chicken Wings in Air Fryer

  • Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheat it to 380F/195C for five minutes.

At this point, if your chicken wings are slightly wet at all – make sure to pat them thoroughly dry with paper towels. 

  • Air fry the chicken wings: Add the chicken wings to your air fryer basket in a single (but tight) layer – making sure not to overlap or stack the wings. Then close and cook for 25 minutes, shaking the basket once at the halfway point. 

If needed, air fry the chicken in batches – but don’t be tempted to stack the chicken if you want crispy results. 

If you want slightly more charred air fryer chicken wings, you can increase the heat for the last 3-4 minutes (by 20-25F). And remember that you may need to adjust the time slightly based on if your wings are smaller/larger than average. 

  • Prepare the seasonings: Choose your favorite wing seasoning from the list provided (salt and pepper, lemon pepper, buffalo and blue cheese, BBQ, or honey garlic) and use this time to prepare all the ingredients. 
  • Coat the chicken: Once the air fryer fried chicken wings are cooked, transfer them to a large bowl and toss with the seasoning/sauce of your choice. Then serve immediately, while warm!

For the buffalo chicken wings option, make sure to only add the hot sauce to the bowl. Meanwhile, the blue cheese dipping sauce will be served on the side.

Flavor Variations

Here are my top five simple and healthy flavor variations for your crispy wings; all using simple kitchen/pantry staples you probably have handy!

air fryer flavor variations

1. Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

If you want true simplicity, all you need for these air fryer chicken wings is a bit of salt and pepper – voila!

  • chicken wings
  • salt
  • pepper

Optional: For a hint of spice, you could also add some red pepper flakes to the mixture. Another quick and simple option would be to add garlic or garlic powder.

2. Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

While you can buy packaged seasoning called ‘lemon pepper’, I love mixing up fresh lemon zest with pepper for fresh and zingy results.

  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon – make sure to use an unwaxed lemon (preferably organic) when using zest in any recipe.

Optional: Some garlic (fresh or powdered) would pair well with the lemon pepper seasoning.

3. Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

The combination of honey and garlic makes for a wonderful sweet, tangy, savory chicken wing sauce.

  • chicken wings
  • honey
  • garlic

Optional: Add in a pinch of red pepper flakes for some heat or a splash of tamari (or soy sauce) for a sweet and salty combo.

4. Buffalo Chicken Wings

This list wouldn’t be complete without making healthy buffalo wings. Pair these with a healthy creamy blue cheese dressing/ dipping sauce and you’re good to go!

  • chicken wings
  • red hot sauce – I like to use Frank’s, but feel free to use what you have.
  • blue cheese
  • plain yogurt
  • salt

Optional: If you want a slightly unhealthier version, you can add a little melted butter to the hot sauce (like traditional buffalo sauce) and a bit of garlic powder (optional).

Love everything buffalo? Make buffalo chicken chili or tacos next!

5. BBQ Chicken Wings

BBQ wings are a true classic- and can be made even healthier with the use of a simple homemade BBQ sauce!

  • chicken wings
  • bbq sauce – I’ll often use homemade healthy BBQ sauce. But if you don’t have any, use your favorite store-bought option!

I like to use a BBQ sauce like Stubb’s which contains lower sugar and a pretty ‘clean’ ingredient list.

Optional Add-ins and Recipe Variations

  • Paprika seasoning: Another simple favorite seasoning of mine combines garlic powder, onion powder (optional), paprika, salt, and pepper. For spice, add a little chili powder, too. 
  • Other seasonings: You can swap out the seasonings I’ve suggested with your favorite/s. Italian seasoning with garlic would work, cajun spice, etc.!
  • Other sauces: There are tons of options out there. My other favorite sauce options include honey buffalo (simply combine buffalo sauce with a bit of honey) and teriyaki sauce
  • Cornstarch: Tossing the chicken wings in a bit of cornstarch just before air frying can help to yield even crispier results (though not necessary). Baking powder would also work, but I recommend only 1-2tsp, so the flavor isn’t impacted. 
  • Herbs: Some finely chopped fresh herbs make for a simple and flavorful garnish to these air fryer fried chicken wings—parsley, scallions, chives, etc.

Tips for Best Results

  • Air fryer models vary: For that reason, I always recommend keeping an eye on the food whenever you cook a new recipe in it. That way, you’ll know if it needs to be slightly adjusted for your model. 
  • No need to rinse the chicken: I never do. However, if you prefer to, make sure to use paper towels to dry the chicken after. If it’s wet, it won’t crisp up. 
  • Make sure to cook in a single layer: I’ve already said it – but it’s worth repeating. The air needs to circulate the chicken to make the skin crispy! Overlapping or stacking can lead to soggy chicken wings!
  • Stand the wings up: Whether you’re cooking a large batch or just want to avoid having to shake/flip the chicken, you can actually stand the wings up along the edges of your air fryer basket for more even air circulation (and still lay some down in the center to cook a larger batch). It’s a win-win!
  • For even crispier results: You can add just a quick spritz of oil (avocado oil works well. If using olive oil – don’t use extra virgin) to the chicken wings. However, as I’ve stated before – this isn’t necessary. 
  • If you have an oven with a built-in air fryer: Because of the larger space, the recipe will likely take longer. For that reason, I can’t guarantee that this method will work.

FAQs

Can I stack chicken wings in air fryer?

Technically you can. However, I don’t recommend doing so if you want the crispiest results. Instead, spread in a single layer with space between. After all, the more skin exposed, the crispier your air fryer chicken wings will become! It’s best to air fry the wings in batches than to risk soggy results!

How do you know when chicken wings are fully cooked?

You can use a meat thermometer and stick it in the thickest part of the wing, avoiding touching bone (which can throw off the results). If the chicken is 165F/74C – it’s done! If you don’t have a thermometer, slice a wing open – the meat shouldn’t be pink, and any juices should run clear.

Are chicken wings in the air fryer as good as deep fried ones?

This all comes down to personal taste. However, in my opinion, these air fryer chicken wings are just as good as deep-fried ones. With fried chicken wings in an air fryer, you can achieve amazingly crispy results, and the teeny tiny bit of crispness that may be lacking is more than made up for with the fact that this version contains all the flavor with a fraction of the calories!

Can I cook boneless chicken wings in the air fryer?

You sure can- just note that boneless chicken will taste less time to cook through. For air-fried boneless chicken wings, I recommend around 10 minutes at 400F/205C (flipping once halfway). For frozen boneless chicken wings, it can take between 20-25 minutes.

How do I reheat wings in the air fryer?

 I recommend reheating the air-fried chicken wings in the air fryer at 400F/205C for several minutes (4-6) until warm and crisped up again.

Can I cook frozen chicken wings in air fryer?

You sure can, with just a couple of tweaks. First, I prefer to allow them to thaw for at least an hour (just to be able to separate them more than anything).

Then cook the frozen chicken wings for around 30 minutes at 380F/195C. You can use a meat thermometer to check they’re fully cooked (at 165F/74C). The method for frozen boneless chicken wings is written below in the recipe card.

How does the air fryer get chicken wings crispy?

An air fryer is basically like a small convection oven that spins hot air around the ingredients to cook it quickly. Thanks to the smaller space, it’s also like a ‘concentrated’ version of baking food – meaning it takes less time and with crispier results.

Just make sure not to stack or overlap the chicken wings, so the air can circulate around the wings – for the crispiest air fryer chicken wings!

showing how tender the inside of the chicken wings is

Chicken Wing Serving Recommendations

You can enjoy these air fryer fried chicken wings an appetizer, healthy side, or as part of a party food spread alongside:

Of course, classic party foods like nachos or 7 layer dip are always a hit with chicken wings or serve your wings ‘fancy like’ with dips, sauces and cheeses as a charcuterie platter!

Making This Recipe in Advance

Make ahead: One tip for the best and crispiest fried chicken wings in an air fryer is to make sure that the wings are thoroughly dry. One way to do this is to lay your wings out on a large plate/tray in the fridge (covered) for several hours (or overnight) before patting dry and air frying to crispy perfection. If you plan on making these crispy wings often, you could also mix up large batches of your favorite chicken seasoning!

Storing: You can store the leftover air fryer fried chicken wings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. Make sure to move them to the refrigerator within two hours for food safety reasons. 

Freeze: Allow the cooked wings to cool to room temperature and then freeze the leftovers on a baking sheet (not touching) for several hours until solid. Then transfer them to a freezer-safe container/bag and store them for up to three months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before eating or reheating. 

Check the FAQs for how to reheat the chicken wings in the air fryer!

More Air Fryer Recipes to Try

Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Air Fryer Chicken Wings {5 Flavors!}

How to make super crispy, tender Air Fryer Chicken Wings (with NO oil!), using fresh or frozen chicken wings, ready in under 30 minutes! These air fryer fried chicken wings are juicy in the middle, contain just a fraction of the fat/calories and are easily customizable with 5 flavor variations.
5 from 1 vote
Print Save Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 194kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken wings raw

Salt and Pepper

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Lemon Pepper

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon zest of
  • 1/2 lemon juice of

Honey Garlic

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey

Buffalo

  • 3 tbsp Frank's red hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp salt

BBQ

  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees F for 5 minutes.
    Air Fryer Chicken Wings
  • Add raw chicken wings to air fryer basket (tight in a single layer but not stacked on top of each other), close and cook at 380 degrees F for 25 minutes, shaking once at half time mark. If necessary, cook in batches.
    Air Fryer Chicken Wings
  • While chicken wings are cooking, prep your favorite seasoning from above options: salt and pepper, lemon pepper, buffalo and blue cheese sauce, BBQ or honey garlic.
    Air Fryer Chicken Wings
  • Remove chicken wings into a large bowl, add seasonings of choice and toss to coat. All 5 flavors have ingredients added to a bowl with cooked plain chicken wings, except for Buffalo ones it's only the hot sauce that goes in a bowl, and then you make blue cheese dipping sauce separately in another small bowl.
    Air Fryer Chicken Wings
  • Serve immediately while hot and crispy.
    Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

    Reheat: Pop chicken wings in the air fryer at 400 degrees F for several minutes (4-6) until warm and crispy.

      Notes

      • What size is your air fryer? I am using large 8 quart Cosori air fryer. It fits about 1 – 1.5 lbs of wings.
      • Frozen chicken wings: You can cook frozen chicken wings, just thaw them for about an hour first to be able to separate them. Cook for 30 minutes at 380 degrees F and a bit longer if necessary.
      • To rinse or not to rinse? I do not rinse raw chicken wings. If you decide to, make sure to pat dry after with paper towels.
      • Cook wings plain first: Cook plain and unseasoned wings, no need to spray them or the basket with cooking spray. After fat is drained into the bottom basket and we season chicken wings in a bowl with your favorite seasoning. This is what restaurants do, just much more unhealthier in a deep fryer.
      • Other seasonings: Swap out the seasonings I’ve suggested with your favorite/s. Italian seasoning with garlic would work, cajun spice, paprika with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder etc.!
      • Other sauces: My other favorite sauce options include honey buffalo (simply combine buffalo sauce with a bit of honey) or teriyaki sauce
      • Cornstarch: Tossing the chicken wings in a bit of cornstarch just before air frying can help to yield even crispier results (though not necessary). 
      • Herbs: Some finely chopped fresh herbs make for a simple and flavorful garnish to these air fryer fried chicken wings—parsley, scallions, chives, green onions etc.
      See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 4wings | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 811mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      2 comments on “Air Fryer Chicken Wings

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      1. 5 stars
        Perfect for lazy Sundays watching football! Currently tried the BBQ one but can’t wait to make all the ‘flavors’ over the next few months! Crispy good!

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