How to Air-Fry Chicken Wings

Take your next tailgate, watch party or weeknight dinner to the next level by learning how to make air-fryer chicken wings.

When it comes to game day appetizers, it doesn’t get much better than chicken wings. Crunchy, meaty and sometimes sticky, wings are the perfect way to kick off a football game.

But chicken wings can also be a bit intimidating to make at home. Luckily, we have the perfect solution: Use your air fryer. This mostly hands-off cooking method results in all the crunch and flavor of traditional chicken wings without having to heat up a big pot of oil.

Follow along as we walk through how to air-fry chicken wings. And since you have your air fryer out, check out some of our other favorite air-fryer recipes.

How to Make Air-Fryer Chicken Wings, Step by Step

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This easy air-fryer chicken wings recipe comes from Taste of Home’s Test Kitchen. The dry rub is a combination of warm spices like mustard, ginger and nutmeg, plus a touch of cayenne for a finger-licking wing.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon each ground mustard, ginger and nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 whole chicken wings (2-1/2 pounds)

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Air fryer: To make air-fried chicken wings, you’ll definitely need an air fryer. If you don’t already have one in the kitchen, check out this list of the best air fryers according to our Test Kitchen. Not sure what size to get? Here’s how to find the air fryer size that’s best for you.
  • Large bowl: Mix your spices and wings with ease in a wide-rimmed bowl.
  • Chef’s knife: It doesn’t need to be fancy, but a sharp, small knife is essential for dissecting wings.
  • Tongs: Protect your fingers and flip your cooked wings with a pair of long tongs.

Directions:

Step 1

To start, preheat your air fryer to 300°F. In a large bowl mix together the garlic powder, garlic salt, mustard, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, allspice, cayenne and baking soda.

Editor’s Tip: Don’t skip the baking soda! Baking soda will help dry out the wings’ skin, making it extra-crisp and crunchy when fried.

Step 2

How To Cut Chicken WingsTMB Studio

Next, use a sharp, thin knife to separate the wings into three parts: the tip, the wingette and the drumette. Remove the tips and reserve them to make a chicken stock, or discard them.

How To Cut Chicken WingsTMB Studio

Find the joint between each of the wingettes and drumettes and slice through it to separate the wings.

Step 3

Add the wingettes and drumettes to the bowl of spices and toss until the pieces are completely coated.

Step 4

Lightly grease your air-fryer basket to prevent sticking and then lay a few wings in the basket, being careful they’re not crowded. Air-fry the wings for 15 minutes.

Flip the wings, increase the air-fryer temperature to 400°F and fry the wings for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear and the wings are golden brown. Since air-fryer cook times can vary, it’s best to use a meat thermometer to check that your chicken wings reach the right temperature. (Here are other handy air-fryer accessories.)

Step 5

Repeat the cooking process with the remaining wings. Then get your sauces ready!

What to Serve with Air-Fryer Chicken Wings

Since these air-fried wings are dry-rubbed, they’re great with dipping sauces. Our go-to sauces are ranch, blue cheese salad dressing, Buffalo sauce and barbecue sauce, but any sauce you like will work well. You can even toss the wings in additional seasonings to make lemon-pepper wings, peach-bourbon wings or garlic parmesan wings. Yum!

Along with an array of sauces, we recommend serving these air-fryer chicken wings with carrot and celery sticks for some crisp crunch.

If you’re serving wings for lunch or dinner, round out the meal with easy side dishes like coleslaw, air-fryer French fries or an arugula salad with Parmesan.

Tips for How to Air-Fry Chicken Wings

Can you air-fry frozen chicken wings?

We recommend you use fresh chicken wings for the best flavor and texture. If you already have a bunch of frozen wings, you can use them, but be sure to follow our guide to air-fryer frozen foods.

How do you get crispy air-fryer chicken wings?

For the crispiest chicken wings, make sure they are completely dry before tossing them in the spices. Blotting the wings with a paper towel will remove any excess moisture that could make your wings soggy.

The baking powder in our recipe’s spice mix will also help dry out the chicken skin for crispy wings.

How do you double this air-fryer chicken wings recipe?

It’s easy to make more of these crispy wings. Simply double or triple the amount of spices and chicken, then cook in batches as shown above. Just don’t try to cram too many chicken wings in at once. It’s important not to overcrowd the air-fryer basket—and to avoid these other air-fryer mistakes.

How do you store chicken wings?

Leftover chicken wings can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

When it comes to reheating chicken wings, you can turn to your air fryer again. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F, grease lightly, and place the wings in the basket. Air-fry until the wings are warmed through, about 5 minutes or so.

Now that you know how to make air-fried chicken wings, take a crack at our best-ever deep-fried chicken wings.

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.