How to Make Juicy, Crispy Chicken Wings in an Air Fryer – Cook Your Favorite Side Dish to Perfection

Crispy, juicy chicken wings are a classic appetizer and side dish that are always a hit. While usually fried, chicken wings can easily be made in an air fryer for a healthier cooking method that still yields crispy skin and tender, flavorful meat. Read on to learn how to perfectly cook chicken wings in an air fryer with a variety of seasonings and sauces for irresistible results every time. We’ll cover tips, step-by-step instructions, and serving ideas so you can make this go-to side dish with ease right in your air fryer.

Benefits of Cooking Chicken Wings in an Air Fryer

Using an air fryer has several advantages when making chicken wings:

  • Healthier cooking method – Air fryers use significantly less oil than traditional frying, resulting in chicken wings that are lower in fat and calories. The rapid air circulation and convection heat cooks the wings crispy without saturating them in oil.
  • Crispy skin – The high heat of an air fryer along with the constant air flow ensures chicken wings develop crispy, crunchy skin just like deep frying.
  • Juicy meat – The meat inside stays moist and tender thanks to the hot air quickly cooking the exterior.
  • Versatile – Chicken wings can be seasoned or sauced in endless ways to customize to your tastes when made in an air fryer.
  • Easy – Simply toss the wings with seasoning, arrange in the air fryer basket, and cook. The whole process is fast and hands-off.
  • No oil splatters – Cooking wings in an air fryer is far less messy than frying on the stovetop.

With these benefits in mind, let’s look at how to perfectly execute chicken wings in an air fryer.

How to Choose Chicken Wings for Air Frying

When selecting chicken wings for cooking in your air fryer, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Get whole wings – Look for whole chicken wings rather than wings that are pre-portioned. This gives you more flexibility when arranging them in the air fryer.
  • Go for drumettes or flats – For even cooking, choose either drumettes (the meatier upper section) or flats (the double bone section). Mixing the two can lead to uneven cooking.
  • Opt for smaller wings – Small to medium sized wings will cook more evenly than jumbo wings in an air fryer. Larger wings may need extra time.
  • Pat dry – Make sure the chicken wings are patted down with paper towels before seasoning so the exterior gets ultra crispy. Any excess moisture can make them less crunchy.

Now let’s look at the simple process of cooking wings in an air fryer for perfect results every time.

Step-by-Step Guide to Air Frying Juicy, Crispy Chicken Wings

Follow these easy steps:

1. Pat the Wings Dry

Remove the wings from the packaging and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Make sure to remove any excess moisture for crisper skin.

2. Season the Wings

In a large bowl, toss the chicken wings with the desired seasonings. Some easy seasoning options include:

  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Jerk seasoning
  • Ranch seasoning
  • Buffalo wing seasoning

Coat the wings evenly and generously with whichever seasoning you choose for plenty of flavor.

3. Arrange Wings in Air Fryer Basket

Put the wings in the air fryer basket without overlapping. Overcrowding can prevent even cooking.

4. Air Fry Wings

Set the air fryer temperature to 390°F and cook for 22 minutes, flipping the wings halfway through. This ensures the skin gets crispy on both sides.

5. Check for Doneness

Use a meat thermometer to confirm the wings are cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of at least 165°F. If needed, air fry 2-3 minutes longer.

6. Toss Wings in Sauce (Optional)

If you want sauced chicken wings, toss the cooked wings with your desired sauce in a bowl. Buffalo, barbecue, teriyaki, and Korean bbq sauce all make tasty options.

And that’s it! Simply repeat the process in batches for additional wings. Now let’s go over some serving ideas and variations.

Serving Ideas for Air Fried Chicken Wings

Chicken wings cooked in an air fryer are delicious on their own, but here are some fun serving suggestions:

  • Toss in sauce – Buffalo, barbecue, ranch, honey mustard, and other sauces make air fried wings even tastier.
  • Serve with ranch or blue cheese dip – Offer a creamy, cooling dipping sauce on the side.
  • Make a platter – Arrange wings alongside crunchy celery and carrot sticks for a party-ready platter.
  • Pile on a sandwich – Stuff crispy air fried chicken wings into rolls for handheld sandwiches.
  • Add to salads – Turn a salad into a meal by topping it with warm, seasoned chicken wings.
  • Garnish nachos – For an appetizer, crumble air fried wings over loaded nachos.

The possibilities are endless for how to serve wings straight out of your air fryer. Now let’s look at some variations you can try.

Variations for Air Frying Chicken Wings

The basic method yields classic fried-style chicken wings, but you can put your own spin for exciting new flavors:

  • Breaded wings – For extra crunch, coat naked wings in breadcrumbs or panko before air frying.
  • Sticky soy wings – Toss cooked wings in a sticky Asian sauce like teriyaki, sesame, or Korean bbq.
  • Jerk wings – Use Jamaican jerk seasoning for spicy kicked up wings.
  • Garlic parmesan – Toss air fried wings in melted butter mixed with garlic and parmesan.
  • Honey sriracha – Mix sriracha with honey for slightly sweet and spicy wings.
  • Cajun rub – Use Cajun seasoning for warm, boldly flavored wings.
  • Lemony wings – For bright flavor, season wings with lemon pepper before air frying.

Let your imagination run wild when it comes to seasoning and saucing air fried chicken. Buffalo sauce, chili garlic sauce, tangy mustard barbecue, and other flavors all make amazing wings.

FAQ About Making Chicken Wings in an Air Fryer

Still have questions about cooking wings in an air fryer? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How long does it take to air fry chicken wings?

At 390°F, it takes about 22 minutes to air fry bone-in chicken wings, flipping halfway through. Larger jumbo wings may take a couple minutes longer.

Should you flip chicken wings in the air fryer?

Yes, flipping the wings halfway during cooking ensures they crisp up evenly on both sides.

Do you need oil to air fry wings?

You do not need to use any additional oil when air frying wings. The hot circulating air will crisp up the skin without oil.

What temperature do you cook chicken wings in an air fryer?

An air fryer temperature of 390°F is ideal for crisping the skin on chicken wings as they cook through.

How do you make chicken wings crispy in an air fryer?

Pat wings dry before seasoning, don’t overcrowd the basket, and air fry at 390°F for 22 minutes to achieve crispy wings.

Can you put raw chicken wings in an air fryer?

Yes, you can put raw, seasoned chicken wings directly into a preheated air fryer. No need to pre-cook them.

What is the best sauce for air fried chicken wings?

Classic Buffalo sauce pairs well with air fried wings, but you can also use barbecue, teriyaki, ranch, honey mustard – the possibilities are endless!

Get Perfectly Cooked Chicken Wings Every Time

Air fried chicken wings are hard to resist with crispy skin and juicy meat. Thanks to the air fryer, you can enjoy this favorite appetizer and side dish anytime with far less oil and effort.

For the best results, pat the raw wings dry, generously season, arrange in a single layer in the basket, and cook at 390°F for about 22 minutes, flipping halfway. Once cooked, toss with your favorite sauce if desired.

Experiment with exciting new seasonings and flavors to give basic wings an extra kick. Serve wings on their own, on top of salads or sandwiches, or alongside crunchy veggies and dip.

With this handy guide, you can now make irresistible chicken wings easily in your air fryer. So give them a try and enjoy your new go-to appetizer!