This recipe for air fryer chicken wings is such a quick and easy way to enjoy CRISP and juicy wings, all without deep frying. This post contains a variety of flavor options for you to make them your own.
After getting an Instant Pot I thought I was all set as far as smaller kitchen appliances go. But when our old two-slot toaster bit the dust, I saw an opportunity to replace it...and then some.
I bought a countertop toaster oven/air fryer combination and soon fell in love with air frying, well, everything. It cracks the code to making crispy, faux-fried foods with very little to no oil whatsoever. Plus it's a fairly speedy way to cook!
It's become my favorite time-saving way to make the BEST air fryer baked potato and totally replicates the crispy coating of the standard fried versions of air fryer chicken tenders.
Today we've got air fryer chicken wings. Crisp on the outside yet super juicy on the inside, these wings are versatile with both seasoning and coating for a Game Day ready spread. They're done in eighteen minutes of cook time!
- Chicken wings: For convenience look for "party wings", which means they've already been cut into drumette and wingette sections. The downside is they're a little pricier. If you have frozen wings, thaw before using.
- Seasonings: Technically you don't need more than salt and pepper, but additional dried spices helps give the wings a little more oomph. I use the same seasonings (paprika, garlic powder, mustard powder), in the same quantities, no matter if I'm adding a beer batter coating or not. They're just incorporated into the recipe at different times.
- (Optional) beer batter: This tasty coating is made with a mixture of beer and flour. If using, go for a lighter beer like a lager.
- Sauce: For coating cooked wings, if you like. Classic buffalo sauce and garlic parmesan are my personal favorites.
Beer Battered Wings
One way to take these chicken wings up a notch is to coat them in a beer batter before air frying. While totally optional (there are non-coated instructions in the recipe card below), it's a simple way to add a fun and tasty element to wings.
For a 1-½ pound batch of wings, you'll need one-half cup of flour and one-half cup (4 fluid ounces) of beer. Whisked together they form a thick beer batter coating that clings to each wing and crisps up in the air fryer.
Look for a beer that's on the lighter side, such as a pale lager or pilsner. Those provide carbonation (which helps produce a crisp coating!) and just a touch of flavor. While I love darker beers and IPAs for drinking purposes, their heavier flavors might not mesh well with your seasonings and sauces.
My choice is usually a Yuengling lager. Then you can enjoy one of my favorite college food and drink pairing: Yuengs and wings. 🙂
- Prep your chicken wings. You can skip this step if you purchased party wings. To break down whole wings:
- First cut through the main joint to separate the drumette and wingette.
- Then slice off the tip (also called the flapper) from the end of the drumette section. The tip has very little meat on it so you can discard it or reserve it to make chicken stock.
- Season or coat the wings, then place on air fryer basket.
- If using dry seasonings: Pat each wing section dry and evenly coat with spices.
- If using beer batter: Whisk together beer, flour, and seasonings. Dunk each wing in batter until fully coated.
- Air fry at 375°F (do not preheat) for 9 minutes, then flip each wing over for the most even browning.
- Air fry again for another 9 minutes, or until the center of the thickest part of meat reaches 165°F. At this point the wings will be well-browned and crisp but super juicy inside.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Air fryer size: You want to air fry these wings in a single layer to promote even browning and crisping, so that limits the amount that can be cooked at one time. I have a Cuisinart toaster oven/air fryer combo which has a 9.5-inch by 11-inch basket surface area, and can cook these all at once, but if your basket is smaller, air fry in multiple batches.
- Mix up the seasonings: In place of the individually-listed spices in the recipe card, you can season these air fryer chicken wings with your favorite all-purpose blend, or other flavors, such as lemon pepper, mango habanero, etc.
- Beer batter: Be sure to lift up each wing above the batter bowl and let the excess drip off. This reduces the mess that will form on the drip tray.
How to Serve Chicken Wings
- Toss air fried wings in buffalo sauce, a fruity hot sauce, or other prepared sauce, such as garlic parmesan.
- Portion out ranch or blue cheese as a cooling dipping sauce.
- Celery and carrot sticks also help beat the heat.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- 1 ½ lbs (681g) chicken wings (about 12 pieces) skin-on
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
Beer Batter (optional):
- ½ cup (119 ml) beer such as a lager
- ½ cup (63g) all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) Buffalo sauce optional
- If your chicken wings aren't already cut into sections, place each whole wing on a cutting board and cut through the main joint, separating it into a drumette segment and a wingette segment. Remove the tip (attached to the wingette) and discard. Repeat for all wings.
- Spray air fryer basket generously with cooking spray.
If Using a Beer Batter:
- Add beer and flour to a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. The mixture will froth up and take on a thick consistency. Add the kosher salt, ground pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and ground mustard and whisk in evenly.
- Using tongs, dip each wing section into the seasoned beer batter to coat, holding each coated wing above the bowl for a few seconds after so the excess batter drips back in.
- Place wings on the sprayed air fryer basket in a single layer, leaving a little bit of space between each one just so they're not touching. Repeat until the basket is full. Depending on the size of your basket you may need to cook in multiple batches.
If Not Using a Beer Batter:
- In a small bowl, stir together kosher salt, ground pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and ground mustard.
- Pat each wing section dry with a paper towel then season all sides of the wings with the spice blend. Arrange wings in a single layer on the sprayed air fryer basket, leaving a little bit of space between each wing just so they're not touching. Depending on the size of your basket you may need to cook in multiple batches.
- Set air fryer to 375°F (191°C) and cook for 9 minutes, then carefully flip. Cook for another 9 minutes, or until the center of the thickest part of meat reaches 165°F (74°C). All air fryers operate differently, so your wings may need more or less time.
- Serve immediately plain or tossed in your favorite sauce or glaze.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
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