You don’t need to bust out a big jug of oil or babysit a hot pot to get succulent, crispy chicken wings. This air fryer chicken wings recipe is here to help you achieve the best wings, proving deep-frying isn’t the only way to achieve deliciously crunchy results.
How does it work? When you air-fry, hot air circulates around the entire wing, creating a uniformly crackly exterior while keeping the meat juicy—all without a greasy finish. Preheating the air fryer ensures that the wings are entering a hot environment, making for the absolute crispiest results. Coating the wings in a baking powder and cornstarch mixture further optimizes crispiness, as the alkalinity of these ingredients encourages moisture absorption.
If you’re starting with whole wings, separate the drumette from the flat (also called the wingette) with a sharp knife, right through the joint. Remove the wing tips and discard (or save for stock) since they have virtually no meat and are likely to burn. Likewise, smaller pieces will be done before larger ones; be sure to pull them first so they stay juicy.
You’ll toss the wings in a dry rub and a buffalo-style wing sauce before cooking them to reinforce that coating, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on a dipping sauce. Serve the cooked wings with ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, Parmesan-laced Caesar, BBQ sauce, or more buffalo sauce. Pair with some of these other appetizers for a full game day or Super Bowl spread.
Don’t have an air fryer yet but still in the mood for wings? Check out these easy recipes for baked buffalo wings, fried chicken wings, pastrami-spiced wings, lemon-pepper wings (or chicken halves), grilled wings, or consider a buffalo chicken dip instead—and then peruse our guide to finding the best air fryer for you.
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lb. chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated
tsp. baking powder
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. Morton kosher salt
tsp. freshly ground pepper
tsp. garlic salt
tsp. onion powder
tsp. smoked paprika
Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Tbsp. mild hot sauce (preferably Frank’s RedHot)
Store-bought or homemade ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing (for serving)
An air fryer