These air fryer chicken wings are buffalo wing perfection: crispy skin, tender white meat, all tossed in a spicy, delicious sauce. Nothing beats the air fryer for making wing-shop-style wings without a deep fryer, and this recipe couldn’t be easier! This is my family’s favorite way to make chicken wings.
What Makes Air Fryer Chicken Wings So Good
- Air fryer chicken wings are unbelievably easy. Unlike our Instant Pot Chicken Wings, which calls for cooking the wings in the Instant Pot then transferring them to the broiler to crisp them up, everything in this method takes place right in the air fryer. The wings come out unbelievably crispy with minimal effort. They’re also a healthier alternative to deep fried wings.
- The simple buffalo sauce is buttery, rich, and full of flavor. When I say simple, I’m not joking. Butter, hot sauce, and garlic powder. 3 ingredients and you’re done!
- One of the really nice things about air fryer chicken wings is the air fryer doesn’t heat up the whole room. I don’t know about you, but in the summers (and even well into football season), it’s HOT here in Memphis. If I can cook delicious food without running the oven and heating up half the house, I’m all for it! This method is also faster than baking them, which is an added plus.
- If you have a larger air fryer (or even multiple air fryers), you can use this method to make a ton of wings all at once. Perfect for a tailgate or game day watch party. Just be careful not to overcrowd the basket – if you do, the wings won’t cook evenly!
Key Ingredients for Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Chicken Wings – If you’re using whole wings, you’ll want to separate them into tips, wingettes, and drumettes. You won’t need the tips for this recipe, but you can save them to use for a homemade chicken stock! For best results, your chicken wings should be thawed (not frozen) and you’ll want to pat them completely dry with paper towels.
Hot Sauce – Any brand and any flavor of hot sauce will work here. If you want a different flavor for your wings, feel free to skip my buffalo sauce and use whatever you like best! Lemon pepper sauce, honey BBQ, teriyaki sauce, anything goes!
- Be sure to shake the air fryer basket periodically. This helps prevent the wings from sticking, but also tosses them a little so all sides can cook evenly. If you’re using an air fryer with racks instead of a basket, you’ll want to rotate the racks periodically.
- The number one rule for all air fryer recipes, including air fryer chicken wings, is not to overcrowd the basket. The wings shouldn’t overlap or touch at all. The air needs to be able to circulate completely so the wings cook and crisp evenly. If you put too many in the basket at a time, odds are good you’ll end up with some undercooked spots.
- If you need to cook multiple batches, transfer the cooked wings to a baking sheet and place them in the oven to stay warm and crispy while your next batch cooks.
Don’t Forget to Try These Air Fryer Recipes, Too!
- Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- Perfectly Cooked Sausage in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets
- Pizza Rolls in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Salmon with Brown Sugar Crust
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges
- 30 Keto Air Fryer Recipes
- Brats in the Air Fryer
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Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air fryer
- Microwave safe bowl
- Large bowl
For the Chicken Wings
- 2 pounds chicken wings drumettes, wingettes, or "party wings". See Notes
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more as needed
- air-fryer-safe spray oil
For the Easy Buffalo Sauce
- ¼ cup butter
- ⅔ cup hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat air fryer to 360° Fahrenheit. Pat wings dry, then thoroughly season all sides of chicken wings with salt.
- Remove basket from air fryer and spray with air-fryer-safe spray oil. Add wings to basket in batches, being careful not to overcrowd. Return basket to air fryer.
- Cook wings for 20 minutes total. Every 6 to 7 minutes, remove basket from air fryer and shake vigorously to toss wings.Note: if using air fryer with racks, rotate racks every 6 to 7 minutes so wings cook evenly.
- While wings cook, microwave butter in short bursts, stirring between each, until completely melted. Stir in hot sauce and garlic powder until mixture is completely smooth. Set aside.
- After 20 minutes total cook time, remove basket and shake again. Return basket to air fryer and turn heat up to 400° Fahrenheit.
- Cook 5 minutes at 400°, or until wings are browned and crispy. When ready, transfer wings to large bowl. Repeat process with additional wings if needed.
- Pour hot sauce mixture over wings and toss to coat. Serve immediately with blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, celery, and carrots.
- Chicken Wings: If using whole chicken wings, separate the tips, wingettes, and drumettes before seasoning with salt. Save tips for homemade chicken stock or discard. Large wings will take longer to cook.
- Make it Dairy Free: Use a dairy-free butter.
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Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.