These air fryer frozen chicken wings are crisp, juicy, and coated in the most delicious buffalo sauce. This method makes it oh so easy and quick to get homemade buffalo wings on the table without even thawing frozen wings! Serve with plenty of ranch or blue cheese dressing.
What Makes Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings So Good
- What makes air fryer frozen chicken wings better than air fryer chicken wings? Well, there’s one key difference – they’re frozen! With this method, you can fry up your chicken wings straight from the freezer, no thawing required. Perfect if you’re someone who likes to stock up on sale days, you forgot to thaw your wings last night (been there), or you just don’t like messing with raw chicken.
- These frozen chicken wings come out of the air fryer with a PERFECT texture and taste. They’re crispy outside and tender & juicy inside. Plus the easy homemade buffalo sauce is INCREDIBLE.
- All of the cooking happens right in the air fryer. No need to transfer the wings to the oven to crisp them up under the broiler – just crank up the heat on the air fryer for a few minutes toward the end!
- This method works whether you have a basket-style air fryer (like me) or an air fryer oven with racks. If your air fryer has racks, you’ll want to rotate the racks every 6 to 7 minutes during cooking, making sure with each rotation that the wings aren’t stuck to the racks or each other.
Key Ingredients for Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings
Frozen Chicken Wings – YUP! Bone-in, skin-on, rock-hard frozen chicken wings. No need to thaw them first! You can take them straight out of the freezer, season them with a little salt, and pop them right into the preheated air fryer.
Butter – The base of my easy buffalo sauce! If you’re dairy free, you can use a dairy-free butter, no problem.
Hot Sauce – Any brand and any flavor of hot sauce will work. If buffalo sauce isn’t your thing, you can totally use whatever you like best! Lemon pepper sauce, BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce, whatever! Just keep in mind that you can’t really brine or marinate the wings while they’re frozen, so any sauce has to be added after cooking.
- The cook time may vary slightly depending on the size and number of wings you’re cooking, how frozen the wings are, your specific size and type of air fryer, etc. Check your wings whenever you shake the basket and add a few extra minutes at 360°F if needed. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F for food safety.
- For really, really crispy air fryer frozen chicken wings, follow all the directions below as written. Then, after you’ve tossed the wings in the buffalo sauce, pop them back into the air fryer for just a couple of minutes. This step is totally optional and I personally don’t even think you really need it, which is why it’s not part of the instructions from the beginning.
- Be sure to use a spray oil that’s safe for air fryers! Basic aerosol cooking sprays can damage the non-stick coating on the air fryer basket. It’s best to fill an oil sprayer with your favorite neutral cooking oil and give the basket a few spritzes whenever you need it.
You’ll Love These Air Fryer Recipes, Too!
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets
- Air Fryer Salmon with Brown Sugar Crust
- Pizza Rolls in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
- Brats in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
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Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings
- Air fryer
- Spray oil (use a type safe for air fryers)
- Microwave safe bowl
- Large bowl
- 2 pounds frozen chicken wings trimmed; use drumettes, wingettes, or "party wings"; see Notes for whole wings
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup hot sauce
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat air fryer to 360° Fahrenheit. While air fryer preheats, season frozen chicken wings all over with salt.
- When air fryer is preheated, spray air fryer basket with spray oil and place wings in basket, being careful not to overcrowd. Work in batches as needed.
- Place basket back in air fryer and cook 20 minutes, removing basket and shaking it vigorously every 6 to 7 minutes.
- While chicken wings cook, microwave butter in bursts until melted, then stir in hot sauce and garlic powder, mixing until completely smooth.
- After 20-minute cook time is up, remove basket once more and shake it vigorously. Return basket to air fryer and turn temperature up to 400° Fahrenheit. Cook 3 to 5 minutes at 400°, until wings are browned, crispy, and cooked-through.
- Transfer wings to large bowl. Pour butter mixture over wings and toss to coat well. Serve immediately with celery, carrots, and dipping sauces.
- 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.