These Instant Pot chicken wings are super tender and full of flavor, and they’re so quick and easy to make, too! There’s no deep fryer required, making them healthier but just as delicious as traditional buffalo wings. Naturally low carb and keto and easy to make Whole30 or paleo, too.
What Makes Instant Pot Chicken Wings So Good
- These Instant Pot chicken wings are perfect for tailgating, game day, or just an at-home wing night. They’re tender and juicy inside, nice and crispy outside, and coated in a delectable hot wing sauce you won’t be able to get enough of.
- The Instant Pot makes cooking chicken wings as easy as can be. You can even cook the wings from frozen if you’re short on time (or just forget to thaw them, we’ve all been there).
- This method will work for any flavor chicken wings you like. Feel free to play around with the sauces – lemon pepper wings, BBQ wings, teriyaki wings, etc. They’ll all work here! Just be sure to use enough liquid in the Instant Pot to avoid a “burn” warning.
- As-is, this recipe is naturally low carb, keto, and gluten free. Making it Whole30-compliant or paleo is SUPER easy, though. All you have to do is swap out the butter for ghee and serve them with a compliant ranch dressing! To make it dairy free, use a dairy-free butter and serve with a dairy-free ranch dressing.
Key Ingredients for Instant Pot Chicken Wings
Chicken Wings – If you didn’t know, there are actually 3 separate sections to a chicken wing. The tip, the wingette, and the drumette. The tip really isn’t served to eat, but it’s great in stocks. This recipe calls for wingettes, which are the middle part of the chicken wing, or the flat. You can use drumettes if you prefer them, or a mix of the two. If you can’t find the wingettes and drumettes already separated, you can pick up whole chicken wings and separate them yourself.
Hot Sauce – Use your favorite hot sauce for this recipe. Different brands and types will alter the flavor slightly, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing a sauce. I personally really like Frank’s Red Hot for my Instant Pot chicken wings because it has a great flavor and because it’s gluten free, dairy free, keto, low carb, paleo, and Whole30-compliant. That means I don’t have to give it a second thought when I’m cooking for different dietary needs.
- There are two keys to really amazing Instant Pot chicken wings: 1) Don’t overcook them in the Instant Pot, and 2) crisp them up really well under the broiler. Seriously, do NOT skip the broiler step. It’s crucial to getting really crispy wings.
- Unlike in an air fryer, stacking the wings in the Instant Pot is totally fine. I wouldn’t stack them on the baking sheet under the broiler, though. You’ll want them spread out so they crisp up evenly.
- To really maximize the flavor, these chicken wings get tossed in wing sauce twice. Once after they’ve cooked but before they’re broiled, then again after they’re broiled. You can skip that first toss if you want, but I highly recommend at least trying it this way first. There’s SO MUCH FLAVOR when you coat them twice!
- Cook times vary from one appliance to another no matter what appliance you’re using. You may find that you need to shorten or lengthen the cook time with your specific Instant Pot. Also, if you’re using very small or very large wings, you may need to adjust the cook time so they’re not overcooked or undercooked.
Check Out These Other Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Jasmine Rice (Under 10 Minutes)
- Instant Pot Jambalaya
- The Best EVER Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
- Instant Pot Cornbread
- Dreamy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Applesauce
- Instant Pot Quinoa
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Instant Pot Chicken Wings
- Instant Pot
- Instant Pot trivet
- Medium bowl
- Baking sheet
For the Chicken Wings
- 2 pounds chicken wingettes fresh
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup hot sauce see Notes
- salt to taste
For the Wing Sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hot sauce see Notes
- 6 tablespoons butter melted, see Notes
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
To Serve (Optional)
- blue cheese dressing store-bought or make your own
- ranch dressing see Notes
- celery sticks
- carrot sticks
- Place trivet in bottom of Instant Pot and place wingettes on trivet. Add water, ½ cup hot sauce, and salt to taste.
- Secure lid on pot with valve in Sealing position. Set to Manual High Pressure for 9 minutes for thawed wings or 13 minutes for frozen wings.
- While wings cook in Instant Pot, mix together wing sauce ingredients in medium bowl, then set aside. Preheat broiler to high heat.
- When Instant Pot cook time is up, Quick Release pressure. Use tongs to carefully remove wings from Instant Pot and set aside.
- Remove pot from Instant Pot, empty it, and replace it in Instant Pot. Add wing sauce, then return wings to pot. Toss or stir to coat wings in sauce, then transfer wings to baking sheet.
- Broil wings for 4 to 5 minutes, then use tongs to flip wings over. Broil wings another 3 to 4 minutes. When crispy, return wings to Instant Pot and toss in sauce again. Serve hot with blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, celery sticks, and carrot sticks.
- Instant Pot: This recipe was tested and perfected using a 6-quart Instant Pot. Smaller or larger pressure cookers may require adjustments to the quantities of ingredients used (especially liquid) or the cook time.
- Wings: If you’re using drumettes, or a combination of wingettes and drumettes, nothing about this recipe or the cook time will change. Just separate the drums and flats if they’re not already separate.
- Hot Sauce: If you’re looking for a gluten-free wing sauce, make sure the hot sauce you use is gluten free! Most are, but some aren’t. Check the label!
- Broiler: The broiling step is a crucial part of this recipe. If you skip this step, your wings won’t be crispy on the outside, and they could be slightly underdone. Don’t skip it!
- Make it Paleo/Whole30: Use ghee instead of butter and serve with a Whole30-compliant ranch dressing.
- Make it Dairy Free: Use dairy-free butter and serve with a dairy-free ranch dressing.
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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.