Recipe: The Best Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Air fryer chicken wings are some of the crispiest, juiciest wings I've had outside a restaurant in a long time. While I do love the classic twice-cooked wings — either steamed and then roasted or double fried — I often avoid cooking them at home, because the preparations take the better part of a day.
With the air fryer, you'll still twice cook the wings: first at a lower temperature to render out the fat from the skin, and then at a high temperature to crisp the skin. Even with two rounds in the air fryer, these chicken wings are ready in under an hour from start to finish. And they come out so crispy, the buffalo sauce is optional!
Why Twice Cooking Wings Makes Them Extra Crispy
Chicken wings are delicious because they have lots of juicy fat locked into their skin, but this same fat can make the skin soft or rubbery if it's not rendered out. Cooking the wings twice ensures that the fat is rendered (making the meat tender and juicy), while also crisping the skin.
If you plan on serving these wings to a crowd, go ahead and do the first round of cooking before guests arrive, and transfer the cooked wings to a sheet pan to cool. Then, crank the heat on the air fryer and cook the wings a second time just before serving. We love these wings tossed with Buffalo sauce and butter, but honestly they don't even need it.
Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Serves 4 to 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
1 1/2 pounds
chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated
- For coating the wings: (optional)
hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot
unsalted butter, melted
Lay the wings out in a single layer and pat them dry on both sides with paper towels. Sprinkle evenly with the salt, garlic powder, and cayenne.
Place the wings in the air fryer and turn on to 380°F. Cook 25 minutes, removing the basket and tossing the wings with tongs every 5 minutes. After 25 minutes of cooking, the wings should be tender and cooked through.
Increase the heat to 400°F and cook until the skin is crispy and golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes more. Toss the wings with the hot sauce and melted butter, if desired, before serving.
Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.