These easy-to-make Air Fryer Chicken Wings are crispy outside, juicy inside, and super flavorful tossed in a quick two-ingredient Buffalo wing sauce! They're perfect for game day gatherings or pizza night at home.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, two things: 1) THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart because you make what I do worthwhile; and 2) you probably already know that I’m from Buffalo. The birthplace of Buffalo wings!
I’m not usually picky about food, except for a handful of things. Buffalo wings being one of them!
If you're from Buffalo, deep frying is the only way to make a true Buffalo chicken wing. There’s no room for error; 10 minutes at 350F and you’re good to go. Crispy skin outside, juicy meat inside. And then they’re ready for whatever flavorful sauce you want to toss them in.
When it comes to Buffalo wings, there’s no place for baked wings, broiled wings, or worst of all, boiled wings (ugh!). (Side Note: Grilled wings are good in their own right, but the skin never really gets crispy, so I don’t think of them as Buffalo wings.) This is why I was little skeptical to try air fryer chicken wings.
But with how easy it is to air fry chicken wings instead of deep frying them, and because you only need one tablespoon of oil to air fry instead of a vat full to deep fry, I decided to give it a go.
And I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised with the result! Chicken wings in the air fryer come out surprisingly crispy. If you eat them within the first 10 minutes that they come out of the air fryer when they’re at their crispiest, you might actually not be able to tell that they weren’t deep fried!
As a Buffalo girl, there will always be a place in my heart for real deep fried Buffalo chicken wings. But when I want to satisfy a wing craving without having to deep fry them, I will definitely air fry them again!
Pro Tip: Back home in Buffalo, blue cheese dressing is the classic default sauce that we serve wings with. It's perfect for cooling down spicy wings!
What You’ll Love About This Recipe
- It’s easy. You just heat up the air fryer, add the wings, and then flip them halfway through! Compared with having to heat up oil for deep frying, air frying is a cakewalk.
- Less fat. One of the biggest reasons people love air frying is because compared to deep frying, it has much less fat.
- Crispy skin outside, juicy meat inside. Air fryer chicken wings are what wings should be!
- Buffalo wing sauce. We don’t sauce the wings before cooking, which ensures two things: 1) the skin gets crispy, and 2) they’re ready for whatever flavor punch we want to use when they're cooked! Here were go with a classic Buffalo chicken wing sauce, which is a combination of butter and Frank’s RedHot Sauce.
The Best Air Fryer Chicken Wings Recipe
Air Fryer Chicken Wings Ingredients
- Chicken wings
- Vegetable oil
Buffalo Chicken Wings Sauce Ingredients
- Unsalted butter
- Frank’s RedHot Sauce
- Add the chicken wings and oil to a large bowl.
- Toss to coat the wings in oil.
- Arrange the wings in a single layer in the 400F preheated air fryer.
- Cook 10 minutes on the first side.
- Use tongs to flip the wings, and then cook 10 minutes on the second side. (If you like your wings extra crispy, cook them about 2 minutes longer per side.)
- The wings should be golden on both sides when they’re done.
- Add the cooked wings and the sauce to a large bowl.
- Gently toss the wings to coat them in sauce. Serve warm along with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
How to Make 2-Ingredient Buffalo Chicken Wing Sauce
- Add the melted butter and hot sauce to a bowl.
- Stir until well-combined.
Equipment for This Recipe
Variations on This Recipe
- Dry rub. To use a dry rub on chicken wings, pat the wings dry, sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of your favorite dry rub per 1 pound of meat. Rub the seasoning around so the meat is evenly coated. Proceed with the rest of the recipe.
- Brine. To brine chicken wings, dissolve 2 tablespoons of salt in 2 cups of tepid water along with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Add the chicken wings and make sure they’re immersed in the liquid. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, but up to 24 hours. After brining, pat the wings dry and proceed with the recipe.
- Marinade. Add a splash of acid (like lemon juice or red wine vinegar), a splash of oil, fresh herbs (like thyme), seasonings (such as garlic), and spices (like salt and black pepper) to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the wings, stir to coat, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Remove the wings from the marinade, patting off any excess, and proceed with the recipe.
Pro Tip: If you do a dry rub or marinade, you can skip tossing the cooked wings in the Buffalo chicken wing sauce.
Tips for Success
- Don’t spray the inside of the air fryer with cooking spray. Aerosol spray cans (like Pam and similar nonstick cooking spray products) can cause chipping in air fryer baskets. Instead, you can brush oil (such as avocado oil or light olive oil) on the inside of the air fryer basket. For this recipe, we toss the chicken wings with oil to coat before air frying.
- Make sure to preheat your air fryer before adding the wings. This will make sure that the air fryer is up to temperature when you start cooking. Otherwise, you run the risk of your chicken not cooking through!
- If you like your wings extra crispy. Simply let them cook a little bit longer (about 2 minutes extra per side, flipping once).
Air Fryer Chicken Wings FAQs
How Long do You Put Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer?
Air fryer chicken wings need to be cooked for about 10 minutes per side, or up to 12 minutes per side, flipping once. You can cook them a couple extra minutes per side if you like them extra crispy.
Can I Air Fry Frozen Wings?
Yes! One of the benefits of air frying (in addition to food being less fatty) is that unlike deep frying, you can air fry frozen chicken wings.
To air fry frozen chicken wings, simply follow this recipe as written, but increase the cook time to 15 to 18 minutes per side (instead of 10 to 12 minutes per side).
Note that you will end up with quite a bit of liquid in the bottom of the air fryer basket after air frying frozen chicken wings.
Do You Season Wings Before Frying?
No, you don’t have to season chicken wings before frying – not even with salt and pepper!
During high school and college I worked at a pizzeria in my hometown, Buffalo, New York. We never seasoned chicken wings before frying, and they came out perfect (and flavorful) every single time because we toss them in a delicious sauce once they're cooked.
But with that being said, if you feel like seasoning your wings before air frying them, go for it!
Do You Put Sauce on Wings Before or After Cooking?
Chicken wings are always sauced after they’re cooked. And this is also true when you’re making air fryer chicken wings.
This is because if you sauce chicken wings before cooking, they will never get crispy. And what the heck are we even doing here if we’re making soggy wings?! Friends, you won’t find soggy chicken wings on this Buffalo girl’s watch!
What is Buffalo Wing Sauce?
Buffalo wing sauce, also called Buffalo chicken sauce or just Buffalo sauce is a simple combination of Frank’s RedHot and butter. For a classic Buffalo sauce, we don’t add vinegar, Worcestershire, garlic, etc. because it doesn’t need it. (And yes, Frank’s RedHot is what is traditionally used to make authentic wing sauce in Buffalo.)
You can use different ratios of Frank’s RedHot Sauce to butter for varying heat levels. I use equal parts of each for a mild sauce. However, for a spicier sauce use more hot sauce, and for a milder sauce use more butter.
More Buffalo Chicken Recipes to Make
- Dip right in – Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Make it a meal – Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Spicy Blue Cheese Celery Slaw
- Turn it into a side dish – Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
- Eat it as a pizza – Buffalo Chicken French Bread Pizza
Air Fryer Chicken Wings Recipe
- 12 chicken wings about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Buffalo Chicken Wing Sauce:
- 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 ½ tablespoons Frank’s RedHot Sauce
Optional Serving Ideas:
- Blue cheese dressing
- Celery sticks and/or carrot sticks
To Cook the Chicken Wings:
- Preheat the air fryer to 400F.
- Toss the chicken wings and oil together in a large bowl to coat the wings.
- Arrange the wings in a single layer in the preheated air fryer. Cook 10 minutes on the first side, flip, and then cook 10 minutes on the second side. The wings should be golden on both sides when they’re done.
To Make the Buffalo Chicken Wing Sauce:
- Stir together the butter and hot sauce in a bowl.
To Coat the Chicken Wings:
- Add the cooked wings and the sauce to a large bowl, and gently toss to coat.
- If you like your wings extra crispy, let them cook a little bit longer (about 2 minutes extra per side, flipping once).
- Serve the wings warm along with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
- Net Carbs: 1g per serving (1 serving = 4 wings tossed in Buffalo chicken wing sauce)
- Nutritional Information: Information for this recipe was calculated without the optional serving ideas.
- Air Fryer: This recipe was made with an Instant Vortex 6 Quart Air Fryer. It will work in any air fryer, but cooking times may vary.