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How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Wings (Fresh or Frozen)

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If you’re looking for all the tips and tricks to perfect Air Fryer Chicken Wings, I’ve got you covered. Here’s how to make perfectly crispy chicken wings in your Air Fryer from fresh or frozen, sauced or dry-rubbed.

air fryer chicken wings laid on a paper

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Air Fryers are famous for making delicious and crispy chicken wings. Chicken wings in the Air Fryer are the perfect appetizer or game-day snack as they are quick to make and are done in 30 minutes or less. 

I’ve shared my Korean Air Fried Chicken Wings that are breaded and extra crunchy, but this ultimate guide for chicken wings covers how to make naked wings, saucy wings, fresh wings, and frozen wings. After making and eating tons of wings, I’ve learned a few tips on how to get golden and delicious wings. 

  1. Don’t overcrowd the basket. Your wings need circulation to get nice and crisp. The wings can be touching but the basket should not be filled to the brim. 
  2. Turn your wings every 5-7 minutes. This will ensure that the wings are evenly cooked. I like to use tongs to turn my wings rather than tossing.
  3. Don’t add seasonings until after air frying. That’s how you will get the maximum flavor on your wings. 
  4. Start with a clean Air Fryer. If your Air Fryer is not clean, your Air fryer may start to smoke while your wings are cooking. 
chicken wings in sauce on paper

How to Make Air Fryer Wings from Fresh Chicken Wings

First, make sure your chicken wings are dried before placing them in the Air Fryer. 

Lay your wings in a single layer in the Air Fryer basket. It’s ok if they overlap or if you have to lay a few on top. The wings will still get crispy so long as you turn them every few minutes. 

 Close the Air Fryer basket and cook the wings on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes shaking every 5-7 minutes. Cook until wings are desired crispiness and have at least reached a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Once the wings are cooked, place in a large bowl and season with your favorite dry rub or sauce. If using a sauce, toss the wings in the sauce and place back in the air fryer for 2 minutes on 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the wings and toss in sauce again. This is how to get perfectly sauced wings.

How to make Air Fryer Wings from Frozen Chicken Wings

I found that in order to get my frozen chicken wings crispy in the Air Fryer I had to do a little extra work. Fact is frozen wings have a ton of excess water and once you start Air Frying, that water leaks into the bottom of the basket, causing a lot of steam in the Air Fryer. That’s not the optimal environment for crispiness. In order to get frozen wings crispy, I do the following. 

Lay the frozen wings in the Air Fryer basket and start cooking on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes turning every 5-7 minutes. 

Halfway through cooking, remove the Air Fryer basket and drain the excess liquid. Make sure the basket is placed over a large bowl so you don’t leak chicken juice everywhere. Once all the liquid in the bottom of the basket has drained, return the basket to the base and start Air Frying again. Cook until your wings are fully cooked and your desired crispiness. 

Additional Note: The draining of the liquid is an optional step and it truly depends on the Air Fryer basket. In my Phillips Air Fryer, the wings can get crispy even with the additional liquid in the basket. However, in my Bella Pro Air Fryer, I have to drain the liquid to get it crispy.

Toss in your favorite dry rub or sauce. 

And there you have it, perfectly crisp and delicious Air Fryer chicken wings from frozen.

cooked chicken wings in air fryer basket with seasoning in it

Common Questions for Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Do I need to pre-heat my Air Fryer? Each Air Fryer will have instructions on whether the Air fryer should be preheated or not. My advice is to follow those instructions. However, if you don’t preheat, your wings will still be fine.

Do I need to spray my chicken wings with oil? Not if they are not breaded. Chicken wings will produce their own grease while cooking, which will allow the Air Fryer to crisp them up. If they are, a light spray of chicken oil will ensure that breading is nice and golden. 

What’s the best breading for chicken wings? There are a ton of options when it comes to breading if you want to go that route. You could use potato starch, flour, crushed pork rinds, as well as baking powder. These help give an extra layer of crunch. 

How to reheat chicken wings? To reheat leftover chicken wings, place in your Air Fryer and cook on 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes. 

And there you have it, your guide to perfect and delicious chicken wings in the air Fryer? If you’re interested in reading more of my guides to become the perfect Air fryer chef, check these out:

Suggested Rubs and Sauces for Wings?

For more chicken in your Air Fryer recipes, try these out:

cooked chicken wings in baskets with ranch in the middle
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5 from 2 votes

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Wings (Fresh or Frozen)

These Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings are easy to make from fresh or frozen. Here are all the tips and tricks to get perfect crispy wings each and every time.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer chicken wings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 272kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken wings fresh or frozen
  • Favorite seasoning dry rub or sauce

Instructions

Fresh Chicken Wings

  • Dry your chicken wings.
  • Place your wings in the Air Fryer basket.
  • Close the Air Fryer basket and cook the wings on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes shaking every 5-7 minutes. Cook until wings are desired crispiness and at least have a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once wings are cooked, place in a large bowl and season with your favorite dry rub or sauce. If using a sauce toss the wings in the sauce and place back in the air fryer for 2 minutes on 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the wings and toss in sauce again.

Frozen Chicken Wings

  • Lay the frozen wings in the Air Fryer basket and start cooking on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes turning every 5-7 minutes.
  • Optional step: Halfway through cooking, remove the Air Fryer basket and drain the excess liquid. Make sure the basket is placed over a large bowl so you don’t leak chicken juice everywhere. Once all the liquid in the bottom of the basket has drained, return the basket to the base and start Air Frying again. Cook until wings are desired crispiness and at least have a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Toss in your favorite dry rub or sauce.

Video

Notes

  • The draining of the liquid is an optional step and it truly depends on the Air Fryer basket. In my Phillips Air Fryer, the wings can get crispy even with the additional liquid in the basket. However, in my Bella Pro Air Fryer, I have to drain the liquid to get it crispy.
  • Wings need to cook to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Suggested Dry Rubs and Sauces
    • Lemon Pepper
    • Ranch
    • BBQ (I used this brand from King of Foods in the video)
    • Buffalo Sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcal | Protein: 22g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 191mg | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
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Patty

Friday 29th of May 2020

We bought a bag of frozen chicken wings and I just made 6 pieces for my first try. They were awesome! I can't believe I did this. I seasoned the wings afterward with salt, pepper, Ms. Dash Table Blend and Lawry's. Thanks so much for your recipe help and encouragement. Now I will try the breaded chicken wings. I know my grandsons will love these and I can't wait to make them a batch!

Calvin Chambers

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

My first time using my air fryer and my wings turned out perfectly!!! Thanks for the tips!!!

Tanya

Thursday 9th of April 2020

Awesome! So glad they were helpful :)

LisA

Sunday 5th of April 2020

💙

Judy Swee

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

How to clean the air fryer cos sometime it come out smoke

Tanya

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

I use Dawn dish detergent to clean it after each use.

Lynn

Tuesday 21st of January 2020

Would you do exactly the same instructions for drummies?

Tanya

Wednesday 22nd of January 2020

Yes, if they are very small you may need to reduce the cook time by a little.