Air Fryer Chicken Wings are a great way to make your favorite game day food a little lighter. This Chicken Wings recipe has the most amazing chicken rub that takes it over the top. Use your favorite wing sauce, or several different sauces to make all your guests happy!
If you don’t have an air fryer but still want to make this great recipe, make my Crockpot Chicken Wings.
If I acted like an unsupervised 10 year old at a birthday party, my plate would overflow with all the deep fried appetizers I could get my hands on. I’m not sure I’ve met an appetizer that I didn’t like.
Obviously at the top of that list is Buffalo Chicken Wings. I could eat endless baskets of them dipped in Ranch Dressing. Given that we aren’t eating out anymore, and that we are trying to eat healthier, making chicken wings in the air fryer seems like a great alternative.
Starting with Chicken Rub
As I mentioned above, I like to start my chicken wings by rubbing them with my chicken rub recipe. It is a simple recipe to make with ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. We love it on grilled chicken legs.
The extra time it takes to make the rub will be well worth it. The sweet, slightly smokey rub, with just a hint of spice, compliments sauce recipes perfectly. It is amazing on these chicken wings and drumettes as they crisp up in the air fryer.
If this step seems like too much to you, just skip it. The recipe will still work as written.
How to Cook Chicken Wings in Air Fryer
This recipe is just a few simple steps, and you are left with crispy irresistible chicken wings. The full list of ingredients and instructions is at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
Please note that the instructions listed here are for fresh wings, but I have a section below for frozen chicken wings in the air fryer.
- Pat Dry: Start by patting down your chicken wings to get rid of excess moisture.
- Add Rub: Coat the chicken wings throughly in the chicken rub.
- Put in Air Fryer: When adding the wings to the air fryer, it is important that they do not touch. Stand up the drumettes to create more room. You will likely need to cook them in two batches.
- Cook: Once your air fryer is preheated, cook these for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are 165 degrees. (See more about cook times below.)
- Toss with Sauce: Once cooked, toss the wings and drumettes with your favorite wing sauce!
Frozen Chicken Wings in Air Fryer
Often, grocery stores only sell their chicken wings and drumettes in the frozen section. You can either thaw the chicken wings overnight in your refrigerator or you can cook them in the air fryer right from frozen.
Frozen chicken wings need just a few extra minutes in the air fryer. Instead of cooking for 15 to 20 minutes, we are going to cook for 18 to 22 minutes. See more about cook times below.
Even though you won’t be able to fully coat a frozen chicken wing, I would still encourage you to toss them in a little of the dry rub.
Air Fryer Chicken Wings Cook Time
The time it takes to cook your chicken wings will vary depending on their size. Smaller wings and drumettes will be done in just under 15 minutes. Larger wings will take closer to 20 minutes.
Wings that are cooking from frozen will take 18 minutes for small wings and closer to 22 minutes for large wings and drumettes.
Additionally, the more wings and drumsticks that you put in your air fryer the longer it will take.
Play it safe by checking the temperature of the largest wing or drumstick and make sure that it is 165 degrees with an instant read thermometer.
I love sticking with traditional Buffalo Sauce for these, but you can grab any wing sauce you like to toss them in. That is one of my favorite parts about this recipe. My husband doesn’t love Buffalo flavor, so I always buy different sauces and we have multiple different flavors.
Crockpot Chicken Wings
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can make these in your slow cooker instead! Check out my recipe for Crockpot Chicken Wings. It is nearly identical to this.
Other Game Day Food
If you are like me, you only turn on football games so you can have an excuse to make great game day food – I would argue the best type of food.
Here are some of my other favorite recipes:
- Ham and Cheese Sliders: These are perfect for feeding a crowd and come together very easily.
- Sheet Pan Nachos: I love this nacho recipe so much. It can also count as dinner.
- Sausage Stuffed Jalapeños: These little guys are perfect bites of deliciousness and must go on your menu.
- Spinach Artichoke Dip: It is a classic for a reason.
If you make this air fryer chicken wings recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3 pounds chicken wings (fresh or frozen)
- 12 ounces Wing Sauce
- Preheat your air fryer to 375. (No air fryer? Make Crockpot Chicken Wings.) Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
- In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, kosher salt, paprika, ground cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Rub the chicken liberally with the spices. (Note: If you choose to skip the rub, the rest of the recipe will still work as written.)
- Spray the inside of the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- Add the chicken to the basket of the air fryer so that they aren't touching. You may need to work in batches. It helps to stand the drumettes up in the basket. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees. (Read about frozen wings in the air fryer.)
- Remove from the air fryer and toss with your favorite wing sauce.