Cook fresh or frozen air fryer chicken wings without any added oil for up to 30 minutes and serve them with a homemade BBQ sauce for a quick and easy appetizer. Just like our air fryer chicken thighs, they taste super delish and are juicy inside! Also, find out THE SECRET to make them either tender or crispy outside by following a simple step.
Do you love to munch on chicken wings when watching sports games or a movie at home? How about serving some without all the saturated fat? Sounds good, right?
These chicken wings in an air fryer are full of flavor without a single drop of oil or grease. They get golden brown and succulent and then are tossed with a 5-ingredient BBQ sauce that you can make in just 2 minutes.
Oh… and a big plus for me is you don’t need to thaw your chicken wings to make this appetizer. You can throw them in your air fryer and they’ll cook to perfection.
This recipe is a real winner, making entertaining easy!
Table of Contents
- 1 Ingredients and Substitutions
- 2 How long to cook fresh or frozen chicken wings in the air fryer
- 3 How to Make a Larger Batch of Chicken Wings in Air Fryer
- 4 Air-frying frozen chicken wings
- 5 How to Cook Fresh or Frozen Chicken Wings in Air Fryer
- 6 What to serve with Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- 7 FAQ’s
- 8 Storage
- 9 More chicken recipes to try:
- 10 Fresh or Frozen Chicken Wings in Air Fryer
Ingredients and Substitutions
All that you need to make these frozen BBQ chicken wings in an air fryer are 6 ingredients:
- Chicken wings– we used bone-in wings but you can make this recipe with boneless chicken wings too. It will take less time to cook though! The same applies to wings cooked from fresh. As you said earlier, they cook 4-5 minutes faster than the frozen wings.
- Homemade bbq sauce – if you use a store-bought one, your air fryer wings will require only 2 ingredients: the sauce and the wings. But I preferred to prepare mine from scratch using 5 staple ingredients: ketchup, apple cider vinegar (which you can sub with red wine vinegar if you want), light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika (if you have the smoked type is even better).
How long to cook fresh or frozen chicken wings in the air fryer
Air fryer chicken wings' cooking time varies depending on whether they are frozen or fresh, bone-in or boneless, and their size. Keep in mind that fresh, smaller, or boneless chicken wings cook faster than frozen, standard-size, or bone-in wings.
Our air fryer frozen chicken wings take about 30 minutes to cook while fresh wings cook in 25 minutes. These times are for standard-size, bone-in chicken wings. Shaking them every 10 minutes is key to cook them evenly, especially if they are frozen.
The last 6 minutes are crucial to either get them tender or crispy. Because I prefer mine tender, I didn’t place their tops skin upside down in the basket in one single layer. If you do, it will allow the fat to render out and have wings with super crispy skin.
Either you prefer them crispy or tender, cooking the wings at a lower temperature first and then increasing the heat for the last few minutes ensures juicy wings with golden brown skins.
How to Make a Larger Batch of Chicken Wings in Air Fryer
You don’t need to cook them in a single layer all the way through. Cook a large batch of wings, shaking the basket every 10 minutes, and then increase the temperature and take some of the wings out to crisping them up in smaller batches. Just make sure not to overcrowd the basket to allow the air to circulate. We made a large batch in a small air fryer as you can see in our video!
Air-frying frozen chicken wings
Cooking frozen wings in the air fryer is so easy! You can follow the same cooking method or steps required to cook fresh wings. The only difference is If you are using frozen wings, air fry them 4-5 minutes longer at 380°F before increasing the temperature to 400°F for the last 6 minutes to brown them.
It is natural to have the frozen wings stuck together in the beginning. Just keep shaking the basket to separate them while cooking.
How to Cook Fresh or Frozen Chicken Wings in Air Fryer
Asking yourself how to air fry chicken wings the easy way and, most of all, in large batches? It is easy peasy!
- Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (190°C). for at least 10 minutes or as recommended in the manual. Place fresh or frozen chicken wings in the basket and insert the basket into the air fryer. SEE PIC. 1
- Cook the wings for 20 minutes if fresh or for 24-25 minutes if frozen, shaking the basket every 10 minutes, so they don’t stick together and cook evenly. SEE PICS. 2, 3 & 4
- When the time comes to an end, shake the basket, increase the temperature to 400°F (200°C), and cook them for 6 more minutes or until the skin is golden brown. SEE PIC. 5 For crispy wings, make sure to lay their tops, skin side down in one single layer. If you prefer them tender like me, no need to cook them in one single layer. Depending on the size of your air fryer you may have to crisp them up in batches.
- Meanwhile, prepare your BBQ sauce by mixing ketchup, apple cider vinegar, light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika until homogeneous.
- Toss the wings with the BBQ sauce or others of your choice such as buffalo or lemon pepper sauce. SEE PIC. 6
What to serve with Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Serve chicken wings with Blue Cheese or Ranch dipping sauce and fresh celery sticks and baby carrots on the side. This classic appetizer also goes well with coleslaw, fries, chips, and more. Perfect for a game day party, don’t you agree?
How to cut chicken wings?
Using your fingers, locate where the two joints connect. Then, cut through the center of both joints with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife to separate the drummette, flat, and tip. You can also buy them already separately.
Should I rinse chicken wings before cooking in the air fryer?
No! By rinsing you are getting rid of some of the chicken flavors and may contaminate your sink and work surfaces. Just pat the chicken dry and prep as required in our recipe.
Do I have to pat dry the wings before cooking?
Although it is not required, it makes for extra crispy skin.
Air Fryers with different Temperature Scales
If your air fryer doesn’t go up to 400 degrees F, use the setting with the closest temp to it and cook for longer than the lkast 6 minutes called for in the recipe to brown and crisp them up.
Can I use a dry rub before cooking them?
Yes! Some of my faves are a Cajun or BBQ rub and taco seasoning. Just spray the wings lightly with cooking spray and rub the seasoning on to stick to them. It works best if the wings are fresh!
Can chicken drumsticks or thighs be used instead of wings?
Yes, you can! Just keep in mind because they are larger pieces, you will have to cook them for longer and in batches that fit your air fryer.
Can I bake these wings in the oven instead?
Yes, but it will take longer to get the wings as crispy as in the air fryer. For that, bake them in a preheated oven at 400°F (205 °C) for 45-55 min, flipping them once after 25 minutes.
What is the best air fryer?
Air fryer with larger baskets is better because it gives you more cooking surface to cook larger batches while allowing the air circulate. Also Basket-Style Air Fryers make crispier food than Toaster-Oven-Style Air Fryers, which works more like a convection oven.
Ask yourself how to store these air fryer chicken wings. You can keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Freeze these cooked chicken wings (without sauce) for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight!
To reheat cooked fresh or frozen chicken wings in the air fryer, preheat the air fryer to 350°F (180° C) and heat the wings for 5 minutes, then increase the temp to 400°F (205° C) and heat for 3-5 minutes more or until hot.
More chicken recipes to try:
- Baked Chicken Thighs
- Baked Chicken Breast
- Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Weight Watchers Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Healthy Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe
- Galinhada (Brazilian Saffron Rice with Chicken)
- Brazilian Chicken Stroganoff
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Livers
- How to Make Fried Chicken
- Brazilian chicken bites
PIN & ENJOY!
Fresh or Frozen Chicken Wings in Air Fryer
- 2 lbs chicken wings fresh or frozen
- ¾ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat your air fryer at 380°F (190°C). for at least 10 minutes or as recommended in the manual. Place fresh or frozen chicken wings in the basket and insert the basket into the air fryer.
- Cook the wings for 20 minutes if fresh or for 24-25 minutes if frozen, shaking the basket every 10 minutes, so they don’t stick together and cook evenly.
- When the time comes to an end, shake the basket, increase the temperature to 400°F (200°C), and cook them for 6 more minutes or until the skin is golden brown. For crispy wings, make sure to lay their tops skin side down in one single layer. If you prefer them tender like me, no need to cook them in one single layer. Depending on the size of your air fryer you may have to crisp them up in batches.
- Meanwhile, prepare your bbq sauce by mixing together ketchup, apple cider vinegar, light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika until homogeneous.
- Toss the wings with the bbq sauce or others of your choice such as buffalo or lemon pepper sauce.
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