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Without a doubt, making chicken wings in the air fryer is the best method for the crispiest, juiciest wings! Air Fryer Chicken Wings are quick and easy to make and are much healthier than deep frying. We’re showing you everything you need to know for the best air fryer chicken wings ever.
How to Make Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer
Crispy, juicy and so delicious, these Air Fryer Chicken Wings are the perfect appetizer recipe for game day or for a fun dinner when served with a side. There is no doubt, after all of our trials of different methods of making chicken wings, that making them in the air fryer is both the easiest and most delicious. They taste similar to wings cooked in a deep fryer, but without all the hassle (and of course all that oil) that comes with it.
Did you know, you don’t actually use any oil on the chicken wings when making them in the air fryer? And they still come out so crispy and delicious? I’m sharing the why behind this, and how to make the best dry rub for air fryer wings below!
Why No Oil is Needed to “Fry” Chicken Wings
What I love about making wings in the air fryer is that there is no extra oil needed, yet they taste like they’ve been fried! The reason for this is because the chicken wings themselves have plenty of fat in the skin. Cooking brings that fat to the surface, resulting in a reaully good crispy skin because of the good air circulation.
I do however recommend you spray or brush on some oil on your air fryer basket. It helps make sure the wings don’t stick to it, and is often recommended in the instructions of air fryers when you aren’t adding oil to something.
A note about using cooking sprays in air fryers: We don’t recommend using traditional aerosol cooking spray for this, as most air fryers recommend avoiding cooking sprays with additives to it. However, you can use a cooking spray that has no added ingredients, other than the oil. We use this avocado spray for this task.
What Type of Air Fryer to Use
We’ve tried quite a few air fryers over the years. We’ve have and use this basket style, this Instant Pot air fryer attachment and this toaster-style air fryer! They all work great! It’s quite a personal preference which you choose. Do you want/need a new toaster? Do you have space for a solo new appliance? All these things will go into consideration when shopping and deciding which of those will work for you.
What there is to be aware of about air fryers though is that some of them can be quite small. If yours has a small capacity, you may have to make the air fryer wings in batches. Though I’m guessing if you’ve been using this air fryer for a while, you’ve already learned that.
Cooking it in batches, if you have a small capacity air fryer, ensures there is plenty of air circulation around the wings so they can get crispy. If you do need to do it in batches, at the very end you can put all of the wings back in the basket and cook for one minute to warm them all back up!
What is a Dry Rub?
We’re calling for a dry rub on the wings to give them a nicely seasoned flavor. It’s basically just flavoring you put on the meat. It usually includes spices, herbs, salt and sometimes sugar. To make the dry rub, simply mix together some dried herbs and spices on “rub” them on the chicken wings. Simple as that! Here are the spices I use for my dry rub:
- Dried Rosemary
- Chili Powder
- Fine Sea Salt
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Cayenne Pepper
Steps to Make Wings in the Air Fryer
This recipe is pretty simple, but it does involve using a timer here to make sure you are flipping your wings to get them crispy on both sides. This is just an overview of the steps. The full-recipe with exact timing is listed below.
- Put dried spices and seasoning (also known as a dry rub) on the wing wings.
- Spray or brush the basket with a bit of high-heat oil (we like to use avocado oil spray that contains no other added ingredients)
- Place the chicken wings on the basket with some space in between them. If you have a small air fryer, you might have to do this in batches.
- Air fry the chicken wings, turning as necessary.
- If you had to make your wings in batches, you can load them all back into the basket at the end and cook on 1 minute to make sure they are all heated through before serving.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauces!
Dipping Sauce Ideas
Even though these dry-rubbed wings are delicious all on their own, we know a good dip is never a bad idea to include. Sometimes the dipping sauce is the best part! We love that you can pair chicken wings with so many different dips. You can either toss the wings in some sauce, or serve it on the side. Here are some suggestions:
- Buffalo Sauce (use the sauce in this Baked Buffalo Wing recipe)
- BBQ Sauce
- Honey Mustard
- Ranch (use the sauce in this Sheet Pan Ranch Chicken recipe)
- Healthy Green Goddess Dressing (this is awesome for a switch on the classic sauces to serve with wings)
- Asian Dipping Sauce (try the sauce from this Asian Cauliflower Wings recipe)
- Blue Cheese
Watch the video here:
If you like this recipe for wings, check out these others:
- Baked Buffalo Wings
- Honey Mustard Chicken Wings (Instant Pot or Baked)
- Chicken Wings with Mango-Chili Sauce
- Dry-Rub Grilled Wings
Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- 1 lb. cut chicken wings
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- avocado oil spray see note
- Preheat air fryer to 375ºF (if necessary, not all air-fryers need to pre-heat).
- Dry chicken wings thoroughly with a paper towel. Add wings to a bowl, along with all the spices. Toss to coat. Let marinate in the dry rub for 10 minutes.
- Brush or spray high-heat oil on the air fryer basket. Place chicken wings in one layer in the air fryer basket, with at least ¼” of space between them. Do this in two batches if necessary.
- Air fry the wings for 25 minutes, flipping at the 10-minute mark, and once more at the 20-minute mark.
- Serve wings hot, with desired sauces.