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Spicy Air Fryer Buffalo Wings

These Air Fryer Buffalo Wings are juicy, tender, crispy, spicy and loaded with flavor! The wings are air fried with a homemade spice blend and then tossed in a finger licking good buffalo sauce. Enjoy with ranch or blue cheese dressing for the ultimate appetizer or snack.

Check out other popular Appetizers made in Air Fryer like Air Fryer Zucchini with Parmesan, Air Fryer Asparagus with ParmesanVegetarian Jalapeno PoppersChicken NuggetsCheesy Stuffed Mushrooms or Lemon Pepper Wings.

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spicy buffalo wings on a tray with ranch in a small bowl.

Air Fryer Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Chicken Wings in Air Fryer is an absolute game changer! They are as good as the deep fried version but without the hassle of deep frying. In fact they are made with no oil, yet turn crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

It’s less clean up, less fuss, no breading, uses no flour and super easy like these lemon pepper wings or garlic parmesan chicken wings. They are great for game day snacks, appetizers or a simple dinner.

We begin by seasoning the meat with a dry rub and then air frying at two different temperatures for the perfect texture. They are then coated in buffalo sauce and then cooked again for couple of minutes to seal the sauce and then tossed again. It’s the perfect appetizer or quick weeknight dinner.

Why you’ll love these?

We are going to go over all of our favorite tips and tricks to show you how to make the best chicken wings in the air fryer.

  1. These are SPICY – We amped up the heat by adding cayenne and red pepper flakes along with hot sauce for a spicy kick.
  2. Well-Seasoned – More flavorful than the usual buffalo wings since they are seasoned to perfection.
  3. Quick and Easy recipe – Super easy with less mess, easy clean up and no thermometer needed. Delicious without all of the extra fats and calories. Faster than oven baked or deep fried version.
  4. Cooked to perfection – Hot air cooks the chicken to a crispy texture and tender inside without being over cooked.

Dry Rub

Most recipes include cooking chicken without any seasoning (or just basic salt and pepper) and tossing them in a buffalo wing sauce. Although these are good, we wanted a more flavor packed recipe. So, we begin by seasoning with a homemade dry rub that includes paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Best Buffalo Sauce to Use

We can find huge varieties of hot sauces in the market ranging from spicy, mild, medium to fruity. However the best one to reach for any buffalo recipe is Frank’s RedHot!

Buffalo Sauce vs Hot Sauce

The main ingredients in buffalo sauce are hot chili peppers, salt, vinegar and butter, which adds some creaminess when compared to hot sauce that is made without butter.

How long to cook them?

It generally takes about 15 minutes for a perfectly crispy outside and tender inside without being overcooked. We recommend cooking at a medium heat (350 degrees) for 12 minutes and then finishing off at a higher temperature (400 degrees) for 4 minutes which helps in crisping them.

Be sure to always check for doneness using a thermometer by inserting it into the thickest part of the chicken, it should read 165°F if it is fully cooked.

How to cook one pound?

Halve the recipe but adjust the cooking time and temperature —> Cook for 10 to 11 minutes at 350°F, then for 2 to 3 minutes at 400°F, toss them in sauce and then cook for 1 minute at 400 degrees.

No Air Fryer? No Problem! Bake them in the Oven.

Preheat the oven to 420°F. Season the meat with the dry rub mixture (add 1 tsp baking powder for extra crispy wings) and place them on an oven safe wire rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet, in a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Then toss the wings in the buffalo sauce and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are fully cooked and reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Toss in more buffalo sauce and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Chicken wings – We used a mix of drummettes and wingettes. If you have whole chicken wings, you’ll want to cut them by removing the tip and separating the drum and the flat part (we love this detailed article on how to cut them at evolvingtable.com)
  • Spices – Garlic powder, Paprika, Black pepper, Cayenne and Red pepper flakes.
  • Hot Sauce – We used Frank’s Red hot sauce.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter

Pro Tips for Success

Do not over crowd the air fryer basket – Place in a single layer, and leave a little space around for the air to circulate, which helps in crisping the nugget. OVER CROWDING will NOT make them crisp up.

Pre heat –  Pre heating the air fryer before cooking them, will guarantee a perfectly crispy yet tender.

Air Fryer used – We used Instant Vortex Plus 6 Quart.

Cooking temperature – Since these are made without breading, they are cooked at two different temperatures to guarantee crispiness. First, at a medium heat to cook and then at a higher temperature to crisp up.

Using whole wings – Cut the drumettes and flats separately, discarding the tip. We used pre cut for convenience.

Air Fryer size – We used 6-quart Instant vortex air fryer and was able to cook 2 pounds in a single layer. If you have a smaller appliance then we recommend cooking in two batches or you simply want to cook only a pound then look for recipe notes for more detailed instructions.

Toss them hot – Transfer them piping hot to a mixing bowl and toss in the buffalo sauce right away. This will warm the sauce up and ensure it sticks to the hot wings.

ingredients needed to make wings in air fryer.

mixing chicken wings with seasoning in a glass bowl.

seasoned wings in air fryer basket.

air fryer wings in a air fryer basket.

How to make?

These bites are made up with a bunch of pantry ingredients – Mix them up and then you’ll be ready to start! 

  1. Pat dry with paper towels – It is very important for the wings to not have any moisture to guarantee crispiness.
  2. Season with dry rub – Toss chicken with cayenne, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder and salt.
  3. Cook – Place them in a single layer in pre heated 350 degree air fryer, cook for 12 minutes and then for 4 minutes at 400 degrees.
  4. Coat in buffalo wing sauce – Toss hot wings in a mixture of hot sauce, melted butter and red pepper flakes.
  5. Finish cooking – Place them again in a single layer and cook 1 to 2 minutes at 400 degrees to seal in the sauce.
  6. Toss again – Toss them again in remaining sauce and serve.

How to serve?

As an appetizer or snack –These crispy and crunchy game day bite is delicious served as an appetizer or snack alongside a creamy, tangy dipping sauce and crunchy vegetables like celery, carrot sticks or cucumber slices.

As an main course for dinner 

Serve as a side dish with ChickenRiceFishPasta, Shrimp, Soups or Vegetarian main dishes. Other perfect mild pairings include

Dipping sauces to pair 

To add more flavor and fun to the spread, they are delicious with a creamy sauce for dipping. Creamy Ranch or blue cheese dressing is a go-to! It helps in cooling down the heat.

Other pairings might also include Cilantro Jalapeno sauce or Avocado Crema.

How to make ahead?

Toss the cooked chicken in sauce and keep covered at room temperature for several hours. Cook them for 2 to 3 minutes at 400 degrees and then toss them again in sauce before serving.

How to store leftovers?

These are so delicious that there is not going to be any leftovers! But, if you happen to have any then refrigerate for couple of days. Reheat them at 400 degree for 2 to 4 minutes.

How to reheat?

Place leftovers in a pre heated 380 degree air fryer (in a single layer), cook for 4 to 8 minutes (depending on the quantity) or until heated through.

How to freeze?

Freeze leftovers by placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Next, place the entire baking sheet in the freezer uncovered. Once they are fully frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.

homemade buffalo sauce in a glass bowl.

spicy hot wings in a air fryer basket.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know they’re done cooking?

Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. It should register 165° F.

Do you have to flip them when cooking?

No necessarily! This recipe works best without flipping since it gives them a more deep golden color when compared to cooking one both sides.


How many calories in one serving?

One serving of this homemade recipe has 643 calories.

Should chicken be thawed before air frying?

Yes, they should ideally be thawed before cooking. Frozen don’t cook quite as well as fresh. They also take a lot longer!

Can You Put Sauced Wings In the Air Fryer?

You most certainly can! This is a great way to seal the flavor of the sauce into the meat!

Can you use frozen?

You can, but be sure to thaw completely before baking, or they won’t crisp up properly.

More Air Fryer Game Day Snacks:

spicy wings tossed in buffalo sauce in an air fryer basket.

If you love all things buffalo, then here are more recipes to try-

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air fryer buffalo wings on a tray with dipping sauce.

Spicy Air Fryer Buffalo Wings

Yield: 5 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

These Air Fryer Buffalo Wings are juicy, tender, crispy, spicy and loaded with flavor! The wings are air fried with a homemade spice blend and then tossed in a finger licking good buffalo sauce. Enjoy with ranch or blue cheese dressing for the ultimate appetizer or snack.

Ingredients

Equipment used

Instructions

  1. Pat dry chicken wings thoroughly with paper towels (this step is crucial for crispy wings).
  2. Add chicken wings into a large bowl and toss with black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika and salt, until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pre heat air fryer to 350° F for 12 minutes. When ready, place wings in a single layer and cook ( don't need to flip over).
  4. After timer is done, cook for additional 4 minutes at 400°F.
  5. Add Frank's hot sauce, melted butter, red pepper flakes and sugar (if using) into a large bowl and stir to combine. Transfer hot wings into the sauce and toss to combine.
  6. Using tongs, place the wings back into the air fryer basket in a single layer (save remaining sauce in the bowl) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes at 400°F.
  7. Serve wings or toss the hot wings back into the remaining sauce for a more spicy punch. Serve hot with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Notes

How to cook one pound? Halve the recipe but adjust the cooking time and temperature —> Cook for 10 to 11 minutes at 350°F, then for 2 to 3 minutes at 400°F, toss them in sauce and then cook for 1 minute at 400 degrees.

Air Fryer used – We used Instant Vortex Plus 6 Quart.

Air Fryer size – We used 6-quart Instant vortex air fryer and was able to cook 2 pounds in a single layer. If you have a smaller appliance then we recommend cooking in two batches or you simply want to cook only a pound then look for recipe notes for more detailed instructions.

Hot sauce - We recommend Franks RedHot sauce.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 643Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 161mgSodium: 1528mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 31g

I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. The information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com, although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates and not be construed as a guarantee. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health and ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate.

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