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.
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 air fryer lemon pepper wings or garlic parmesan chicken wings. They are great for game day snacks or appetizers like this jalapeno dip.
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.
- These are SPICY - We amped up the heat by adding cayenne and red pepper flakes along with hot sauce for a spicy kick.
- Well-Seasoned - More flavorful than the usual buffalo wings since they are seasoned to perfection.
- 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.
- Cooked to perfection - Hot air cooks the chicken to a crispy texture and tender inside without being over cooked.
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 TO CUT WHOLE WINGS?
We love to use pre cut drumette and wingette for convenience. But, did you know that cutting at home is incredibly easy and cost effective? All you need is a good chef's knife and cutting board to get the job done.
There are three parts to a wing. There is a small tip, the middle part is the wingette (called the flap), and then the meatiest part is called the drumette.
Stretch out the wing, so it is easy to spot the joints. First, feel for the area where the drumette and wingette are connected. Cut at the joint with your knife. Next, make a cut between the wing tip and the wingette. Now, you will end up with three pieces. The tip can be discarded or saved to make stock.
WHAT SIZE AIR FRYER SHOULD I USE?
We used Instant vortex 6-quart and was able to cook 2 pounds in a single layer. If you are using a smaller appliance, then we recommend cooking in two batches.
HOW LONG TO COOK?
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.
WHAT TEMPERATURE TO COOK?
We found that these cooked perfectly crispy, using two different temperatures to guarantee perfect crispy outside and tender inside, without being overcooked. We cook at 350 degrees and then increase to 400 degrees to finish.
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 teaspoon 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!
- 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.
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!
- Pat dry with paper towels – It is very important for the wings to not have any moisture to guarantee crispiness.
- Season with dry rub - Toss chicken with cayenne, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder and salt.
- 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.
- Coat in buffalo wing sauce - Toss hot wings in a mixture of hot sauce, melted butter and red pepper flakes.
- Finish cooking - Place them again in a single layer and cook 1 to 2 minutes at 400 degrees to seal in the sauce.
- 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 Chicken, Rice, Fish, Pasta, Shrimp, Soups or Vegetarian main dishes.
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.
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.
Frequently asked questions
Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. It should register 165° F.
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.
Yes, they should ideally be thawed before cooking. Frozen don’t cook quite as well as fresh. They also take a lot longer!
You most certainly can! This is a great way to seal the flavor of the sauce into the meat!
You can, but be sure to thaw completely before baking, or they won’t crisp up properly.
If you love all things buffalo, then here are more recipes to try-
Air Fryer Buffalo Wings - SPICY
- ½ cup Frank's RedHot sauce
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
- Pat dry chicken wings thoroughly with paper towels (this step is crucial for crispy wings).
- Add chicken wings into a large bowl and toss with black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika and salt, until thoroughly combined.
- 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).
- After timer is done, cook for additional 4 minutes at 400°F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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