This Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Wings Recipe boasts an irresistible combination of a perfectly seasoned exterior with a juicy interior and cooks in under 20 minutes. Elevate your wing game with this easy-to-make recipe!
I wanted an air fryer lemon pepper wings recipe that would rival my kid's favorite from Wingstop, yet made easily at home with the zesty lemon and cracked black pepper.
Chicken wings are a classic crowd-pleaser, whether you're hosting a game night, having a party, or simply treating yourself to a delicious snack like the air fryer buffalo wings.
While traditional deep-fried wings are tasty, air frying offers a healthier and more convenient alternative without compromising on flavor and texture like the air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings. In this comprehensive guide, I'll walk you through the process of buying, prepping, and air-frying to achieve the best possible results.
When buying wings, look for ones with a pinkish color and without any slimy texture. Larger-sized ones have more meat and produce juicier results. I like to trim any excess fat or loose skin to help reduce excess grease and promote crispiness.
Lemon pepper seasoning is a popular spice blend that combines the tangy, zesty flavor of lemon with aromatic and spicy black pepper. It typically consists of dried lemon zest or lemon peel granules and coarsely ground black pepper. Some variations may also include additional ingredients like salt, garlic powder, onion powder, or other herbs and spices.
Why you'll love this?
- Cooks in under 20 minutes.
- Under 5 ingredients.
- Reader favorite recipe.
- Well seasoned with mega flavors.
- Results in juicy tender flesh.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Chicken wings – I like to use a mix of drummettes and wingettes.
- Butter – Adds richness, cuts down the heat, adds delectable flavor, and helps the seasoning stick to the meat.
- Lemon pepper seasoning – The lemon adds a bright, citrusy tang along with the robust black pepper, resulting in a well-rounded flavor profile.
- Flour – All-purpose flour sticks to the skin, absorbing any excess moisture and resulting in a well-browned exterior.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
1 & 2. Stir together all-purpose flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl , add chicken wings, and toss until thoroughly combined.
Tip: Pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels before using to help the seasoning mixture cling to the skin. It also ensures they roast in the air fryer without steaming.
3. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F for 15 minutes. When ready, place wings in a single layer and cook. When done, increase the cooking time to 400 degrees and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes to develop browning.
Tip: Place the wings in a single layer, leaving some space in between for proper air circulation. You may need to cook in multiple batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
4. Transfer hot chicken wings into a large bowl and drizzle in melted butter.
Tip: Use a meat thermometer to verify the internal temperature of the thickest part of the wings, which should be 165 degrees F. They should be tender and juicy on the inside with a golden-brown, crispy exterior.
5. Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning. Stir until evenly combined and serve hot.
Tip: Toss when super hot, to help the wings soak in all the flavors.
How to serve?
Air Fryer lemon pepper chicken wings are perfect as a game day appetizer served with ranch or blue cheese dressing. Add a side of celery and carrot sticks to keep it classic.
How to store leftovers?
Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. To reheat, place them in a preheated 375-degree air fryer and cook for 5 to 9 minutes (depending on the quantity) or until heated through.
How to make ahead?
To make ahead for a party or gathering, follow these steps:
- Cook air fryer lemon pepper wings and let them stand at room temperature for several hours.
- Melt butter just before serving (make sure that the butter is hot) and toss along with wings. Finish with seasoning.
- Pat dry – It is very important for the wings to not have any moisture to ensure crispy wings. So, pat them dry with paper towels.
- Cooking temperature – Since the wings are made without breading, they are cooked at two different temperatures to guarantee crispiness. First, at medium heat to cook and then at a higher temperature to crisp up.
- Place them in a single layer – Spread them out so that they are in a single layer and not overlapping.
- Seasoning - I used Lawry's, and used 2 tablespoons of seasoning for 2 pounds since I love a well-seasoned wing! However, you could use your favorite brand and the quantity that you like.
- Do not overcook - Remove wings as soon as they are done cooking. Cooking them longer than needed might make them dry out and not be as juicy.
- Using whole wings - If you have whole wings then cut the drummettes and flats separately, discarding the wing tip.
- Air Fryer size - I used 6-quart Instant vortex air fryer and was able to cook 2 pounds of wings in a single layer. If you have a smaller air fryer then I recommend cooking in two batches.
How to cook one pound of chicken wings? Halve the recipe but adjust the cooking time and temperature - Cook for 11 minutes at 350°F and then for 2 to 3 minutes at 400°F.
I prefer not to flip wings during the cooking process because this helps achieve exceptional color like the air fryer air fryer chicken parmesan recipe and an irresistibly crispy exterior that surpasses the results obtained by cooking them on both sides.
For optimal crispiness, it is crucial to arrange them in a single layer without overlapping. Stacking can lead to steaming, which in turn may result in a soggy skin. To guarantee the perfect crunch, make sure to give each wing enough space on the cooking surface.
No air fryer, no problem! Toss wings with the seasoned flour, place on wire rack lined baking sheet, in a single layer, and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for about 40 minutes. Toss them in melted butter and lemon pepper seasoning, as soon as they are done baking.
More game-day favorites
Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Wings
- 2 pounds chicken wings patted dry
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt or as per taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning, I like to use Lawry's
- Stir together all purpose flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl, add chicken wings and toss until thoroughly combined.Tip: Pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels before using to help the seasoning mixture cling to the skin. It also ensures they roast in the air fryer without steaming.
- Pre heat air fryer to 350°F for 15 minutes. When ready, place wings in a single layer and cook. Tip: I prefer not to flip wings during the cooking process because this helps achieve exceptional color and an irresistibly crispy exterior that surpasses the results obtained by cooking them on both sides.
- When cooking time is done, increase temperature to 400 degress and continue cooking for an addional 3 to 5 minutes.Tip: Use a meat thermometer to verify the internal temperature of the thickest part of the wings, which should be 165 degrees F. They should be tender and juicy on the inside with a golden-brown, crispy exterior.
- Transfer hot chicken wings into a large bowl along with melted butter and lemon pepper seasoning. Stir until evenly combined and serve hot.Tip: Toss when super hot, to help the wings soak in all the flavors.
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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