Frozen Chicken Wings in Air Fryer

by Erin @ Food Doodles on August 15, 2021

These frozen chicken wings in the air fryer are the best! They’re extra crispy yet juicy on the inside, rich and buttery, and slathered with everyone’s favorite sauce. They’re unbelievably easy to make and are a perfect hot snack for get-togethers. This recipe calls for using frozen chicken wings which makes it no-fuss, less prep and less mess!

If you’re prepping for a crowd, this recipe is fabulous! Just buy a large bag of frozen wings, pop them in the air fryer, then you’re free to start prepping the other dips and appetizers like Mozzarella bruschetta!


hand picking up air fryer frozen wings

Ingredients:

  • Frozen chicken wings
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • For the sauce – Mix Frank’s Red Hot Original sauce (or something similar) with melted unsalted butter for creaminess and a milder taste.

ingredients for frozen air fryer chicken wings

How to make air fryer chicken wings

  1. Spray the air fryer basket and coat the wings with olive oil
  2. Stir together the spices and sprinkle over the chicken to coat and season
  3. Put the chicken in the basket leaving space in between each piece
  4. Cook for 10 minutes and flip
  5. Increase heat and cook another 15-22 minutes shaking every 5 minutes until the skin is crisp
  6. Coat the wings with Buffalo sauce
  7. Plate and serve!

frozen chicken wings in air fryer basket 

 

Which sauce is best?

I used Frank’s Red Hot Original sauce but definitely use your favorite. Sweet Baby Ray’s, Texas Pete, and Buffalo Wild Wings seem to be wildly popular and easily available too. Your choice!

You can even change it up a little and use a sweeter BBQ sauce or leave them plain and let the dipping begin.

 

Different countries mean different wings

When you go abroad, you learn that many things are different depending on where you live, and wings are no different.

In the USA, frozen chicken wings include the drumette and the flat; whereas, in Germany, they only include the flat and the tip.

If you read this and have no clue what I’m talking about see this anatomical guide to chicken.

Visuals always help!

Why use an air fryer?

There are so many reasons! Mainly, it reduces cooking time and makes things easier. And it won’t heat your house during the process!

Plus, I can get that extra crispy crunch without using a deep fryer!

I was hesitant before I purchased one and now, I’m all about it! Life made simple is an extraordinary thing.

plate of air fryer chicken wings

How to layer the basket

Normally, I would say leave plenty of room in between food when cooking with the air fryer to get it crispy and evenly cooked. But with frozen chicken wings, you can add a little more to the basket because they shrink quite a bit.

Just add a tad more (I suggest 8) and when it’s time you turn up the heat and flip them over, the wings are the perfect size to arrange in a single layer for the rest of the cooking process.

But don’t get carried away and put two and three layers stacked on top of each other. Give them a little space.

If you have a small air fryer basket, then cooking in batches is your best bet.

cooked wings inside air fryer basket

Want your wings extra crispy?

Add a little baking powder, (just 1 tablespoon) to the spice mix and combine. Then coat the wings thoroughly.

Baking powder breaks down the proteins and works like magic to brown and crisp them to an extra level of crunch.

Do I have to use frozen chicken wings?

No, but it’s much more work. I’m a lazy cook sometimes, and with a crowd, I want to keep things as simple as possible.

What to do with leftovers?

Everyone loves hot and spicy wings, so I don’t think you’ll have any leftovers. But just in case, store them in an airtight container in the fridge, and reheat them at 400℉ until heated thoroughly. (5-10 minutes). It will make a great lunch during the week.

You can store them in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Do not refreeze the wings.

Do I have to use oil?

Not necessarily, spraying the basket with oil helps food not to stick to the basket. It’s minimal, and I use it because I like easy cleanup.

If you don’t want to use oil, I would suggest using parchment paper at the bottom of the basket.

Oil helps the spices stick to the skin of the chicken and seal in flavor, but you can pat the wings dry and add spices without the oil if you prefer.

Can I use the oven to cook the wings?

Sure! It will take more time, but it’s easy enough.

First, thaw the frozen wings or use fresh ones to bake in the oven. Pat them dry and coat them with baking powder and spices (see extra crispy section above) and let them sit in the fridge overnight. This dries the skin and ensures that extra crunch.

You will also want to use an oven rack on a baking sheet or place them directly on the rack in the oven (line your drip pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up). If you use a dish or pan they’ll get soggy.

Preheat the oven to 425℉ ( ℃) for 25 minutes and flip halfway through. Check temperatures for doneness.

hand picking up air fryer wings

What can I serve with chicken wings?

Well, the standard is fresh-cut vegetables like carrots and celery with a blue cheese dressing or another creamy dipping sauce like this cilantro-lime crema.

If you go with cut vegetables you could also serve roasted garlic hummus or for a spicier flavor, chipotle hummus, both are healthy dips that can be made ahead.

If you want a cheesy dip and are sold on the Buffalo sauce, try this Instant Pot Buffalo chicken dip.

I also like this spicy jalapeno cabbage salsa or for a sweeter taste try this mango habanero salsa.

This Greek pasta salad is a given at any family gatherings at my house. It’s easy and fills them up.

If you’re eating these wings for lunch or dinner, pair them with this summer corn chowder. It’s easy and only takes 30 minutes to cook.

Or want something cooler and extra nutritious, try this sweet potato salad.

plate of air fryer wings

How to clean an air fryer

It’s best to clean your air fryer after every use! And if you’ve never done it, now is the time. For an easy follow-along video just get out your air fryer and begin with this video.

I don’t expect huge cleanups with the air fryer which is another perk. If you’re worried about a mess, then line the basket with parchment paper.

Although you can use aluminum foil, I don’t recommend it. It can damage your air fryer or leach aluminum in your food. Just use a little elbow grease and remember to clean the air fryer after every use and deep cleaning as often as needed.

air fryer chicken wings pin

If you like these air fryer chicken wings, you’re going to love these other air fryer recipes:

If you try these air fryer chicken wings or any recipe you find on the site, I would love to see pics and hear about your experience. Just tag 📸 and follow #fooddoodlesrecipes so that I can find them easily. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

5 from 3 votes
plate of air fryer frozen wings
Frozen Chicken Wings in Air Fryer
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
32 mins
 
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer, chicken wings
Servings: 4 people
Ingredients
For the wings:
  • 8 frozen chicken wings
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the sauce:
  • mix together 1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Original or another hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup 56 grams melted unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil.
  2. Put the chicken wings in a bowl and coat them in olive oil.
  3. Stir together the garlic and salt and sprinkle that over the chicken and stir to coat the chicken in the seasoning.
  4. Put the wings in the basket so that they're not touching.
  5. Cook at 360 °F (180 °C) for 10 minutes and then flip the wings.
  6. Increase the heat to 400 °F (205 °C) and cook another 15-22 minutes, shaking after every 5 minutes, or until the skin is crisp.
  7. Coat the wings in the buffalo sauce (but please first take a few photos of the wings before you add the sauce).

Leave a Comment

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Farrukh Aziz August 24, 2021 at 15:57

The sauce was awesome, and the chicken turned out to be delicious! Definitely my favorite air fryer recipe!

Reply

2 silvia August 23, 2021 at 08:51

My kids are fans of chicken wings and I have never made them for them, your recipe is so easy to follow and with the right amount of spice.

Reply

3 Amanda August 23, 2021 at 05:54

These turned out great in the air fryer! The skin was nice and crisp, and it was such a convenient cooking method.

Reply

4 Loreto and Nicoletta August 23, 2021 at 05:18

I recently purchased an air fryer and really love it. Your wings look so crispy, great tip on the baking powder. I am so craving wings now!🥰❤️👍😋

Reply

5 Marie August 22, 2021 at 17:00

These wings look truly finger-licking good! The fact that you’re using the wings from frozen is so handy! This is my kind of clever hack.

Reply

6 kushigalu August 22, 2021 at 14:37

Love this air fryer version if chicken wings. So delicious and flavorful. Thanks for sharing

Reply

7 Kari Heron | Chef and Steward August 22, 2021 at 10:02

I would never have thought of cooking unseasoned frozen chicken like this in dry heat. I usually marinate my meat for flavour or cook in flavoured liquids. Air frying is really a fun and easy way to make chicken.

Reply

8 Megan Ellam August 21, 2021 at 07:34

One of my most favourite recipes. Thanks again. Highly recommend!

Reply

9 Linda August 21, 2021 at 07:03

Air fryer makes cooking more easier and these frozen chicken wings can’t get any better!

Reply

10 Amy Liu Dong August 21, 2021 at 06:06

I love this recipe. It’s delicious and so easy. Yum!

Reply

11 Allyssa August 19, 2021 at 14:24

Thanks a bunch for this frozen chicken wings recipe, will surely make this again! Highly recommended!

Reply

12 Liz August 19, 2021 at 13:06

I like the idea of adding butter to the hot sauce. Offering a hot & mild sauce!

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