These honey garlic chicken wings are sweet and tangy without too much heat. They’re sauced with honey, sweet chili sauce, soy and garlic with a pinch of brown sugar. They’re also easy to make gluten-free and dairy-free. With air fryer and oven directions.
I just can’t get over how quick and easy it is to get meals on the table with an air fryer. Like with this Air Fryer BBQ Chicken, I can serve a great dish in just 20 minutes. You can also make sides, like these Air Fryer Garlic Fries or you can go healthy with Air Fryer Carrot Fries.
But don’t worry – if you don’t have an air fryer, you can make these chicken wings with a little more time in the oven.
- The more you boil the sauce, the more bitter the flavor, so make sure your sauce remains at a simmer and stir it continuously.
- The sauce should be sweet and tangy, not acidic, so add the brown sugar lastly to help bring out the sweet notes while reducing the acidity.
- Also, if you leave the sauce on the heat for too long, it will reduce and intensify the sweetness. So don’t leave it on the burner longer than necessary, or it will be sickly sweet.
- With a thermometer, always check the internal temperature of the wings. It should reach an internal temperature of 165 °F ( 74 °C).
- All makes and models of air fryers are different, so check the manufacturer’s website for the best times and temps for your make and model.
Can I use frozen chicken wings?
Yes, you can use frozen chicken wings for this recipe. You just need to add a few extra minutes to the cook time.
Different countries = different wings
Depending on where you live, the wings will look different.
In the USA, chicken wings include the drumette and the flat. But, here in Germany, they only include the flat and the tip.
If you don’t know the difference, you can look at this anatomical guide to chicken to get a visual.
I point this out because the size of the wings and the size of the air fryer will determine the actual cook time. If the wings are smaller, you can fit more in the basket.
How to layer the basket
Usually, I would say leave plenty of room between food items when air frying. It helps get everything crisp and evenly cooked. But with chicken wings, you can add a little more to the basket because they will shrink while cooking.
I’m not saying stack them high in layers, but they can somewhat be touching in the basket. I can cook up to 8 wings in my air fryer, but I wouldn’t do more than that.
Once you’re ready to flip halfway through the cooking process, the wings have shrunk enough to have a little space in between.
If you have a smaller air fryer basket or are cooking for a larger crowd, you should cook them in batches.
How to keep air-fried chicken wings warm
If you’re cooking for guests, you can prepare the wings in advance using the air fryer and keep them warm in the oven at 160 °F ( 71 °C). Toss the wings in the sauce before serving them to keep them from getting soggy.
Extra crispy wings
If you like your wings to crackle and crunch, add 1 tablespoon of baking powder to the spice mix and combine.
Baking powder breaks down the proteins and makes the wings golden brown, taking crunch to a whole new level.
How to store leftovers?
To store these chicken wings, once they’ve cooled, you can place them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 or 3 days.
How to reheat wings
You can reheat wings in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes at 325 °F (163 °C).
If you want to save time, reheat them in the air fryer. Set temp to 360 °F (180 °C) for 5 minutes, check the internal temperature, and add a minute or two more until thoroughly warmed and it reaches a proper internal temperature.
Can I cook the wings in the oven?
Sure! It’s easy, but it’ll just take a little more time.
You could do 400 °F (205 °C) for 40 to 45 minutes which gets them crackly, as I prefer. Or 375 °F (190 °C) for 50 to 55 minutes or 350 °F (177 °C) for 55 to 60 minutes. The lower the temp, the longer it takes, which may work better for the timing of your guests.
Always check the internal temperature no matter which setting you choose. Again, you want an internal temperature of 165 °F (74 °C). It’s the only way you know that the wings are cooked through.
The recipe we have here is simple to make and tastes great. But you may be feeling creative and want to add even more spice.
Turmeric gives it a great color and flavor; red pepper flakes will bring up the heat just a tad. Or you can go all out by adding hot chili powder or hot paprika.
When considering what goes with honey, mustard comes to mind. And Sriracha, rosemary, a splash of lime, orange zest, or ginger would add to the flavor profiles without overpowering the wings.
Well, maybe, except for Sriracha. It always likes to be the star of the dish.
Why use an air fryer?
I adore my air fryer. I admit I was hesitant initially, but I went ahead and got one, and it has been the best kitchen appliance!
Even with the main dishes, the air fryer does a fantastic job. You might like some of these.
Other Air Fryer Recipes
And, of course, hot snacks are perfect to make in the air fryer because you don’t have to heat the whole house just to make Air Fryer Pizza Rolls, Popcorn Chicken Air Fryer, or these Air Fryer Potato Skins!
I hope you’ll enjoy these honey garlic chicken wings! If you make this recipe, I’d love to see photos. Please hashtag them #easywholesome so I can find them. 🙂 Thanks!
Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
- 10 chicken wings
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour (see notes)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce use gluten-free, if needed
- Optional garnish: 1 chopped spring onion
- Optional garnish: 1 Tsp of sesame seeds
- Pat the wings dry with a paper towel. It's important that they're dry!
- Mix flour, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and salt in a large bowl. For extra crispy wings, see notes below.
- One by one, add wings to the flour mixture and thoroughly and evenly coat.
- Shake off excess flour.
Air fryer direcitons:
- Spray basket with olive oil mister. Don’t use an aerosol spray.
- Put the wings in the basket, but don’t stack them on top of each other.
- Air fry at 400 °F (205 °C) for 18 minutes, flipping the wings halfway through. The internal temperature should be 165 °F (74 °C). It may take up to 40 minutes in total depending on the size of your wings.
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F (205 °C).
- Place a cooling rack in a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Spray the cooling rack with non-stick spray or grease it.
- Place the wings on the rack for 40 minutes, flipping them at 20 minutes. The internal temperature should be 165 °F (74 °C). It may take up to an hour total depending on the size of your wings.
To make the sauce:
- While the wings are cooking, prepare the sauce.
- In a sauce pot on medium heat, pour in honey, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, and stir continuously to combine about 1 minute.
- Add light brown sugar and stir vigorously until well combined for about another minute. When it becomes thick, it’s time to sauce the wings.
- Add chicken wings one at a time to the sauce and coat thoroughly.
- Plate, garnish and serve.
- Let leftovers cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- If you're gluten-free, you can use 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free 1-to-1 Baking Flour or 1/4 cup King Arthur Flour Gluten-free Measure for Measure flour. 1/4 cup of cassava flour also works great for a grain-free option! Also make sure your soy sauce and chili sauce are gluten-free. Coconut aminos is a great soy-free option.
- The wings will shrink quite a bit as they cook. Usually, I would say to leave space in between food, but once you cook them halfway, the wings will have shrunk to continue cooking evenly, and you’ll get a crispy texture. I can usually fit 8 wings in the air fryer with good results.
- For extra crispy wings, add 1 tablespoon of baking powder to the flour mixture.
- Don’t sauce the wings until you are ready to serve, or they will get soggy.
- Don’t overcook the sauce, or it will become too sweet.