How to make crispy, mess-free chicken wings in the air fryer

How to make crispy, mess-free chicken wings in the air fryer

  • Chicken wings can take 25 to 30 minutes to cook in the air fryer, depending on their size.
  • You can use just about any seasoning, but yellow mustard is our expert’s flavor booster of choice.
  • Preheat the air fryer, place wings in a single layer, and flip them halfway to ensure even cooking.
  • Visit Insider’s Home & Kitchen Reference library for more stories.

One of Ciara Turner‘s earliest cooking memories is frying chicken with her grandma. “She had me standing on a kitchen table chair at the stove in front of a cast-iron skillet,” says Turner, a former professional chef turned foodie influencer, who now describes herself as obsessed with her air fryer.

Often served at Super Bowl parties and tailgates, chicken wings are less meaty than other chicken parts, but the skin-on pieces easily turn crispy and are perfect for eating with your hands. And Turner says the air fryer is an excellent choice for cooking wings.

  • Less messy. There’s no need to contend with splattering oil, and most air fryers are a breeze to clean.
  • A great way to get kids involved. “When you’re dealing with a preteen/teenager… safety first,” says Turner. And the small size makes it easy for kids to experiment in small batches.
  • Convection cooking. Also called “hot air magic” by Turner, this is what leads to extra crispy results. As hot air moves around the food in an air fryer, it leaves a crunchy exterior without drying out the meat.

Tips for the best air fryer chicken wings

A hand reaching for buffalo chicken wings.

Celery sticks, carrots, ranch, and blue cheese are great accompaniments for chicken wings.

Cappi Thompson/Getty Images

  • Add baking powder. Turner suggests tossing wings with baking powder after coating them in mustard for next-level crunch. Baking powder helps a crust form quickly when cooking and keeps the inside juicy and moist.
  • Serve them with tasty sides. Turner likes serving wings with sweet potato fries, raw carrots, celery sticks, and ranch. Other dipping sauces perfect for wings include sriracha, barbecue sauce, blue cheese, and Buffalo sauce.
  • Store them safely. Wings will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge, says Turner. To reheat them, set the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook them for about five minutes. When reheating, it’s not necessary to preheat the air fryer.
  • Learn more about your air fryer. Air fryer temperatures and cook times can vary slightly, yielding different results between models. The more you cook with your air fryer, the better acquainted with its cooking abilities you’ll be.

Insider’s takeaway

Air frying chicken wings is an easy and mess-free way to create a delectable party snack or weeknight dinner. Season with yellow mustard to inject more flavor into your wings, and make them extra crispy by coating them in baking powder and leaving them in the fridge overnight to dry them out more.

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