These air fryer buffalo chicken wings with homemade sauce are so delicious that you'll quickly find yourself making a double batch. Enjoy them with carrot and celery sticks alongside our blue cheese dipping sauce.
Air fryer buffalo chicken wings recipe
I love classic buffalo wings and often try them at restaurants to find the best ones. The good news is, we can make restaurant-quality wings at home in about 30 minutes using an air fryer.
These wings are prepared by coating them in olive oil and a simple blend of seasonings before air frying them until crispy. Following that, we generously toss them in a tangy, spicy, and slightly creamy homemade buffalo sauce (recipe included in the recipe card below).
And let's not forget the classic accompaniment: our homemade blue cheese dip. Now, that's a perfect treat for a game day, party, or whenever you crave that buffalo wing flavor.
Ingredients information overview and overview
You can find all listed ingredients quantities in the recipe card below.
- Chicken wings: I like to buy party wings, which means they have been already cut into wingettes and drummettes. If you prefer cooking whole wings, do not forget to adjust the cooking time. They will take about 5 minutes longer to cook.
- Olive oil: for cooking to make them crispier.
- Salt: I usually season them lightly with salt, because buffalo sauce has plenty of it already.
- Spices: I like to season the wings in some garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper before cooking. It adds flavor.
- Cayenne hot sauce: I used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.
- Butter: to add creamy and silky texture to the sauce.
- Honey: to balance the sauce and add notes of sweetness. You can also use agave syrup instead.
- Worcestershire sauce: add a little bit of umami and tanginess too the sauce.
- Garlic powder: also added to the sauce for extra flavor.
Step-by-step recipe directions
This air fryer buffalo wings recipe directions include 6 detailed steps with the process images below each step:
Step 1. First, pat dry fresh chicken wings with paper towels. This ensures that the flavors and seasonings stick to the wings and don't slide off due to excess moisture. Excess moisture on the surface of the wings can create steam when they are placed air fryer, which will make them less crispy. Place the wings in a large mixing bowl and add olive oil, salt, paprika, and garlic powder.
Use your hands or a spatula to gently massage and toss the wings, so that they are evenly coated. If you have time, cover them and place them in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes. But this step is optional, and you can start cooking them right away.
Step 2. Preheat the air fryer for at least 5 minutes. Arrange the wingettes and drumettes in an air fryer basket in a single layer, without overlapping. I could easily fit 10 pieces in my Ninja XL air fryer. I cook 2 pounds of wings in 2 batches.
Place the basket in the unit and air fry the wings at 390 degrees F for 10 minutes. Flip them carefully and air fry for another 7 minutes or until they are golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F. If you like them extra well done and crispy, add 2-3 minutes.
Step 3. While the wings are cooking, let me the buffalo sauce. Melt butter in the microwave. In a medium bowl, add melted butter, cayenne hot sauce, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Mix it well until one consistency and give it a taste. Add more honey if needed.
Step 4. Once the wings are fully cooked, transfer them into a large CLEAN bowl. Now, add the homemade buffalo sauce and toss. Serve right away with celery, carrots, and blue cheese or ranch.
Follow my tips below for making the best wings in an air fryer:
- Dry the wings: for the best results pat them dry before cooking with paper towels. Removing excess moisture helps achieve crispy skin.
- Flip or shake: Flip the wings or shake the basket halfway through the cooking time to ensure both sides cook evenly and the skin becomes crispy.
- Lightly coat with oil: do not forget to lightly coat the wings with olive oil, it helps in achieving a crispy texture.
- Leftovers: store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat them in the air fryer (preferred method) or microwave.
- Variations: you can use other sauces or dry rubs to make the wings.
- Alternative cooking instructions: heat the oven to 400°F and line a line the baking pan with parchment paper. Bake the wings for about 30-40 minutes, flipping them once.
More air fryer recipes with chicken
- Air fryer chicken bites
- Air fryer lemon pepper chicken drumsticks
- Air fryer chicken thighs
- Air fryer chicken breasts from frozen
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can bake chicken wings if you don't have an air fryer. Preheat your oven to 400°F, place the seasoned wings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake them for approximately 30-40 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until they are golden brown and cooked through with an internal temperature of 165°F.
Absolutely! A dry rub is a great way to season chicken wings in the air fryer. Simply coat the wings in your favorite dry rub seasoning before cooking, and they'll develop a nice flavorful crust.
Yes, you can easily air fry frozen chicken wings, but they will require about 20 minutes longer cooking time. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Wings
- 2 large bowls
- 1 medium bowl
- Air fryer
- 2 pounds chicken wings, cut into wingettes and drummettes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt if using the sauce
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup cayenne pepper hot sauce, such a Frank's original red hot.
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 Tablespoons honey or other sweetener
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- In a large bowl, add pat dried chicken wings, 2 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Using a spatula, gently toss the wings until they are well coated in oil and seasoning.
- Preheat air fryer for about 5 minutes. Arrange the wings in a single layer in the basket, without overcrowding them. Cook them in batches if needed.
- Air fry the wings at 390°F for 10 minutes. Carefully, flip the wings and cook them for another 7-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Once cooked, toss the wings in a buffalo sauce and serve.
- To make the buffalo wings sauce, stir together ¼ cup cayenne pepper hot sauce, 2 tablespoon melted butter, 2 tablespoon honey, ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon Paprika, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.