Forget about your local bar for a Friday wings night. This Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Wings recipe is incredibly delicious and super easy to make! 👍🏻 Fry it, to believe it!
There are few foods as addicting as good chicken wings, especially when they’re smothered in Buffalo sauce!
Air fryer Buffalo wings are spicy and buttery and pair perfectly with a cool ranch or blue cheese dip.
Once you make them in the air fryer, you’ll be shocked at how delicious and addicting they are!
🤩 Fun Fact: Buffalo wings, which get their name from their origin city of Buffalo, New York, are arguably the most popular style of chicken wings served in the US and around the world.
☘️ Bonus: Cooking wings in the air fryer means NO MESS, NO STRESS!
Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Wings Ingredients
Here are all the ingredients you need to make finger-licking air-fried Buffalo chicken wings.
- Chicken wings
- Buffalo sauce
If you have these ingredients in your pantry, you can also make Buffalo sauce from scratch.
- Hot sauce
- Unsalted butter
- Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic powder
📣 You can find the exact measurements and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card down below.
ASMR Recipe Video: Air Fried Buffalo Chicken Wings
Don’t have time to read? Watch this short ASMR recipe video:
*You can find the exact amount of ingredients and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below.
How to Cook Buffalo Chicken Wings in an Air Fryer?
Making air fryer Buffalo chicken wings is quick and easy, made even easier with the convenience of pre-made sauce. Or if you’re up for some challenge, we’ll show you how to make Buffalo sauce from scratch.
1. Thaw your frozen chicken wings.
💡Pro Tip: For the best results, use fresh chicken wings. Cooking from frozen can result in a dry texture due to the longer cooking time required.
The next best case scenario is to thaw your frozen chicken wings.
Here are two ways to do it properly:
Long Method (~24 Hours) – Thaw your chicken wings in the refrigerator overnight.
Shorter Method (~4 Hours) – Fill your sink with cold water, and submerge your sealed frozen chicken wings. Change the water every 30 minutes until the chicken no longer feels frozen, for about 2-4 hours.
Using warm water or thawing in the microwave oven will prematurely cook your chicken, which will also result in a dry texture.
2. Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).
If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 400ºF (204ºC) and then let it cook for 5 minutes.
Please don’t skip this step.
Prolonged cooking time is another reason why air fryer chicken wings can become dry. To prevent this, it’s important to cook the wings for the shortest amount of time possible.
3. Lightly season the chicken wings.
If your chicken wings are connected (rather than the pre-cut version often labeled “party wings”), carefully cut apart the drum portion of the wing and the wingette at the joint.
Then, find the joint between the wing tip and the wing, remove the wing tip and discard.
Add the chicken wings to a medium-sized bowl and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt, about ¼ tsp per pound of wings, depending on your preferences. Toss well to ensure the salt coats all the wings.
You can also add a bit of freshly ground pepper, if you want.
👩🏼🍳 Pro Tip: For a little extra crispness, toss with 1-2 tsp of high-heat cooking oil, such as canola or vegetable oil.
4. Air fry the chicken wings for 20-25 minutes.
When the air fryer is fully preheated, add the wings in a single layer and cook for 20-25 minutes or until thoroughly crispy and golden, flipping them at least once during cooking.
📝 Note: I used 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus air fryer to test this recipe. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
5. Prepare Buffalo sauce.
To make the Buffalo sauce, combine the hot sauce, butter, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder in a medium saucepan over low heat.
Whisk occasionally until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth.
Season to taste with salt and set aside, adding the lid to keep warm while you prepare the chicken.
6. Coat the chicken wings with Buffalo sauce.
🌡️ Tip: To check if your wings are done, insert a meat thermometer into the biggest wing: the temperature should be at least 165°F (74°C).
When the wings are fully cooked and browned, carefully transfer them directly to a clean bowl. Add the Buffalo sauce, ¼ cup at a time, and toss with the wings until the desired sauced-wing texture is reached.
Alternatively, you can serve the wings plain with the Buffalo sauce on the side to preserve their crisp texture.
7. Serve & enjoy!
That’s how you make air fryer Buffalo chicken wings in under 30 minutes!
Serve immediately with dips and accouterments of choice! The classic pairing is Buffalo wings and bleu cheese dressing, but ranch or even sour cream mixed with chives work, too!
Vegetables are fun to serve with wings, even beyond just carrots and celery! Try serving your wings with broccoli (raw or lightly steamed), cucumber spears or raw zucchini chips!
The combination of Buffalo sauce and bleu cheese goes well on just about everything!
Freezing & Storage
Freezing: The best way to store chicken wings (in the fridge or freezer) is without the sauce, so if you’re not planning on eating all the wings, set some aside before tossing in Buffalo sauce.
Fridge: Once the wings have cooled completely, add to a freezer-style zip-top bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the instructions below.
Reheating: To reheat wings without sauce, add to an air fryer preheated to 350°F (177°C) and air fry for 4-5 minutes or until heated through. Do not overcook to avoid drying out the wings.
To reheat wings that already have sauce, microwave at 50% power for 2-3 minutes or until fully heated through.
Alternatively, microwave for 1 minute on high power and then transfer to an air fryer at 350°F for 2-3 minutes or until crisped again.
Buffalo Chicken Wings Air Fryer FAQs
How to air fry Buffalo chicken wings?
To air fry Buffalo chicken wings, you need fresh or properly thawed wings and Buffalo sauce. Simply preheat your air fryer to 400°F (204°C), season your wings with a little bit of salt, and then cook them for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy. Finally, you can either coat the air-fried wings with Buffalo sauce or serve the sauce as a dip on the side.
How to reheat Buffalo wild wings in an air fryer?
To reheat Buffalo Wild Wings in an air fryer or any other leftover wings, cook them at 350°F (177°C) for 4-5 minutes if the air fryer is preheated. If you don’t preheat the air fryer, cook the wings for 6-8 minutes.
How long does it take to cook Buffalo wings in the air fryer?
It will take approximately 20-25 minutes to cook Buffalo wings in the air fryer at 400°F (204°C), or longer if you’re cooking from frozen.
How to cook frozen Buffalo wings in an air fryer?
To cook frozen Buffalo chicken wings in an air fryer, such as Tyson Buffalo wings, set the temperature to 400°F (204°C) and cook them for 26-30 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Finally, coat the wings with Buffalo sauce. No preheating needed.
The Only Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Wings Recipe You Need!
- 1 pound chicken wings 10-12 pieces
- 2 tablespoons Buffalo sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Buffalo Sauce From Scratch (Optional)
- ⅔ cup hot sauce e.g. Frank's Original RedHot Sauce
- ½ cup unsalted butter cold
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (to taste)
- Thaw your frozen chicken wings overnight or use fresh ones.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (204°C).
- While preheating, pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels. Then, lightly season them with salt and pepper (optional).
- Once the air fryer is preheated, place the chicken wings inside and cook them for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy. For even cooking, be sure to space the wings out and flip them halfway through the cooking process.
- Prepare Buffalo sauce from scratch or use a store-bought one. To make fresh Buffalo sauce: combine hot pepper sauce, cold unsalted butter, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt to taste in a small pot. Cook over low heat until fully mixed, for about 5 minutes.
- After air frying the chicken wings, coat them with Buffalo sauce. Toss until fully covered.
- Serve and enjoy your air fryer Buffalo wings! It’s best served with a side of fries or maybe onion rings and your favorite soda to tone down the heat.
- Fresh chicken wings will yield the best result.
- The optimal way to thaw your chicken wings is to leave them in the refrigerator overnight. Another effective method for thawing wings is to place them in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. It typically takes 2-4 hours for the wings to fully defrost.
- We do not recommend defrosting them in the microwave or using warm water as it may dry out the meat and potentially make it unsafe to eat.
- Air frying from frozen will result in a dry texture and longer cooking time.
- If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 400°F (204°C) and then let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Preheating your air fryer and thawing your chicken wings properly will yield juicier results. Based on our tests, the longer you cook your chicken wings, the drier they will become.
- It’s not ideal to wash your chicken wings as it may contaminate your kitchen.
- Chicken wings are classified as white meat and should be cooked to a temperature of 150°F or 66°C.
- When making buffalo sauce from scratch, begin at a low temperature and gradually increase to medium. Cooking at high temperatures can cause the butter to separate.
- It’s ideal to add the buffalo sauce after air frying. It can get burnt at high heat, and may even produce smoke.
- I used a 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus to test the air fryer buffalo chicken wings. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings being prepared. For best results, start with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
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