I’m going in-depth on how to make crispy air fryer chicken wings using baking powder or all-purpose flour. This easy-to-follow recipe guide will show you how to make the crispiest chicken wings! Crispy chicken skin on the outside and juicy, fall-off-the-bone meat on the inside. Healthier than traditional deep frying methods and faster cooking times than any convection oven! Get ready for game day!
Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer
Air-frying chicken wings contain about ⅓ of the fat and calories of the traditional deep frying methods and they taste just as good if not better!
Calorie Comparison: Traditional Fried Chicken Wings vs air fry chicken wings (without glaze or dipping sauce)
According to Nurtiritonx, 1 deep-fried chicken wing contains 159 calories and 11 grams of fat. When you air fry chicken wings the numbers drop to 50 calories and 2.9 grams of fat per wing.
Defrosting Chicken Wings
The best methods for defrosting chicken wings
- If you plan ahead you will want to defrost the wings in the refrigerator for up 2 days.
- You can defrost wings in the microwave but I don't recommend it. You can easily defrost chicken wings in the air fryer!
How to defrost frozen chicken wings in the air fryer
- Defrost frozen chicken wings in a single layer for 8 minutes at 200F. (Be careful not to overcrowd).
- Once defrosted remove from the air fryer, pat dry and season.
- Dump any water that has accumulated in the air fryer and wipe the air fryer dry before the first cook.
Is baking powder the ultimate secret ingredient for Crispy Chicken Wings?
I've been using baking powder on my oven-baked chicken wings for several years and they have always turned out crispy, and delicious, and they fall off the bone.
However, since I started air frying chicken wings, I have found both baking powder and all-purpose flour work well to create crispy skin and a juicy interior.
While both baking powder and flour help makes fantastic crispy chicken wings, there are pros and cons to using either ingredient.
Pros and cons of using baking powder
- Draws moisture out of skin to create a crispy chicken skin and moist interior.
- Must use non-aluminum baking powder or wings will have a metallic taste
- Baking powder is often mistaken for baking soda. Baking soda will leave an unpleasant aftertaste.
- Some people are highly sensitive to baking powder's aftertaste.
Important Chef’s Notes
- Use non-aluminum baking powder.
- Do not replace the baking powder with baking soda. (Double-check your label before adding)
Baking powder substitutions
- 1 Tablespoon All-purpose flour per pound of wings
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch per pound of wings
Can you put too much baking powder on chicken wings?
Yes, if you put too much baking powder on chicken wings it can leave a bad, overwhelming metallic aftertaste.
Pros and cons of using all-purpose flour
- Common pantry ingredient
- Creates an extra crispy skin
- No aftertaste
- Not gluten-free
Equipment You’ll Need
- Air fryer + Air fryer basket - I used a 4 quart Power XL Air Fryer.
- Large bowl
- Small bowl
- Baking sheet or cookie sheet (if making multiple batches)
- Paper towels
- Pastry brush or cooking oil spray
- 1 Pound of Chicken Wings (drummettes, wingettes, or a combo of both)
- Garlic powder
- Onion Powder
- Baking powder (or flour)
- Smoked Paprika (optional)
- Dried Oregano (optional)
- Salt (I use Diamond Kosher)
- Black pepper
- Cooking Spray or Little oil (neutral or olive oil)
- Favorite Barbeque sauce (optional)
- Favorite Sauce for dipping
How to fry wings in an air fryer
See the printable recipe card below for complete instructions.
1. Bring wings to room temperature
Allow the wings to set out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. This will help the wings to cook evenly. (Skip this step if you are defrosting wings in the air fryer).
2. Pat wings dry
Remove excess moisture from the wings by patting them dry with a clean paper towel. Make sure to get both sides of the wing completely dry, to get the crispiest skin possible.
3. Season with baking powder (or flour) and spices
Mix the baking powder (or flour) in a small bowl with all the spices. (Break up clumps with your fingers so the spice mixture is smooth).
Place the wings in a large bowl and sprinkle the spice mixture over all wings. With clean hands, evenly rub the spice mixture into the wings.
Prep the air fryer: Spray the bottom with neutral cooking oil.
4. First Cook: Air Fry wings for 20 minutes at 220F
Air frying the wings at a low temperature for the first cook slowly melts the chicken skin and evenly cooks the chicken meat.
5. Rest for 10 minutes at room temperature
6. Second Cook: Air Fry wings for 10-12 minutes at 400F
Turning up the heat for the second cook will ensure your skin gets crispy while the meat stays moist and tender.
7. Add Sauce, oil or butter
Brush the wings with oil, butter, or sauce of choice. (Just make sure your sauce has fat or sugar so that the sauce caramelizes on the chicken skin).
8. Final Cook for Crispy Air Fryer Wings. Air Fry for 1-3 minutes at 400F
The final cook will crisp up the skin and caramelize the sauce.
If using a sugary sauce such as BBQ, watch this last cook closely, it can quickly burn.
9. Toss wings in your favorite sauce(if desired) and serve!
Glaze, Sauce and Rub Ideas
Of course you can use your favorite wing sauce, but here are a few more ideas:
Lemon Pepper Wings (dry rub) - Replace the smoked paprika, oregano and pepper with 1-2 tablespoons of lemon pepper seasoning. Brush or spray with cooking oil in the last cooking to create a crispy skin.
Buffalo Chicken Wings - Combine ¼ cup melted butter with ¼ cup buffalo hot sauce. Toss with wings after the final cook and serve.
Chipotle Honey Wings - Combine 2 tablespoons of chipotle in adobo sauce, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix well to combine. Toss with wings and serve sticky or use as a glaze before final cook.
Garlic Herb Butter Wings - Combine ¼ cup butter, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, and ½ teaspoon of Italian Seasoning. Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave or until the butter is melted. Mix well, and glaze wings before final cook.
Barbeque sauce - Use your favorite BBQ sauce as a glaze for the last cooking step. Or toss wings in BBQ sauce after cooking for a sticky wing.
Delicious Dipping Sauces
How to Store and Reheat
Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days after cooking.
Reheat the wings in the air fryer at 350F for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
- 1.25 Pounds Chicken Wings Flats and drummets
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder or 1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika optional
- ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano optional
- 1 teaspoon Salt I used Diamond Kosher
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil butter or sauce of choice.
- Bring Wings to Room TemperatureAllow the wings to set out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. This will help the wings to cook evenly. (Skip this step if you are defrosting the wings in the air fryer).
- Pat Wings DryRemove excess moisture from the wings by patting them dry with a clean paper towel. Make sure to get both sides of the wing completely dry, to get the crispiest skin possible.
- Season With Baking Powder (Or Flour) And SpicesMix the baking powder (or flour) in a small bowl with all the spices. (Break up clumps with your fingers so the spice mixture is smooth).
- Place the wings in a large bowl and sprinkle the spice mixture over all wings. With clean hands, evenly rub the spice mixture into the wings.
- Prep the air fryerSpray the bottom with neutral cooking oil so the wings don't stick to the bottom.
- First Cook: Air Fry Wings For 20 Minutes At 220FPlace the wings in the air fryer in an even layer. Be careful not to overcrowd so that the skin has a chance to get crispy.
- Rest For 10 Minutes At Room TemperatureAlternatively, you can transfer the wings to a plate and rest for 20 minutes at room temperature if you are cooking the wings in batches. Cook the second batch while resting the first.
- Second Cook: Air Fry Wings For 10-12 Minutes At 400FTurning up the heat for the second cook will ensure your skin gets crispy while the meat stays moist and tender.
- Add Sauce, Oil, Or ButterBrush the wings with oil, butter, or sauce of choice. (Just make sure your sauce has fat or sugar so that the sauce caramelizes on the chicken skin).
- Final Cook For Crispy Air Fryer Wings. Air Fry For 1-3 Minutes At 400F or until golden and crispy.This final cook will crisp up the skin and caramelize the sauce.If using a sugary sauce such as BBQ, watch this last cook closely, it can quickly burn.
- Toss Wings In Your Favorite Sauce(If Desired) And Serve!If making sticky wings, add the wings to a large bowl and mix them with your sauce of choice.