Buffalo chicken wings in an air fryer are a game changer. They are among the top air fryer recipes because they are made to perfection just like deep-frying.
Air-fried buffalo chicken wings are an absolute treat, made with little to no oil while making the outer layer crispy, the insides juicy, tendered, and whole wings slathered with sweet-tangy buffalo sauce. It gives you all the health benefits without worrying about fat and your guilt when hitting the gym.
However, on the other hand, it satisfies your taste buds like restaurant-made wings. In my book, it’s a real win-win situation.
The air fryer works like magic for all the appetizers, but making buffalo wings in batches gives another level of cooking experience. The recipe I’m about to share will be anything but bland. The secret to making the crispiest chicken wings is to season inside and out; do not forget about every nook and corner.
You would want to lick your fingers after having them because they are so delectable and juicy. So, why not dive into the recipe without wasting another minute?
Can I put sauced wings in an air fryer?
Yes, you can. But it will make the air fryer messy and your sauce can burn.
It would also make your wings soggy. Unfortunately, if you intend to reheat the leftover wings, then expect the texture and taste to be different than the fresh ones.
The best two ways to sauce wings are either tossing them in a large bowl with the buffalo sauce after cooking thoroughly or brushing the sauce individually but directly on the wings for 1-2 minutes before taking them out.
This way, cooking sauce on the wings for a minute or two will make them juicier and packed with flavor.
How do you cook buffalo wings in an air fryer?
For the wings:
- Chicken wings
- Cayenne pepper/ red paprika
- Smoked paprika
- All-purpose flour
- Cooking oil spray
For the buffalo sauce:
- Franks hot sauce
- Brown sugar
- Pat dry the chicken wings properly leaving no moisture on the skin.
- Mix the spices in a small bowl and add chicken wings into it, rub the spices with your hands wearing gloves or just tongs then let them marinate.
- In another large bowl; mix salt, pepper, cayenne pepper/red paprika, and all-purpose flour.
- Dip each marinated chicken in it and cover them completely, don’t forget the nook and corners.
- Dip the floured chicken in cold water for a few seconds and then dip the wet chicken again in the seasoned flour.
- Shake off the excess flour from the wings and place them on a sheet and lightly spray the covered chicken wings, not the basket.
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 Fahrenheit and place them in the basket. Let them cook for 12 and 15 minutes until brown and crispy.
- Flip the wings and increase the temperature to 400 Fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes for giving the wings extra crunch.
- Check with a meat thermometer if your chicken wings are ready, if the reading is at 165 Fahrenheit then they are ready inside and outside.
- Take out the wings and toss them in the buffalo wing sauce, and serve them hot with dipping sauce and other tendered veggies.
Directions for the buffalo wing sauce:
- Melt the butter cube in a saucepan on medium heat.
- Add brown sugar, and frank’s hot sauce and let it cook for a few minutes until it is not runny and coats the back of a spoon.
- You can add black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper for making it a spicier sauce. Add spices according to your spice levels like mild, medium, or extra hot.
- Move the freshly made buffalo sauce from the heat and cover the wings with it.
- Tip: Add 1:1 cornstarch to the water mixture in the sauce while on heat to make it thicker.
How long does it take to cook chicken wings in an air fryer?
It takes 20–22 minutes alone to make the delicious chicken wings. Simply preheat your air fryer for 2-3 minutes at 380°F and arrange the prepared wings in a single layer on the fryer basket with an inch between each one to ensure even cooking.
Flip wings every 5 minutes for a crispy skin texture. Increase the fryer temperature to 400 Fahrenheit and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve them hot and crunchy with your favorite dip.
How do you make buffalo chicken wings crispy in an air fryer?
There are several reasons and tips you need to understand before making wings just so you can master the supremely crispy buffalo chicken wings. The list is long but worthy,
- Absorb any moisture crippling on your chicken with a paper towel. Remember, less moisture means more crispiness.
- Use baking powder (not baking soda) for the desired coating and a golden brown finishing texture.
- Spray chicken wings with little oil for the batter to get stuck with the chicken.
- Air fry at low heat first (at 380 Fahrenheit).
- Don’t overcrowd the basket, cook in batches placing in a single layer and leaving some space between each of them.
- Flip every 5 minutes for even frying.
- Increase the temperature to 400 Fahrenheit and give 2 minutes stand for crunchy skin.
Do you put sauce on wings before or after air frying?
It is better to add the sauce after you air-fry the chicken wings. There are drawbacks: if you don’t do it, the wings sauce gets a smokey or burnt flavor, which is not okay.
Secondly, the air fryer basket is a whole mess because the sauce can stick to the basket.
The best thing to do is toss the chicken wings in the sauce when they are resting out of the basket for a few minutes, in this way the crispy skin will be allowed to absorb more sauce rather than splitting it everywhere but on the skin.
How do you Make wing sauce stick to the wings?
The key is to pat dry the chicken before coating it in the dry mixture, making sure the chicken skin is completely dry of moisture. Drizzle just a little virgin olive oil or the choice of your oil, then rub it with your hands (with gloves, of course) to make sure the dry ingredients stick completely and fully.
Finally, make it possible to flip chicken wings less, carefully, and not aggressively.
If there happens to be a problem with the consistency of your sauce, then there is a solution for that too. Make a magic slurry which is 1:1 cornstarch to water and add it to the sauce. Cook it on low heat until the sauce is thick enough for it to stick to the wings.
What is buffalo wing sauce made of?
The secret sauce, Buffalo wing sauce, is a combination of three main ingredients, which are fat (butter), vinegar, and cayenne pepper-based hot sauce. These ingredients are the foundation of wing sauce and can be made mild, medium, or hot simply by adding more cayenne pepper and sometimes a pinch of salt.
The butter makes the sauce creamy and a bit thick to coat itself perfectly on the wings while balancing out the spices. Buffalo sauce and hot sauce are different things because the fat makes the wing sauce more creamy and smooth rather than runny and just spicy.
What can you use in place of buffalo sauce?
I would suggest you use Frank’s hot sauce. It has everything I was looking for when craving a taste hit, just like buffalo wing sauce. Franks Hot Sauce is created just like buffalo sauce; aged cayenne red peppers are infused with water, salt, garlic powder, and distilled vinegar.
The only difference between Frank’s hot sauce and buffalo sauce is the original taste of paprika and natural butter.
If you haven’t got hold of Franks sauce, here are some substitutes you can opt but remember it won’t be smooth and sweet-tangly like buffalo sauce:
- Chili-garlic paste
- Curry paste
Are buffalo wings breaded?
Originally, buffalo wings were not breaded. They are traditionally deep-fried just like first-time inventions but never breaded and served with blue cheese dipping.
On the other hand, many people like their wings to be extra crunchy and dark golden brown but it can’t be achieved without breading the chicken wings unless they are double-fried or well-fried which you can always ask anywhere.
Breading doesn’t sound good when said with buffalo wings, but it gives the advantage of holding back the sauces more firmly than any other coating does until it reaches your lips and taste buds.
Are buffalo chicken wings healthy?
Buffalo chicken wings are rich in protein but, unfortunately, don’t fall into the healthy category if they are double-fried and smothered in oil. The alternative way to cook them to perfection is to grill or bake them, but for the more healthy wings is to air fry them, which uses roaming conventional heat to cook the food rather than wings drenched in oil.
Buffalo wings are termed healthy based on their containing some essential vitamins like phosphorus and selenium, which help in growth and also accelerate cell functions while maintaining chemicals in the body.
Meanwhile, they are unhealthy, particularly if consumed daily, because they contain fat, cholesterol, and high sodium, all of which are harmful to the heart.
What goes well with buffalo wings?
Buffalo chicken wings are a great form of appetizer served traditionally, but you can turn this typical meal into a great meal just by plating them with several other cooked sides. Here are some ideas you can try:
- Mac and cheese
- French fries
- Greek yogurt Ceaser salad with garlic croutons
- Fried rice
How Should The Air Fryer Be Prepared Before Adding The Chicken Wings?
While many air fryers include nonstick frying baskets and trays, including mine, wings are infamous for sticking to cooking surfaces (which then, are a pain to clean).
A light coat of cooking spray will lend an extra layer of protection. Of course, consult your air fryer’s owner’s manual—some recommend avoiding nonstick sprays.
How Can You Ensure Crispy Air-Fryer Buffalo Chicken Wings?
With air fryers, you want as little moisture as possible, so pat your chicken dry before cooking.
The crispier and more delicious the skin, the drier it is. While cooking, a spritz of cooking spray will help crisp up the wings.
In between pieces of chicken wings, try some blue cheese dip with crisp celery sticks. To round up the dinner, create some quick and easy air fryer french fries.
- Buffalo chicken wings originated in Buffalo, New-york; but it is enjoyed by the whole world today with their variations.
- Buffalo is not breaded and air-fried hence less fuss and less cleaning but the same crunchy saucy taste as deep frying.
- They can be made in batches in a single air-fry basket and have a plus point for your overall health.
- They are addicting appetizers but could also be a mixup with some other cooked foods to make a delicious lunch or dinner just in minutes.
- Buffalo chicken wings are served hot traditionally with blue cheese, slices of carrots, and sticks of celery.