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Air Fryer Chicken Wings – Made From Thawed Or Frozen Wings

One of my favorite recipes to make in my Air Fryer are Chicken Wings, even if they are still frozen! They turn out nice and crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.

And you know what the best part is? They are naturally a low-carb food! So you’ll get to enjoy the taste of classic chicken wings without the deep-fried guilt that comes with them.

It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But that’s the thing, ever since I bought my air fryer, I’ve been enjoying the taste of traditionally “fried” foods without all the extra calories.

air fryer chicken wings
Air Fryer Chicken Wings – they turn out perfect every time, even with you start with frozen chicken wings!

Although, if I’m being completely honest, I have to admit that I like air fried food even more than I do traditional fried foods. In my opinion, the less grease taste the better!

However, I have also made several foods that would typically be made in a grill or in the oven as well. And the air fryer version not only tastes better but sometimes it is way more convenient than traditional cooking methods.

And let me tell you, having an air fryer is a life-saver when you want to grill a hamburger or steak, but it’s pouring rain or bitterly cold outside. For the instructions for those recipes and more be sure to check out all my Air Fryer Recipes.

However, today is all about chicken wings. Delicious air fryer chicken wings made right in your own kitchen, without even turning the oven on.

Frozen Chicken Wings

But if you are like me, when I purchase a bag of chicken wings, I almost always forget to put them in the refrigerator to thaw a day or two ahead of when I want to cook them. That is typically because I usually make them as a spur of the moment decision.

However, for this recipe, it doesn’t matter if they are fresh or frozen. In fact, you don’t need to thaw them at all! You can cook frozen wings in the air fryer with no issues.

You are probably wondering if air fried wings are going to taste or have the same texture as deep-fried wings. Well, the answer is yes!

frozen chicken
Yes, you can still cook frozen chicken wings in the Air Fryer, and they turn out delicious every time!

I have to say, that when cooked in the air fryer, chicken wings have a similar or maybe even a superior taste and texture than regular deep-fried wings.

That is, as long as you know how to cook them right. I have a few tips and tricks to getting them done perfectly. You’ll get the same or even better wings than you ever did with a deep fryer.

The only difference is, the air fryer wings are healthier!

The Secret To Perfectly Cooked Chicken Wings

So, what’s the trick to get your air-fried wings tasting better than ever? It’s all about adjusting the temperature just the right way.

Don’t worry. It’s not complicated! In order to get perfectly cooked chicken wings you need to start cooking them at a lower temperature. And before you pull them out of the air fryer, let them cook at a higher temperature.

Why do you need to turn up the heat at the end of the process? This will allow the chicken wings that are almost fully cooked to become nice and crisp on the outside, while staying moist and delicious on the inside.

When you start cooking them at a low temperature this allows the meat cook. Once the wings are cooked, you turn up the heat to get the crispy texture on the skin that everyone loves.

I know several wing recipes that suggest coating your wings in flour, baking powder, or something similar to make them extra crispy. However, you don’t need that extra step when you cook them using this method.

It’s all about temperature! Now that you know that, let’s get to the specific recipe.

Air Fryer Chicken Wings Recipe

*The complete and detailed recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for the tips and variations that can make this recipe even better, just for you!


  • 2-3 lbs chicken wings and/or drumettes
  • Dry rub or wing sauce
dry rub


The first step in cooking the wings is to spray the basket with olive oil and preheat the air fryer if your brand requires you to do so. This will help prevent the skin of the wings from sticking to the surface.

If you are starting with thawed wings and wanting to use a dry rub to flavor them, toss the wings in oil. Then sprinkle the dry rub on the wings.

However, if you are cooking frozen wings, you will add the dry rub a little later.

Now place the wings in the air fryer basket. Although it is best to cook them in a single layer, you can stack the wings on top of each other. However, you will need to shake the basket or rotate the wings part way though the cooking process for even cooking.

Close the basket and cook them for 25 minutes at 380°F. Then flip and/or rotate the wings after they have been cooking for 15 minutes.

How To Cook Frozen Wings

For frozen chicken wings, add an extra five minutes to the total cook time. Therefore, with the time adjustment, instead of flipping them at the 15 minute mark, turn them after 20 minutes of cooking.

If you prefer to use a dry rub on your frozen wings, rather than tossing them in wing sauce after they are cooked, make sure you sprinkle the seasoning on the wings once you go to flip them. The oil released from the skin will make the perfect binding agent for the dry rub to stick to the wings.

crispy skin

The Key To Crispy Skin

Although you could eat the wings once the reach the internal temperature of 165°F, it is best to cook them just a little longer and at a higher temperature.

The reason is two-fold. The extra cook time allows the wings to become fall off the bone tender. In addition, finishing them off at a higher temperature allows the skin to get nice and crispy.

Therefore when the initial cook time is up, increase the air fryer temperature to 400°F. Then continue to cook the wings for an extra 5-10 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on the wings so that they turn out nice and crispy without burning.

Carefully remove the wings from the basket and serve warm with your favorite wing or dipping sauce!

How To Flavor Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Just like when you go to a restaurant to order wings, you can choose to have them served plain, coated in your favorite wing sauce, or have a dry rub added to them.

And the same holds true when you cook them in your air fryer. However, the timing of the seasoning does matter.

chicken wings and ranch

As mentioned above, it is best to add the dry rub seasoning when the wings are already partially cooked. However, wait until the wings are completely cooked and crisp before coating them in your favorite wing sauce.

Do this by placing the cooked wings in a large bowl. Then drizzle the wing sauce on top of the wings and carefully toss the wings in the sauce. Or serve them plain with the wing sauce on the side.

Although I love a great Garlic Parmesan sauce, my absolute favorite wing sauce comes from the legendary sauce from the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY. Legend has it they’re the place where Buffalo Chicken Wings were invented!

However, one of the best reasons to make air fryer chicken wings at home is that you and your family and switch up the sauces without any extra charge!

Enjoy! Mary

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Air Fryer Chicken Wings

air fryer chicken wings

Crispy chicken wings cooked in the air fryer with absolutely no oil! Season with your favorite dry rub or wing sauce for a great appetizer or meal.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2-3 lbs chicken wings and/or drumettes, fresh or frozen
  • dry rub or wing sauce


  1. If your brand of air fryer requires you to preheat, do so at 380°F. Then place the chicken wings in the basket and close the air fryer.
  2. Cook for 25 minutes at 380°F. Turn the wings over at the 15 minute mark. If using frozen wings, increase cooking time to 30 minutes.
  3. When the time is up, increase the air fryer temperature to 400°F and cook for 5 more minutes until the skin becomes brown and crisp.
  4. Transfer to a bowl, add toss with your favorite wing sauce


  • If you prefer to use a dry rub seasoning, coat fresh or thawed wings before they go in the air fryer. To coat frozen wings in a dry rub, wait until you flip them over half way through the cooking time. Then sprinkle the seasoning on the partially cooked wings.
  • For fall-apart tender wings cook until the internal temperature reaches 180°F when tested with an instant read digital thermometer.
  • To coat the wings in your favorite wing sauce, remove the cooked wings from the air fryer basket and place them in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over top of the wings and toss to coat.
  • Serve with celery, ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 751Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 188mgSodium: 903mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 39g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

Mary Neese

Sunday 3rd of February 2019

Made these wings for our Super Bowl get together. We put them on the Keep Warm setting in the oven after they were done in the air fryer so we could make French fries in the air fryer to go with them. The wings were perfect!! Crispy, perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned. Half with barbeque sauce and half with hot sauce and butter. This recipe is a definite keeper.


Monday 4th of February 2019

We are so glad that you enjoyed them as much as we do!

Jacqui Rivers

Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

Thank you! I just made chicken wings using your frozen instructions and it worked perfectly! Put my favorite BBQ on it and they are so crunchy and tasty.


Thursday 24th of January 2019

They are one of our favorite things to eat! So glad you enjoyed them.

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