Easy Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings

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Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings are so simple to make and they come out so crispy on the outside with a nice juicy interior. Slathered with BBQ Sauce, they are simply irresistible.

air fryer bbq chicken wings

Cooking BBQ chicken wings in the air fryer is going to make you want to make them way more often. If you ask me, there’s no easier thing to make for just about any occasion. All you have to do is toss the wings into the air fryer basket and turn it on. I’m telling you – super simple!

The forced circulating hot air in the air fryer is what makes the skin super crisp, while keeping all the juices locked inside. It takes a lot longer to achieve the same result in the oven, so the meat ends up getting dried and tough if you attempt to get the perfect crispy skin.

I’m a pretty big fan of cooking chicken in the air fryer, like these boneless chicken thighs or even something simple like chicken strips. Give it a try and you’ll see – any chicken can be cooked well in the air fryer.

Ingredients You Need

chicken wings ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients for these BBQ chicken wings:

  • Chicken wings – If they aren’t cut into pieces when you buy them, you might have to remove the wing tip and detach the wing joint.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – I like the flavor that the olive oil adds to the chicken, however you can use any cooking oil you want. It just helps crisp up the skin. If you want to spray the chicken with oil, that’s fine too, just make sure you coat them well to keep the skin from drying out.
  • Dry Rub – We make our own dry rub with paprika, onion and garlic powders, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. If you don’t want to use a dry rub, just salt and pepper are fine.
  • BBQ Sauce – Use your favorite store-bought or homemade BBQ Sauce.

Equipment Needed

  • Air Fryer – (I use a Ninja MaxXL air fryer). If you don’t have an air fryer yet, check out these options to find one that fits your needs.
  • Bowl – Mix the chicken wings in a bowl with the olive oil and seasonings.

Pro Tips

  • You can cook chicken wings whole or halved (cut apart at the elbow).
  • Pat the wings dry before adding the oil and seasonings. This will help them crisp up better.
  • Air fryers come in different wattages, which can affect their cooking power. You may need to cook your food more or less than I do, based on your wattage. Times and temps are a general guideline.
  • There are many different sauces you can baste your wings with. Get creative if you want and substitute the BBQ sauce for teriyaki sauce, orange sauce, or honey sriracha sauce.

How to Make Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings

Step One: Prepare the Wings

seasoned chicken wings

Rinse and pat the chicken wings dry. Removing any excess moisture from the wings will help the skin crisp up. Detach the wings at the joint, if necessary. I have to do this about half the time that I buy them, depending on the brand.

In a large bowl, combine the wings with the olive oil and dry rub, or just salt and pepper. Toss to coat the pieces evenly.

You can also spray the wings once you’ve put them in the air fryer, if you don’t want to toss them in the oil. This will save you the extra bowl too.

Step Two: Air Fry the Wings

Raw Chicken Wings

Put the wings in the air fryer basket. It’s okay if they overlap. They don’t need to be in a single layer to cook properly. Cook the wings on 400 degrees F (200C) for 20 minutes.

At the halfway point, shake the basket so you move the wings around. This will help them get cooked evenly on all sides. You might do another shake near the end of cooking, too.

Seasoned Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer Basket

Step Three: Baste the Wings

With about 5 minutes to go, use a basting brush to brush on BBQ sauce, or any other glaze of your choice, if you want to.

After 25 minutes, the wings will be nice and crispy and ready to serve. If your wings were a little on the large side, you may need to cook them longer to make sure they’re cooked through. Insert a meat thermometer and make sure the wings have reached 165 degrees F. If not, put them back in for a few more minutes.

If you’re looking for a sauce to serve them with, check out these dips for chicken wings. I personally love to serve them alongside BBQ sauce, a sweet soy sauce glaze, or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

PRO TIP – The air fryer is the perfect way to reheat your leftover chicken wings without sacrificing their crispy, juicy texture.

bbq chicken wings

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I double the recipe?

Yes, you can double the recipe and make up to 2 pounds of chicken wings at a time, if you have a larger air fryer. I have a 5.5-quart air fryer basket and I find that 1.5 pounds of wings is the max that will fit without them being too crowded to get crispy.

When doubling, air fry for 25-30 minutes, or until the skin is crisp. Make sure you shake the basket at least twice during cooking. With so many wings, you might have to stir them with a spatula instead. Bake time will vary based on the size of your air fryer basket and the size of the wings, so be sure to check the temperature of the wings.

Can these chicken wings be baked instead?

If you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake the chicken wings in the oven instead. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and cook the wings on a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper for 30 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking.

Can I baste the chicken sings in the air fryer?

You can baste the chicken wings with the BBQ sauce right in the air fryer. There’s no need to take them out to do this. You just don’t want to do it too early on in the cooking process or it might burn.

To baste the chicken wings with BBQ sauce, wait until the last 5 minutes of cooking. So if you’re cooking them for 25 minutes, you’ll flip them after 15 minutes, then baste them after 20 minutes. Baste one side of the wings, cook for another 3 minutes, then flip and baste again. Cook until they reach your desired crispiness.

Chicken recipes are always handy to have for a quick dinner. Try air fryer chicken drumsticks, or this easy air fryer whole chicken recipe.

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bbq chicken wings

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings are so simple to make and they come out so crispy on the outside with a nice juicy interior.
5 from 73 votes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 668 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds (454 g) chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (118 ml) BBQ Sauce

Instructions
 

  • Rinse and pat dry the chicken wings.
  • In a large bowl, combine the wings with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat the pieces evenly.
  • Place the chicken wings in the air fryer basket and cook on 400˚F (200˚C) for 25 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking.
  • With 5 minutes left to go, baste the chicken wings with BBQ sauce. Continue cooking until done.

Notes

  • Bake time will vary based on the size of your air fryer and how many wings you put in the basket. You may need to increase the cook time for larger wings or when cooking more than 2 pound at a time.
  • There is no need to spray the basket or preheat the air fryer before cooking.You can cook chicken wings whole or halved (cut apart at the elbow).
    Pat the wings dry before adding the oil and seasonings. This will help them crisp up better in the air fryer.
  • There are many different sauces you can baste your wings with. Get creative if you want and substitute the BBQ sauce for teriyaki sauce, orange sauce, or honey sriracha sauce.
  • Air fryers come in different wattages, which can affect their cooking power. You may need to cook your food more or less than I do, based on your air fryer’s wattage. Times and temps are a general guideline.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 668kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 45gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 1710mgPotassium: 472mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 443IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Chicken
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