Whether you’re prepping snacks for a weekend spent watching sports or just want to spruce up your weekday dinner with something a little non-traditional, chicken wings are a great meal! Though they’re white meat, chicken wings are just as tasty and full of vibrant flavor as the darker meat you’ll find on the legs and thighs.
These chicken wings are dry-rubbed with a blend of spices then cooked to absolute perfection in our secret weapon, the air fryer.
Why the air fryer?
Air fryers are countertop cooking devices that circulate piping hot air onto the food in a fryer-style basket. There isn’t a need for too much oil, so it’s not technically “frying” the food, although it does result in super crispy bites that have such a satisfying crunch.
That’s why we love the air fryer for this recipe. It’s a healthier way to cook, and you can make just about anything in the fryer — from crispy potatoes to reheated pizza that tastes almost like a fresh slice. Plus, it’s a faster cook than a traditional oven. There’s less of it to heat up and the force of the hot air propelled thanks to the fan means that even if you’re running late, you’ll get your chicken wings in time for the big game…or just in time to feed hungry bellies!
The best part, which we can’t believe we left til now — these devices can be very reasonably priced! Ranging from $30 on the low end, the air fryer is an investment in your future meals.
Dry rub vs saucy wings
When it comes to thinking about wings, sauce tends to jump to the mind first — after all, wings dripping in barbecue sauce are a mainstay of the imagination. But a dry rub actually has some benefits over the sauce. On a basic level, dry-rubbed wings are way less messy than saucy ones.
But it goes deeper than that. When it comes to cook time and getting a nice sear on your meat, the wetness of a sauce or a marinade needs to evaporate before the meat itself can cook. Dry rubs evade that problem neatly by being, well…dry. You’ll achieve a caramelized, crispy crust in no time.
Another key difference between dry rubs and sauce is that you don’t need to marinate the rub. You simply throw it on right before cooking, and voilá — ready, set, eat!
How to make Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Wash and dry your chicken wings. Make sure they’re completely dry so the spice blend has a chance to adhere to the skin.
Add all your spices into a big bowl. Mix them together until the result is a vibrant, colorful blend.
Place the chicken wings in the fryer basket. Set air fryer to 380 degrees F. cook for 28-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. (Be sure not to crowd the basket.
When they are done they are going to be nice and crispy on the outside! Serve with a side of ranch, carrots, and celery!
Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- 2 lbs chicken wingettes and drummettes
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder
- 2 tsp kosher salt (more or less to taste)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees F.
- Wash and dry your chicken wings. Make sure they’re completely dry so the spice blend has a chance to adhere to the skin.
- Add all your spices into a big bowl. Mix them together until the result is a vibrant, colorful blend.
- Place the chicken wings in the fryer basket, and cook for 28 minutes, flipping halfway through. (Be sure not to crowd the basket.