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Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings taste like they’re fresh off the grill. They’re spicy, sweet, a little smoky, and absolutely delicious.

low angle, closeup shot of barbecue chicken wings piled on a white platter

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These air fryer wings are easy to make in the air fryer and perfect when it’s too cold outside to cook on the grill.

These BBQ chicken wings are a perfect game day snack or an easy movie night dinner. With only six ingredients, it’s a quick, simple meal for the family and a great dish to bring to a game day party.

Why this recipe works so well

I love cooking chicken wings in the air fryer because they turn out so nice and crisp on the outside and tender and juicy inside. Using the air fryer is easier than either deep frying or grilling, and the results are so good, I may never go back to those other methods.

You want BBQ chicken wings to be nice and crispy. Deep frying is the default, and it does yield super crispy wings, but it makes a mess and uses a lot of oil. Grilling on an outdoor grill keeps your kitchen clean and makes flavorful wings, but they don’t get quite as crisp. It’s also not ideal in the winter when the patio is buried in snow or in the summer heat.

Making BBQ chicken wings in the air fryer is the perfect solution. Your kitchen stays clean, you don’t need to use a ton of oil, and you don’t have to stand outside in the cold or heat. Air fryer wings get crispy on the outside while staying tender and juicy on the inside. 

low angle shot of a pile of bbq chicken wings on a white platter with ranch dressing for dipping

What’s the best type of BBQ Sauce to use for these air fryer wings?

I like spicy wings, so I use a spicy-sweet barbecue sauce when I make my air fryer wings. My favorite BBQ sauce is Stubb’s Sweet Heat, but there are lots of great store-bought BBQ sauce options. Sweet Baby Rays is another one that’s really popular. 

The most important thing is to choose a BBQ sauce you love (or make your own honey BBQ sauce!)

overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make the recipe

The ingredients you need to make these air fryer wings

These spicy wings require only 6 ingredients, which you likely already have in your pantry. Here’s what you need (note that the complete recipe, including ingredient measurements and steps-by-step instructions, is included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post):

  • Greek seasoning  (or use a seasoning mix of your choice—garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, etc.)
  • Olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • White vinegar
  • Bone-in chicken wings
  • BBQ sauce 

How do you make these air fryer BBQ wings?

These air fryer chicken wings made are super easy to make. Here’s how (note that the complete recipe, including ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, is included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post):

  • Combine the seasoning mix, oil, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar.
  • Add the wings to the bowl and toss to coat well. 
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.
  • Arrange the wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket (you’ll have to cook wings in up to 4 batches, depending on the size of your air fryer) and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the wings are cooked through and golden brown.
  • Brush the BBQ sauce onto the wings.
  • Cook chicken wings in the air fryer for another 5 more minutes.
  • Serve your crispy chicken wings with additional BBQ sauce for dipping if desired. 

How do you serve these air fryer wings?

BBQ chicken wings are the obvious choice for a game day party, like the Superbowl. They’re also great for movie night, parties, or potlucks. 

I love to serve these air fryer bbq chicken wings for a quick dinner along with Air Fryer Cornbread Muffins and Creamy Coleslaw. I also like to offer more BBQ sauce for dipping. I also sometimes offer ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Which air fryer should you use?

There are many great air fryers on the market these days and any of them will work with all your favorite air fryer recipes. Here are my favorites.

Cosori Max XL Air Fryer

This large-capacity basket-style air fryer from Cosori is a top seller, and for good reason. It has a capacity of 5.8 quarts, so it is great for cooking medium-size batches of food. It has a nonstick basket, which makes cleanup easy. The price for this air fryer is great, too, as it is only around $120.

Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry 13-in-1 Air Fryer Countertop Oven

I have this air fryer oven and I love it soooo much! I love that it has a larger capacity than my basket air fryer, so I can often cook things in one batch instead of two. It also goes up to 450°F while most basket air fryers go up to 400°F. I also like the stainless-steel basket. 

The design of the Ninja Foodi air fryer oven also makes it easier for me to keep out in my small kitchen (I tuck my basket air fryer in a closet when I’m not using it because it is large and an awkward shape for keeping on the countertop.)

low angle shot of a pile of bbq chicken wings on a white platter with ranch dressing for dipping

Do I need to use parchment paper liners in my air fryer?

Air fryer basket liners aren’t necessary, but they do make cleanup easier. You can buy parchment paper liners to fit just about any air fryer basket. You can also buy silicone air fryer liners.

Want extra crispy air fryer bbq chicken wings?

If you want air fryer chicken wings that are extra crispy, this is a great trick. Try patting your chicken wings completely dry with paper towels and then tossing them in baking powder before you air fry them.

Baking powder—which is a combination of sodium bicarbonate, cream of tartar, and cornstarch—dries out the chicken skin and changes its chemistry so that it browns and crisp more quickly. 

shot of a hand holding up a chicken wing
Yield: Serves 4

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings

low angle shot of a pile of bbq chicken wings on a white platter with ranch dressing for dipping

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings taste like they’re fresh off the grill. They’re spicy, sweet, a little smoky, and absolutely delicious. They’re easy to make in the air fryer and perfect when it’s too cold outside to cook on the grill. They make a perfect game day snack or an easy movie night dinner. With only six ingredients, it’s a quick, simple meal for the family and or to bring to a party.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Cavender’s Greek seasoning (or use a seasoning mix of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken wings
  • ½ to 1 cup barbecue sauce (I like a hot and sweet style, like Stubb’s Sweet-Hot or Sweet Baby Ray’s)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the seasoning mix, oil, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar and mix well.
  2. Add the wings to the bowl and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or as long as overnight.
  3. Arrange the wings in a single layer in the air fryer (you’ll have to cook in up to 4 batches, depending on the size of your air fryer) and cook 400°F for 10 to 12 minutes, until the wings are cooked through and golden brown.
  4. Brush the BBQ sauce onto the wings and cook at 350°F for 5 more minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.

Notes

Unless you have an extra large air fryer, you'll need to cook these wings in at least 2 batches.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 1617Total Fat 117gSaturated Fat 40gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 67gCholesterol 372mgSodium 4509mgCarbohydrates 62gFiber 3gSugar 14gProtein 77g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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By on January 20th, 2022

About Robin Donovan


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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