Air fryer frozen chicken wings make a quick and easy appetizer or snack. Here’s how to make perfectly crispy chicken wings in your air fryer from frozen, with no need to thaw them first!
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If (like me) you have ever forgotten to defrost the chicken ahead of time when you are about to cook dinner then this recipe is for you!
You can air fry chicken wings from frozen, but there are a couple of tricks to getting them really crispy, and getting the cooking time exactly right can be tricky.
If you want to cook fresh chicken wings (well done if you remembered to take them out of the freezer last night!), then try this recipe for regular air fryer chicken wings.
Scroll down for a printable recipe card for these air fryer frozen chicken wings, or read on for all the details!
How to cook crispy chicken wings from frozen
Normally before air frying chicken, I recommend patting it dry. This is so that the outside of the food can start crisping up immediately to get that super crispy skin that we all want.
However, if you are cooking chicken wings from frozen then you can’t remove this surface moisture, it is still there, just frozen to the outside of the chicken. That is why the first stage of the cooking process for these frozen chicken wings is to take the edge off the freeze, and pat the surface moisture away before adding the seasoning and oil.
Seasoning frozen chicken wings
The recipe below just calls for ‘seasoning’, I thought I would keep it simple, so you can choose whatever chicken seasoning or sauce you like. Some of my go-tos are:
- plain ol’ salt and pepper
- lemon pepper spice blend (check out this recipe for air fryer lemon pepper chicken wings)
- Cajun seasoning
- BBQ sauce (try this recipe for easy air fryer bbq chicken wings)
- Jerk chicken sauce
Can you use dry rub with frozen chicken wings? Yes you can, though you shouldn’t apply it until after removing the surface moisture. By then this chicken will be hot, so apply the dry rub using tongs or a spatula.
Cooking frozen chicken wings in an air fryer
Place chicken wings in the air fryer basket in a single layer. It is OK if they are slightly touching, but try to ensure there is space around them so the air flow can reach all surfaces of the chicken. Depending on the size of your air fryer you may need to cook the wings in batches, unless you have a double layer rack.
Air fry them for 5 minutes at 285°F (140°C). This slightly defrosts the outside of the wings, and means that you can remove some of the surface moisture. This is the easiest way to get really crispy chicken wings when cooking them from frozen.
Remove from the air fryer basket, and using tongs, toss in a bowl with olive oil and sauce or seasonings.
Alternatively, use the cheats method: leaving the wings in the air fryer basket, spray them with oil, then carefully sprinkle seasoning on top. Press seasoning in with tongs, then flip the wings over and do the same to the other side.
Air fry the wings at 320°F (160°C) for twenty minutes flipping the wings halfway through the cooking time. Ensure they have reached the safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) by using a meat thermometer to test the thickest part.
How to serve Chicken Wings
Once the chicken wings are finished cooking, I usually toss them in a sauce, or serve them with a dipping sauce on the side depending on whether I am serving them with a main meal, as snacks, or as an appetizer. Some family favorites are:
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Hot sauce
- Buffalo sauce
- Blue cheese dipping sauce
- Sweet chili sauce
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings Recipe Card
How to cook frozen chicken wings in an air fryer.
- 1.5 lb Frozen Chicken Wings - raw
- 2 teaspoons seasoning
- Olive oil spray
- Preheat the air fryer to 285°F (140°C).
- Spray air fryer basket with olive oil.
- Place frozen wings in air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Air fry from chicken wings for 5 minutes.
- Carefully pat them dry with paper towels to remove any surface moisture that has formed.
- Remove from the air fryer basket, and using tongs, toss in a bowl with olive oil and seasoning.
- Return chicken wings to the air fryer basket skin side down.
- Change the air fryer temperature to 355°F (180°C), and air fry wings for 20 minutes, flipping them over half way through the cooking time.
- Use an instant read thermometer to ensure that this wings are fully cooked through and have reached the safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
- Toss with your favorite dipping sauce, and serve.
- Always confirm safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) has been reached at the thickest part before consuming.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 952mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 19g
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