Hold onto your taste buds, folks! We’re about to embark on a fiery and flavorful journey through the realm of spicy air fryer chicken wings.
Picture this: a batch of wings so crispy, they practically enchant you with each bite. And guess what? You won’t need a magic wand to make these enchanting wings – just an air fryer and a dash of courage to handle the heat.
I’d be honest, for the longest time, I stayed away from Air-fryers (I know, like, who does that?). But I did. In my defense, Air fryers were just an oven wanna-be that promised to cook things in half the time that it takes in the oven.
And given that I’m a slow cooker girlie and love my food to be slow-cooked to perfection and juiciness, I felt like an air fryer wasn’t an essential kitchen item for me.
BOY, WAS I WRONG!
Luckily, thanks to my husband and my hectic 9-5 job that makes it almost impossible to meal prep, I became more open to using air fryers.
And I’m so glad I did.
Surprisingly, one of my first recipes was this spicy air fryer chicken wings dish I’ll share with you all today. The first time I prepared it, it came out so crispy and juicy that I almost couldn’t believe the air fryer cooked it. This handy tool cooked it better than my oven, and I’m glad I used it.
So if you’re like me, still doubting if you should use an air fryer, or you just stumbled on this post looking for a chicken wing recipe, you’ve come to the right place. This spicy air fryer chicken wings recipe is so darn good that I can guarantee you will fall in love. And if you don’t, tell me in the comments because that will be very surprising.
So without further ado, let’s dig in.
Ingredients For Spicy Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Chicken Wings: For this recipe, I used nine chicken wingettes. Chicken wings are famous for their juicy and tender meat and crispy skin when cooked properly. However, you can still use chicken thighs or drumsticks. Just make sure to poke holes in them to absorb the flavor.
- Oil: I suggest using oil with a high smoke point, like avocado oil. The oil ensures the chicken wings are coated evenly with the spices in this recipe. It also helps in retaining moisture during cooking.
- Paprika: Paprika is used for its warm and earthy flavor, which adds depth to the overall taste. Depending on the paprika used, it can also provide a mild smokiness.
- Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper brings heat to the dish. Feel free to skip this ingredient if you want flavor without the heat.
- Red Pepper Flakes: It won’t be called spicy air fryer chicken wings without the heat, so adding this turns things up a notch. But again, feel free to skip this if you don’t want the heat.
- Minced Garlic: I used minced garlic for this recipe because it has more garlicky richness, but garlic powder will do just fine.
- Onion Powder: Like garlic powder, onion powder contributes a savory and aromatic element to the flavor profile. Together with garlic, it provides a robust base of flavors.
- Salt and Black Pepper: These basic seasonings are used in a pinch to balance and enhance the other ingredients’ flavors. They provide a harmonious base for the spices to shine.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar brings some sweetness to the marinade, balancing the spicy and savory elements. It helps caramelize the wings during cooking, adding a delightful glaze.
- Ground Allspice: Allspice is a primary component in Jamaican jerk seasoning, providing a unique Caribbean twist. It combines flavors reminiscent of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, adding complexity.
- Ground Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon contributes warmth and a touch of sweetness, complementing the other spices in the marinade.
- Ground Ginger: Ginger adds a hint of zing and a subtle spiciness. It can balance out the sweetness and enhance the overall flavor profile.
- Dried Thyme: Dried thyme brings an earthy and herbal note to the marinade. But dried oregano will also work if you don’t have thyme.
How To Make Spicy Chicken Wings in an Air Fryer
Prep the Wings:
Start by washing and patting the chicken wings dry with paper towels. This step is crucial for achieving that coveted crispiness. Place the wings in a large bowl and toss them with oil until evenly coated. Then mix paprika, minced garlic, brown sugar, ginger, pepper flakes, Allspice, thyme, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper in a separate bowl. Sprinkle this magical mix over the wings and toss until fully coated.
Into the Air Fryer:
Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (204°C). Place the seasoned wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
Pro tip: Make sure not to overcrowd the basket; this way, the wings can cook evenly and become crispy.
Let the Wings Soar:
Cook the wings for about 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through. As the aroma of this spicy air fryer chicken wings fills the air, you’ll see your wings transform into an irresistible shade of golden brown.
Checking Doneness for Chicken Wings
Determining when your spicy air fryer chicken wings are perfectly cooked is critical for achieving that crispy exterior and juicy interior. Here’s a simple trick to check for doneness:
Golden exterior: The wings should have a golden-brown color with a slight crispiness on the outside. The skin should appear crispy and cooked, but not burnt.
Internal Temperature: To ensure the wings are cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken wing away from the bone. The safe minimum internal temperature for chicken is 165°F (74°C).
Meat Juices: If you’re not using a thermometer, you can also check the juices. Pierce the meat near the bone with a fork or knife. If the juices run clear and not pink, the wings are likely done. If the juices are still pink or reddish, continue cooking in the air fryer.
Texture Test: Gently press the meat with a fork. If it feels tender and the meat easily comes off the bone, the wings are pretty much done. However, If there’s resistance or the meat feels tough, they may need more time to cook.
Remember that cooking times can vary based on wing size, air fryer model, and temperature settings. It’s always better to be safe and ensure your chicken wings are fully cooked to avoid any food borne illnesses. Enjoy your crispy and delicious spicy air fryer chicken wings!
Should I Marinate My Chicken Wings?
The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t need to marinate the chicken wings beforehand (although that can enhance the flavor); it is not necessary.
Frozen Wings in the Air Fryer? No Problem!
If you’re in a pinch and need to cook frozen wings, follow the same steps, but give them an extra 5-10 minutes in the air fryer. The result? Crispy, succulent wings that taste as though they were freshly thawed.
How Long to Cook Chicken Wings in Air Fryer?
The cooking time can vary based on the size of the wings and your air fryer model. But as a general rule of thumb, boneless wings cook faster than bone-in ones. For bone-in wings, a cooking time of 20 minutes at 400°F (204°C) will typically do the trick. However, it is always a good idea to perform a taste test to ensure they’re cooked to perfection.
Linking Back to the Spice Trail: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings
Speaking of spicy air fryer chicken wings, have you ever yearned for a taste of the Caribbean? Our Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings Recipe is a must-try for all flavor adventurers out there. These wings are marinated in an irresistible blend of spices and grilled to smoky perfection.
So there you have it! My delicious spicy air fryer chicken wings that will leave you licking your fingers and craving more.
Whether you’re a fan of fiery flavors or can’t resist a crispy bite, these wings will become a staple in your culinary adventure.
Spicy Air Fryer Chicken Wings Recipe
- 9 Chicken Wings - Washed and Patted dry with paper towels.
- 2 tbsp Oil - I used avocado oil
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1½ tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp Red Pepper flakes
- 1½ tbsp Minced Garlic - or 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- 1½ tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Ground Allspice
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme - or Oregano
- Wash chicken thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.
- Place the wings in a large bowl and toss them with oil until evenly coated.9 Chicken Wings, 2 tbsp Oil
- In a separate bowl, mix the rest of your ingredients1 tsp Paprika, 1½ tsp Cayenne pepper, 1 tsp Red Pepper flakes, 1½ tbsp Minced Garlic, 1 tsp Onion Powder, 1 tsp Salt, ½ tsp Black Pepper, 1½ tbsp Brown Sugar, 1 tsp Ground Allspice, 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon, 1 tsp Ground Ginger, 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- Sprinkle mix over the wings and toss until fully coated.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 °F. Place the seasoned wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Make sure not to overcrowd the basket; this way, the wings can cook evenly and become crispy.
- Cook the wings for about 18-20 minutes, flipping them halfway through to cook evenly.
- To check for doneness, ensure your chicken wings have a golden-brown, crispy exterior, reach an internal temperature of 165 °F, and have clear juices when pierced near the bone.
- Serve and Enjoy!