A quick and easy alternative to that bar-food favorite on National Hot Wings Day!
On July 29th, we celebrate a very special, uniquely American food; the hot wing. Call ’em what you want; Buffalo wings, hot wings, or just simply call them wings. This great tasting, horribly unhealthy food supposedly originated from Buffalo, NY. In 1964, Teressa Bellisimo, a bar owner, needed a quick solution to the problem of feeding her son and his friends who stopped by her establishment, The Anchor Bar, unexpectedly one evening. What resulted from that night has grown into a wildly popular and now traditional dish served at bars and restaurants across America.
Wings, as I tend to refer to them, are one of my favorite foods. I especially enjoy them with college football (War Damn Eagle!) and cold beer, but I find myself getting the craving for them often. While I’d love to do it, running out for wings and beer every time I have the craving isn’t very practical. Luckily though, they are easily prepared in the air fryer!
To prepare quick and easy air fryer wings, you’ll need the chicken wings of course. Frozen wings are great for this, as you can keep them in your freezer and break them out whenever the craving hits you! Tonight I used Kroger grocery store brand frozen “Party Wings” that my wife, Stacey, picked up for me on sale this past weekend.
While this particular bag states they will “cook perfectly without thawing,” in order to prepare these to cook in the air fryer, they do need thawed first. Once you have some raw, thawed chicken wings, you’ll need to pat them dry and get your “dredge” ready. I use a mixture of flour, cayenne pepper, fresh ground pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder to coat my wings. My suggestion is start with a half cup of flour and add spices to your taste. Simply mix the flour and spice mixture together in a bowl and pour it over your wings in a gallon resealable bag. Close it up and shake it all around to evenly coat your chicken pieces. Sometimes I will seal up the bag with the left over flour mixture and store it in the freezer for future use.
Once your wings are ready for the air fryer, it’s time to set your air fryer up to cook them. I highly recommend you use non-stick spray to coat your air fryer basket as cleaning up afterwards without having used it is a nightmare!
Take each wing piece out of the resealable bag and shake the excess coating off into the bag. Place the wings into the air fryer basket being careful to try and not overlap wings too awfully much to promote airflow around them.
To “fry” these bad boys, I set my air fryer to it’s hottest temperature, 400°, and put the timer to 20 minutes. The beauty of cooking wings in the air fryer is you don’t need to introduce hot oil to actually fry them. An air fryer is basically a small, quick heating, convection oven that circulates hot air around whatever food you are air frying. There is just enough oil in the skin of the chicken wing pieces so that when you add the flour based coating and circulating hot air, you get crispy skin!
While the wings are cooking, you’ll want to check on them every so often to see how well they are getting cooked. While I set the timer for around 20 minutes usually, I keep a constant watch on the wings and typically pull them when I feel they are crispy enough to hold onto the sauce properly.
While the wings are cooking, it’s a good idea to use the time to get your hot wing sauce ready. I like to start with a traditional wing sauce base; cayenne pepper sauce and melted butter. I prefer Frank’s Red Hot Original sauce, mixing about 2/3 of a cup of the Frank’s Red Hot Original with 1/2 cup of melted butter. You can add or subtract butter to play with the hotness of your wing sauce; simply adding butter will temper some of the heat. I also add about 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce and several dashes of Tabasco Sauce (my favorites are the Chipotle or the Jalapeno Tabasco sauces). Get inventive here and have some fun! Try adding different ingredients for different effects. I’ve made this wing sauce before with additions like ranch seasoning, melted cheddar cheese and dice pickled-jalapeno pieces.
Once you’ve determined you are happy with the crispiness of your wings, use a set of tongs to remove them from the air fryer basket and place them in a bowl (preferably a bowl you have a lid or cover for). Pour your hot wing sauce over top, cover, and shake up the wings to make sure they are evenly coated in sauce.
I like to plate my wings with the perfect side for wings; Publix brand Restaurant Style Frozen French Fries are awesome prepared in the air fryer. As for a dipping sauce, my preference in ranch! The best thing about these home made wings is that you probably wont be able to tell them apart from the bar-prepared fried version!
What you need to know about air fryer hot wings:
- You need an air fryer and you need to try making air fryer wings!
- They are DAMN good!
- It is fun experimenting with the sauce ingredients!
- It’s much easier cleaning up after air frying wings than cleaning up after deep frying wings!
- Happy National Hot Wings Day!
- This is my design.