Air frying frozen chicken wings is an excellent way to enjoy juicy, tender chicken wings without all of the oil that goes along with deep frying. Learn how to air fry 3 types of frozen chicken wings all in under 30 minutes with no need to thaw!
Cooking frozen chicken wings in your air fryer is such an easy way to cook wings, and there is virtually no preparation involved. Simply open your package of frozen wings and dump them into your air fryer basket. Cook, toss with your favorite sauce and enjoy!
But I am also giving you a guide here for using a dry rub seasoning or coating them in a crispy breading similar to their deep fried counterpart.
The entire process takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Air fryer frozen chicken wings are perfect for busy evenings or those nights you forget to thaw out dinner. Or maybe you just found that package of chicken at the bottom of the deep freezer and thought wings sounded yummy!
Whether you coat your air fried wings in your favorite sauce or use a dry rub, the method and timing is nearly the same. You can also bread them for a result most similar to traditional deep frying. I've included all these instructions below to make it easy for you.
And if you're looking for instructions on how to air fry precooked frozen wings, I've included that below too!
Ingredients and Tools Needed
- Frozen raw chicken wings
- Salt and pepper
- Sauce of choice
Optional variations are to use a dry rub (see suggestions below) or a breading from flour, cornmeal, milk and egg.
You also need your air fryer, digital thermometer and tongs. Plus any bowls if tossing in sauce or for making a breading. I most often use my Instant Omni Plus air fryer which can hold more wings than my basket style air fryers.
How To Make Sauced Wings
If you're going to coat your cooked chicken wings in a sauce, air fry the wings until they are completely cooked. Then toss them in your chosen sauce. There is no need to use oil when coating the wings in a dipping sauce.
How To Make Dry Rub Wings
If using a dry rub to season the wings, you'll add the rub to the wings once they finish the first 10 minutes of cooking. It's also not necessary to use any oil when making dry rub chicken wings.
How To Make Breaded Wings
Breaded wings are a little more involved and require more time. Although if want the closest result to crispy, deep fried chicken wings, breading them is the way to go. Once the wings have finished the first 10 minutes of cooking, which is essentially just thawing them out, remove them from the air fryer. Coat in a flour and cornmeal mixture, then in an egg and milk wash, transfer back to the flour and cornmeal mixture and recoat. Put back into the air fryer, spray with a generous amount of cooking oil, and continue air frying for 10-15 minutes. They will be crispy and golden brown. Serve plain or allow them to cool for a few minutes and then toss in sauce.
Combine ½ cup flour, ½ cup cornmeal, ¾ salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ½ teaspoon paprika to make the flour/cornmeal mixture. In another bowl, mix 2 eggs and 1 cup of milk to make the egg/milk wash.
Instructions: Raw and Frozen
STEP 1: Remove frozen chicken wings from the package and place into the air fryer basket. Pat dry with a paper towel. Air fry at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204°C) for 10 minutes. This initial stage of air frying thaws out the chicken.
STEP 2: Remove the chicken from the air fryer and drain any liquid that has accumulated at the bottom. Put the wings back into the air fryer basket, spacing them out so they are not touching. Work in batches if needed. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper.
*See above for instructions if using a dry rub or breading.
STEP 3: Air fry for an additional 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Check that internal temperature has reached 165°F before removing from air fryer. Toss with dipping sauce of choice and serve warm.
Instructions: Precooked and Frozen
If you bought a bag of completely cooked frozen wings, you can skip the above steps. Simply dump the wings into the air fryer basket and air fry for 15-20 minutes at 400°F / 204°C. If they are stacked, toss half way through. Many chicken brands are adding air frying instructions to their precooked foods since it's becoming such a popular cooking method. Check your package and use the air fryer instructions there instead of mine if they are included.
Helpful Air Frying Tips
- It may be easier to remove the frozen wings from the package if left to thaw for 30 minutes or so on the counter. You can also run the package under warm water for a quick thaw out.
- Don't overcrowd the basket. For the best crispy results, the wings shouldn't touch. Work in batches if needed.
- Dry wings with a paper towel before air frying, as this will remove any excess liquid that could prevent the skin from crisping.
- Don't forget to drain any liquid that has accumulated at the bottom of the air fry basket or tray after the first 10 minutes. If it's left there, it will create steam that will work to steam your chicken rather than crisp it up.
- Every air fryer is different and cooks at various speeds. For the first time cooking any recipe, get to know your air fryer by constantly checking in on the food and monitoring the results. Your air fryer may need more or less time than mine.
Yes, the FDA considers it safe to cook chicken directly from frozen in the air fryer.
From frozen, chicken wings take about 25 minutes total time to reach an internal temperature of 165°F when air frying at 400°F. This is the temperature at which chicken is considered safe to consume.
You can certainly thaw the wings prior to air frying if you want. They will cook quicker, so just adjust the timing and follow the same instructions. Thawed chicken wings may only take 10-15 minutes to fully cook.
Sure! Boneless wings cook quicker than bone-in wings so make sure to check the internal temperature sooner. It should take about 10-15 minutes for boneless wings to cook through.
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings
- 1 lb frozen chicken wings bone-in
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup dipping sauce see notes
- Remove frozen chicken wings from the package and place into the air fryer basket. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Air fry chicken at 400°F / 204°C for 10 minutes (to thaw).
- Remove the chicken from the air fryer and drain any liquid that has accumulated at the bottom. Put the wings back into the air fryer basket, spacing them out so they are not touching (work in batches if needed). Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper. *See notes section if using a dry rub or breading.
- Air fry for an additional 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Check that internal temperature has reached 165°F before removing from air fryer. Toss with dipping sauce of choice and serve warm.