Air-Fried Buffalo Wings

Air-fried Buffalo wings are a favorite appetizer, but without all the guilt or trouble that comes with deep-frying. They are tasty, tangy and tempting! This recipe only has three ingredients so they couldn't be easier. I like to use fresh whole chicken wings because they are meatier than the already sectioned chicken wings that you find in the freezer section of the store. 

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Buffalo Wings on parchment paper with celery and carrot sticks and dip.

What’s Buffalo got to do with it?

Buffalo is a city in upstate New York. It is also the name of a very large mammal native to North America that can weigh up to 2200 pounds, but there’s no way those mammals have wings, so the name of Buffalo Wings has to be attributed to that town in upstate New York. It’s true. The reason we call one of our favorite chicken snacks Buffalo Wings is because the credit for the recipe goes to the Anchor Bar in… you guessed it… Buffalo. 

Buffalo Wings on parchment paper with celery and carrot sticks and dip.

Air Fryer Buffalo Wings

Buffalo wings are glorious and delicious and… well, deep-fried before being tossed with a mixture of hot sauce and butter. If you’re someone who’s concerned about calories and/or fat, Buffalo wings might be a bit of a rare dream for you. Air-frying those wings instead of deep-frying them can reduce the side of guilt that always accompanies this snack, however, and make them something that you can enjoy more often. More than that, however, air-frying the wings is actually a whole lot easier than deep-frying them. Air fryers were practically MADE for chicken wings – the wings sit in a basket allowing all the grease to drip down into a tray below. Foods that are not sitting in their own fat are not only less greasy, but get crispier too. That’s a win-win for air-frying!

Buffalo Wings on parchment paper with celery and carrot sticks and dip.

The Secret to really tasty Buffalo Wings

Most Buffalo wings that you’d get out at a restaurant are simply deep-fried and then tossed with butter and hot sauce. The flavor is all in the sauce, which is on the outside of the wings. The secret to getting even more of that Buffalo sauce flavor on your wing is to marinate the wings in the sauce first, THEN air-fry them and then toss again at the end. That initial marinating time makes all the difference, getting the flavor inside the wing as well as on the outside. They are still messy and finger-licking good, but even more so!

If you’re looking for that awesome Buffalo wing flavor, but want to take it a notch lighter, try Buffalo Cauliflower

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Air-Fried Buffalo Wings

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 14 m
  • Marinate Time: 2 h
  • Total Time: 24 m
  • Servings:
    About 20 Wings


  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • ¼ cup hot sauce like Crystal or Frank’s
  • salt to taste
  • Finishing Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • ¼ cup hot sauce like Crystal or Frank’s


  1. Prepare the chicken wings by cutting off the wing tips and discarding (or freezing for chicken stock). Then, divide the drumettes from the wingettes or paddles and place both in a bowl or zipper sealable bag.
  2. Combine the melted butter and the hot sauce and stir to blend well.
  3. Pour this over the chicken wings and let the wings marinate for 2 hours to overnight.
  4. Pre-heat the air fryer to 400ºF for 3 minutes.
  5. Air-fry the wings for 12 minutes, shaking half way through cooking. When both batches are done, toss them all back into the basket for another 2 minutes to heat through and finish cooking.
  6. While the wings are air-frying, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and ¼ cup of hot sauce.
  7. Remove the wings from the air fryer and toss them again in this sauce and serve with some cooling blue cheese dip and celery sticks.
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Comments (23)Post a Reply

  1. Just watched watched air Fryer class. Got my air fryer for Christmas and haven’t used it but a couple of times
    Hope to see another session soon. Is this a daily class? Also where can I purchase your air fryer cook book for beginners. Thanks

    1. Hi Claudia,
      My air fryer 101 class is an introductory class to air frying, but not a daily class. I do have other air fryer videos on the website, showing specific recipes and I hope to do more in the future too. Be sure to sign up to be a Blue Jean Chef Insider and you’ll always know when a new class is on the site. If you are interested in my cookbooks, both books have recipes for beginners and more advanced cooks. Air Fry Everything and Air Fry Genius can be found in the shop on my website here:

    1. Actually no. There’s enough salt in most store-bought hot sauces to season the chicken and with the heat of the hot sauce you choose, you probably won’t need any pepper either. Usually though, I do season meats first, but not for this recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    These were the best and easiest wings I’ve ever made at home. They are delicious and the air fryer makes the preparation the easiest thing in the world. You’ll love the flavor. These will be my new go to for chicken wings!!!

  3. 5 stars
    Not a big fan of chicken wings, but after trying this with my new air fryer, I actually crave them!!! I love how crispy and flavorful they are. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    1. You sure can substitute caauliflower florets. I would blanch the cauliflower first for a few minutes and then dry it well before proceeding with the recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    Quick, easy, DELICIOUS!!! I made these for super bowl Sunday & they were a complete hit. Also made eggplant fries based on your zucchini fries recipe. Another winner. Thanks Meredith!

  5. 3 stars
    The flavor was spot on. But I prefer a really crispy skin and for some reason, I just didn’t get it here. Suggestions?

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I usually find that Buffalo Wings do come out crispy in the air fryer, but you do have to cook them in a single layer, not piled on top of each other. If you want really crispy, make sure you dry the wings well, and toss them with oil, air-fry in a single layer. You could also elevate the wings in the basket to position them closer to the heating element by laying them on a rack, bed of crumbled up foil or an inverted baking dish. I am assuming you cooked them longer, but the longer they are in the air fryer the crispier they will get too.

    1. Hi there. The difference between an air fryer and an oven with an air fryer mode is the placement of the fan in relation to the heating element. In most air fryers, the fan is right behind the element, so it really forces hot air directly at the food. In most ovens, the elements are on the top and bottom of the oven and the fan is on the side or back of the oven. (check this on your new stove) So, while the fan blows the hot air around, it is not quite as intense. Also, the oven cavity is much bigger than an air fryer, so again it is less direct. That said, you can use air fryer recipes in your oven with the air fryer mode, but you might need to add a minute or two. Try to put the food on a rack that is over a baking sheet to replicate the air fryer basket (which is either perforated or made of a mesh).

  6. 5 stars
    Delish! Hubby likes wings with just dry rub so he can dip after being cooked. Any tips so the dry rub stays on during cooking? Thank you 😊

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