It’s so easy to cook frozen chicken wings in the air fryer and I’ve got the tips you need for tender meat and crispy skin.
If you love chicken wings as much as my family does, you’re always looking for new ways to make them. Sometimes I’m looking for new delicious flavors for a sauce or dry rub and sometimes, like today, I just want to find a really great method that’s easy and quick. For these frozen chicken wings, that meant turning to my trusty air fryer and figuring out the perfect timing.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
Can You Cook Chicken Wings From Frozen?
Absolutely! I already knew that cooking chicken wings from frozen works great in the oven, but I don’t always need a whole sheet pan of wings. I wanted to figure out the best way to cook frozen wings in the air fryer too for when I just want enough for one or two people.
Of course, in looking into the perfect approach to do this, I realized there is a lot of variety of wings that can be purchased at the store. In addition to wings at the meat counter, there were a lot of options in the frozen food aisle as well. So, I decided to test a selection of different types.
Plain Frozen Wings In The Air Fryer
These chicken wings were just plain wings from the meat counter that I put in the freezer to cook later. You don’t need to defrost them first, unless they are stuck together. If so, microwave them first for about 30 seconds to thaw them just enough to separate.
These wings turned out so good. The perfect timing is 20 minutes at 400°F for chicken wings with crispy skin and tender meat. I didn’t even need to flip them or move them around, but you do want to cook them in a single layer, which does limit the amount you can cook at a time. This version is what is in the recipe card below.
Reheating Frozen Wings In The Air Fryer
Slightly on the flip side of the previous test, I tested reheating frozen chicken wings in the air fryer. These were plain meat counter wings that I cooked, then froze for later. The results were okay, but not my favorite. They still got crispy, but ended up a little dry, so you’ll want to use a sauce with this method. My Smoky BBQ Sauce or Buffalo Wing Sauce are always good choices.
Instructions: Put 12 fully cooked, frozen wings in the air fryer basket at 350°F and cook for 12 minutes, then toss with sauce. More than 12 can be cooked at a time, but increase cook time to 14-16 minutes.
Air Fryer Breaded Frozen Wings
Now, there are also a lot of different kinds of chicken wings that can be found in the frozen food aisle. They don’t always have instructions on how to cook them in the air fryer though, which can be pretty frustrating.
The first kind I tested were Foster Farms Crispy Take Out Wings which are a breaded chicken wing. I was able to fit two packages, about 16 wings, in my air fryer. The results were tender, moist, and juicy wings with a crisp exterior. Definitely a good choice for the air fryer!
Instructions: Add about 16 breaded frozen chicken wings to air fryer. Cook on 400°F for 14 minutes, no need to shake and redistribute during cooking.
Air Fryer Sauced Frozen Wings
There were also lots of options for sauced chicken wings in the frozen food aisle. I picked up Tyson Anytizers Wings in Honey BBQ and Buffalo for my testing.
Unfortunately, these wings were my least favorite in the air fryer. Even the best results for this type still ended up with rubbery skin and spots where the sauce burned. If you want to try it, I’ve included the instructions for the best results I was able to achieve.
Instructions: Add two packages, about 16 wings of sauced frozen wings to the air fryer. Cook for 18 minutes at 400°F.
Can’t get enough chicken wings? I hear you! You can browse my extensive collection of chicken wing recipes over on TheCookful which includes more air fryer versions, crispy baked wings, and delicious grilled BBQ wings.Print
This makes 1 serving as an entrée and 2 servings as an appetizer. Work in batches in the air fryer if cooking more.
Listen to learn how to make this recipe, along with some great tips from Christine:
- 12 frozen chicken wing pieces (flats and drumettes)
- 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
- In the basket of the air fryer add wings in a single layer.
- Set air fryer temperature to 400°F.
- Insert basket into air fryer. Cook 20 minutes or until chicken wings register 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove basket from air fryer. Transfer wings to a bowl. Toss with salt or favorite sauce.
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