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Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings (with Dry Rub)

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Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings are so juicy and flavorful! These crispy wings are seasoned with a homemade dry rub, cooked in the air fryer and brushed with your favorite barbecue sauce then cooked to perfection. Makes a great appetizer or game day snack! Scroll down to learn how easy it is to make BBQ wings in the air fryer.

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings

Air Fryer wings are really one of my favorite things to make in my air fryer. Don’t get me wrong, it is pretty hard to resist the ease of brats in the air fryer or amazing flavor of zucchini chips. But wings are one of my favorite foods and nothing works better for both juicy and crispy wings like an air fryer! If you haven’t yet tried, you are in for a treat!

Air Fryer Wings with BBQ Sauce and Dry Rub

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings Ingredients:

This air fryer bbq wings recipe only requires a basic ingredients that can easily be found in your pantry. They including the following:

  • chicken wings
  • olive oil
  • brown sugar
  • paprika
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • pepper
  • salt
  • barbecue sauce: Your favorite brand or you can make homemade sauce like this sugar free BBQ sauce for full control of the ingredients.

Ingredients needed for wings in air fryer with dry rub

I used raw chicken wings for this recipe. If you can’t find chicken wingettes like I did, you will need to process your chicken wings by cutting off the tips and splitting them at the joint. The recipe was tested with fresh wings as well. You can use frozen instead but I recommend fully thawing them first.

Dry Rub seasonings for bbq chicken wings

Note: The seasoning as shown was for a double batch for 5 lbs of chicken wings.

How to Make BBQ Wings in Air Fryer

This bbq wings recipe starts with a dry rub. I find traditional wings with barbecue sauce only to be a little boring. My preference is to start with a flavorful dry rub seasoning like these lemon pepper wings and then brush barbecue sauce on near the end.  So you’ll want to start by mixing all of your seasonings together. (If you like dry rub on your chicken, you’ll love these air fryer chicken legs.)

BBQ Dry Rub Seasoning for chicken wings

Add your chicken wings to a big bowl or ziploc bag. Add olive oil and dry rub seasoning. Toss to coat fully.


Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your wings in a single layer and cook for 8 minutes. Turn over and cook for an additional 8 minutes.
Seasoned chicken wings being cooked in air fryer
Using a pastry brush, brush your favorite barbecue sauce over the top of the wings. Cook for an additional 2 to 4 minutes.
Brushing BBQ sauce on chicken wings
If you prefer saucy wings, you can add warm BBQ sauce at the end by either brushing it on or tossing them. Totally up to you!

BBQ chicken wings in air fryer

These bbq chicken wings in the air fryer are nice and crispy. They almost remind me of really good barbecue ribs from the grill.

Chicken wings with dry rub and barbecue sauce in the air fryer

Repeat with remaining wings. How many times you cook will depend upon the size of your air fryer.  I’m using a small air fryer basket that can hold around 10 chicken wings at a time. So when I make these we enjoy them in batch cooking style. (It is time to get a larger air fryer I think!)

Dry Rub seasoning on chicken wings

Serve these air fryer bbq chicken wings hot with some additional barbecue sauce, blue cheese or ranch dressing to dunk them in. Garnish with fresh chives, scallion or chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Air Fryer BBQ Wings recipe. Perfect for game day, appetizers or a fun dinner option!

Want to turn these chicken wings into a dinner? Serve with a refreshing watermelon salad or black bean corn salad and the best smoked mac and cheese for an amazing meal!

BBQ Wings in Air Fryer Video

Watch this video for step-by-step instructions for making these tasty barbecue wings!

 

 

How to Bake BBQ Wings in Oven

No air fryer? No problem!  Follow the instructions already outlined in the post to season your wings. Add your wings to a wire rack sprayed with cooking spray over a baking sheet. Cook in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for approximately 40 to 50 minutes or until fully cooked. (Exact cooking time will depend upon size of your wings) Brush BBQ sauce over wings in the last few minutes of cooking or toss in barbecue sauce after fully cooked. If you like an extra crispy skin, I recommend broiling for 1 to 3 minutes or until desired crispiness. Be sure to watch your wings carefully while broiling so you don’t overcook.

BBQ chicken wings in air fryer
4.5 from 10 votes
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Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings

These air fryer BBQ wings are so crispy and flavorful! Starting with a dry rub and adding BBQ sauce later, these non spicy wings are a family favorite. Serve them up for game day, a party appetizer or to help you out of a dinner rut.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Keyword air fryer appetizer, air fryer chicken, air fryer recipe, air fryer wings, appetizer recipe, appetizers, barbecue, barbecue sauce, bbq, chicken recipes, chicken wings, game day, tailgating
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Emilie at findingzest.com

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh chicken wings approximately 20 wingettes
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a small bowl add all spices and stir to evenly mix.
  3. If you have whole chicken wings, you'll want to split them at the joint and and remove the tips. If you have already split wings (wingettes) you are ready to go.
  4. Pat chicken wings with paper towel to remove any moisture and place in large bowl or gallon size ziploc bag.
  5. Drizzle olive oil over chicken wings, then sprinkle seasoning mixture. Toss chicken wings to evenly coat. (If using a bag, be sure to seal, then shake).

  6. Add chicken wings in a single layer, not overlapping.
  7. Cook for 8 minutes. Turn over wings and cook for additional 8 minutes.

  8. Brush barbecue sauce over wings. Cook for additional 2 to 4 minutes or until desired crispiness is achieved.

  9. Serve immediately with ranch or blue cheese dressing, additional barbecue sauce or your favorite dipping sauce if desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Prefer really saucy wings?? Instead of adding BBQ sauce to the last couple of minutes of cooking,  you can brush warm barbecue sauce over wings (or toss in bbq sauce) right before serving.

How to Bake BBQ Chicken Wings in the Oven: 
Cook your wings on a wire rack sprayed with cooking spray over a baking sheet. Cook in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for approximately 40 to 50 minutes or until fully cooked. (Exact cooking time will depend upon size of your wings) Brush BBQ sauce over wings in the last few minutes of cooking or toss in barbecue sauce after fully cooked. If you like an extra crispy skin, I recommend broiling for 1 to 3 minutes or until desired crispiness. Be sure to watch your wings carefully while broiling so you don't overcook.

While these wings are mild, you can tone the spices down even further and skip the chili powder if preferred.

BBQ air fryer wings are the perfect game day snack, party appetizer or cure for a dinner rut. These non-spicy wings are perfect for the whole family and are downright irresistible. Let me know what you think of them!

BBQ Wings in Air Fryer Recipe

More Air Fryer Recipes

Be sure to check out our entire air fryer recipes collection for more way to use your air fryer. And if you love barbecue chicken recipes, try this slow cooker pulled chicken recipe.

Air Fryer BBQ Wings are the perfect game day snack, party appetizer or cure for a dinner rut. These crispy and flavorful wings begin with a dry rub and are finished off with your favorite barbecue sauce. These non-spicy wings are perfect for the whole family!
BBQ Wings in the air fryer are the wings you didn't know you were missing! Juicy and flavorful, these wings start out with a dry rub and then receive a brush of your favorite barbecue sauce for an incredible combination!  Get crispy wings in  your air fryer with these easy instructions!
BBQ Chicken Wings are made easy when prepared in an air fryer. Get a crispy skin and a flavorful chicken wing by starting with a dry rub.  But don't worry, baking instructions are also included to make these delicious BBQ wings if you don't have an air fryer. Makes a great game day recipe, appetizer or dinner option.

6 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    The sauce came out excellent. The dry rub made them so flavorful, along with sweet baby rays bbq sauce. However, the one complaint I had was the wings weren’t very crispy. I even added a minute at every section. I’m thinking maybe add up to 3 minutes. We love our wings extra crispy though.

    1. Thank you for trying this recipe! Glad you like the dry rub. It is my favorite! 🙂

      In regards to cooking times/crispiness it will really depend upon the brand of air fryer, personal preference and how tightly packed the wings are. I love crispy wings too. Definitely cook for longer if you enjoy a very crispy wing.

  2. 5 stars
    I love love love this recipe! Thanks so much! I usually cook for one and a few wings are just right, but I’ll also use this for game day with the family! Thanks again!
    Paula from Amarillo

  3. The ingredients call for chili powder and then when you go down to the ingredients to make the wings, there is NO mention of chili powder. What’s up with that?

    1. Eileen, thank you so much for drawing this to my attention. The recipe card has been updated. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback for this recipe (especially on Pinterest) so I think with such a wide variety of spices, it works well with or without the chili powder. However, I do use chili powder when I make this recipe. So very sorry for the confusion.

4.50 from 10 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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