Is It Safe To Air Fry Frozen Chicken Wings?

Chicken wings are a popular American food, whether you're cooking them up for a tailgate before a football game or chowing down on them at the bar. The average American will eat about 18,000 wings over their lifetime, according to a study by SWNS (via The New York Post). That's a lot of meat! While you can order a dozen drumsticks and flats from one of the best places to get wings, you can also make your own chicken wings at home. If you don't want to put in a lot of effort or if you don't like to cook, you can even find a bunch of frozen chicken wing brands and varieties at the grocery store that you can whip up in hopefully no time.

Making frozen chicken wings isn't difficult — many people either pop them in the oven or microwave. But what about the air fryer? If you have one of the trendy kitchen appliances, you may have heard that there are some foods you shouldn't cook in an air fryer. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that nontraditional ovens such as air fryers and microwaves may not evenly heat frozen stuffed chicken, increasing the risk of foodborne illness. So you might be wondering if you can use it for your frozen wings. Here's what you need to know before you start cooking.

Air frying chicken wings is safe and can make them crispier

The good news is yes, you can air fry frozen chicken wings. In fact, it may even be preferable to the oven or microwave if you're trying to achieve the same crispy texture that you get from a basket at a restaurant without the added fat and calories from oil. However, there are some things to keep in mind to make sure you do it safely (and correctly). To start, you don't even have to defrost them. The blogger at Stay Snatched says that frying them from frozen adds six to 10 minutes to your cooking time and that you should break the wings apart in the air fryer basket for ideal results.

One misstep that people make when air-frying frozen food is overcrowding the device. Food Network found that stacking chicken in an air fryer basket could lead to unevenly cooked, undesirable meat. And while chicken wings were somewhat stackable, they had a limit of two layers before things went awry, and the final result wasn't as crispy. Stay Snatched also recommended that you flip the wings every so often and use a meat thermometer to ensure they're at a safe temperature before eating. According to the USDA, chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent foodborne illnesses.