Easy Air Fryer Sticky Wings Are What Every Party Needs

First things first, yes, you can make this air fryer sticky chicken wings recipe using a different sauce than Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce. (Also yes, they do spell it with two Ls.) But if you have never tried this sweet, spicy, tangy, and all around wonderful stuff, you owe it to yourself to try it. And as chef, food writer, and creator of Confessions of a Grocery Addict, Ashley Schuering says that's there's plenty of latitude for customization regardless of your chosen chili sauce. "You can use Sriracha, you can make these spicier adding red pepper flakes or even cayenne or ghost pepper powder, or skip the salt and try Mrs. Dash."

However you want to add your own spin (and spice), "it's a pretty straightforward recipe," says Schuering, and one that cooks with minimal experience can make. Just make sure you serve these crowd pleasers fresh and hot, as the meat will be nice and tender and the skin perfectly crispy. If you want to save yourself time, however, Schuering says: "You can butcher wings and dry them ahead of time. Just place in a covered container with fresh paper towels to absorb any excess liquid."

One more thing she adds: "It probably goes without saying, but the butchering is the most difficult part of the process, and the most dangerous — be sure to use a very sharp knife, [because] sharp knives are less dangerous than dull ones!"

Gather your ingredients for these air fryer sticky chicken wings

The best thing about this air fryer sticky chicken wings recipe is the taste of the wings you'll cook up, but a close second is the simplicity. All you need is chicken wings with about two to two and a half pounds perfect for serving an appetizer for five or six people, salt and pepper to taste, and of course, plenty of Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce.

Also, have on hand your air fryer, a cutting board, a mixing bowl, paper towels, and a sharp chef's knife. (You may also want to have a Ziploc ready for storing removed wing tips, which don't have much meat but are great for making stocks.)

Prepare the chicken for your air fryer sticky chicken wings

This is the only real "work" to be done in this air fryer sticky chicken wings recipe, and if you're new to working with chicken wings, it can be a bit dangerous, so take your time and be carful as you butcher the wings. Separate the drumettes from the flats using a sharp kitchen knife, always feeling for the joints prior to cutting to help guide the blade. (Feel free to "break" the joint with your hands to help in separating them.)

Removing the wing tips is optional, but as noted, they don't have much meat and serve better used along with veggie scraps for making a stock. We like to save them in a small Ziploc in the freezer for making chicken stock.

Once the meat is prepped, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. This is a good time to start the heat on your air fryer, which should be set to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add salt and pepper and prepare to air fry your air fryer sticky chicken wings

It's hard to use too much salt in this air fryer sticky chicken wings recipe because the excess will fall off the wings, so go ahead and be liberal. Sprinkle salt and pepper liberally onto both sides of the wings, and then nestle them down into the air fryer's basket. Make sure to "leave ample space between the pieces," Ashley Schuering says, as "this will encourage crispy skin."

And crispy skin is a must have here. So cook smaller batches and serve the wings in rounds if you have to.

Get your air fryer sticky chicken wings cooking

Pop the seasoned wings into your air fryer and cook them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for ten minutes, then pull out the cook basket and flip the wings, again carefully leaving space between each piece of chicken. Return the wings to the air fryer and cook for another ten minutes, then check to ensure they have reached your desired level of crispiness (and perhaps check internal temperature for safety, ensuring the meat reaches at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit).

Some air fryers may require about 25 minutes total, but most likely after the second ten-minute fry, you'll be ready for the final step.

Toss the air fryer sticky chicken wings with sauce, then serve

Place the cooked air fryer sticky chicken wings in a mixing bowl and liberally drizzle your preferred sauce over them, then shake and jiggle the bowl to get the wings evenly coated with sauce. Now is the time to sprinkle on a bit of red pepper for added heat if you want some kick (or a bit of cayenne or ghost pepper if you want some burn).

Now get those wings served up ASAP, and ideally with plentiful napkins served alongside. And maybe a finger bowl.

Easy Air Fryer Sticky Wings Are What Every Party Needs
5 from 6 ratings
However you want to add your own spin (and spice), "it's a pretty straightforward recipe," says Schuering, and one that cooks with minimal experience can make.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
4
servings
Air fryer sticky chicken wings
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • Chicken wings (approx. 2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce (or preferred)
Directions
  1. Butcher the wings, separating drumettes from flats with sharp kitchen knife.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then season liberally with kosher salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Nestle wings into air fryer basket, leaving ample space between pieces.
  4. Place in air fryer at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove basket and flip wings, then return to fryer for another 10 to 15 minutes, until preferred doneness.
  6. Place wings in mixing bowl, drizzle with Mae Ploy and toss to coat, then serve immediately.
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