These Air Fryer Honey Garlic Wings Will Fly Off the Plate

These Air Fryer Honey Garlic Wings Will Fly Off the Plate

Honey garlic chicken wings are crispy, salty-sweet, and full of garlic flavor. The air fryer cooks them so quickly and perfectly I never make them any other way! With minimal prep and a quick cook in the air fryer, you'll have perfectly cooked and glazed chicken wings in as little as 35 minutes. The wings are fast enough for lunch or a weeknight dinner, and they are fantastic crowd-pleasing party wings.

What Ingredients Are in Honey Garlic Chicken Wings?

  • Chicken Wings—When you shop for wings, you'll find wingettes, drumettes, party wings (usually a combination), and whole wings. Choose the type of wings you like best. Keep in mind that two pounds of wings will have from 15 to 20 wing pieces or eight to 10 whole wings.
  • Seasonings—The wings are seasoned with a simple combination of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oil. 
  • Honey-Garlic Sauce—I keep the sauce simple, too. A mixture of honey, soy sauce, fresh minced garlic, and a splash of vinegar balances the flavors, while a light cornstarch slurry helps the sauce stick to the wings.

How To Make Air Fryer Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

Honey garlic chicken wings are a breeze to prepare and cook. The wings are seasoned and tossed with oil, cooked in the air fryer to crispy perfection, and then tossed in the heated honey-garlic sauce. Saucing them after cooking keeps them crisp, and with no sticky, burnt-on mess, cleanup is effortless.

Can I Cook These Wings in the Oven?

Absolutely! Give the wings 45 to 55 minutes at 400 F. Or use the convection setting to simulate an air fryer. The wings will take 30 to 40 minutes at 400 F convection.

Tips for Making Honey Garlic Wings

  • Oil your air fryer basket—The wings are tossed in a small amount of oil to keep them from sticking, but if your air fryer basket or rack is prone to sticking, brush it with a bit of vegetable oil. Avoid aerosol cooking sprays, as they can damage the nonstick coating and impact the flavor of the food.
  • Yep, they’ll all fit!—If you can’t lay all the wings down in a single layer, try standing some of them up, leaning them on the sides of the basket. If you have an oven-style air fryer, you can spread them out on 2 racks. I cooked 2 pounds of wings—a combination of flats and drumettes—in one batch in my 5.8-quart basket-style air fryer.
  • How to cut up wings—To split whole wings, Use a sharp knife to separate the flats from the drumettes at the joint, then cut off and discard the wing tips or save them for chicken stock. 
  • How to cook wings from frozen—To air-fry frozen wings or drumettes, defrost them in the preheated 400 F air fryer for 10 minutes, then dry them with paper towels. Season the wings as directed, return them to the air fryer, and continue cooking them for 10 to 15 minutes until they are crisp and golden brown.

Make Ahead

The wings can be made up to 1 hour in advance. You can keep the unsauced wings in the air fryer on the “keep warm” setting, or place the wings on a rack in a sheet pan and keep them in a warm oven—170 F to 200 F. Toss the wings with the sauce just before serving.

“These wings are really quick to make and taste amazing! I think you can really go wild with the garlic, since the sauce mellows it a bit. Try grating a few cloves into the sauce for a really garlicky flavor.” —Megan Scott

Deep golden brown chicken wings on a plate with a metal bowl of sauce in the center; garnished with green onion A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Wings

  • 2 pounds chicken wings (wingettes, drumettes, or a combination)

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, plus more for greasing the air fryer

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Honey-Garlic Sauce

  • 1/3 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 4 to 6 cloves

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 green onions, sliced, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the air fryer to 400 F and lightly brush the air fryer basket or rack with oil.

    Ingredients to make air fryer honey garlic wings

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Pat 2 pounds chicken wings with paper towels to dry and put them in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon neutral oil, 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper; toss to coat. 

    A large bowl of chicken wings coated with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Arrange the wings in the preheated air fryer in a single layer. It’s ok if you have to stand some of the wings up along the sides of the basket to get them all to fit.

    Seasoned chicken wings in an air fryer basket

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Cook the wings for 8 minutes, then turn them over and cook for 10 to 12 minutes longer, until crisp and golden brown. 

    Partially cooked chicken wings in an air fryer basket

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. While the wings are cooking, make the sauce. Combine 1/3 cup honey, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon minced garlic in a large saucepan—it should be large enough to accommodate the sauce and wings.

    A small pan with soy sauce, honey, garlic, and rice vinegar bring stirred with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Combine 2 teaspoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl or cup and whisk to blend. 

    A small glass bowl of cornstarch and water

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce mixture. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.

    A small pan of honey-garlic sauce, with a wooden spoon mixing in cornstarch slurry

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Use tongs to transfer the cooked wings to the saucepan and toss them gently to coat with the sauce mixture.

    A pan of cooked chicken wings tossed in honey-garlic sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Place the wings back in the air fryer basket and cook at 400 F for 3 to 5 minutes or until the wings are well-browned (watch them carefully during this time, as they will burn if left too long).

    An air fryer basked with wings tossed in honey-garlic sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Transfer the wings to a serving bowl and drizzle any remaining sauce over them or serve the sauce on the side as a dip. Garnish the wings with 2 green onions, sliced and serve them immediately.

    A large platter of air fryer honey-garlic chicken wings, garnished with sliced green onion

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

How To Store and Reheat

  • Refrigerate leftover honey garlic chicken wings within 2 hours and enjoy them within 4 days.
  • To freeze leftover chicken wings, place them in a freezer bag or airtight container and label them with the name and date. Freeze the wings for up to 6 months. Defrost frozen honey garlic chicken wings in the fridge overnight.
  • The oven is the best way to reheat wings. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place a rack in a foil-lined sheet pan. Arrange the wings on the rack and cook them for 20 to 30 minutes.

Feeling Adventurous? Try This:

  • Change the flavor profile—Give these wings a teriyaki vibe with 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger and 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, and garnish the wings with toasted sesame seeds.
  • Add heat—Add a spicy sauce or seasoning to the honey garlic sauce, such as sambal oelek, sriracha, cayenne pepper, chili crisp, or crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Make them gluten-free—Replace the soy sauce with gluten-free tamari.

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