Crispy Juicy Air fried Chicken wings, straight from the freezer without thawing! Crispy, juicy, tender wings that need only two ingredients - wings + Sauce or rub!
TASTE: Juicy, tender Chicken wings
TEXTURE: Crispy outside & soft & chewy inside
EASE: Very, Very Easy!
APPEARANCE: Golden Caramelized wings
PROS: No thawing, no waiting. Chicken wings from Freezer to the table in less than 20 minutes
CONS: No marination, hence can be under-seasoned inside
Diet: Keto, Paleo, Low Carb & Oil free!
Wings are the perfect game night appetizer or a quick indulgent late-night snack.
Here is what we will do!
- Take the frozen block of wings and put it in the air fryer
- Air fry for 10 minutes
- Separate them, toss them in your choice of sauce
- Air fry for another 10 minutes, and done!!
Yes, you heard it right.
The block of frozen wings at the back of your fridge, which you would have almost given up on..Well, I am here to resurrect it!
The wings will caramelize and crisp up to golden perfection. Like a fairy godmother, the clunky frozen wings that you had forgotten at the back of your freezer have not been converted into a conversation starter, a late midnight snack away from the children, the best part of a geeky movie that you have wanted to watch. You can also make frozen tilapia fish in the air fryer without thawing.
Whether you are hosting or just watching a movie , Chicken wings are a perfect appetizer and snack.
Why we love Air frying Frozen Chicken wings
we are all fans of chicken wings, but these frozen chicken wings are just perfect for the lazy me that's craving salty, crispy food all the time!
Here is why we love making them again and again!
- No thawing.
- Literally, 20 minutes to have your favorite snack from the freezer to the table.
- No planning needed
- They come out so crispy, almost like they were deep-fried in tonnes of oil
- It needs no oil! YEss! They are oil-free!
Not only is the air fryer great for making chicken wings but you can also Air Fryer New York Strip steaks in it! Or make this uber simple Air fryer Katsu chicken. You can never tell if it was air fried or deep-fried!
Also check out our collection of more than 50 Air fryer Appetizers and finger foods
What do you need
All you need are two ingredients.
- Chicken Wings
- Seasoning or Sauce of Choice
Chicken Wing is divided into three sections: the drumette, wingette, and the tip
I usually buy chicken wings from the store so that I can ask them to break them up into drumettes and Wingette (discard the tip). Most stores already cut it up into 2 parts, so this should be easy to get.
I feel the big wing is difficult to eat and pretty big to hold. Plus, chicken wings cut into two pieces cooks more evenly than the whole wing. Also, it's a personal choice. Some prefer eating the drumette, and some like the flat.
I prefer flats of the wings.
Once I have bought the chicken, I usually put it in the freezer. Raw chicken usually goes bad in 3-4 days, even in the refrigerator. I feel it enters that iffy stage where you can't be sure if it's good or not.
That's why I usually store raw chicken in the freezer.
The downside to that is that I can often forget it there. And Sometimes, I am just too lazy and unorganized to thaw it.
That's why this recipe is excellent for people like me. You don't need to plan anything!
Seasoning - Rub or Sauce
There is so much to choose from! I always have several hot sauces, teriyaki sauces, stir fry sauces, and bbq sauces in my pantry.
And then there are the rubs too! In the picture, I have used sweet barbecue seasoning that's store-bought. It is spicy, sweet, and hits the right spot!
Of the top of my mind, here are some great options you can choose from
- Barbecue Sauce
- Hot Wing Sauce or Buffalo sauce
- Plain salt & pepper
- Seasonings & Rubs like lemon pepper, peri peri, Italian seasoning
- Make your own- garlic powder, smoked paprika, oregano & salt
Oil Free Chicken Wings
The chicken wings have enough fat in them that you don't need more oil. You can make them with just the seasoning and the wings.
But if you want to brown the wings further or make the seasoning stick to them better, you can spray them with oil.
How to Air Fry Frozen Wings without Thawing
Here is step by step detailed description of how to make frozen chicken wings in the air fryer without thawing them
Step 1: Air fry frozen wings to thaw
Instead of thawing the wings overnight or on the counter, place them straight into the air fryer basket.
Yes, You heard that right. Place the frozen block of chicken wings in the air fryer.
Air fry for 10 minutes at 180C or 365F.
This will thaw the chicken. At least partially.
If your chicken wings are not a block but separate, you need to air fry only for 5 minutes.
This step might vary depending on how big or small the block of chicken wings is.
Step 2: Separate the Wings
Once the 10 minutes are done, just a knife, fork, or steel spatula to separate the wings.
If you have trouble with it, you can air fry for another 2 minutes.
Drain any liquid at the bottom of your air fryer.
Step 3:Toss the wings in sauce or rub
This step can be done in the air fryer basket or in a separate bowl.
Add the sauce or rub and toss the wings around till they are coated.
You can choose to spray oil on the wings. This will make them even more crispy.
Step 4:Air fry to finish
Now let the magic begin! The last bit.
Air fry again for 6-10 minutes, depending on how crispy and caramelized you want the chicken wings to be.
Serving Chicken wings
Wings should be served piping hot, straight after they have been cooked. That's when texturally, they are at their peak!
Though if the wings are not too spicy, I prefer hot ketchup or sriracha. You can also make a spicy sriracha aioli to dip the wings.
Another favorite side, along with wings, is celery & baby carrots. I love munching on it in between wings. It's such a perfect game night appetizer!
Though the recipe is quite simple, I have a few notes that will help you make the most delicious wings.
- Double Toss Wings- I like to toss the wings twice in the seasoning or sauce. After the first toss, most of the sauce caramelizes and some falls through the air fryer basket. So I open the basket just 1 minute before it's done and add more sauce or rub, straight to the basket.
- Sugar - If your sauce or rub contains sugar, the wings caramelize nicely to a golden brown hue. So if you are making a homemade rub, don't forget to add some brown sugar to it.
Refrigerating & Freezing
If you have air-fried the chicken wings and are not consuming it immediately or have leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Choose an air-tight container made of glass or bpa free plastic to store the wings.
You can also choose to refreeze cooked wings. Just put them in a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container and put them away till 1-2 months.
To reheat refrigerated chicken wings, preheat the air fryer to 180C or 365F.Air fry for 4-5 minutes. Forget microwaving and eating soggy old wings, air frying them will make them fresh, almost like you just made them.
If you have frozen cooked chicken wings, you can refresh them by air frying them for 10 minutes at 180C or 365F.You might need to toss them in more seasoning or sauce midway to add flavor.
More air fryer recipes
We love the shortcuts we can take because of our air-fryer. It's perfect for making french fries and roasting veggies! Here are some recipes that we have been making lately!
Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings-(Extra Crispy)
Chicken 65- Indian Fried Chicken
Air fryer Hasselback Potatoes with Garlic
Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary & Garlic
Air Fryer Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers (Cream Cheese)
Air Fryer Chicken Leg Quarters
Air Fryer Cornish Hen
Air fryer Jerk Chicken
If you used my trick to air fry frozen chicken wings, drop me a note. I would love to hear your thoughts. Also! do give us a rating. It really help me reach people.
- 1 Pound Chicken Wings Frozen
- 2 tablespoon Rub or Sauce of choice check notes for options
- 1 teaspoon Oil Optional
Air Frying Frozen Chicken Wings
- Place the chicken wings in the air fryer basket
- Air fry for 10 minutes at 180C or 365F.
- Separate the wings using a tong or fork.
- Add the seasoning or sauce of choice and toss them
- Optional Step- Spray oil on them
- Air fry for 8 more minutes at 180C or 365F till they are golden and crispy
First Air fry time- ThawingIf you have a block of frozen wings (like in my ingredients picture), you will need to air fry for 10 minutes or more to separate the wings. If the wings are frozen but separate, then you need to reduce the initial air frying to just 5 minutes. You might have to drain the liquid after this first thaw step.
Rub or Sauce of choiceYou can make your own, or use store-bought rub or sauce to toss the wings in.
Homemade RubHere is a homemade rub that we often use to make wings 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Oregano
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Salt Other options are
- Barbecue Sauce
- Hot sauce
- Store-bought bbq rub
- lemon pepper seasoning
- Salt & Pepper
- Parmesan and chili flakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the wings are separate but frozen, Air fry them in a single layer at 365 F or 180C for 5 minutes. Toss them in sauce or rub. Air fry again for 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy.
If the wings are frozen together in a big mass, Air fry at 365 F or 180C for 10 minutes. Use a spatula or spoon to break them apart, toss them in sauce or rub.
Air fry again for 8-10 minutes till crispy.
You don't need to defrost the wings to cook in the air fryer. You can cook frozen wings straight from the freezer in less than 20 minutes.
I find 180C or 365F the most versatile setting for ai frying. That way they cook inside and caramelize outside at the same time.