Enjoy these crispy air fryer turkey wings - a fuss-free, 3-ingredient, 30-minute recipe suitable for any occasion, either a simple family dinner or a meal for the holiday season.
If you're cooking a Thanksgiving meal for a smaller gathering or simply looking for something new and delicious, give this air fryer turkey wings recipe a shot! You can achieve that crispiness and golden-brown perfection in just a few simple steps using basic ingredients and without excess oil.
Pair these delicious turkey wings with crispy skin with Cornbread, Cranberry Sauce, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, and some gravy for a delicious yet quick and simple Thanksgiving dinner.
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🌀Why should you use the air fryer for turkey wings?
- Quicker cooking: Air fryers cook food faster than conventional ovens. They preheat rapidly and cook food evenly and quickly, which means your food will be ready in a shorter amount of time.
- Air frying is less messy than deep frying. There's no splattering of oil, thus reducing the cleanup process.
- Even cooking: Air fryers circulate hot air around the food, ensuring even cooking and consistent results. This helps achieve that crispy exterior while keeping the inside of the turkey wings tender and juicy.
- User-friendly: Air fryers are super easy to use.
- Fresh turkey wings split into wingettes (flat) and drumettes. It is preferable to use split wings as they cook and crisp more evenly. If you can only get whole wings, it’s best to cut them yourself at the joint (See Expert Tips).
- Don't use smoked turkey wings; they are already cooked and thus unsuitable for this recipe.
- Vegetable or olive oil.
- Your favorite dry rub or spice blend for poultry. Try our Dry Rub for Wings or Peri Peri Seasoning, for instance.
Tip: Before using the seasoning mix, check if it includes salt. Suppose it doesn't add 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt (1 ½ teaspoons table salt) to the mix. Combine the spices well before using them to toss the meat.
- Herb blends: Try using a mix of dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, or poultry seasoning.
- Spice mixes such as smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, or a Cajun seasoning for a more intense and spicy taste.
- Barbecue seasoning for rubbing or your favorite barbecue sauce for a smoky, tangy taste (added during the last 5 minutes of the cooking time).
- Citrus zest: Grate some lemon, lime, or orange zest into your seasoning mix. Or use lemon pepper.
- Sweet and spicy: Combine sweet flavors with heat by adding a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or a touch of brown sugar along with cayenne or red pepper flakes.
- Asian-inspired: Use soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, or Chinese five-spice powder for an Asian-inspired twist.
👩🏻🍳How to cook turkey wings in the air fryer?
Cut the wings at the joint if they are not already split (check the tutorial). Dry them well with paper towels.
Rub them with oil and spices to coat them all over.
Place in the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer.
Cook for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway until golden brown and cooked through.
⏰How long to cook turkey wings in the air fryer?
- The cooking time depends on the size of the wings, but generally, they should be ready in 25 to 35 minutes. Make sure to check!
- The wings should have a crispy golden-brown exterior and reach an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C to ensure they're fully cooked. Use a meat thermometer (the Amazon link opens in a new tab) and stick it into the thickest part of the wing.
- If they’re not done after 30 minutes, air fry them for another 5 minutes and check again.
🧊Alternative cooking methods
- Oven: Follow our recipe for Crispy Turkey Wings (with stock and covered for 1 hour at 400°F/200°C; then uncovered for another 45 minutes or until crispy and cooked through).
- Slow cooker: Follow our recipe for Slow Cooker Turkey Wings (LOW for 6 hours).
Pat dry before seasoning: Ensure the parts are thoroughly dried with paper towels before applying any seasoning. This helps in achieving a crispier texture.
Don’t forget to check the salt. If the seasoning blend you use doesn’t contain any salt, make sure to add 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt (or 1 ½ teaspoons of table salt - more potent) to the seasoning mix.
Don't discard wing tips and leftover bones; they're perfect for making tasty stock. If you don't have enough bones or time to make stock immediately, freeze them until you're ready.
- For stock preparation, include the wing tips (if you removed them earlier). You can add some fresh meat, such as another raw wing or 1-2 chicken legs, though it's not mandatory; excellent stock can be made solely with roasted or fresh bones.
- Add vegetables or vegetable scraps and spices. Cover with cold water, bring it to a simmer, and gently cook for 4-5 hours, up to 12 hours. For bone broth, simmer for a full 24 hours.
- Use leftover air-fried turkey wings to make Creamed Turkey, Turkey and Lentil Soup, or Turkey Pasta Casserole.
Fresh wings are available in different locations, such as nearby stores (often near the chicken section), Walmart, butcher shops, and farmer's markets. To make sure they're available, it's wise to call in advance and check if they have them in stock. They can also be ordered online for convenience.
Yes, but if you follow today’s recipe, it is better to thaw the wings entirely before cooking. You can cook frozen turkey wings in the air fryer, but they require longer cooking time. Ensure they reach the recommended internal temperature for safe consumption.
Pat the wings dry before seasoning to remove excess moisture, avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket, and lightly coat them with oil before tossing them with the spices.
Refrigerate leftover wings in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Freeze for 4-5 months. Wrap them tightly in foil and place them in a freezer container. Defrost in the fridge and reheat before serving.
Reheat them in the air fryer at 350°F/ 180°F until warm and crispy again. Reheat in the preheated oven at 350°F/ 180°C. Cover the wings with aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out and reheat for about 15-20 minutes or until they are heated through. You can remove the foil for the last few minutes of reheating for a crispier texture.
Air Fryer Turkey Wings (3 Ingredients)
- 2 lbs split turkey wings 1 kg, Note 1
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons seasoning of your choice such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, or any preferred seasoning blend, Note 2
- Prepare turkey wings: Cut them at the joint if not already split. Dry them well with paper towels.
- Season: Rub the wings with oil and spices to coat them all over.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F/180°C.
- Air fry: Place the seasoned turkey wings in the air fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring they aren't overcrowded. Cook for about 30 minutes, flipping the wings halfway through the cooking time.
- Check for doneness: The wings should have a crispy golden-brown exterior and reach an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C. If they’re not done after 30 minutes, air fry them for another 5 minutes and check again.
- Turkey wings: It’s preferable to use split wings because they cook and crisp more evenly. If they are whole, cutting them yourself at the joint is best (See the tutorial).
- Seasoning: You can use your favorite mix. Check if it contains salt (mine does). If it doesn’t have salt, add 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt (or 1 ½ teaspoons of table salt) to the spice mixture.