Salty, smoky, obsessively crunchy deliciousness. Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wings, seasoned with a 5-minute, Korean-inspired BBQ rub!
If there’s a food texture we all love, it’s crispy. We crave it. We snack on it. We can’t get enough of it.
Not surprisingly, the most popular post on the blog is Korean Fried Chicken Wings. Double fried. With a soy-garlic-ginger-chili-flake sauce. Super delicious and super crispy!
Honestly, though, it’s a bit of a pain. All that double frying! Good for the weekend, definitely.
But for weeknights, I like these: Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wings. All that satisfying crunch, all that crispy deliciousness — conveniently made in the Air Fryer. Fast, easy, and super tasty!
Yes, I’m still in my hot-and-heavy, crazy-for-you phase with my Air Fryer. Cooking certain foods is SO much easier with an Air Fryer! Especially chicken wings.
I love saucy, glaze Honey Soy Chicken Wings made in the Air Fryer. But I also love these — crispy, crackly, crunchy, where-have-you-been-all-my-life wings. So tasty! And easy!
What is an Air Fryer?
Basically, an Air Fryer is a mini convection oven. Heat circulates all around individual food items, resulting in super crispy food. No, it’s not as crispy as deep fried food. But it’s definitely crispier than oven roasting, with less oil required.
THE PROS: good for small batch cooking, roasting vegetables and meat, reheating leftovers and snacks, using less oil, and getting food super crispy. Like really, really crispy. I especially love the ease and convenience of this mini convection oven, complete with handle.
THE CONS: not dishwasher friendly and not good for large batch cooking, as you don’t want to overcrowd the basket. Also, it’s another appliance that takes up space on the counter. (FYI: My Air Fryer is so frequently used that it’s replaced the toaster on the counter.)
I also use a Silicone Cooking Pot in my Air Fryer. This small accessory is great for greasy, oily foods. All the oil drains away and pools at the bottom, making clean up SO MUCH EASIER! Dump the oil and place in the dishwasher. Most importantly, it doesn’t affect the crispiness level at all!
What is Korean Magic Dust?
A few years back, I stumbled upon Mike Mill’s Magic Dust BBQ Rub. A classic BBQ rub, Mike’s Magic Dust transforms even the most basic food item into something truly delicious. Sprinkle on top of ribs, chicken, fish, shrimp, roasted vegetables, fries, brisket — seriously, everything!
As usual, I tinkered by adding my Korean twist. I swapped the chili powder with Gochukaru, Korean dried chili flakes. A few other minor adjustments and this BBQ staple is now a permanent part of my pantry.
For Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wings, you will need to make Korean Magic Dust first. Don’t be intimidated! Simply add all ingredients to a bowl. Then store in an old jar. Now you have Korean Magic Dust!
The recipe makes a large portion (2 1/2 cups). If that seems like too much, halve the ingredients for a smaller amount. Or divide and spread the joy of Korean Magic Dust. Guaranteed, people will love you!
What makes Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wings so crispy?
There are several reasons why this recipe results in the crispiest wings ever.
Dry Rub. Moisture is the enemy of crispy wings. Using a dry rub vs a wet sauce flavors the wings without extra moisture. A dry rub is essential to crispy wings!
Corn starch. Corn starch absorbs moisture. Just a little bit allows the chicken skin to create a moisture-absorbing barrier. The result? Crispy skin, moist interior. Just a little keeps things beautifully crispy!
Fat Rendering. Cooking at 380F for 18 minutes allows for the chicken skin to render out its fat. Consider bacon: the longer you cook bacon, the crispier it gets. All that fat melts out, leaving behind extra crispy meat. In the same way, rendering the fat out of chicken wings also makes for crispy skin.
For comparison, Air Fryer Honey Soy Chicken Wings calls for a 12-minute cook time because it’s saucy and glazy. But for CRISPY chicken wings, an extra 6 minutes ensures fat rendering takes place.
How to make Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wings:
Make Korean Magic Dust.
Combine chicken wings with Korean magic dust, corn starch, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
Cook in pre-heated Air Fryer at 380F for 18 minutes. Shake the basket about halfway through. When done, the skin will look dry and crackly. Garnish and enjoy.
Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wings with Korean Magic Dust
- Air Fryer (I use the Cosori 5.8 Qt)
- Air Fryer Silicone Pot (optional)
- 2 lbs chicken wings + drumettes
- 2 Tbsp Korean Magic Dust
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 tsp salt
Korean Magic Dust BBQ Rub:
- 1/2 cup Gochukaru (Korean dried chili flakes)
- 1/2 cup smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup sea salt (finely ground)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup ground cumin
- 1/4 cup granulated garlic
- 2 Tbsp mustard powder
- 2 Tbsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp cayenne
Korean Magic Dust BBQ rub:
- In a large bowl, combine ingredients and mix until well combined. Transfer and store in a sealed, air-tight container. Sprinkle onto fries, roasted vegetables, burgers, chicken, ribs — everything!
Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wings:
- Preheat Air Fryer.
- In a large bowl, combine chicken wings with Korean Magic Dust BBQ rub, corn starch, and salt. Mix until well combined, with hands, until the corn starch is no longer visible.
- Transfer half of the chicken wings to the Air Fryer. Arrange wings and drumettes in a single layer, making sure not to overcrowd the basket. It's ok if the wings are slightly touching. Cook at 380F for 18 minutes, shaking the basket about halfway through. Repeat with the second half of the chicken wings.
- For my Air Fryer (Cosori 5.8Qt), half of the chicken wings fit easily into the basket. They can safely stay in one position the entire cooking time. Just make sure to shake the basket halfway through!
- Transfer chicken wings from the Air Fryer to a serving platter. Garnish with green onion, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Enjoy!