Hot Honey Butter Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer

Prep 4 mins
Cook 16 mins
Total 20 mins

Y’all, these Hot Honey Butter Chicken Wings are cooked to perfection in the air fryer before being tossed in what truly might be the BEST sweet and spicy sauce, EVER! This easy recipe takes just 20 minutes and you’ll get the crispiest, juiciest, flavor packed wings every time.

Overhead image of hot honey wings on parchment paper with a bowl of sauce and celery.

*This post is sponsored by Challenge Butter. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Novice Chef possible.*

Hot Honey Butter Chicken Wings In The Air Fryer

I don’t know how I ever enjoyed homemade chicken wings before the air fryer came along, I really don’t! I’m completely obsessed with how perfectly crispy on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside, the wings always turn out. When cooked at just the right temperature for the right time, they’re always perfect – never dry!

But the air fryer isn’t all that makes these chicken wings truly unforgettable. No, what really elevates them is being tossed in the epic homemade hot honey butter sauce!

Ingredients like Challenge Butter, hot sauce, and sweet honey come together to make a remarkably mouthwatering wing sauce unlike any you have had before. It’s a sweet, spicy and buttery sauce over some perfectly crispy cooked wings. I guarantee you won’t be able to eat just one!

Up close image of hot honey wings covered in sauce on parchment paper.

Hot Honey Butter Sauce

The sauce is what elevates these wings to restaurant level. The sauce is made of only 4 key ingredients: Challenge Butter, hot sauce, honey and salt.

I always reach for Challenge Butter because it is churned fresh daily and is ready for the dairy case just 36 hours after the cows have been milked. The freshness and creaminess of the butter truly comes through in your recipes. Challenge is also farmer-owned since its inception in 1911!

Over the years I have been invited to quite a few dairy farms and you can see the love that these farmers have for their work and the well-being of their cows. I love getting to support a company that supports their farmers!

Ingredients in bowls arranged on a counter top with a kitchen bowl and tongs.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to prepare the wings:

  • Olive Oil
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chicken Wings – Split the chicken wings into flats and drummettes.

For the mouthwatering hot honey butter sauce, all you need are these four simple ingredients:

Uncooked chicken wings in a bowl with a spatula covered in sauce.

How to Make Hot Honey Butter Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer

Whisk. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

Toss. Add the wings to the mixture and toss them to fully coat. To make life easier on yourself, you can also do this in a ziplock bag!

Overhead image of chicken wings being cooked in an air fryer.

Cook. Heat the air fryer to 400°F. Once it’s heated up, arrange the wings in an even layer in the air fryer basket. Cook them for 12 minutes.

Make the sauce. While the wings are cooking, make the hot honey butter sauce. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the melted butter, hot sauce, honey, and salt. Taste and add more salt, if desired.

A bowl with sauce and a pastry brush set on top.
Chicken wings in an air fryer basket being brushed with hot honey butter sauce.

Coat the wings. Once the wings have cooked for 12 minutes, open the air fryer and generously brush on the hot honey butter sauce on both sides of the chicken wings.

Cook again. Cook the wings for 4 more minutes, or until the wings are fully cooked through.

Serve. Serve these hot honey wings immediately. You can coat them with any extra sauce or serve the extra sauce on the side to dunk them in!

Overhead image of hot honey wings cooked in an air fryer on parchment paper with a bowl of sauce and celery.

What kind of hot sauce should I use?

Rule of thumb – when a recipe calls for hot sauce, just use your favorite! The hot sauce is a key ingredient here, so if you already know you like a specific brand, use that one.

We personally love Cholula and think it makes the BEST Hot Honey Wings. We have tried many different hot sauces, and always go back with the Cholula. It’s spicy, without being too hot, and is perfectly balanced with the sweet honey.

How can I make these wings even spicier?

Besides just using a really hot sauce, you can make these wings even spicier by tossing the uncooked wings in extra hot seasonings like crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper. Just be warned – if you add those ingredients, you’ll really be breaking a sweat!

Up close image of air fryer wings covered in hot honey sauce with a spoon pouring extra sauce on top.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Hot Honey Butter Chicken Wings

Up close image of air fryer wings covered in hot honey sauce with a spoon pouring extra sauce on top.

These Hot Honey Butter Chicken Wings are cooked to perfection in the air fryer before being tossed in what truly might be the BEST sweet and spicy sauce, EVER! This easy recipe takes just 20 minutes and you'll get the crispiest, juiciest, flavor packed wings every time.

Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

Wings:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 lbs chicken wings, split into flats and drummettes

Hot Honey Butter:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) Challenge Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Instructions

1. In a large bowl whisk together olive oil, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper. Add wings and toss to coat fully. (You can also do this in a ziplock bag.)

2. Heat air fryer to 400°F. Arrange wings in an even layer of air fryer basket. Cook for 12 minutes.

3. While wings are cooking, make hot honey butter sauce. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together Challenge Butter, hot sauce, honey and salt. Taste and add more salt if desired.

4. Once wings have cooked for 12 minutes, open air fryer and generously brush on the hot honey sauce sauce on both sides of the chicken wings. Then cook for 4 more minutes, or until wings are cooked through.

5. Serve immediately with any extra sauce on the side for dipping!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 632Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 1394mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 27g

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Comments

9 Responses
    1. Jessica

      Whatever is your personal favorite! I like to use Cholula because it has great flavor without being too hot for me personally. If you prefer a hotter hot sauce and like the heat, I would use that instead.

    1. Jessica

      You can bake them in the oven at 425°F in an even layer. Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer on the race and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until crispy and cooked through to 165°F internal temp is reached. I would add the sauce mid way through baking and again at the end. Hope this helps!

  1. Jenn

    I made these last night with Tabasco hot sauce because it’s what I had on hand. They were AMAZING. Spicy and sweet, we couldn’t stop going back for more. I have had problems finding chicken wings lately at my grocery store, so when I saw them yesterday, I knew this was what I was going to make! SO GOOD.

    1. Jessica

      Hi Michelle! If you have a convection oven, yes it will work similarly to make this recipe, however it is slightly different. The small air fryers cook much faster. I find my convection oven cooks faster than regular, but not quite as fast as the small air fryers. So I would use a thermometer to double check your chicken is cooked through!

  2. Susan Wicks

    How can raw chicken wings be cooked in 16 mins? In a pressure cooker maybe but not in an air fryer. Did I miss that the wings are precooked? Chicken with bones needs 45 mins to fully cook, even wings.

    1. Jessica

      Hi Susan! Yes, in an air fryer, the raw chicken wings will cook in just 16 minutes! Air fryers cook at a much faster rate. You can use a thermometer to double check that your chicken wings are cooked through, but as long as you don’t crowd the basket too much, they will take right around 16 minutes to cook!

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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