2 min read

Hot Wings, Part Deux: The Air Fryer Investigation

We investigate the claim that the best “deep” fried wings come from an air fryer.

“If you know, you know,” the converts will preach, claiming air-fried hot wings are the be-all and end-all take on the Great American Dish™. Admittedly not an unreasonable assertion, but as I’ve yet to do a cross-comparison with the baked variety, it’s not something I’ve been fully willing to accept. Thus, having recently added a Philips HD9650/96 air fryer to the arsenal, I prepared a proper comparison.

For this recipe, I went with a dry rub based loosely on my pineapple hot wings. This is my current preferred flavor profile—which I usually bake in the oven—and it’s a good recipe for testing consistency and flavor.

The Recipe

This air fryer recipe is for a dozen or so wings—if you go with drumettes, you’ll want to add pinch-plus more of each ingredient.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Mix the spices and toss them with a dozen wings or drumettes—let sit for about half an hour.
  2. Place the wings in the air fryer basket for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
  3. Give the basket a shake and fry for 5-15 minutes at 325 degrees—on the lower side for wings and the higher side for drumettes.

And that’s it. The baked version is pretty much identical, though use a meat thermometer to be on the safe side.

The Findings

If you know you know, and if you have ever tasted air-fried wings, it won’t surprise you that the zealots are right: Going back to backed wings is not going to happen.

The flavors are fairly comparable, but that is where the similarities stop. Where the baked version is a smidgen too dry, the air fryer gives the exterior a good bite with juicy interiors. And the wings are not greasy—fresher tasting than even the best conventionally fried variety.

A predictable finding? Certainly. But, there are many out there who have not heard the good word, and it seems suitable that I join in and try to convince the hold-outs: This is the only way to prepare wings.


With Twitter crashing into the ground at a breakneck speed, Substack has seen its opportunity to launch an alternative: Notes. Similar to Twitter, it still plays a somewhat different role. For one thing, you currently will only see posts from the Substacks you subscribe to, which limits the common social-media noise. In the Substack app, it’s easy to pop over to the Notes section and quickly browse it.

Where you’ll see highly engrossing content like this:

Really, though, I do see myself using the feature. A writer-centric Twitter-style environment may just work. And it has already helped me find two quality Substacks I previously wasn’t aware of: Today in Tabs and the charmingly titled shit you should care about, daily.