Craving some delicious wings? Look no further. These Hot Honey Lemon Pepper Wings are the perfect appetizer or main course for any occasion! They’re crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and exploding with flavor.
Wet Hot Honey Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings
You see the picture, these Wet Hot Honey Lemon Pepper Wings are necessary for your game day festivities and the recipe is here just in time for your Super Bowl party.
They are sweet, spicy, tangy, and smothered all the same time which sounds complicated but fear not. I made these bad boys in the air fryer with ease and so can you.
To make these drool-worthy lemon pepper wings, you’re going to need the key ingredients listed below.
- Chicken Wings: I like to use a combination of drums and flats, but feel free to use whichever you prefer. You can use fresh chicken wings or frozen wings, but make sure to thaw them first if using frozen.
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning: I prefer Penzy’s Lemon Pepper Seasoning, but you can use any kind you like or make your own from scratch.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is the key to getting the crispiest air fryer chicken wings. It helps to dry out the chicken skin, making it extra crispy and brown while staying juicy and tender on the inside.
- Butter: A little butter goes a long way in making these air fryer wings even more rich and flavorful than they otherwise would be.
- Honey: In addition to thickening up our lemon pepper sauce, honey also adds a touch of natural sweetness that enhances all the flavors and makes the wing sauce even more amazing.
- Hot Sauce: Louisiana hot sauce is always my top pick, but you can use whichever hot sauce you like best.
- Fresh Lemons: To make our lemon pepper sauce, you’ll need both the juice and zest of a few fresh lemons.
What is Hot Honey?
Hot honey is commonly used to give life to bland or boring dishes and enhance already-delicious ones. Hot honey is a flavorful way of taking things up a notch; it can be added to anything from breakfast sandwiches to pizza and wings. It’s basically exactly what it sounds like—a combination of heat and sweet.
Typically, hot honey is made by infusing honey with hot chile peppers or crushed chili flakes. When I make the condiment, I like to whip it up on the stove to quickly infuse as much flavor as possible. Because hot peppers and sugar both serve as flavor enhancers, hot honey is the ultimate way to take your favorite dishes to the next level.
How to Make Hot Honey Lemon Pepper Wings in Air Fryer?
These crispy air fryer wings are relatively easy to make and beyond worth the effort. All you have to do is follow the steps below.
If using whole wings, you must first cut and separate the wing, flat, and tip. You can reserve the wing tips for stock or discard them.
Then, add the chicken wings to a sheet pan and thoroughly pat them dry with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. If you have time, add chicken to the fridge for 30 to overnight to allow the skin to dry out.
Lemon Pepper Dry Rub:
Add lemon pepper seasoning, baking powder, cornstarch, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper to a bowl and whisk until blended.
Add oil to wings and toss, making sure all the wings are coated. Add seasoning blend and toss until all the wings are coated. Spray wire rack with cooking spray and add wings to rack in a single layer spaced out.
If you have a smaller air fryer, you’ll need to cook in batches.
Cook wings in a 400°F air fryer for 10 minutes, flip over, and cook an additional cook for 10 minutes.
Hot Honey Lemon Pepper Sauce:
While the wings are cooking, in a medium skillet over medium heat, add butter, honey, garlic, hot sauce, lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, lemon zest, chili flakes, and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes to thicken.
Toss chicken in the hot honey sauce while hot. Garnish with lemon zest and chili flakes. Serve hot and enjoy!
Difference Between Wet vs. Dry Wings
While I’m a fan of both wet and dry wings, you’ll find that many people have strong opinions about being “team wet” or “team dry.” In Atlanta (ATL), lemon pepper wings are a big deal. They don’t call it the Lemon Pepper Capital of the World for nothing! But what’s the difference?
Wet wings are slathered in sauce, whether it’s the classic buffalo sauce or the Atlanta cult favorite—lemon pepper sauce. On the other hand, dry wings are prepared with a dry rub made from herbs and spices. Some people love the messiness and infusion of flavors that wet wings offer, while others are partial to the crispiness of dry wings.
The great chicken wing debate is really a matter of personal preference. Personally, I love any wings I can get my hands on, but that’s just me! I combine a dry rub with a mouth-watering wing sauce in this lemon pepper wings recipe for maximum flavor. However, if you’re a dry wing lover— feel free to skip the sauce and stick with the rub!
Pro Tips for the Best Chicken Wings
Want to make the best crispy air fryer wings? Here are some of my top tips to help you get there:
- Make sure you dry the chicken wings thoroughly before seasoning them and adding them to the air fryer basket. This is essential for making sure they get nice and crispy.
- For the crispiest chicken wings, I swap out flour for cornstarch and add baking powder. This combination is guaranteed to create super crispy wings.
- When cooking chicken wings in an air fryer, you want to make sure you place them in the basket in a single layer. Otherwise, they won’t crisp upright and may not cook evenly. If you have a smaller air fryer, you may need to cook in batches.
- One of my favorite tricks for getting the crispiest wings in the air fryer is letting the wings air dry in the fridge overnight. To do this, just season the wings with the lemon pepper dry rub and place them on a baking sheet uncovered. Pop them into the fridge overnight, then proceed with the recipe the next day.
How long does it take for chicken wings to cook in a hot air fryer?
Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about hot honey lemon pepper wings:
Can you stack wings in an air fryer?
I don’t recommend it. Stacking wings in an air fryer would ultimately lead to soggy wings that are not cooked evenly. To avoid soggy, unsafe wings and ensure that you get the best air fryer wings, make sure to spread out your wings in an even layer so that they aren’t touching one another. Don’t be afraid to cook in batches if you need to!
Can I bake lemon pepper wings?
Yes! If you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake lemon pepper wings in the oven at 400°F on a wire rack over a baking sheet for 40 minutes. Flip them halfway through and make sure a meat thermometer reads 165°F before removing them from the oven.
What type of lemon pepper seasoning to use for this recipe?
You can use any lemon pepper seasoning you like. My personal favorites are Penzy’s lemon pepper seasoning and Lawry’s lemon pepper seasoning, but any store-bought or homemade version should work well.
What type of hot sauce should I use?
I am partial to Lousiana hot sauce, but you can use any kind of hot sauce you want. Use a brand you like the taste of, as hot sauce is a main component in our hot honey lemon pepper sauce.
Can this recipe be made ahead of time?
Yes! Hot honey lemon pepper wings are one of the best game-day appetizers ever. You can cut down on your prep time on the day of by prepping and seasoning your chicken wings the day before, then cooking the wings in the air fryer the day of.
You can also make the wing sauce up to 24 hours in advance and store it in the fridge in an airtight container. If you have leftover wings, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Wing Recipe Ideas
- Wet Lemon Pepper Wings
- Kansas City BBQ Wings
- Sweet & Spicy Peach Sticky Wings
- Spicy Coca-Cola Party Wings
Now it’s your turn!
Once you try these wings, you’ll be hooked. They’re the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, and they’ll definitely satisfy your cravings. So what are you waiting for? Make some wings today! And if you’re looking for more delicious wings recipes, check out my Sweet & Spicy Peach Sticky Wings and Spicy Coca-Cola Wings!
If you enjoy the recipe, please share it with your friends and family. And don’t forget to give me some five-star love down below. And if you have any comments or questions, leave them below too, and I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.
- 2 lbs. chicken wings flats & drumsticks cut
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil or neutral oil
- Cooking Spray
Lemon Pepper Dry Rub
- 2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Hot Honey Lemon Pepper Wet Sauce
- ¼ cup butter melted
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest (½ lemon)
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- lemon zest
- Red chili flakes
To Prepare Chicken
- If using whole wings you must first cut and separate the wing, flat and tip. You can reserve wing tips for stock or discard.
- Add chicken wings to a sheet pan and thoroughly pat them dry with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. If you have time, add chicken to the fridge for 30 to overnight to allow the skin to dry out.
To Make Lemon Pepper Dry Rub
- Add lemon pepper seasoning, baking powder, cornstarch, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper to a bowl and whisk until blended.
- Add oil to wings and toss making sure all the wings are coated. Add seasoning blend and toss until all the wings are coated. Spray wire rack with cooking spray and add wings to rack in a single layer spaced out. If you have a smaller air fryer you’ll need to cook in batches.
To cook wings
- Cook wings in a 400°F air fryer for 10 minutes, flip over, and cook an additional cook for 10 minutes.
To make hot honey lemon pepper sauce
- While wings are cooking, in a medium skillet over medium heat add butter, honey, garlic, hot sauce, lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, lemon zest, chili flakes, and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes to thicken.
- Toss chicken in the hot honey sauce while hot. Garnish with lemon zest and chili flakes. Serve hot.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
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