These Wet 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. Plus, they’re cooked in your air fryer so they’re healthier than traditional wings. Whether you’re hosting a party or just looking for an easy weeknight meal, these wings will definitely satisfy your cravings.
Let’s talk about some of the key ingredients you’ll need to make these mouth-watering lemon pepper wings.
- Chicken Wings: You can use fresh chicken wings or frozen wings for this recipe. If you decide to opt for frozen wings, make sure to thaw them first.
- Melted Butter: This is essential for making the lemon pepper sauce as rich and flavorful as possible. To keep this dish dairy-free, swap for vegan butter or olive oil.
- Fresh Lemons: You’ll need both lemon juice and lemon zest for the delicious lemon pepper wing sauce you will make. Fresh lemons not only add a bright citrus flavor to the sauce, but the acidity also enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning: I love using Penzy’s Lemon Pepper Seasoning on my lemon pepper wings, but you can use any brand you like or make your own.
- Cornstarch: This ingredient is the key to getting the juiciest and crispiest air fryer wings, so don’t skip it!
How to Make the Wet Lemon Pepper Wings in Air Fryer
Cooking wings in the air fryer is easily my favorite method because it’s quick, easy, and yields insanely crispy results. Just follow the simple steps below to enjoy!
Step 1: If you’re using whole wings then you must first cut and separate the wing, flat and tip. You can reserve the wing tips for stock or discard them.
Step 2: Dry the chicken wings thoroughly with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.
Step 3: Add chicken wings to a bowl and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and toss until coated. If you have time, add chicken to the fridge for 30 minutes or up to overnight to allow the skin to dry out.
Step 4: Add lemon pepper seasoning, baking powder, cornstarch, flour, kosher salt, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper to a bowl, then whisk until blended.
Step 5: Add the oil to the wings and toss, making sure all the wings are fully coated. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray and add the wings in a single layer. Add the dry rub and toss until all the wings are covered.
Step 6: Set the air fryer to 400°F. Cook for 10 minutes, flip over, then cook for 10 more minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and lemon wedges if desired.
Tips for Crispy Air Fryer Wings
Here are some of my top tips for the crispiest air fryer wings:
- Drying your wings thoroughly before coating them with your lemon pepper dry rub is the best way to ensure they get nice and crispy in the air fryer. You could let them air dry on a baking sheet in the fridge overnight if you have the time.
- One of my favorite secret weapons for crispy chicken wings is adding baking powder to the dry rub. The other is swapping out the flour for cornstarch, as this ingredient helps to brown the chicken on the outside while keeping it juicy on the inside.
- When cooking your wet lemon pepper wings in the air fryer, make sure they are spread out in an even layer and that they aren’t touching each other. You can cook in batches if your air fryer isn’t big enough to cook them all at once.
- If you love spicy wings, try adding ¼ cup buffalo sauce to the lemon pepper wing sauce.
How to Store Chicken Wings
Whether you accidentally make too much or want to meal prep a big batch all at once, chicken wings are great for storing for later. Allow them to cool to room temperature before transferring the wings to an airtight container. Once you’ve done that, you can store this dish in one of two ways:
- Fridge – Up to 3 to 4 days.
- Freezer – Up to 6 months.
To reheat chicken wings, just pop them into the air fryer at 370°F for 7 to 10 minutes or until warmed through. If you’ve frozen your wings, let them thaw in the fridge for 24-48 hours first.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this wet lemon pepper wings recipe:
What type of lemon pepper seasoning is best?
My favorite lemon pepper seasonings are Penzy’s and Lawry’s, but you can really use any brand you like or even make your own at home. Just make sure to choose a seasoning blend that you enjoy the taste of and you’ll be in good shape.
Can I bake lemon pepper wings in the oven?
Of course! If you don’t have an air fryer or want to cook a larger amount of chicken wings at once, then the oven is a great option. To bake lemon pepper wings, place them on a wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet. Then, bake them at 400°F for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
How do I know when the wings are done?
The easiest way to know when the wings are done is to stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the biggest wing. If the temperature reads 165°F, then the wings are fully cooked and ready to eat.
Can you stack wings in an air fryer?
I don’t recommend stacking wings in an air fryer. When you place them in the air fryer basket, spread them out so they fit in a single layer without touching one another. This ensures that all of your wings are cooked evenly and helps them get as crispy as possible. You can cook in batches if you can’t fit them all at once.
Now it’s your turn!
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- 2 lbs. chicken wings flats & drumsticks cut
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons 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
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Lemon Pepper Wet Sauce
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest (½ lemon)
- ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- lemon wedges
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.
- Dry chicken wings thoroughly with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Add chicken wings to a bowl and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and toss until coated. If you have time, add chicken to fridge for 30 to overnight to allow skin to dry out.
To Make Lemon Pepper Dry Rub
- Add lemon pepper seasoning, baking powder, cornstarch, kosher salt, sugar, 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. If you have a smaller air fryer you’ll need cook in batches.
To cook wings
- Turn air fryer on to 400°F. Cook for 10 minutes, flip over, cook for 10 minutes.
To make lemon pepper wet sauce
- While wings are cooking, in a medium skillet over medium heat add butter, lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, lemon zest, and black pepper and bring to a simmer. Toss chicken in the lemon pepper sauce while hot. Garinish with parsley and lemon wedges. Serve hot with blue cheese or ranch sauce.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
**The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products I use and love. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.