These delicious Hot Honey Chicken Wings are covered in a homemade hot honey sauce, butter, and a few extras. It's so easy to make these sticky, sweet, spicy, and smoky chicken wings at home with just a few ingredients!
If you love chicken wings but you're in the mood to try something different, you gotta try these spicy and sweet honey wings.
These sticky chicken wings are covered in a hot honey butter sauce, making them extra decadent, and a favorite at get-togethers! These wings can be baked in the oven or made in the air fryer, and they are a hit every time.
❤️Why we love this recipe
- Made with simple ingredients - Nothing fancy is needed for this recipe, just a few pantry staples. Everything you need can be found at the grocery store if you don't already have it on hand.
- Easy recipe - Throw the wings in the oven or air fryer while you make the sauce on the stovetop in 5 minutes or less. It's way too easy and delicious to pass up.
- Crowd pleaser - Everyone loves these wings, and it's easy to see why. Bring these to your next gathering. These are the perfect appetizer, and are the perfect party wings for game day or Super bowl Sunday. This recipe makes a pretty large batch. Enough to feed 4-6 people comfortably as a meal, or 10 or more as an appetizer. You can scale it back or make a double batch easily as well.
- Naturally gluten free - The ingredients needed for this recipe are naturally gluten-free, which is a big win to those with dietary restrictions.
Here are the ingredients we used for this recipe. Please note, that you can adjust all ingredients to suit your preference. You can find full quantities and nutritional information in the recipe card.
- Chicken wing portions - We like to buy pre-cut-up sections so they are easy to eat, and we often use raw chicken wings. Whole chicken wings can also be used if you prefer. Frozen chicken wings will work as well if you prepare them in the air fryer.
- Avocado oil - To coat the wings when cooking. We use avocado oil because it has a nice neutral flavor and a very high smoke point. Olive oil can also be used.
- Seasonings - We keep it simple with a little kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Most of the seasoning comes from the hot honey sauce. But if you like things super spicy, add in more cayenne or red pepper flakes.
- Unsalted butter - We like to use unsalted butter so we can control the salt level easier.
- Hot honey sauce - We make our very own hot honey sauce that is seasoned with cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and smoked paprika, so that's where a lot of the seasoning comes from. If you're using store-bought hot honey (affiliate link), you may need to add more seasonings to taste.
- Honey - We also add in a little bit of regular honey, which is optional, to sweeten the sauce without adding more heat. This is totally optional and to taste.
- Dry off wings with a paper towel to help the wings get a nice crispy skin.
- If making in the air fryer, preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Prepare the air fryer basket with aluminum foil or non-stick spray if necessary.
- If making in the oven, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 425°F.
Step 1 - Season the wings
In a large bowl, add chicken wings, garlic powder, onion powder, some salt, pepper, and oil.
*We used 4.5 pounds of wings, so we used roughly 4 teaspoons of kosher salt. This is because we knew our hot honey sauce already had some salt in it as well. In general, we opt for 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat, and that ratio always seems to work perfectly.
Using a pair of tongs, toss the mixture to combine.
Step 2 - Bake the wings
Add the wings in a single layer to the air fryer basket or trays.
Bake or air fry until golden brown. Depending on your air fryer, you may want to flip the wings halfway through to ensure both sides get crispy.
Cook time will vary depending on the method you use. Just make sure the wings reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Our air fryer took about 35 minutes.
Step 3 - Make the hot wing sauce
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add butter to melt. To the melted butter, add hot honey and regular honey (if using). Add salt to taste.
Step 4 - Toss the wings in the sauce
Add about half of the sauce to the wings in a large clean bowl. Toss to combine.
If desired, you can broil or air fry for an additional few minutes to get the sauce to caramelize a bit and stick to the wings.
Step 5 - Plate
Add the remaining sauce, and garnish with salt, pepper, parsley, and optional red pepper flakes.
Step 6 - Enjoy
Drizzle with extra sauce as needed.
Serve with this Wingstop ranch dressing copycat recipe or blue cheese dressing!
✨Tips & tricks
- Sweeten to taste. We added extra plain honey to make these wings a little on the sweeter side, but you could use all hot honey if you like.
- Add seasonings to taste. Feel free to add red pepper flakes or cayenne to make these wings a little spicier.
- Make them extra crispy. We love making wings in the air fryer, since it seems to be the easiest way for us to get the wings nice and crispy. But you can also achieve this by baking the wings with baking powder.
- Flip the wings halfway through. On the crispiness note, it's a good idea to flip the wings halfway through to ensure everything cooks pretty evenly.
✏️Substitutions & variations
The ingredients are pretty straightforward, but here are a few simple swaps you can make.
- Dairy free - Use a dairy free or vegan butter to keep this recipe dairy free.
- Spicier - The butter in this recipe definitely cuts down on some of the spicinesses, so if you want it hotter, feel free to add extra spices like cayenne or red pepper flakes.
- Garlicky - You could cook some finely minced garlic down with butter for 3-5 minutes on low before adding in the honey and hot honey. Alternatively, you could add some garlic powder to the hot honey butter sauce.
- Lemony - Add a zing of acidity and brightness by adding fresh lemon juice and zest to the sauce.
- Add hot sauce - You could also simply combine your favorite hot sauce with honey and a little vinegar to make an even easier hot honey sauce on the fly.
✨Other yummy appetizers to try
Need the perfect appetizer to bring in addition to these wings for a game day gathering? Check out these tried and true favorites!
- These air fryer buffalo chicken jalapeño poppers wrapped in bacon are just awesome!
- Make sure to try our spinach and artichoke dip, it's always a hit at parties.
- These crispy air fryer smashed potatoes with garlic, herbs, and parmesan are truly delicious. You can't go wrong.
- This buffalo chicken chili is the perfect hearty chicken chili you need, with tons of flavor!
Luckily, this recipe is pretty standard and you really don't need much to make it.
- If making in the oven, you'll just need baking sheets and parchment paper.
- If you'd like to go the air fryer route, we'd like to make a note that this is the air fryer we use. Cook times may vary depending on the air fryer you have.
- We always recommend having a quick-read thermometer handy, so you can know for certain when the chicken wings are fully cooked through. Chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165°F to be safe to consume.
🛒Shop this recipe
These wings save really well if you want to reheat them throughout the week. Make sure to store in an airtight container in the fridge, and they will keep for up to 5 days.
To freeze - Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place wings in a single layer. Freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. These will keep for up to 4 months. *Please note, that the wings will lose some of their crispiness in the freezer.
To reheat in the air fryer, preheat to 360°F, and place wings on trays in a single layer. Air fry for 3-4 minutes, then flip, and heat for an additional 2-3 minutes.
In the microwave, reheat gently at 50% powder until warmed through. This will take roughly 2-3 minutes.
In the oven, preheat the oven to 375°F. Add to a parchment lined baking sheet and re-heat until warmed through, about 12 minutes.
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Honey Hot Wings
For the chicken wings
- 4.5 pounds chicken wing sections
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the hot honey butter sauce
- 1.5 sticks unsalted butter
- 4 ounces hot honey sauce (homemade or storebought)
- 2 ounces pure honey (optional and to taste)
- parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and more hot honey to garnish
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F, or the oven to 425°F, and prepare a baking sheet with parchment or air fryer trays with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, toss chicken wing sections with avocado oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder. Add to baking sheets or air fryer trays in a single layer and bake until golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway through. In the air fryer this should take around 35 minutes, and about 45-50 minutes in the oven. Cook times may vary, so just be sure the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by melting butter in a saucepan. Add hot honey, and honey, and adjust seasonings to taste. Simmer over low heat, stirring often to combine. Don't allow the mixture to boil.
- After the wings are cooked through, toss them in about half of the sauce. You can broil or air fry for a few minutes to help the honey caramelize and stick to the wings if desired. Serve with the remaining sauce, and drizzle hot honey over top if desired. Enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- If using store-bought hot honey, you may need to add more spices to taste.
- Add honey and spices to taste. You can adjust the sweetness and spice level to suit your own personal preferences.
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.