Air Fryer Smoked Turkey Wings — Do you enjoy smoked turkey wings but want a healthier alternative to traditional frying? You’re in luck! Air fryer smoked turkey wings are the perfect option.
These savory delights combine smoky, tender, juicy meat with crispy skin for an unbeatable combination of flavors and textures. They also require much less oil than traditional fried chicken wings and can be cooked up in a fraction of the time, too!
Whether you’re feeding your family or entertaining guests at your next party, air fryer smoked turkey wings will satisfy all taste buds without guilt about indulging in comfort food. Read on to find out how to make these delicious morsels at home!
Can You Smoke Turkey Wings In Air Fryer
An air fryer is designed to circulate hot air to mimic the effect of frying without submerging food in oil. While it can cook smoked turkey wings to perfection by giving them a crispy exterior, an air fryer itself cannot smoke food.
Why Cook Smoked Turkey Wings In Air Fryer
Cooking smoked turkey wings in an air fryer offers several advantages:
- Healthier Cooking: The air fryer uses circulating hot air to cook food, so you’ll get a crispy texture similar to frying but without excessive oil. This makes your smoked turkey wings healthier with reduced fat content.
- Consistent Cooking: The circulating air ensures even cooking, so the turkey wings are uniformly cooked throughout, avoiding overly crispy or undercooked spots.
- Faster Cooking Time: Air fryers generally cook food faster than traditional ovens so that you can enjoy your smoked turkey wings sooner.
- Less Mess: Traditional frying or baking can sometimes result in oil splatters or spills. The contained environment of an air fryer minimizes this mess.
- Enhanced Flavor: While the wings are already smoked, air frying can intensify their flavor by crisping the skin and sealing in the smoked taste, giving a wonderful contrast between the crispy outer layer and the juicy, tender meat inside.
- Space Efficient: If you don’t want to turn on a large oven for a small batch of turkey wings, an air fryer is a great alternative, especially in warmer months when you’d prefer not to heat the entire kitchen.
- Versatility: Most air fryers have multiple settings, allowing you to cook various dishes, including other accompaniments for your turkey wings.
To sum it up, using an air fryer for smoked turkey wings combines the benefits of both speed and health, delivering a crispy, flavorful dish without the extra calories and hassle of traditional frying.
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Smoked Turkey Wings
Are you looking for a delicious and easy way to enjoy smoked turkey wings? The air fryer is the perfect kitchen appliance for this tasty entrée! In this blog, we will explore the ingredients you need and simple steps to make succulent, juicy, and smoky turkey wings with your air fryer. Get ready to experience some of the best-smoked wings in town from the comfort of your home – no backyard smoker needed!
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Turkey Wings: Opt for 4 large turkey wings, weighing about 2 to 3 pounds. These will be the star of your dish. The bigger they are, the juicier the meat inside, but ensure they fit comfortably in your air fryer.
- Marinade/Brine: The combination of water, kosher salt, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce creates a flavorful soak for your wings. This step ensures the wings are moist and bursting with taste from the inside out. Adding liquid smoke can replicate that authentic smoky flavor if you aren’t using a traditional smoker.
- Dry Rub Seasoning: This blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne, dried thyme, and dried oregano gives your turkey wings a flavorful outer crust. Each spice adds depth, with the smoked paprika bringing that coveted smokiness and the cayenne hinting heat.
- For Crisping in the Air Fryer: The use of olive oil or a quick spray of cooking spray is essential. Not only does this ensure your wings don’t adhere to the air fryer basket, but it also gifts the wings with that irresistible golden crispy exterior we crave.
- Optional Garnish: Freshly chopped parsley or cilantro offers a burst of color and a fresh, herby note to the dish. Pairing your wings with lemon or lime wedges can add a zesty twist, enhancing the smoky flavors and offering a refreshing contrast.
How To Cook Air-Fried Smoked Turkey Wings
Are you looking to really spice up your mealtime? Smoked turkey wings in the Air Fryer will give you the crunchy, juicy flavor that will leave everyone at your dinner table asking for more. This quick, convenient way of preparing poultry is a great substitute for traditional deep-frying methods – healthier too!
The result is succulent turkey wings with an unforgettable smoky taste that will have you returning time after time. So, if you’re ready to try something new and exciting, read on as we walk through step-by-step instructions on how to make these tasty turkey wings in no time!
- Start by cleaning the turkey wings thoroughly, removing any feathers or unwanted bits. Pat them dry using paper towels.
Brining (Optional but recommended for added flavor):
- Combine 4 cups of water, 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (if you’re not using already smoked wings) in a large container.
- Add the turkey wings, ensuring they’re submerged.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, for the flavors to infuse.
- In a bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
- Remove the wings from the brine (if you used it) and pat dry. Rub them generously with the spice mix.
How Long To Cooked Smoked Turkey Wings In Air Fryer
- Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees F (190°C) for about 5 minutes. If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheat function, preheat for 3- 5 minutes.
- Lightly coat or spray the turkey wings with olive oil or cooking spray to help them crisp up.
- Place the wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they aren’t overcrowded (you might need to cook in batches depending on the size of your fryer).
- Set cook time for 25-30 minutes, turning the wings halfway through to ensure even cooking. They should be golden brown and have an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).
- Once done, transfer them to a plate and let them rest for a few minutes. This helps in retaining their juiciness.
- Garnish with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro, and serve with lemon or lime wedges on the side.
Pro Tips For Cooking Smoked Turkey Wings In Air Fryer
- Opt for Medium Wings: Large wings often cook more uniformly in air fryers than large ones.
- Always Pat Dry: Before seasoning, pat the wings dry after marinating or brining to ensure crispiness and better seasoning adherence.
- Ensure Single Layering: Place the wings in a single layer without overlapping in the fryer for optimal air circulation and even cooking.
- Rotate for Perfection: Halfway through, flip and rotate the wings for consistent browning and cooking.
- Monitor Temperature: A meat thermometer is your best friend. Ensure an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safety.
- Resting is Key: Let the wings rest for a few minutes after cooking. It helps in juice retention, ensuring a tender bite.
- Flavor Elevations: For added zest, brush the wings with your choice of sauce in the final minutes of cooking.
- Stay Vigilant: The final minutes are crucial. Keep a close eye to prevent any potential burning, especially if you’ve used sugary marinades or rubs.
- Boost the Crisp: Want an extra crispy finish? Ramp up the temperature to 400°F (200°C) for the concluding 3-5 minutes.
- Know Your Fryer: Every air fryer is unique. Familiarize yourself with its specific nuances and adjust your timings or methods accordingly.
Do I need to preheat my air fryer?
Yes, it’s usually recommended to preheat the air fryer for about 5 minutes. This ensures the turkey wings start cooking immediately when placed inside.
How long should I marinate or brine the turkey wings?
Ideally, for best flavor infusion, marinate or brine the wings for at least 2 hours, but overnight is even better.
Can I stack or overlap the wings in the air fryer?
It’s best not to. Overlapping can lead to uneven cooking. If necessary, cook in batches to ensure proper air circulation and even cooking.
How do I know when the turkey wings are fully cooked?
The internal temperature of the wings should reach 165°F (74°C) when measured with a meat thermometer.
Can I add sauce or glaze to the wings while they’re cooking?
It’s best to add sauces or glazes towards the end of the cooking time to prevent burning. Brushing them on in the last 5 minutes should work well.
Why are my turkey wings not as crispy as I expected?
Make sure the wings are well-dried before cooking and ensure they’re not overcrowded in the air fryer. Also, brushing them lightly with oil or cooking spray can help them crisp up.
Do I need to use oil when cooking turkey wings in the air fryer?
While it’s not absolutely necessary, using a small amount of oil or cooking spray can enhance the crispiness and flavor of the wings.
How can I add more smoky flavor without a traditional smoker?
If you’re starting with unsmoked wings, you can add liquid smoke to the marinade or brine or use smoked spices like smoked paprika in your seasoning rub.
Can I cook frozen turkey wings in the air fryer?
Yes, but adjust cooking times accordingly, as it might take longer. It’s also recommended to thaw the wings first for better texture and flavor.
What’s the best way to store leftovers?
Allow the wings to cool completely, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should be consumed within 3-4 days.
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Air Fryer Smoked Turkey Wings
- 4 large turkey wings, about 2 to 3 pounds, cleaned and patted dry.
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke, optional for added smoky flavor if not using a smoker
Dry Rub Seasoning:
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, adjust for heat preference
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
For Crisping in the Air Fryer:
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil , or cooking spray to ensure the wings don't stick and to give them a crispy exterior.
- Freshly chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish.
- Lemon or lime wedges for serving.
- Brine the Wings: Combine all the marinade/brine ingredients in a large bowl or container, ensuring the salt and sugar dissolve completely. Submerge the turkey wings in this mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for better flavor absorption.
- Prepping for Air Fryer: Remove the wings from the brine and pat them dry. Mix together all the dry rub seasoning ingredients and generously coat each wing.
- Air Frying: Preheat the air fryer to its recommended temperature for poultry or around 375°F (190°C). Lightly brush or spray the wings with olive oil or cooking spray. Arrange the wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they don’t overlap. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until they’re golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway through.
- Serving: Garnish with chopped herbs and serve with lemon or lime wedges.
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray
- Parchment Paper, optional