These Instant Pot Chicken Wings are the BEST out there and come together with just a 3-ingredient buffalo wing sauce. They are so easy to make and involve no deep frying either!
Can I make Instant Pot Chicken Wings with frozen chicken?
Fresh or frozen wings can be used to make Instant Pot hot wings.
For fresh meat: set the Instant Pot for eight minutes.
To cook frozen chicken wings: set the Instant Pot for twelve minutes.
Keep in mind that it will also take slightly longer for your Instant Pot to come to pressure when using frozen meat. Frozen meat will lower the temperature in the pot and as a result, the liquid will take longer to boil. Allow a little more time for meal prep if you don’t thaw the chicken ahead of time.
How to make wings in the Instant Pot
Before you make Instant Pot chicken wings, be sure to place a trivet into the pot. A small amount of liquid is necessary to bring an Instant Pot to pressure, but you do not want the meat to sit in the water during the cooking process. Placing the wings onto the trivet will keep them above the water – you only need 1 cup of water to make these wings!
Pressure cook for 8 minutes, then do a quick release of the pressure.
To get the crisp, flavourful texture of deep-fried wings, I use the broiler of my oven after pressure cooking the wings. Toss the pressure cooked chicken wings with homemade buffalo sauce, place them on a sheet pan and broil them for four to five minutes. This gives the taste and texture of fried chicken wings, but without the extra oil, fat, and calories.
Make the buffalo sauce
While the wings are pressure cooking, mix Frank’s red hot together with some butter and BBQ sauce – this results in the best buffalo sauce and it’s not too spicy either!
Technically you can just use a bottle of buffalo sauce, but the butter makes the heat a bit more mild and helps the sauce adhere to the wings, and the BBQ sauce adds a bit of sweetness.
The calorie count isn’t too bad either because you’re pressure cooking without a bunch of extra oil, and there’s a minimal amount of butter and BBQ sauce per serving.
Instant Pot chicken wings seasoning
Before pressure cooking, I do add a bit of seasoning to the raw chicken wings first, but this is completely optional.
Mix together a simple blend of onion or garlic powder, paprika and salt. You’ll then add the chicken wings to the pot on top of the trivet and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
After cooking, you’ll then toss in the sauce so for that reason you don’t necessarily need the seasoning but it adds an extra kick. To save time, you can also buy pre-seasoned chicken wings at the grocery store – mine usually has at least two different kinds on hand.
Can you deep fry food in the Instant Pot?
No, unfortunately, the Instant Pot doesn’t get hot enough to deep frying food, and it’s not safe to do either. A Dutch oven or deep fryer are best for that task.
Don’t let that stop you from making chicken wings in your Instant Pot!
In this recipe, you’ll pressure cook the wings then finish them off in the oven. However, by using the saute setting, basic pan frying can be done in the bottom of the Instant Pot as well so you can always fry your wings after the fact to get them crispy just like deep fried wings.
What are Buffalo wings?
Buffalo wings are a version of chicken wings, created in the kitchen of a bar in Buffalo, New York. Unlike some versions of fried chicken wings, Buffalo wings have no breading or batter.
Another thing that sets them apart from traditional fried wings is the sauce. Typically, Buffalo wing sauce has a vinegar base and includes butter and hot sauce or hot peppers.
Bellissimo, an Italian restaurant in Winnipeg, is supposedly the first place to serve celery with chicken wings. Interestingly, they never gave a reason as to why.
Some wing lovers believe that the taste of celery is a nice contrast to the spiciness of hot wings. Also, celery cleanses the palate of the bold flavor of the wing sauce. Don’t forget to add some carrot sticks in there too!
Instant Pot Chicken Wings Recipe Notes
- Make sure you use a wire rack when broiling the wings to ensure they don’t stick to the baking sheet
- Broil the wings AFTER the sauce has been added so that the sauce gets nice and hot on your crispy wings
- If you want extra crispy wings, leave under the broiler for twice the amount of time suggested, but watch to make sure they don’t burn
- Serve immediately! They are best fresh and not leftover
Reheating chicken wings
Try to use the broiler of the oven if you can, because wings don’t microwave quite as well. You will lose the crunch and end up with soggy wings sometimes. I would suggest reheating under the broiler or heating for 10-15 minutes in a 375 F degree oven.
What sides go with Instant Pot hot wings?
Instant Pot hot wings will provide the hearty protein for your meal. Of course, you will need some side dishes to accompany them! Focus on starches and vegetables for side dishes with your Instant Pot chicken wings.
Try one of these other recipes of mine and you’ll have a complete meal, made entirely from your Instant Pot!
- The Ultimate Instant Pot Potato Salad is a hearty and refreshing side to balance out the zest of the hot wings.
- Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables will up the health factor and create a beautifully colorful plate.
- Of course, you can also just serve with raw veggies and dip for a simple pub-inspired meal at home
What other sauces can you use?
Here are some other great sauce ideas, and most you should already have on hand at home pre-bottled or are easy to quickly whip up
- Honey garlic: mix together 1/4 cup honey, 1 tbsp soy sauce and 2 cloves of minced garlic
- Sweet chili sauce
- BBQ sauce
- Honey sriracha: mix 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup ketchup and 1 tbsp sriracha together
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Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls to pack up these wings and store them in the fridge
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Use these Ziploc bag holders if you’re marinating the wings then freezing them
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Instant Pot Chicken WingsPrint
- 1 cup water
- 2 lbs raw chicken wings
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion or garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2/3 cup buffalo wing sauce
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
- Carrots & celery sticks to serve
- Ranch and/or blue cheese dressing to serve
- In a large bowl, toss wings with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
- Add trivet and water to Instant Pot, then add seasoned chicken wings to trivet. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 8 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook the 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, set oven to broil on high and mix together wing sauce. Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Remove wings from Instant Pot and toss in sauce in a large bowl. Add wings to a baking sheet lined with foil and topped with a baking rack. Broil for 4-5 minutes per side to crisp wings up. Serve with veggies and dip and enjoy!