Baking soda is the secret to extra crispy air fryer chicken wings. Its high pH makes it alkaline, which is a lot words to say it softens up the chicken skin to get it very crispy as it cooks. Use this method to get crispier wings without having to fry them in oil, then finish them with Buffalo sauce or your choice of sauce.
For the wings: If the wings are whole, remove the wing tips at the joint and save them for stock. Then cut each wing into 2 pieces: the drumette and the flat. Give them a rinse in cold water and pat dry with single-use paper towels. Place the wings in a medium bowl then sprinkle with the baking soda, garlic powder, paprika and a heavy pinch each of salt and pepper and massage into the wings for about 30 seconds. You can cover and refrigerate them for up to overnight if not using immediately.
When ready to cook, preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees. Add the canola oil to the wings and massage to coat, about 30 seconds.
Insert the air fry basket into the air fryer. Place the wings in the basket, making sure none of the wings are touching. (Air needs to circulate around each one in order to crisp.)
Air fry for about 12 minutes, open the fryer, then give the wings a stir to make sure they are browning. Cook until “GBD” (golden brown and delicious), 6 to 8 minutes.
While the wings are cooking, make the sauce: Place all the ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the butter is melted, about 1 minute. Give the sauce a good stir to combine well.
When the wings are cooked, carefully transfer them to the sauce bowl. Toss to coat very well, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately with celery sticks, chunky blue cheese dressing and ranch dressing.