Instant Pot Chicken Wings

By: Cassy Joy Garcia

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These Instant Pot chicken wings are the best of ALL of the worlds – they’re easy (thanks, Instant Pot!), crispy, and SO delicious!

a bowl filled with Instant Pot buffalo chicken wings, carrots, celery, and a small dish of ranch dressing sitting on a gray background

For me, chicken wings are a game day food *must-make* – they’re a real crowd-pleaser because they can be tossed with so many different dressings, sauces, and seasonings. The flavors are a nice pop, but the wings are craveable in their own right. We already have a recipe for classic oven baked buffalo wings and teriyaki chicken wings, but these wings are special because they're made (in far less time) in the Instant Pot. Thanks to this new method, these are easy enough to be enjoyed any ole night of the week!

Why make chicken wings in the Instant Pot?

Chicken wings in the Instant Pot make sense for several reasons. Here are the 3 biggest reasons why we love this cooking method:

  1. They’re crispy – steaming the wings first renders the fat from the skin, leading to super crispy wings once you bake or air fry them. There’s nothing quite like a crispy chicken wing!
  2. They’re quick – to get crispy wings in the oven, you have to bake them for a long time (about an hour). The Instant Pot is much quicker!
  3. They’re healthier – because they are baked or air fried instead of deep fried, these are much healthier than the average restaurant chicken wing.

What do you need to Make Chicken Wings in an Instant Pot?

To make these crispy wings, you’ll need a few pieces of equipment + just a couple of ingredients! If you use an Instant Pot already, the equipment won’t be new to you, and if you don’t own an Instant Pot, it might be time to grab one! Read all about all of our favorite Instant Pot models here.

  • Chicken Wings – you’ll need about 1.5 – 2 pounds of chicken wings.
  • Sauce of Choice – grab your favorite pre-made buffalo or BBQ sauce, or make your own! Any sauce you love will work. These are very sauce-friendly wings.
  • Instant Pot – any Instant Pot will do, but if you want to pressure cook and air fry them in the same pot, we recommend using the Instant Pot Duo Crisp or an Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid.
  • Steamer Basket or Wire Trivet – feel free to use the wire steamer rack that comes with your Instant Pot, OR snag a super handy steamer basket to get the job done just a little bit easier. We really love this silicone one, but any Instant Pot compatible steamer basket will work.

What is the best sauce for chicken wings?

Of course, the most classic sauce for chicken wings is buffalo sauce! We've included our easy 2-ingredient buffalo sauce below for you. If you want to be a little more adventurous, or just don't love spicy food, we've also included a recipe for lemon pepper chicken wings and honey BBQ!

a bowl filled with Instant Pot buffalo chicken wings, carrots, celery, and a small dish of ranch dressing sitting on a gray background

How to make chicken wings in Instant Pot?

Ok, I'll be honest. I was nervous when I first tried these and also pretty skeptical (these  classic oven baked buffalo wings are HARD TO BEAT) …but, I'm a believer now. You’ll start by steaming your wings in the Instant Pot, and then you’ll either finish them off in the oven or using an air fryer. Here’s exactly how to make these wings:

Instant Pot Duo Crisp Method

  1. Prep – first, place the wire trivet (or steamer basket) in your Instant Pot and pour in 1 cup of water.
  2. Season + Steam – toss the wings with salt and pepper, then place them on top of the steamer. Cook for 8 minutes on high pressure.
  3. Release the Pressure + Remove – once the timer goes off, immediately release the pressure in the Instant Pot (turn the nob on the lid to “vent”). Remove the chicken wings and trivet from the pot, and pour out the water.
  4. Air Fry – place the air fryer basket in the pot (inside the steel insert) and line with a parchment paper insert (optional, but helps with sticking). Place the chicken wings in the basket and place the air fryer lid on the pot. Set to cook at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, flipping the wings about halfway through cooking (the pot will beep at you halfway through), until crisp. Note: your chicken wings do *not* need to be in a single layer in order to crisp! The air fryer does a really great job of circulating the air around the wings and tossing at the halfway mark really helps too.
  5. Make the Sauce – if you’re making a homemade sauce, do that while the wings cook!
  6. Toss + Serve – toss the finished wings in the sauce and serve.

Oven Crisping Method

  1. Prep – first, place the wire trivet (or steamer basket) in your Instant Pot and pour in 1 cup of water.
  2. Season + Steam – toss the wings with salt and pepper, then place them on top of the steamer. Cook for 8 minutes on high pressure.
  3. Release the Pressure + Remove – once the timer goes off, immediately release the pressure in the Instant Pot (turn the nob on the lid to “vent”). Remove the chicken wings and trivet from the pot, and pour out the water.
  4. Bake – bake the chicken wings at 450°F for 15 minutes. If you like crispier chicken wings, bake for an additional 10 minutes (so, 25 minutes total).
  5. Make the Sauce – if you’re making a homemade sauce, do that while the wings cook!
  6. Toss + Serve – toss the finished wings in the sauce and serve.
a bowl filled with Instant Pot buffalo chicken wings, carrots, celery, and a small dish of ranch dressing sitting on a gray background

Can you stack chicken in an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can stack chicken in the Instant Pot – it does not have to be in an even layer! When crisping the wings on the air fryer setting, however, we recommend trying not to overlap the wings too much – the more space they have, the more evenly they will crisp.

Can I use frozen chicken wings?

You can (pretty amazing, right?!). You’ll just need to increase the cook time from 8 to 12 minutes on high pressure if your wings are frozen. It's Instant Pot magic.

What do you serve with chicken wings?

Chicken wings go well with almost anything! Personally, I love to serve mine with these easy crispy oven potato wedges and a simple veggie side like this lemon sea salt arugula side salad, creamy green apple coleslaw, or just a serving of roasted vegetables!

What are good dipping sauces for wings?

One of my favorite things about chicken wings is the dipping sauce on the side! Here are a few ideas for dipping sauces:

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Instant Pot Chicken Wings

These Instant Pot chicken wings are perfectly crisp and ready faster than traditional wings!

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

For the wings:

  • 1.52 pounds chicken wings
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the sauce:

Honey BBQ:

  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/21 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

Lemon Pepper:

  • 1.5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

Buffalo:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot

Instructions

  1. Place the wire trivet (or steamer basket, if you have one) in your Instant Pot and pour in 1 cup of water.
  2. Toss the wings with salt and pepper, then place them on top of the steamer. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
  3. Once the timer goes off, immediately release the pressure on the Instant Pot. Remove the chicken wings and trivet from the pot, then pour out the water.
  4. Air Fryer Method: Place the air fryer basket in the pot (inside the steel insert) and line with a parchment paper insert, if needed. Place the chicken wings in the basket and place the air fryer lid on the pot. Set to cook at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, flipping the wings about halfway through cooking when the pot beeps at you, until crisp.
  5. Oven Method: Transfer the wings to a rimmed baking sheet (lined with parchment paper, if you like) and bake at 450°F for about 15 minutes, or for crispier wings, bake at 450°F for 25 minutes.
  6. While the wings cook, make the sauce by mixing together all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  7. Toss the finished wings in the sauce and serve!

Keywords: instant pot chicken wings, pressure cooker chicken wings, buffalo chicken wings, honey bbq chicken wings, lemon pepper chicken wings

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  1. Katie says:

    Can’t wait to make this!! If I double the recipe, will it take longer in the IP?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      The time should stay the same, Katie!