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Easy Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken is a traditional, Southern soul food recipe. This dish is quick to whip up, with less than 5 ingredients. The results are crispy, crunchy fried wings. You can use fresh or frozen chicken, and details include how long to cook and air fryer temperature.

buttermilk southern fried chicken

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This recipe was originally published in 2018 and has since been updated.

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The chicken wings are brined with buttermilk, breaded, and seasoned to perfection. This dish has the amazing down home cooking flavor the whole family will love.

Pair this with my Southern Style Soul Food Macaroni and Cheese!

You may also enjoy my Air Fryer Fried Pork Chops, Air Fryer Homemade French Fries, and Air Fryer Panko Breaded Shrimp recipes.

raw chicken wings on a cutting board with buttermilk and flour

I love that the air fryer takes me back to my roots. I grew up eating fried food. A LOT of it. Back in the day eating fried food regularly was pretty customary, especially among people with my similar background.

Fried chicken, pork chops, catfish, you name it, we fried it all! My family has roots in the south. We specialize in amazing tasting food, but it’s not always healthy.

When I got older I learned more about the dangers of consuming certain foods, especially in excess. I gave up fried foods because it is typically drenched in vegetable oil.

The air fryer is here now. So now I can eat pretty much anything I want (exaggerating maybe a little). 🙂

Is Air Fried Chicken Healthy?

Yes! Using an air fryer cuts out a ton of fat. It also gives you the option to use an oil other than vegetable oil for frying. I love to use olive oil because it’s loaded in monounsaturated fats. The good kind!

raw chicken wings with buttermilk

How to Make Fried Chicken in an air Fryer

  1. I like to combine the seasoning with the flour. This way the breading is directly seasoned.
  2. After coating the chicken with buttermilk, dredge each chicken wing in the seasoned flour mixture. You can also toss the wings in a Ziploc bag with the flour and shake. Just be sure most of each wing is coated. If the entire wing isn’t coated you will see uneven parts in the breading when cooked.
  3.  Next, spray the chicken with cooking oil. Spray both sides. Spray at a distance to ensure the breading does not fly off.
  4. Load the chicken in the air fryer and air fry!
raw chicken wings with buttermilk

Can You Use Frozen Chicken?

Yes. You will however, not be able to bread the chicken while it’s frozen. Fresh always will work better. If cooking from fronzen, allow the chicken to cook in the air fryer for 5-6 minutes first. Then continue with the breading steps.

Air Fryer Temperature

I set my air fryer to 400 degrees.

floured chicken wings in air fryer

Can You Stack Chicken in an Air Fryer?

I load the wings in the air fryer on one level, careful not to overfill the basket. If you overfill the basket it will impact your ability to obtain crunchy chicken. I do not recommend stacking the chicken.

floured chicken wings in air fryer

How Long to Cook/Cook Time

It can take up to 25 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your chicken. Always use a meat thermometer to test the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

floured chicken wings in air fryer

How to Reheat

I reheat the chicken on 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes or until crisp.

floured chicken wings in air fryer

Why is Buttermilk Used

Buttermilk is slightly acidic, which helps tenderize chicken when you soak it in it. The buttermilk will help break down the protein in the chicken without toughening up the meat. If you want tender and juicy chicken, marinating it first is your best bet.

Refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight.

air fryer southern buttermilk fried chicken

How to Substitute Buttermilk

You can use 1/4 cup of milk plus 1 tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice. You can read more about How to Substitute Buttermilk here.

Recipe Tips

  • Instead of shaking, I open the air fryer and turn the wings over every 5 minutes. This helps keep the breading intact. You can also shake the basket. Do what works best for you.
  •  Use a meat thermometer to test the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

Air Fryer Chicken Fil-A Sandwich
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Air Fryer Chicken Breast
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings

buttermilk southern fried chicken

Pair this Chicken with These Dishes

Air Fryer Potato Wedges
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

If you are looking for low carb air fryer wings, check out my Keto Air Fryer Chicken Wings recipe.

Click here for a complete listing of Air Fryer Recipes.

buttermilk southern fried chicken on a white serving platter
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5 from 13 votes

Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken is a traditional, Southern soul food recipe. This dish is quick to whip up, with less than 5 ingredients. The results are crispy, crunchy fried wings. You can use fresh or frozen chicken, and details include how long to cook and air fryer temperature.
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer chicken wings, air fryer fried chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 594kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken wings dry and add them to a large bowl. Drizzle with the buttermilk. For best results, cover and store the chicken in the fridge for 30 minutes to 3 hours. This will tenderize the chicken. I typically marinate for an hour minimum, you can go up to overnight.
  • Combine the flour, chicken seasoning, salt and pepper in a bowl large enough to dredge the chicken. Stir and mix well.
  • Dredge the chicken in the flour and seasonings. Ensure both sides of the chicken are fully coated. Use a spoon to get areas of the chicken wing that were missed.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil.
  • Add the chicken wings to the air fryer. Do not overcrowd the basket. Cook in batches if necessary. Spray the chicken with cooking oil.
  • Cook for 20 minutes on 400 degrees. Stop and flip the chicken every 5 minutes, a total of 4 times. 
  • Use a meat thermometer and ensure the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Add additional time if you prefer the chicken is crisper.
  • Remove the chicken from the air fryer. Cool before serving.

Notes

  • You can use 1/4 cup of milk plus 1 tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice. 
  • You can substitute the chicken seasoning for 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • If there are areas of the chicken that are still white from the flour, spritz it with oil.
  • If you have trouble with getting the chicken to crisp, spritz more oil.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 0.5pound | Calories: 594kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 39g
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Recipe Rating




Celia

Friday 16th of October 2020

My son has Celiac disease. Do you think I could use corn starch instead of flour? This chicken looks so good. I love my air fryer!

You can use baking powder, only a tbsp or 2 depending on the amount of chicken

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

@Celia,

MARKEEDA BROWN-ADAMS

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

@Celia,

staysnatched

Friday 16th of October 2020

I’ve never tested cornstarch. You could always omit the breading and air fry them without it.

LaKenya

Thursday 17th of September 2020

You are the reason why I love air fried wings now! They tasted just like you deep fried them in a pan of oil!

staysnatched

Saturday 19th of September 2020

YAY! You can't beat air fryer wings!

Shayla

Friday 3rd of July 2020

Listen. This is easily the best chicken recipe I’ve ever made. I don’t even think my husband came up for air when I first made it! Seriously so good!!

staysnatched

Friday 3rd of July 2020

Lol I love to hear that!

Shunta

Monday 29th of June 2020

I made these wings (using the same recipe in the air-fryer cookbook for chicken and waffles) and it was SO GOOD! The wings tasted just as good as deep frying but they were better because they weren't greasy and didn't leave you feeling heavy. I'll never go back to the deep fried wings again. I may even get rid of my deep fryer. Super simple and easy and clean up was so much easier too!

staysnatched

Monday 29th of June 2020

I have a hard time eating deep fried wings now because of the air fryer!

Maricela

Wednesday 24th of June 2020

This was the first thing we made with our new air fryer! Love that you gave us a buttermilk alternative since we don’t have that in our fridge very often. I’ve tried many “fried” chicken recipes that use the oven to avoid all that frying. Air fryer is life! Why did we wait so long to get one??? Thanks for this! Now we have to make our way through your cookbook :)

staysnatched

Thursday 25th of June 2020

Awesome! Enjoy the cookbook!