RecipesCooking Techniques

Air Fryer Fried Chicken with Hot Honey

Air Fryer Fried Chicken with Hot Honey

Frying chicken in an air fryer is low-fuss and yields wonderfully crispy results. For this recipe, you start with a hot sauce-buttermilk soak, and then coat the chicken thighs with a well-seasoned flour mixture. After a dip in beaten eggs and a final coating in the flour, the air fryer will take it from there.


  • 8 (6-ounce) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 cups whole buttermilk
  • ¼ cup hot sauce (such as Crystal)
  • 5 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 ½ cups (about 6 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 guajillo chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


  1. Place chicken, buttermilk, hot sauce, and 2 teaspoons of the salt in a large bowl; toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  2. Stir together flour, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and 3 teaspoons of the salt in a large shallow bowl. Place eggs in a separate shallow bowl.
  3. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl; transfer chicken to a rimmed baking sheet or a large plate. Working with 1 thigh at a time, dredge chicken in flour mixture, turning to coat and pressing to adhere; gently shake excess flour mixture into bowl. Place thigh in bowl with eggs, turn to coat. Return chicken to flour mixture; gently turn to coat and place on a separate baking sheet or plate. Repeat coating process with the remaining thighs.
  4. Lightly coat an air fryer basket with cooking spray. Add 4 thighs to basket, skin side down, and coat top with cooking spray. Cook at 375°F for 12 minutes. Flip chicken over and coat top with cooking spray. Continue cooking at 375°F until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of meat registers 165°F, about 12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat cooking process with remaining 4 chicken thighs.
  5. While chicken cooks, heat chile in a small saucepan over medium, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in honey, vinegar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a simmer over low, stirring occasionally (honey will foam and bubble). Remove saucepan from heat; set aside at room temperature to allow honey mixture to infuse, about 5 minutes.
  6. To serve, drizzle hot honey mixture evenly over chicken thighs.

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