Instant Pot Lemon Pepper Wings. Sauced lemon pepper chicken wings make a great dinner or appetizer.

I’ve seen lemon pepper wings around, but I didn’t realize how important they were to Atlanta’s food scene until I read Eric Kim’s article in the New York Times. After reading the article, I had to make them myself…

A platter of lemon pepper chicken wings, with a lemon half
Instant Pot Lemon Pepper Wings
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…and I know, I know. Nothing screams “Northerner!” more than a guy from Ohio reading about Lemon Pepper wings in the New York Times. But, when have I ever let that stop me? I was looking for a new flavor for my pressure cooker wings, and I always see lemon pepper seasoning at the store, so I had to give it a try. They aren’t all that hot – black pepper gives them a little bit of bite, but not much. What they are is a great mix of sweet, spice, and tart lemon flavor. They’re definitely worth the effort.

🥫Ingredients

  • Chicken Wings
  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ground Coriander
  • Lemon juice

See recipe card for quantities, or for details on making your own sauce and rub

🥘 Substitutions

Chicken Wings: When I can, I buy “party wing” packs from my local grocery store, so I don’t have to butcher the wings myself. If you do by whole wings, get a little extra, to make up for the lost weight from the tips – you only want the wingette (or flat) and drumette pieces of the wing.

Frozen Chicken Wings: If you have individually frozen wings, you can cook them directly from frozen – cook at high pressure for 12 minutes with a quick release. But, the lemon pepper seasoning won’t stick to the wings as well if they are frozen. (Especially if they are ice glazed.) Use half the lemon pepper seasoning on the frozen wings before cooking, and then sprinkle the other half on the cooked wings, right before tossing them in the sauce.

Lemon Pepper Seasoning: There are all sorts of lemon pepper seasonings available. The big question is “how much salt do they have”? Most of the ones I could get had a plenty of salt – listed as the first or second ingredient in the ingredients list. If you get a salt-free lemon pepper blend, or one where salt is way down in the ingredient list, sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of fine sea salt on the wings before the lemon pepper blend.

Butter: Now we’re moving into the Lemon Pepper Sauce section of the ingredients. Butter is the traditional liquid base for wing sauces – it clings better to the wings, and, frankly, tastes better. That said, If you want to substitute vegetable oil, you can.

Brown Sugar is my preferred sweetener for this wing sauce, and gives the sauce its tart/sweet flavor.

Ground Coriander: Optional, but I love coriander. It adds an extra spice and lemon depth to the sauce.

Lemon juice: Preferably from a fresh lemon – you need about a half a lemon’s worth of juice for this recipe.

If you want dry wings, replace the “sauce the wings” step with an extra sprinkle of lemon pepper seasoning before broiling.

🛠 Equipment

A 6-quart pressure cooker and the pressure cooker rack that came with your pot. Or, you can substitute a steamer basket for the rack, which makes lifting the wings out of the pot easy.

📏Scaling

This recipe can be scaled up or down, but don’t change the amount of cooking liquid. You only need 1 cup of liquid in the pot, no matter how many wings you want to cook. To scale the recipe, use 2 teaspoons of lemon pepper seasoning per pound of chicken wings. If you cut the recipe down to 2 pounds of wing pieces, it will fit in a 3-quart pressure cooker. Scaling up runs into space issues. I can get 4 pounds of wings into my 6-quart pressure cooker, but if I want to cook more than that I reach for my 8-quart pressure cooker.

💡Tips and Tricks

  • Pressure cooker rack – the rack keeps the wings above the steaming liquid, so they cook a little more evenly. I used to use the rack that came with my pot, but I switched to my vegetable steamer basket, because the easy-grab handle lets me lift the wings out all at once.
  • Broiling the wings is an extra step, but well worth the effort. While chicken wings are good straight out of the pressure cooker, they aren’t crispy, like a deep fried wing. Broiling the wings for a couple of minutes crisps up the skin a bit and adds a lot to the flavor and texture.
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🔪Recipe

A platter of lemon pepper chicken wings, with a lemon half

Instant Pot Lemon Pepper Wings


  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3 pounds of wings

Description

Instant Pot Lemon Pepper Wings. Sauced lemon pepper chicken wings make a great dinner or appetizer.


Ingredients

Wings

  • 3 pounds chicken wing pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Pepper seasoning (with salt)
  • OR 1 ½ tablespoons salt-free lemon pepper seasoning and 2 teaspoons fine sea salt

Lemon Pepper Sauce (for wet wings)

  • 6 tablespoons butter (¾ of a stick)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Pepper seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pressure cook the wings for 8 minutes with a Quick Release: Sprinkle the chicken wings with the lemon-pepper seasoning. Put a rack in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, then pour pour in 1 cup of water. Pile in the wings on top of the rack, and lock the pressure cooker lid. Pressure cook on high pressure for 8 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker (use “pressure cook” or “manual” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 6 minutes in a stovetop PC. Quick release the pressure once the cooking timer reaches zero.
  2. Make the wing sauce: While the wings are cooking, melt the butter. Whisk in the brown sugar, lemon pepper seasoning, ground coriander, and lemon juice. Pour the lemon pepper sauce into a large bowl. (I melt the butter in the microwave, using a large glass bowl, so I only need to clean the one dish).
  3. Sauce the wings: Open the pressure cooker, tilting the lid away from you to avoid the hot steam. Move the wings from the pot to the bowl of sauce, then toss to coat.
  4. Broil the wings (optional): Transfer the wings to a rimmed baking sheet, leaving as much sauce as you can in the bowl. Spread the wings out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Set your broiler to high and broil the wings until browned and the sauce is bubbling, 5 to 15 minutes depending on the strength of the broiler. Keep a close eye on the wings; they go from brown to burned quickly under the broiler.
  5. Sauce again and serve: Move the wings from the baking sheet back into the sauce bowl, and toss them one more time to coat with the remaining sauce. Pour the wings onto a platter and serve. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Lemon Pepper Wings, Pressure Cooker Lemon Pepper Wings

☃️ Storage

I don’t think chicken wings store well. I eat them right after cooking. I will save leftovers in the refrigerator, where they’re OK for the next day or two, but they’re just not as good as they are when they’re hot.

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