Tired of wings from the frozen section? Scouring the internet will reveal thousands of ways to make grilled chicken wings. I’m just one, but I’m going to be the best. These chicken wings are easy, and quick. They will take about 20 minutes of your time for prep, and 20 minutes to cook.
The prep for making grilled chicken wings is pretty simple. First, how many wings do you need? Four pounds of chicken wings will yield approximately 25 wings. Second is prepare the wings and sauce. Third is grilling and tossing.
Preparing the Wings
We are going to start by cutting the wings. Typically when you buy chicken wings from the store, they will come in, well… a wing. Imagine that. The beautiful drumsticks and flats you normally see come from this wing, so you’ll have to cut them.
To cut the wing into the traditionally recognized “wings”, you will need to locate the joints along the dotted lines shown, and with some force, use a very sturdy knife. Alternatively, you could use a good set of poultry shears, like these from OXO. They are my favorite, and can easily spatchock a turkey.
The wing components are broken down as follows: 1 = Drum, 2 = Flat, and 3 = Wing tip. Typically, I throw away the wing tips OR save them up for some killer stock.
Once you have your pile o’ wings, pat them as dry as possible with a paper towel. That’s it! Now onto the sauce…
The sauce for this is actually the recipe for Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. It’s really easy to make: simply mix 1/3 cup of butter with 1/2 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for 2.5 lbs of wings in a saucepan and warm it on the stove. That’s it!
Just as you probably figured, you can use whatever sauce you want here. I only recommended the Frank’s Red Hot because it is as classic as you can get. Did you know Frank’s Red Hot sauce was in the FIRST buffalo wing? Yeah.
Alright, lets get to it. We are going to follow the same principles I outlined in barbecuing chicken. To make grilled chicken wings, you want to get your grill to a medium direct heat. For the charcoal folks, spread it out a little more and try to increase the space between the chicken and charcoal. For the gassers, medium on the knobs. Let the grill heat up and level out.
Dump your wings onto the grill, and make sure there is at least 1/2″ of space in between the wings, and keep the cover on. We are going to start the timer now, and timing is very important to not burn the wings but render as much fat as you can: Too hot, the wing cooks but not enough time has passed to render the fat for crispy skin. Too low, the wing cooks but the fat doesn’t render. There is a Goldilocks of temperature and time to have the skin finish crispy as the wing finishes cooking to 170 degrees F.
At a minimum, we will be looking at cooking 12 minutes, flipping every 3 minutes for an even cook. Likely, the magic number will be 15 minutes, and not much past 18 minutes. I highly recommend measuring the temperature using a reliable digital thermometer.
Once the wings are where they need to be, we are going to toss the wings in the sauce. Enjoy!
Grilled Chicken Wings – Buffalo
- 4 lbs Chicken Wings
- ⅔ cup Butter
- 1 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce (Or your favorite wing sauce. Disregard Butter if using something else)
- Prep the chicken by cutting up the wings into drumsticks and flats. Dry with a paper towel.
- Preheat the grill on medium heat. This is approximately 375-425 degrees F.
- Grill the chicken, flipping every 3 minutes for a total cook time of about 18 minutes.
- Toss the chicken in your favorite wing sauce. I highly recommend heating the sauce prior to tossing.