Grilled Chicken Wings 3 Ways
From Ribs, Chops, Steaks & Wings by Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe
A couple weeks ago we enjoyed a lazy Sunday barbecue at our friends’ house in the suburbs. We were there to watch the Bears game, but since they let us down (as usual), the focus turned towards food. Our chorizo bean dip was a hit, but the real star of the show was the grilled chicken wings made by our lovely hosts.
The next weekend we stayed home for the game, but we just had to have more of those wings! We found a recipe for wing rub in a grilling cookbook we got as a wedding gift. Then we saw that the book had a whole chapter dedicated to wing sauces, so we decided to take it up a notch.
All three of these versions turn out amazing and prove that deep frying ala your favorite sports bar is totally unnecessary for a crispy skin. They all start with the same rub and grilling process. Then one third is served as is, just rubbed and grilled. Another third is tossed in a buffalo sauce, and the remaining third gets honey-BBQ sauce. Of course, you can make all the wings to have one or two of these sauces, but we thought having all three was more fun.
- about 20 whole, fresh chicken wings (they’re weird looking if you’re expecting what you see at the bar – see step 1 for cutting them down)
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Hot Wing Sauce
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (other brands would do, I guess, but Frank’s really has that classic hot wing flavor)
Barbeque Wing Sauce
- 1 cup barbecue sauce (we’re partial to Sweet Baby Ray’s, but use what you like)
- 1/4 cup honey
- Use scissors or a sharp knife to cut each wing into three parts. One end turns into the little drumstick, the middle turns into the rectangle shaped one, and the pointy tip end is garbage (we accidentally left it on, so you may notice it in the pic – we just ate around it). I recommend You Tube if that made no sense, but if you order wings at bars a lot just take a second to look at the wing and I think you’ll see the familiar parts.
- Mix salt, sugar, and next 8 ingredients (through cayenne pepper) together in a small bowl.
- Rub the spice mixture over each wing. Allow wings to rest for at least 15 minutes, and up to 4 hours.
- Heat grill to medium.
- Grill wings for about 25 minutes, turning often. They are done when they are nicely browned and the juices run clear.
- For dry-rubbed wings, serve as is.
- For hot wings, melt butter in a small sauce pan. Stir in hot sauce. Toss grilled wings in sauce.
- For barbecue wings, warm barbecue sauce and honey in a small sauce pan over low heat. Toss grilled wings in sauce.
Serves about 40 wing pieces.