The Art of Grilling: How to Grill Wings

Good ol' chicken wings, who doesn't love them. Yes I know vegetarians wouldn't or people who have an aversion to chicken. There are so many recipes for chicken wings. In this post we will be talking about one of many techniques on cooking wings. This perhaps is my favorite way to make chicken wings aside from smoking them. They also make great party foods where they are nearly bite sized and don't require a plate to eat. You can make them spicy, sweet, any ethnic flavors, or savory. There are even recipes for the peanut butter jelly wings. In this post I will just talk about the general way of grilling wings.

Usually you can find a big bag of frozen party wings for a reasonable price. Smart and Final sells a 10lb bag for about $15. I usually go for those if I am cooking for many people. If you want quality go with the whole wings that aren’t frozen. My preference is the whole wing, I love nibbling on the flap.

If you get the frozen wings you can cook them while they are frozen. I don’t recommend it but in a pinch you should be fine, just remember not to put oil because it can affect the texture in a bad way.

In a large bowl or pot add salt, pepper, and some olive oil to the wings and mix thoroughly to evenly coat them. Coating them with some oil is important to help prevent them from sticking to the grill.

Since wings are fairly thin you don’t have to marinate them for too long. Shoot for at least 2-4 hours. If you don’t have the time save some sauce for when they are done cooking.

Before grilling try and avoid any sauces with sugar in them. The sugar will burn and thus burn your wings.

I recommend that you cook wings that are not frozen. They provide better texture, have less salt, and the texture is better. You can cook wings right out of the freezer while they are frozen but you will miss the mark on some really good wings.

Before grilling, toss the wings in olive oil and season lightly with a bit of salt and pepper or use your own blend Try not to over salt if you are using the frozen wings they tend to have a sodium solution that may make your wings extra salty.

You can  skip the olive oil and just give the grate a quick spritz or brush of olive oil or cooking spray. This will help keep the wings from sticking to the grill and ruining that nice crispy skin we all love.

Set you grill up for medium heat, leave a low heat zone where you can put wings in case there are any flare ups. This will start to happen as the fat in the wings begin to melt and drip. Wings are one of those cuts you need to be near the grill while they cook because you can easily burn them. You will need to turn them frequently to avoid burning and to ensure they cook all the way through.

I like to start with direct heat giving the wings 3 – 5 minutes on each side I then move them to indirect heat and cook them for another 15-20 minutes turning them every 3-5 minutes. Keep the grill shut to help speed up cooking and help reduce the chance of flare ups. I like to use this method when I am cooking 20 plus wings, it helps give me more control and I don’t have to hustle flipping, turning, and moving them around constantly trying to avoid the flare ups.

If you are just cooking a batch of wings you can cook it over the direct heat but make sure its over medium flame. The wings should take about 15 – 20 minutes to cook.

Look for when the skin starts to bubble it’s a good indicator of the wings are nearly done. The skin should also be a nice brown. If you plan on saucing your wings this would be the best time to do so.

Saucing You Wings
There are so many possibilities you can come up with for sauces. Use your culinary imagination and have fun or go with the American classic the buffalo wing sauce.

Some folks like to sauce their wings as they cook, be careful when you do this as it may cause even more flare ups, that’s why I choose to wait until the end. Put your sauce in a bowl to make it easier to toss your wings around and ensure even saucing. Sauce your wings immediately after they get off the grill. Then let them chill in the sauce for a few minutes so they can soak up some of the flavor. Wings are best served warm so put them out for some finger licking eating as soon as possible.

Check out my video on cooking "Buffalo Wings Three Ways"


Santiago said...

I was still eating those wings 3 days later, yum yum yum

Culinary Addictions said...

Cheers to that.