Chicken wings on the grill

Chicken wings have exploded in popularity, with deep-fried seeming to be by far the people’s favorite. As good as they are, the deep frying is a hassle for most home cooks and of course adds some fat to what is already a fatty dish (that’s why they taste so good!). But, it’s hard to get that nice crispy skin any other way–hard, but not impossible! The trick is to render out some of the fat in the skin at low temperature before a final crisping at high temperature. There are two ways I have done this, one using the grill and the other, devised when a sudden rainstorm made grilling impossible, done entirely in your kitchen.


Start by cutting your wings into 3 sections and discard the tips (or save for making stock). Then:

On the grill

Build a 2-level fire in your grill – that is, put the charcoal on one side only so you’ll have a hot side and a less hot side. If using a gas grill, light only one burner. When the grill is ready, put the wings on the less hot side of the grill, cover, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning once or twice. While this is happening, make your sauce (see below).  At this point the wings will be cooked through and will have lost some of their fat. Remove to a bowl and toss with enough of your sauce to coat. Return to the grill, the hot side this time, and cook, turning as needed, until nicely browned – 5 minutes or so. Serve with the remaining sauce for dipping.

In the kitchen

Place the wing sections in a steamer and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove, let cool, and pat dry. Place on a rack set on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, turning the wings over about halfway through. Adjust cooking time to get a nice brown skin on the wings. Remove from oven, toss with some of your sauce, and serve.


The traditional Buffalo sauce is quite easy – simply mix 1/3c melted butter, 1/3c hot sauce, 2 cloves garlic put thru a press, big pinch salt, and some ground black pepper. There are lots of other sauce possibilities – experiment!

Explore posts in the same categories: Grilling, Poultry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: