If you’re looking for a simple & delicious BBQ recipe, these grilled chicken wings are sure to hit the spot! I use a simple combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika, and blast them with high heat to get crispy skin and juicy meat. Try these grilled chicken wings at your next BBQ and watch them disappear!
How to grill chicken wings on a charcoal grill
While all charcoal grills are different, the concept to grilling the perfect chicken wings is technically the same. You want to use indirect heat to grill the wings by placing the coals on one side of the charcoal grill and the wings on the other. I use either the Slow 'N Sear or the Vortex on my Weber Kettle to help keep the coals contained to one area and provide even heat distribution. I like to grill the chicken wings at a higher heat of 375 degrees F to help get the skin crispy. Unlike chicken breasts, the wings can take the higher heat and still be juicy with crispy skin. If you want a little char on your grilled chicken wings, place the wings directly over the hot charcoal for the last 2 minutes of the cook.
How to grill chicken wings on a Traeger pellet grill
It's often pretty difficult to get crispy chicken skin when using a pellet grill like a Traeger. The key to getting crispy skin with a juicy inside is to grill at a higher heat and use one of the methods above in the recipe to assist in drying out the skin. I recommend grilling the chicken wings at 375 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
If you want maximum smoke flavor, I recommend smoking the chicken wings on the Traeger at a lower temperature of about 225 degrees F for the first 20 minutes and then cranking up the heat to finish them. Smoking chicken at lower temperatures for the entire cook usually results in chewy skin.
Can I add BBQ sauce or glaze on my grilled chicken wings?
Absolutely, however the type of sauce you use will matter. BBQ sauce with higher sugar content can burn, so I recommend tossing the wings in sauce for the last few minutes of the cook. Alternately, you can just toss the wings in the sauce after they have finished cooking for more saucy grilled chicken wings.
- 3 pounds Chicken wings, wingettes (flats) and drumettes
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Paprika, substitute smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon Baking powder, optional to help crisp skin
Air dry the chicken wings
If you have the time, place chicken wings on a wire rack and refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours to remove any excess water from the skin. This will help help make the skin crispy when grilling the chicken wings.
Preheat the grill
Preheat the grill to 375°F. I recommend using indirect heat to avoid burning the skin. I usually throw them directly over the flame for the last few minutes to char the skin - completely optional.
Season the chicken wings
Place wings in a large bowl with olive oil and dry rub ingredients. Toss well to combine. If you didn't have time to air dry the chicken in the refrigerator, add the baking powder to help get the skin extra crispy.
Grill the chicken wings
Place wings on grill and cook for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature registers at least 165°F and the skin is crispy. As mentioned earlier, you can place the wings directly over the heat source for the last few minutes to get a nice char on them.
Eat the grilled chicken wings
Remove the wings from the grill. Serve as is or with your favorite dip (I recommend blue cheese or gorgonzola) and enjoy!