Wings are one of the most popular foods year-round. When you get a few people together for wing night, a tailgate or a cookout, everyone flocks to the bite-size bones smothered in sauce or rubbed with spices. We’re all highly experienced wing tasters. We’re just not all quite as experienced at cooking wings on the grill. So, if you’re thinking of firing it up, there are a few things you need to know if you want to surpass your friend’s, family‘s, and your own exacting chicken wing standards. Have no fear, though, grilling wings is easy if you follow these steps.
To get your wings perfectly cooked to an internal temperature of 170°F to 175°F, preheat your grill to 425°F. You want a just-crispy-enough texture without cooking off all the moisture and we’ve found this is the right amount of heat for the job.
Break your wings into three parts: the drummette, the middle — also known as the flat wing — and the tip. Discard the tip and get ready to prep the two meaty parts. You may even want to keep them separate so people can more easily pick whichever they prefer.
Using paper towels, pat the wings to remove excess moisture. Grilled wings don’t get as crisp as fried wings and you don’t want them to end up soggy. Once they’re dry enough, cover them in cooking oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill and to help your seasoning stay put.
If you’re going with a dry rub, rub away. Or, roll your wings in a plate of seasoning for blanket coverage. For sauce fans, see the final step below. Now, you’re ready to start grilling.
Toss your wings on the grill and cook with a closed lid for a few minutes. Then, open it up and flip them every three to five minutes. This will help you get a nice, even crispiness on all sides and prevent burning. They’ll need a total of 20-25 minutes or so to fully cook. Use a meat thermometer to make sure they’re fully done.
If you prefer buffalo, barbecue, or any of the countless other sauce options, use tongs to move your freshly grilled wings to a bowl and toss them in the sauce until they’re fully coated.
Everyone’s Choice of Chicken
One of the best things about grilling wings is how easy it is to make all different varieties. Prepare a few rubs and sauces in advance so you can make a dozen or two of each type. You can also make a few plain wings and keep sauces on the side for dipping. Don’t forget the ranch and blue cheese. For an added touch, chop some celery and carrot sticks.
No matter what, you can’t go wrong serving something everyone loves. Just make sure you make enough.