Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Peanut Sauce

4.72 from 7 votes
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Jazz up your grilled chicken wings with an inspiring spicy peanut sauce that combines the classic Frank’s RedHot hot sauce and peanut butter for a mind blowing flavor explosion! This recipe was inspired by our local wing joint, Fire on the Mountain, and their spicy peanut sauce is one of their most popular.

Grilled chicken wings on a plate with spicy peanut sauce.
These may be your new favorite wings.

We absolutely love the classic Buffalo style wings. But we also live in a city that has a wing joint that rivals the original Anchor Bar in Buffalo New York. I’m talking about Fire on the Mountain, where you’ll find the best wings on the west coast. And one of their most popular wings has a spicy peanut sauce. Sounds odd, but believe me, it’s incredible and one of our best friend’s absolute go-to sauce. Since we can’t have FOTM often (country life), we decided to dissect their sauce and create our own grilled version. I think we came pretty darn close!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Using corn starch with the seasoning helps make the wings crispy when cooked on the grill (vs fried).
  • Hot water combined with the peanut butter helps give a better texture to the sauce in addition to the other ingredients.
  • This is not a sweet sauce, it’s savory by balancing peanut butter with soy sauce and hot sauce. It’s an incredible combination.
  • You can make them gluten free with Tamari versus soy sauce.

Ingredients for Chicken Wings with Spicy Peanut Sauce

The main ingredient for these grilled chicken wings with spicy peanut sauce is, obviously, the chicken wings. These are made up of the drums and flats (or party wings) as you may see them in the store. Typically when buying wings, you can expect 10 to 12 wings per pound.

If you buy the entire wing together (where drums and flats are together) simply separate them using a sharp boning knife and remove the wing tips. If you can’t find wings locally you can also source via mail order through great purveyors like D’Artagnan Fine Foods who source from small local farms throughout the world.

For seasoning use equal parts kosher salt, granulated garlic (not garlic powder), and coarse black pepper. One tablespoon of each is good for 2 dozen wings.

Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Peanut Sauce on a platter with some dipping sauce
Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Peanut Sauce is the perfect combination of spicy and savory.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

The ingredients for the spicy peanut sauce are meant to balance the peanut butter with the savory flavors of the hot sauce and soy. The secret to the right texture is to combine the peanut butter and hot water first in a large bowl. Then stir to liquify. At that point you mix in the remaining ingredients.

  • Unsalted natural peanut butter – we use the real stuff with no added sugar
  • Hot water, to help liquify the peanut butter (120 degrees F – just hot water from the tap isn’t hot enough)
  • Frank’s RedHot hot sauce (Trust us, it adds the right balance of vinegar and spicy pepper flavors)
  • Soy sauce
  • Freshly graded ginger
  • Juice from a lime

Plan one cup of sauce for 2 dozen wings.

Note: if the sauce starts to thicken up, you can thin it out to your desired consistency by adding more liquid. Start with another tablespoon of hot water, then you can add more hot sauce (if you want it a little spicier), or soy (if you want more of that umami), or more lime juice (if you want more acid kick).

Preparation

Seasoning the grilled chicken wings is an important step and adding corn starch helps them crisp up on the grill mimicking the deep fried texture.

Chicken wings in a large baggie seasoned with salt, pepper, and cornstarch.
Shake the seasoning and cornstarch in a baggie.
  • Be sure the wings have been patted dry with a paper towel and are dry, and then place the wings in a one gallon plastic baggie.
  • In a small bowl combine the dry rub and the corn starch. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the dried seasoning into the baggie, close, and shake the baggie to coat the wings liberally.
  • Place onto the grill to cook.

How to Grill Chicken Wings

chicken wings on the grill over indirect heat
Two-Zone grilling set up.

Prepare the grill using two-zone grilling (or indirect cooking), where you start the wings away from the direct heat source, and then finish over direct heat if needed for more char and crunch. Often the indirect side will completely crisp up the wings with no need for a direct finish.

  1. Prepare the grill for two-zone cooking method using lump charcoal.
  2. When the internal temperature of the grill reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit, place the seasoned wings on the indirect side of the grill.
  3. Cover the grill and grill wings for 15 minutes. Then flip the wings. This is the perfect time to make the sauce.
  4. Continue grilling indirect for an additional 15 minutes over indirect heat.
  5. At this point the wings should be crispy on all sides to the touch. If they are not, then move them to the direct heat side and finish over direct heat for about 1 minute per side just to get your desired char.

Chef’s Tip: While chicken is safe to eat at 165 degrees Fahrenheit, wings actually do better if cooked to 170 or 180. Use a good instant read thermometer like the ThermoWorks Thermapen One to be sure they are at the proper temperature.

Combining Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Now to complete the recipe, place the grilled chicken wings into a large bowl and then add two thirds of the spicy peanut sauce. Toss them with a large spoon to coat them and then serve immediately. The wings will loose the crispiness if they sit too long in the sauce. So time it right.

Serve with the remaining sauce in a bowl for dipping. No ranch (or blue cheese) needed.

Dipping a Grilled Chicken Wing into a Spicy Peanut dipping sauce
Reserve some of the spicy peanut sauce for dipping too.
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Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Peanut Sauce on a platter with dipping sauce
4.72 from 7 votes

Grilled Chicken Wings Recipe with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Perfectly grilled chicken wings with crispy skin, with a spicy and savory peanut sauce.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 wings

Equipment

  • 1 Gallon Plastic Baggie

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds Chicken Wings, (Also called party wings or drums and flats. Be sure they are patted dry.)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn starch

Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanut butter, (we use natural peanut butter with no added sugar)
  • 1/4 cup near boiling water, (Or at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, (We use low sodium sauce. Substitute Tamari works if you want gluten free.)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced, (About 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Instructions 

Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • In a small bowl add peanut butter and hot water. Use a whisk to combine and liquify. After it's thinned out, add the remaining ingredients and whisk again to combine. It should have the consistency of a thin pancake batter.

Grilled Wings

  • Preheat Grill: Prepare the grill for two-zone cooking, targeting 400 degrees F.
  • Season Wings: In a small bowl combine the seasonings and corn starch. Place the wings in a 1-gallon plastic baggie, then pour the dry rub mix into the baggie. Seal and shake vigorously. They are now ready to grill.
  • Grill Wings: Place the seasoned wings on the indirect side of the grill. Cover the grill and grill wings for 15 minutes. Then flip the wings and grill an additional 15 minutes.
    At this point the wings should be crispy on all sides to the touch. If not place them on the direct side of the grill and finish over direct heat for about 1 minute per side to crisp up. Watch the wings if grilling direct as the fat in the skin may cause flare ups.
  • Toss Wings with Sauce: Place the warm wings in a large bowl. Pour two-thirds of the sauce in the bowl and then toss them together to coat the wings. Place the remaining sauce in a bowl to use for optional dipping. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Chef’s Tip – Use a good instant read thermometer like the Thermoworks Thermapen One to make sure the chicken is done. While the minimum safe zone for chicken per the USDA is 165 degrees F, the flats and drums actually taste better when cooked to 175 – 180.
Bringing the Sauce and Wings Together – As soon as the wings come off the grill, place them in a large bowl and then toss with the sauce while the wings are still hot. 
Note on the Spicy Peanut Sauce: If the sauce starts to thicken up, you can thin it out to your desired consistency by adding more liquid. Start with another tablespoon of hot water, then you can add more hot sauce (if you want it a little spicier), or soy (if you want more of that umami), or more lime juice (if you want more acid kick). 

Nutrition

Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 467mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 31IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 wings
Calories: 80
Keyword: grilled chicken wing recipe, grilled chicken wings, grilled wings, spicy peanut sauce
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Vindulge

About Mary


I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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