Grilled Chicken Wings are a delicious alternative to the deep-fried version. One of the challenges to grilling chicken wings is to get crispy skin without scorching the wings. Corn starch is the simple ingredient to get the classic crunchy texture. These chicken wings are finished with a flavorful BBQ sauce.
This post and recipe is sponsored by Mirum, and it’s one heck of a recipe. All opinions and content are my own.
We love cooking wings, but also know how easy it is to mess them up (resulting in rubbery skin). We learned long ago with our Smoked Buffalo Style Chicken Wings that getting the skin crispy can be tricky, but well worth learning the tips. You can dehydrate the wings in the refrigerator like in the recipe above, or you can speed up the process by simply adding corn starch to your dry rub prior to grilling.
And because we love to indulge our wings Sean and I start a 14-day regimen of Omeprazole ODT from Kroger to help treat our frequent heartburn. It lets us eat all those wings when I want them without experiencing symptoms.
Corn Starch vs. Baking Powder
Corn starch has been a main star in fried chicken recipes for a long time. Combining the corn starch with the dry rub, which has salt, raises the pH level of the chicken skin and helps the skin dry out. So, by coating the wings with the corn starch, you help along the process that gives it that crunch versus rubbery texture.
Some recipes for grilled chicken wings call for baking powder, but the main ingredient of baking powder is corn starch. With baking powder, you run the risk of the other ingredients giving the wings a metallic-like flavor.
Adding an equal ratio of corn starch to dry rub will give the perfect combination for the crispy chicken wing texture that we’re looking for here.
One pound of chicken wings (also called party wings) typically yields 12 wings. There are two parts to a chicken wing.
- Drummets – The single bone part of the wing.
- Flats – The double bone part of the wing.
If you can, buy them pre-separated, which is easier for prep. But if they are together, then simply use a sharp boning or filet knife to cut the wing into two pieces. To do this, move the joint back and forth to find where it pivots, and using your sharp knife cut through the joint so you have a clean break between the two.
The final step is patting the wings dry. We place the wings on a large sheet tray with a drying rack. We then use paper towels to dry the wings after we’ve trimmed them. Dried wings are important when you season the wings and prior to grilling.
There is also no need to marinate the wings. We find that the dry rub and the sauce are all the flavor needed.
Grilled Chicken Wing Seasoning
We use our chicken seasoning, which is herbal in flavor with no sugar. No sugar is important when grilling wings because sugar in the rub can over caramelize (read that as burn) and give a bitter flavor.
For this recipe, we are using two pounds of chicken. For every pound of chicken we cook, we use the same ratio: 1 tablespoon of chicken seasoning and 1 tablespoon of corn starch. So if you are scaling up this recipes for a hungry family, then simply follow that ratio.
The easiest way to season the chicken wings:
- Place the two pounds of wings in a one gallon sealable bag.
- Drop the seasoning and corn starch into the bag and seal it.
- Shake the bag, moving the wings around with your hands to get the coating on all of the wings.
- Remove the wings from the bag and place back on the rack that was used to dry them. Any excess rub and corn starch will drop into the sheet pan.
How to Grill Chicken Wings
Grilled wings are best using two zone cooking, or direct and indirect heat. For this specific recipe we use a technique in which we build a pile of lump charcoal in the center of the grill and get the internal temperature of the grill at 400 degrees. We then place the wings around the pile of lit charcoal in a circle.
- When the internal temperature of the grill reaches 400 degrees, place the seasoned wings in a circle around the heat.
- Cover the grill and grill wings for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the wings.
- Flip the wings again after 10 more minutes.
- After 10 more minutes flip the wings a third time. At this point the wings should be crispy on all sides to the touch. If not you can flip one last time and remove the wings when they have the right texture.
The circular set up isn’t for show, it’s to allow even cooking around the grill. Placing the lump charcoal on one side will cook the wings closer to the fire first and make more work. So this method makes it easier for you.
Note – The larger the wings, the longer they will take to cook. If you have small wings, adjust the flip time back to every 7 minutes until you like the texture.
How Long To Grill Chicken Wings?
30 minutes. When we typically cook chicken, we grill until the internal temperature is between 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (F). But with chicken wings the actual temperature range will be closer to 170 – 180 degrees F. The wings can take the higher heat without drying out.
Grilled Chicken Wings deserve a good sauce. And for this we are using our Kansas City inspired sauce. That sweet and molasses flavor makes for a great combination. Over a medium flame in a small sauce pan, place one cup of the sauce, 2 tablespoons of butter, and 1 tablespoon of honey. Stir to combine until the butter and honey are incorporated into the sauce.
Place the sauce in a large mixing bowl and then add the wings as they come off the grill. Stir with tongs or just flip them around in the bowl. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. If you want a more classic Buffalo style sauce, simply use the sauce in this recipe (but keep the cooking method the same).
Reducing Heartburn Symptoms When Eating Wings
If you’re combatting frequent heartburn (2 or more days per week), a 14-day course of Omeprazole Orally Disintegrating Tablets (ODT) can really aid in treating those symptoms.
Kroger’s Omeprazole ODT is affordable compared to national brands and is so easy to consume. I simply take a tablet that disintegrates right on my tongue every morning for 14 days. No need for water. And when we’re grilling wings and enjoying delicious foods, it’s a game changer.
Use Omeprazole ODT as directed for 14 days to treat frequent heartburn (occurring 2 or more days a week). Omeprazole ODT is not intended for immediate relief and may take 1-4 days to feel the full effect. You can find it online at Kroger.com or at your local Kroger store.
Other Wing Inspired Recipes
- Smoked Buffalo style chicken wings
- Wings with Thai inspired chili sauce
- Buffalo stuffed chicken breast
- Buffalo chicken dip
Grilled Chicken Wings Recipe
- 2 pounds chicken wings (drummets and flats)
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons poultry rub
- 1 cup KC barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Preheat grill using two zone method or direct/indirect. Target 400 degrees Fahrenheit as internal cooker temperature. For this method, place the lump charcoal in a pile in the center of the grill.
- Place dry wings in a one gallon plastic sealable bag. Then add the dry rub and corn starch. Seal the bag and shake it to season. Remove wings and place on a cookie sheet.
- Place the wings on the grill in a circle surrounding the heat source. Place cover back on grill and grill for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, flip the wings and cover again.
- After 10 more minutes flip again, and grill for another 10 minutes. The wings should be crispy on all sides and read at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove and then place in the sauce.
Wing BBQ Sauce
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat add the KC sauce, butter, and honey. Stir to combine until the butter is melted.
- Place sauce in a large mixing bowl. Place wings directly from the grill into the sauce and stir to incorporate.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and sides, like carrots and celery.