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How to Make BBQ Chicken Wings

Updated April 29, 2019
Planning a barbeque and want to include chicken wings on the menu? You've made the right choice. Barbequed chicken wings, also known as Buffalo wings, are popular and delicious”if they're prepared right.

Want to make your own BBQ chicken wings but aren't sure where to begin? Try these tips.

Planning a barbecue and want to include chicken wings on the menu? You've made the right choice. Barbecued chicken wings, also known as Buffalo wings, are popular and delicious—if they're prepared right.

Choosing the Wings and Preparing the Chicken

The main point of BBQ chicken wings is to make something delicious out of a part of the chicken that is often overlooked. So, it doesn't matter too much about the size of the wings you buy. However, meatier wings will end up much tangier and juicier than the scrawny ones.

Whether you buy from a butcher or a supermarket, you can purchase chicken wings on their own—without having to deal with the rest of the chicken. Prepare them at home, ideally 2-3 hours before barbecuing, by washing thoroughly in cold water. Remember to sanitize your sink and counters afterward to get rid of any lingering bacteria.

Making the Marinade

When it comes to marinades, you have a lot of options. If you're in a hurry, you can always use a pre-mixed sauce from the supermarket, but whipping up your own is pretty easy, too. In fact, coming up with your own secret marinade is half the fun. Check out the great recipes found right here at Tablespoon for some fresh, new ideas.

Although it may be tempting to just dip your wings in the sauce at the last minute, it's best to paint them with your marinade of choice a couple of hours before meal time. After painting the wings, put them in a sealable plastic bag and leave in the fridge until you're ready to grill.

If you're running short on time and can't wait a couple of hours, there is an alternative. First, coat a tray with foil. Then, place the chicken wings on the tray and brush with your marinade before transferring straight to the heat.

Cooking the Wings

If you’re planning to barbecue the chicken wings in the open air, you’ll need to take advantage of the outdoor grill in its hottest state—just after the flames have died down and the embers are hot. If you’re using a gas grill, heat to around 300° Fahrenheit (150° Celsius). In each case, make sure the grill tray is clean before adding the chicken wings.

After the first few minutes, turn the chicken wings regularly so they'll cook evenly. Check for doneness by skewering—if the juices run clear, the meat is cooked. Your marinade may make this difficult, so you can also check by cutting into one or two of the wings on a plate. Watch out for pink flesh around the bones—this means the wings need more time to cook.

When your wings are done, serve them up with salad and a little bread to soak up the marinade. Delicious!