What Are the Best Tips for Grilling Chicken Wings?

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  • Written By: Judith Smith Sullivan
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 22 May 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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Grilling chicken wings is a great way to enhance their flavor while cooking a tender, juicy meat. It's healthier than deep frying, and the clean up is easier as well. Following a few preparation and cooking tips can help ensure a tasty result.

Typically, chicken wings are seasoned with salt, pepper, cajun seasoning, or another type of dry seasoning. A sauce should be added after the wings have cooked, since grilling chicken wings covered in sauce can cause the sauce to burn. The grilled chicken wings will soak up the sauce readily, even after they are cooked, so the flavor will still be full.

The grill should be pre-heated to a medium to medium hot temperature. Too low, and the chicken will take over half an hour to cook. Too hot, and the wings will burn and char. One way of gauging the temperature is to turn the pieces to see if a slight sizzle should occurs. If so, the grill is nice and hot.

Using oil to grease the grill helps to ensure that the pieces don't stick. If the grill isn't properly oiled, the skin can peel off as the pieces are turned. This compromises flavor as well as the experience of eating chicken wings.

Since chicken wings are not usually skinless, the fat will drip into coals or flames throughout the cooking process and cause flare ups. Too many flare ups can over-char the wings. This can be avoided by squirting the grill with water from time to time. A inexpensive squirt bottle, like those used to store condiments, is a good choice.

For a nice, even grill, the tips of the wings should be trimmed off. This will allow the wings to lay flat on the grill. It also makes it easier to arrange the meat, and the pieces will cook more evenly. To avoid burning the ends, where meat is thinner, arrange the grilling chicken wings so that the small end lies away from the heat. The wings can be trimmed at the butcher's or in a grocery meat department when they are purchased, which simplifies the process and saves time in preparation.

Grilling chicken wings should be turned occasionally but not too often. Depending on the grilling temperature, they should be thoroughly cooked after 15-20 minutes. The skin should bubble slightly, caused by the water which has evaporated under the skin. A meat thermometer can verify that the grilling chicken wings have reached a safe temperature for consumption. The recommended internal temperature for poultry is 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73 degrees Celsius).


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