There is no denying that the first item served at most gatherings and the first gone in seconds is the chicken wing. Yes, we love those little morsels of chicken-y goodness, but what if I told you we could make them even better. How? By using a brine.
Our brine for chicken wings will amp up your grilled, smoked, baked, or air-fried chicken game.
Why brine chicken wings?
Brining adds flavor, helps plump up the flesh, and keeps them nice and juicy during and after the cooking process. All you’ll need are a few ingredients and a couple of hours.
–Water: Cold water works the best for a quick brine. When we say cold, we mean tap cold—no need to add ice.
–Coarse salt: Use kosher salt or coarse sea salt for this job.
–White sugar: While salt contributes to the juiciness of the chicken, the sugar contributes to the rich brown color of the skin as it cooks.
–Red wine vinegar: A subtle tart brightening aspect that works so well with chicken. Substitute with lemon or lime juice for a bright citrus undertone.
–Black pepper, red pepper flakes, cayenne: Three levels of subtle heat.
–Large plastic container with lid, or a large resealable plastic bag.
–Other things to add to this brine includes sliced oranges, whole crushed garlic cloves, and bay leaves.
How to use a brine:
First, dissolve the salt and sugar in cold water. This might take a few minutes. Next, add the vinegar, then the spices.
Submerge chicken wings into the brine, cover tightly, and place them into the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
Our brine for chicken wings recipe makes enough for 1 1/2-2 pounds of wings. So increase brine measurements if you are prepping a larger batch.
After the wings have brined, remove them from brine, and rinse off under cool water. Pat dry, dust with a good chicken rub, and cook as directed!
Like this recipe? Try these!
Brine for Chicken Wings
- 1 quart water
- 1/4 cup coarse salt (sea salt or kosher salt)
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Combine water, salt and sugar in a large plastic container or bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir through.
- Add chicken wings to brine mixture, making sure they are well submerged. Cover container or bowl and place into refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
- Remove wings are rinse them off under cold water. Discard remaining brine. Using paper towel, pat any excess moisture off of the wings. This is very important to do, especially if you are planning to deep fry the wings.
- Season wings with a no salt seasoning rub and cook as directed.
Looking for more recipes for Chicken Wings? Try my list of the Best Chicken Wing Recipes.