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Spicy Chicken Wings

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These mouthwatering spicy chicken wings have always been a hit at our parties. Despite making large batches, they are usually gone within minutes!

Large batch of spicy chicken wings in large metal tray

Yes, that’s how good these spicy wings are. The seasoning is simple, and they spend a short time on the grill, which is a plus in our book. We usually serve these spicy wings with a blue cheese dipping sauce, but we also recommend ranch dressing and our popular Comeback Sauce. Keep in mind that these wings are supposed to be spicy (hence the name), but we encourage our readers to adjust the seasonings to suit their tastes.

Brining chicken wings

Brine and Wood Recommendations:

  • Brine: Using a wet brine is a great way to add extra moisture the spicy chicken wings. A brine can plump up chicken meat by 40%, but don’t worry, the brine does not release during cooking. The salt actually helps the muscle retain moisture. Since the wings are essentially hanging out in a salt bath, they will not need extra salt in the seasonings. Omit the salt from the rub recipe below.
  • Wood Recommendations: For best results, add a little smoke to the fire. Doing this will amp up the flavor of these gorgeous spicy chicken wings. We recommend using cherry, apple, alder, or pecan for this recipe. Add the wood directly to the coals if using a charcoal grill or a smoker box if using a gas grill. 

Spicy Chicken Wings-Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of bone-in wings or 45-48 wings: separate flats and drumettes
  • Vinegar-based hot sauce: like Tabasco, Frank’s Red Hot,
  • Kosher salt: or coarse sea salt. If you plan to wet brine these spicy chicken wings, we recommend using our recipe for Chicken Wing Brine. Omit the kosher salt from the rub, as the wing brine will provide the right amount of salt content.
  • Dried oregano
  • Granulated onion
  • Granulated garlic: or garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper: Adjust to your liking. Increase the amount to add an extra kick to these hot wings.
  • Black pepper
  • Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce ingredients: see below for the recipe.
  • Buffalo Wings: While these wings are meant to be served as is, you can certainly toss them in your favorite bottled buffalo sauce before serving.
 Spicy Chicken Wings in disposable metal pan

How to Make Spicy Chicken Wings:

  • Preheat your grill for 375 degrees F or medium-high heat. Add your desired wood chunks or chips before the wings go on. If you are using a pellet grill, use your favorite pellet “flavor” for chicken. 
  • Combine the rub mixture in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • If you’ve already wet brined the wings, omit the salt from the rub. 
  • To make life easier, place the combined mixture into a large spice shaker.
  • Blot chicken wings dry with paper towels, place them into a large bowl, and pour hot sauce over the top. Toss to coat well. This will act as your seasoning binder and impart a little extra spice and flavor to the wings.
  • Next, transfer the wings onto a large baking sheet. Use two if needed. Shake the spices on top of the wings, turn, and repeat the process. 
  • Place spicy chicken wings onto the grill and cook for 35-45 minutes, turning a few times during the cooking process. 
  • Once the internal temperature reaches between 175-180 degrees F., the wings are done. Keep in mind that flats will cook a little faster than the drumettes.
  • If the wings aren’t as crunchy as you’d like, increase your grill’s heat to 500 degrees F and broil them for 3-4 minutes, turning a few times for even crisping. You can also broil in your oven for the perfect crispy wings.
  • Once cooked, remove them from the grill and place them into a large serving dish. Serve spicy chicken wings with creamy blue cheese sauce and celery sticks.
  • Store leftover wings in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F to retain that crunchy surface. 
Blue Cheese Sauce in bowl

Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 cup yogurt plain (use whole milk)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Combine the plain yogurt and mayonnaise. Add blue cheese, vinegar, and garlic—season with salt and black pepper. Gently fold in. Place mixture into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use—double or triple the recipe based on your needs. Pair your desired amount of sauce with the spicy chicken wings.

The Best Spicy Chicken Wings

Spicy Chicken Wings

The best spicy chicken wings you'll ever have! Smoky, spicy and served with a creamy blue cheese dipping sauce.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: chicken wings, Grilled wings, smoked wings
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 658kcal

Ingredients

  • 45-48 wings (flats and drummettes)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup hot sauce a thinner vinegar based hot sauce recommended like Tabasco, Frank's Red Hot, etc.
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (adjust to your liking)
  • for sauce:
  • 1 cup yogurt plain (use whole milk)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Prepare the blue cheese sauce first by mixing together the plain yogurt and mayonnaise. Add garlic, black pepper, vinegar, salt and blue cheese crumbles. Gently fold in. Place sauce into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Preheat grill for medium-high heat or 375 degrees F. Add desired wood to fire for smokier wings.
  • Combine the rub mixture in a small bowl. If you've already wet brined the wings, omit the salt from the rub. To make life easier, place combined mixture into a large spice shaker.
    Blot wings dry with paper towels. Place wings into a large bowl, pour hot sauce over them, and toss to coat.
  • Transfer wings onto a large cookie sheet. Use two if needed. Shake spices on top of wings, turn and repeat the process.
  • Place wings onto the grill and cook 35-45 minutes, turning a few times during the cooking process. Once the internal temperature reaches between 175-180 degrees F., the wings are done. Keep in mind that flats will cook a little faster than the drummettes.
    If you'd like the wings extra crispy, remove them from the grill. Increase the grill's temperature to 500 degrees F. Once heated, place the wings back on and broil them for 3-4 minutes, turning as needed to crisp them evenly. You can also broil the wings in your oven.
  • Once cooked, remove from grill and place into a large serving platter. Serve with creamy blue cheese sauce.
  • Store leftover wings in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven to retain that crunchy surface. Add sauce to wings if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 224mg | Sodium: 2164mg | Potassium: 554mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 787IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 3mg

Not the Chicken Wings you are looking for? Try my recipes for:

Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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