By Christie Vanover | Published July 29, 2017 | Last Updated February 16, 2023
I have found two surefire ways to make grilled crispy chicken wings, and these methods work every time.
I love hot wings, but because they’re fried and tossed in hot sauce butter, they’re full of calories. The problem with grilling the wings instead of frying them is that they don’t turn out as crispy…until now.
The first method to make crispy grilled chicken wings works on any grill, whether you like to light up your charcoal, crank up your gas or turn on your pellet.
It all comes down to one secret ingredient…
Baking powder. I discovered years ago that if you dust your wings with baking powder and let them rest uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, magic happens.
The skin goes through a dehydration process, allowing the fat to render more quickly, so you can get crispy skin while keeping the meaty inside nice and juicy.
When using the baking powder technique, make a 2-to-1 mixture with two parts of your favorite rub combined with one part baking powder. If grilling 8-10 full-size wings, this would be about 4 teaspoons rub to 2 teaspoons baking powder.
Rub them down, and let them rest in the fridge overnight. Then, setup your grill for indirect heat to a temp of about 375. If using a charcoal grill, push your coals to one side. If using a gas grill, only turn on half of your burners. If you’re using a Big Green Egg or pellet, just make sure your diffuser plate is inside to block the direct heat.
Then, grill your wings over the indirect heat for about 20-30 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 165F degrees.
Fry up your wings in a Char-Broil Oil-Less Turkey Fryer. This is the quickest method to make crispy grilled chicken wings because there is no overnight dehydration process.
You may argue that this guy is not a grill, but it runs on propane, and you use it outdoors, so it passes my test as an outdoor cooker.
You simply hook it up to a propane tank, turn it on and light it up.
Season your wings with your favorite rub and place them in the cooker’s basket. Then drop the basket inside. The infrared cooking magically fries the wings without oil. After about 35 minutes, place the lid on top. The lid locks in more heat and creates extra crispy skin in 10 minutes.
When you pull them out, toss them in wing sauce, and you’re set.
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