Mastering the Art of BBQ: How to Perfectly Grill Juicy Chicken Wings

The smoky, savory smell of barbecued chicken wings is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. But if you’ve ever attempted to recreate this crowd-pleasing dish at home, you may have faced some challenges. How do you get that perfectly crispy skin and tender meat without overcooking or underseasoning the wings? Fear not, because in this article, we will reveal the secrets on how to BBQ right chicken wings like a pro. From choosing the right type of chicken to mastering cooking techniques, get ready to elevate your BBQ game and impress your friends and family at your next cookout. So fire up the grill and let’s dig into the art of grilling the best chicken wings you’ve ever tasted.

Barbecue, or “BBQ” for short, is a popular cooking method that involves slow cooking meat over an open flame. It is a type of outdoor cooking that has been around for centuries, and it is loved by people all over the world. One of the most popular BBQ dishes is chicken wings. Whether you are planning a backyard cookout or looking for a new way to enjoy chicken wings, learning how to BBQ right chicken wings will take your grilling game to the next level.

The Best Chicken Wings to Use for BBQ

When it comes to BBQ, the type of chicken wings you use can make or break your dish. Ideally, you want to choose chicken wings that are meaty and have a good amount of fat on them. This will ensure that your wings are juicy and flavorful after being cooked on the grill.
Some types of chicken wings that work well for BBQ include:
– Whole chicken wings: These are the entire wing, including the drumette and flat parts. They have more meat and fat compared to other types of wings, making them perfect for grilling.
– Wingettes: These are only the middle part of the wing without the tip. They are meatier than drumettes and still have a good amount of fat.
– Drumsticks: While they are not technically considered “wings”, drumsticks can also be grilled and served as BBQ chicken legs.

No matter which type of wing you choose, be sure to look for ones that are fresh and not frozen. Frozen wings tend to have more water content, which can result in less flavorful BBQ.

Preparing Your Chicken Wings

Before you start grilling your chicken wings, it’s important to prepare them properly. This involves cleaning them and marinating them in flavorful ingredients.

To clean your chicken wings, rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Then, use a pair of kitchen shears to trim off any excess fat or skin. This will prevent flare-ups on the grill and create a more even cooking surface for your wings.

For maximum flavor, marinate your wings for at least 1-2 hours before grilling. A basic marinade can consist of olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings or herbs you prefer. You can also use store-bought marinades or make your own BBQ sauce for an extra layer of flavor.

The Perfect BBQ Grill Setup

To BBQ right chicken wings, having the right grill setup is crucial. There are different types of grills available, such as gas, charcoal, and electric grills. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose one that you are comfortable using.

For charcoal grills, start by arranging the coals in a pyramid shape in the center of the grill. This will create an even distribution of heat. Once the coals turn greyish-white and have an even layer of ash on them, you can spread them out to create a single layer for grilling.

If you are using a gas grill, preheat it to medium-high heat and clean the grates with a wire brush to remove any leftover debris from previous cookouts.

Grilling Your Chicken Wings

Now that your grill is set up and your chicken wings are marinated, it’s time to start cooking! Here are some tips for getting perfectly grilled chicken wings:
– Oil up the grates: Before placing your wings on the grill, lightly oil the grates with some vegetable oil to prevent sticking.
– Use indirect heat: For chicken wings to cook evenly without burning on the outside and being undercooked inside, use indirect heat. This means placing your wings on one side of the grill and cooking them with the lid closed. The heat circulating inside the grill will cook the wings slowly and evenly.
– Monitor the heat: Keep an eye on the temperature of your grill to ensure that it stays between 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature for grilling chicken wings.
– Don’t overcrowd the grill: Leave some space between each wing on the grill to allow for even cooking and prevent them from sticking together.
– Flip and baste: After about 10 minutes of cooking, flip your wings over and baste them with your desired sauce or marinade. Repeat this process until your wings are fully cooked, which should take around 20-25 minutes.

How to Know When Your Wings Are Done

The best and safest way to check if your chicken wings are fully cooked is by using a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of a wing (avoiding bones) and if it reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit, your wings are done. If you don’t have a thermometer, make sure that there is no pink color or raw meat left on the bones.

Serving Your BBQ Chicken Wings

Once your wings are cooked to perfection, remove them from the grill and let them rest for

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to BBQ right chicken wings! Few things are as satisfying as biting into a perfectly grilled chicken wing – a perfect balance of crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. While it may seem intimidating, grilling the perfect chicken wings is actually quite simple, and with the right techniques, you can impress your family and friends with your BBQ skills. In this guide, we will cover everything from selecting the right ingredients to mastering the grilling process, so you can achieve perfectly grilled chicken wings every time.

Choosing the Right Chicken Wings:

When it comes to grilling chicken wings, not all cuts are created equal. For mouth-watering BBQ chicken wings, it is crucial to choose the right type of wing. Always opt for fresh, high-quality chicken wings from a trusted source. Avoid frozen wings as they tend to be less flavorful and can result in an uneven cook.

There are two types of chicken wings – flats and drums. Flats have two bones while drums have one bone in the center. Some prefer one over the other, but for evenly cooked and easy-to-grill wings, we recommend using a mix of both.

Prepping the Chicken Wings:

Before firing up your grill, it’s essential to prep your chicken wings properly. This includes trimming off any excess fat or skin on the edges of the wings. This will not only ensure even cooking but also prevents flare-ups on the grill.

Next, pat dry your wings with paper towels before seasoning them. A dry surface will allow for better flavor absorption of any marinades or rubs you use.

Marinating vs Rubs:

Marinating and using rubs are two popular methods for adding flavor to your BBQ chicken wings.

Marinades are liquid mixtures typically made with oil, acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar), and herbs/spices. They can add depth of flavor and help tenderize the meat. However, be careful not to marinate for too long, as the acidity can start to break down the meat and result in a mushy texture.

On the other hand, rubs are dry blends of herbs and spices that are applied directly onto the meat. They create a flavorful crust on the chicken wings while still allowing them to retain their texture. Additionally, rubs can also help with more even cooking as they absorb excess moisture from the surface of the wings.

Grilling Techniques:

Now that your chicken wings are prepped and ready to go, it’s time to fire up that grill! Here are some expert tips on how to achieve perfectly grilled chicken wings:

1. Preheat your grill to medium heat (around 350-375°F). For gas grills, this usually takes around 10-15 minutes.

2. Always oil your grill grates before placing your chicken wings on them. This will prevent sticking and ensure easy flipping.

3. Place your chicken wings on the grill with enough space between each piece, so they cook evenly.

4. Cook for about 10 minutes per side, flipping once halfway through. The key is to cook slowly over medium heat without any flare-ups.

5. To check for doneness, use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the wing – it should read at least 165°F before removing from the grill.

The Art of Saucing:

No BBQ chicken wing is complete without a delicious sauce! You can brush on your favorite BBQ sauce during the last few minutes of grilling or toss your grilled wings in sauce right before serving.

When choosing a sauce, opt for one with a balance of sweetness and tanginess – this will pair well with the smoky flavors from cooking on the grill. Some popular options include traditional BBQ sauce, honey garlic, and buffalo sauce.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions:

Once your chicken wings are done grilling, it’s time to dig in! Serve them hot with your choice of dipping sauce on the side. Some popular side dishes to serve with BBQ chicken wings include coleslaw, grilled corn on the cob, and potato salad.

For a complete BBQ experience, we recommend pairing your grilled chicken wings with a cold beer or refreshing lemonade. And for some extra heat, don’t forget to have some extra hot sauce on hand for those who like it spicy!


Now that you’ve mastered the art of grilling right chicken wings, you can impress your friends and family with your BBQ skills. Remember to choose high-quality chicken wings, prep them properly, use the right technique for grilling, and add a delicious sauce at the end. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to achieving perfectly grilled chicken wings every time. Happy grilling!

1) What is the recommended temperature for grilling chicken wings?
The recommended temperature for grilling chicken wings is between 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2) How long does it take to cook chicken wings on the grill?
On average, it takes about 15-20 minutes to cook chicken wings on the grill, but this may vary based on the size and thickness of the wings.

3) Should I marinate the chicken wings before grilling?
While marinating is not necessary, it can add more flavor to your chicken wings. If you choose to marinate, make sure you do so for at least 30 minutes before grilling.

4) How can I prevent my chicken wings from sticking to the grill?
To prevent sticking, make sure your grill grate is clean and well-oiled before placing the chicken wings on it. You can also use a non-stick cooking spray or brush oil directly onto the wings.

5) Can I use a gas or charcoal grill for cooking chicken wings?
Yes, both gas and charcoal grills are suitable for cooking chicken wings. However, if using a charcoal grill, make sure to adjust the temperature according to the coals’ heat.

6) Is it safe to eat pink-colored chicken wings?
No, it is not safe to eat pink-colored chicken wings as they may not have been cooked thoroughly. Make sure your chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before consuming.

In conclusion, mastering the art of cooking perfect BBQ chicken wings is a skill that anyone can achieve with the right knowledge and techniques. From selecting the right cut of chicken to seasoning and cooking methods, every step plays a crucial role in creating tender, flavorful, and mouth-watering wings.

It is essential to start by properly thawing and patting dry the chicken wings, ensuring they are at room temperature before seasoning. Using a dry rub or marinade allows the flavors to penetrate deeply into the meat and adds an extra layer of taste. Moreover, the type of wood used for smoke can greatly enhance the overall flavor profile of the wings.

Proper temperature control and indirect heat cooking are also critical factors in achieving perfectly cooked chicken wings on a BBQ grill. By using a two-zone fire setup or by elevating the chicken wings on a raised grill, you can avoid overcooking or charring them too quickly. It is also important to baste or mop with sauce during cooking to prevent dryness and add a glossy finish.

Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of patience when it comes to grilling chicken wings. Rushing through the cooking process may result in undercooked or burnt wings, while allowing them to cook slowly allows for optimal tenderness and juiciness.


Author Profile

Erick Benitez
Erick Benitez
In 2003, the Coast Sushi Bar was founded, quickly becoming a beloved fixture in its trendy neighborhood, appreciated for its exceptional sushi and vibrant BYOB atmosphere.

The chefs at Coast have developed a mastery in blending subtle yet intricate flavors, establishing a reputation for pioneering innovative New-Japanese cuisine with only the finest global ingredients.

Building on decades of culinary success, the founder launched a new endeavor in 2024—a blog focused on Japanese snacks. This blog marks a significant shift from restaurateur to food blogger, motivated by a desire to share comprehensive insights into Japanese culinary arts and snack culture. The content covers traditional snacks, the evolution of snack culture in Japan, and the global influence and adaptation of these snacks.

Each blog post reflects the founder's commitment to quality and attention to detail, mirroring the standards of Coast Sushi Bar.

Aimed at both aficionados and novices of Japanese cuisine, the blog serves as a resource for deepening readers’ knowledge and appreciation of Japan's rich and diverse food culture.