These are the best Buffalo-style hot wings ever. They are grilled, not fried. Steaming the wings ahead of time makes them so juicy! Also, having them partially cooked ahead of time makes it a great choice for a barbecue party. The winning combination of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and butter is here, but the wings are coated in a seasoning blend prior to grilling and then tossed in the spicy wing sauce. So tender and delicious!
The Best Grilled Hot Wings Ever
- 3 lbs of party wings. If you get fully intact chicken wings get 24 and cut chicken wings into three sections and discard the wing tips.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup chicken broth or stock
Seasoning Blend (combine all ingredients listed)
- 1/4 cup mild chili powder we use Ancho powder (Chimayo or Hatch powder works well too).
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Wing Sauce Blend
- 1 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1/4" cubes
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions white and green portions
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
Optional traditional hot wing sides
- Blue cheese dressing
- Celery sticks
- Baby carrots
The first step is to season the wings and then place them in aluminum pans for steaming and infusing them with flavor.
Place the wings in a large bowl and toss with the seasoning blend to coat evenly on all sides.
In 2 disposable aluminum pans (13 1/2" x 9 1/2 "x 3") or anywhere near that size, add about 2 tablespoons of the cubed butter into the bottom of each pan. Add chicken broth to each pan so it's about 1/4 inch high (about 1/2 cup).
Arrange the seasoned coated wings in an even layer into the two pans. You can pack them in side-to-side, but don't stack them up. They should all be touching the broth and butter. Cover each pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil; crimp to seal.
Place the wings into the grill and cook for 45 minutes at about 275 degrees, low and slow. If you end up stacking up some trays, be sure to switch them around about halfway through. This step can also be prepared in an oven.
As you get near the end of the steaming process, you should prepare your woodfired or charcoal grill as well as the wing sauce.
Making the wing sauce
Pour 1 cup of Frank's Hot Sauce into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and swirl until the butter is completely melted. Add the scallions and chives. Turn off the burner, stir to incorporate all ingredients and basically keep it in a warm spot until it's ready to meet the wings. I leave it on the stove top until I'm ready to use. You can grate a jalapeño or other pepper (avoid the seeds) into the sauce to give it a fresh kick of heat!
Once the steaming and wing sauce is complete
After the steaming phase is complete, you can wait until guests arrive or just head for the grill. We like to use direct heat from a charcoal fire with smoldering wood chips for more smoke. Cook the wings in batches so everyone gets a chance to try them fresh and hot off the grill.
Grilling takes about 10-15 minutes and make take a bit of finesse to get just right. The spice coating should blacken a bit. The meat is already mostly done from the steaming phase, so watch carefully, rotating wings around from hotter to cooler parts of the grate to make sure they get to a consistent level of doneness.
Take a finsihed batch of wings, using tongs, toss them in the wing sauce (transfer the sauce to a bowl first if your saucepan isn't big enough).
Garnish with a bit of greenery if you want to get fancy, and serve!
Adapted from Serious Barbecue from Adam Perry Lang