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How to BBQ Chicken Wings: A Guide to Grilling Perfectly Flavored Chicken Wings

The Art of BBQ Chicken Wings

Grilling chicken wings is a popular choice for gatherings, parties, or simply enjoying a delicious meal at home. The smoky flavor and crispy skin make BBQ chicken wings an all-time favorite. In this article, we will guide you through the process of preparing and grilling chicken wings to perfection, ensuring juicy and flavorful results every time.

Choosing the Right Chicken Wings

When it comes to BBQ chicken wings, selecting the right type of wings is essential. Opt for fresh, high-quality chicken wings from a reputable butcher or grocery store. Whether you prefer drumettes or wingettes, ensure they are plump and free from any unpleasant odor or discoloration.

Preparing the Chicken Wings

Properly preparing the chicken wings before grilling is crucial to achieve outstanding flavor and texture. Follow these steps to prepare your chicken wings:

  1. Trimming: Remove any excess fat by trimming the wings with a sharp knife. This step helps prevent flare-ups and ensures even cooking.
  2. Drying: Pat the wings dry using paper towels. Drier wings will yield a crisper skin.
  3. Seasoning: Season the wings generously with your preferred dry rub or marinade. Allow the flavors to penetrate by marinating the wings in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but ideally up to 24 hours.

Setting Up the Grill

A well-prepared grill is key to achieving succulent BBQ chicken wings. Follow these steps to set up your grill for optimal cooking:

  1. Cleaning: Ensure that your grill grates are clean and free of any residue from previous uses. This will prevent sticking and promote even cooking.
  2. Heat Level: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 400°F (200°C). This temperature allows the wings to cook through while still achieving a crispy exterior.
  3. Oil the Grates: To prevent the chicken wings from sticking, lightly oil the grill grates using a high smoke point oil like vegetable or canola oil.

Grilling the Chicken Wings

Now it’s time to grill those delicious chicken wings. Follow these steps for perfectly cooked BBQ chicken wings:

  1. Direct Heat Method: Place the seasoned wings on the preheated grill directly over the heat source. Arrange them in a single layer for even cooking.
  2. Grilling Time: Cook the wings for about 12-15 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes for even browning. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.
  3. Sauce Application: If you prefer saucy wings, baste the wings with your desired barbecue sauce during the last few minutes of grilling. Be sure to rotate and flip the wings to prevent burning.

Pro Tip: To add a punch of extra flavor, consider smoking the chicken wings with wood chips. Soak the wood chips in water beforehand, then add them to your grill to infuse the wings with smoky goodness.

Serving and Enjoying BBQ Chicken Wings

Once your chicken wings have reached their desired level of doneness and are beautifully charred, it’s time to dig in. Here are a few serving and flavor-enhancing ideas:

  • Serving Suggestions: Serve the BBQ chicken wings hot off the grill as an appetizer or alongside your favorite side dishes such as coleslaw, cornbread, or potato salad.
  • Dipping Sauces: Offer a variety of dipping sauces like ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, or spicy mayo to complement the flavors of the wings.
  • Garnishes: Sprinkle some freshly chopped cilantro, green onions, or sesame seeds on top of the wings for added visual appeal and flavor.


Grilling chicken wings is a fantastic way to enjoy a flavorful and satisfying meal. By carefully selecting the right wings, properly preparing them, and following the grilling tips outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to creating mouthwatering BBQ chicken wings that will impress your family and friends. So fire up the grill, get the seasoning ready, and indulge in the delightful experience of perfecting the art of BBQ chicken wings.