perfectly grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe

my method for grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe ensures that these grilled hot wings have the best charred buffalo flavor, but stay juicy from a simple beer brine. best of all, it’s super easy to make & one of our go-to weeknight dinners during the week because they’re so easy. i’ll show you exact steps for how to grill chicken wings – always a hit at parties and perfect for game day!best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

don’t forget to pin this grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe for later!!!

on today’s let’s grill, girls! agenda? we’re revisiting an all-time favorite pwwb recipe, perfectly grilled buffalo chicken wings! 

{icymi: plays well with butter is all about helping you find the confidence to really own your spot behind the grill this summer! you can learn more about the pwwb let’s grill, girls! series here.}

the BEST recipe for grilled hot wings!!!best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

don’t forget to pin this grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe for later!!!

so many of you have asked me what my favorite thing to throw on the grill is, & aside from tons & tons of grilled veggies, you’re lookin’ at it: my perfect grilled chicken wings! ?

if you’ve been around pwwb for a while, you might recognize these crispy little cuties. i originally posted this recipe back in 2017 after chris & i made them on a weekly basis for the entire summer. & i’m happy to report that 2 years later not only are they still an absolute fave at our house, but so many of you guys love them too!

if you’ve made my grilled wings before, you have nothing to worry about – this is the same easy recipe & foolproof method we all know & love! i’ve added in some new grilling tips & tricks i’ve learned along the way, & have given them a much-needed facelift with some prettier photos.

if this is a new-to-you recipe…man, oh man, you’re in for a major treat!best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

don’t forget to pin this grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe for later!!!

i’m definitely a little bit of a snob when it comes to wings. back when we lived in milwaukee, our apartment was just around the corner from a handful of amazing wings restaurants (in case you didn’t know…chicken wings are kind of a big deal in mke!).

that’s exactly how i fell head over heels for grilled chicken wings. of course, fried chicken wings are always incredible, but there’s just something about a super crispy chicken wing with charred bits & smoky grilled flavor…grilled buffalo chicken wings are seriously where it’s at!

& my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe? it’s seriously the best, for a few different reasons…

  • they are so seriously delicious. trust me!
  • they’re made with 3 simple ingredients (+ a generous pinch of salt!)
  • you can meal prep them in 2 minutes at the beginning of the week. literally.
  • my easy grilling method creates juicy tender wings, with the perfectly crispy & charred crust!
  • they are SO EASY. period! keep on reading for everything you need to know…

everything you need to know about how to grill chicken wings:

1. the ingredients.best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

don’t forget to pin this grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe for later!!!

one of my favorite parts of this recipe is how simple it is to make. you only need a couple of ingredients!

  • chicken wings
  • beer
  • Kosher salt
  • hot sauce or buffalo sauce

so simple, right?

when it comes to beer, we like to use a beer that’s big, flavorful, & borderline stinky, like an ipa or porter. i’ve tried this beer brine with lighter beers, like a pilsner or a lighter ale, but their flavors just don’t impart themselves into the chicken the way the flavors of bigger beers do. & even if you’re not an ipa lover (i’m not either!), i’m pretty sure you’ll still love these wings! the beer flavor of the grilled wings is pretty mild – just enough to know that it’s there. that’s what we’re after here: a slight hint of beer flavor to pair perfectly with buffalo sauce!

2. the brine.best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

don’t forget to pin this grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe for later!!!

the best part of good chicken wings, aside from their crispy crust, is how juicy they are. but if you’ve ever grilled chicken, you know just how easy it is to end up with chicken that’s totally dried out & tough. & when it comes to wings, dry + tough is pretty much the worst combination ever.

a simple brine is the first step to avoiding dry & tough wings. brining wings couldn’t be easier – just think of it as marinating: place your wings in a large airtight container or resealable bag, then add in some Kosher salt, top it all off with beer, & let it sit in the fridge & do its thang for up to 3-4 days.

it’s literally a 2-minute step that makes a world of difference in your grilled chicken wings, making them flavorful af & keeping them juicy af. the salt draws water out of the chicken & replaces it with the more flavorful beer. osmosis magic!best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

don’t forget to pin this grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe for later!!!

3. the grill!

so here’s the deal: the key to this perfect grilled chicken wings recipe (or any other flavor wings for that matter!) is zone grilling. the chicken wings first cook over indirect heat so they cook through without burning to a crisp, and then we put them over direct heat to get them nice & crispy. keep on reading to learn more & be sure to check out the recipe card, below, for the exact rundown. 

how to grill wings: exact stepsbest grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

1.light your grill, setting it up with a couple of different heat zones. you will want half of the grill to be fired up to high heat, leaving the other half of the grill unlit. let the grill preheat for 10-15 minutes – it should be HOT, around 500-600 degrees F. (you can learn more about lighting your grill here, & you can learn more about grill temperatures & zone grilling here.)

2. grill the wings with indirect heat. once the grill is preheated, it’s time to cook the wings! the secret to not drying out your wings is grilling them first with indirect heat, then finishing them with a quick char over direct flame.

to do so, you’ll arrange the wings on the grates on the side of the grill opposite the direct heat. (as you can see in the photo above, the left side of my grill is lit, so i’m arranging the brined chicken wings on the right side of my grill.) grill the wings for 7 minutes per side, rearranging the wings halfway through such that the wings closest to the flame for the first 7 minutes are furthest from the flame in the last 7 minutes, & vice versa, to help ensure they all grill up evenly. 

3. char the wings over direct heat. once the wings are cooked completely through, they still need a little bit of love to get that totally crispy, charred skin that we want out of any perfectly grilled buffalo chicken wing. this is when we throw them over the open flame. leave them over direct flame for 2 minutes per side, which is just long enough to let the skin take on some char without overcooking the chicken. now we’ve got crispy wings on the grill! best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

the result? perfectly crispy grilled chicken wings.best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

don’t forget to pin this grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe for later!!!

what temperature should i grill chicken wings? 

grilled chicken wings should be cooked on a grill that’s preheated to 500-600 degrees F, but there’s more to it.  grilled chicken wings are best when they are cooked at two different temperatures through a combination of indirect and direct heat. 

how long does it take to cook wings on the grill? 

grilled wings take about 16 minutes to cook on the grill. this is 14 minutes (7 per side) of indirect heat and then 2 additional minutes of direct heat to get nice and crispy and charred. the wings should register 165 degrees F with a meat thermometer. 

dips for grilled chicken wings recipe:

every grilled hot wing needs a sauce to be dunked in!

because we like to keep things super simple when we’re grilling up wings, our go-to sauce is simply a fancied-up version of our favorite store-bought dressing. add your favorite store-bought ranch to a small bowl, then stir in some blue cheese crumbles, freshly snipped chives, coarse ground pepper, & a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you’re feeling fancy. it’s super simple, but always hits the spot!best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

don’t forget to pin this grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe for later!!!

more grilled recipes you’ll love!

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thank you so much for reading & supporting plays well with butter. this post includes affiliate links for products i truly love & use on the reg in my own home. all opinions are always my own! should you make a purchase using one of these links, pwwb with earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me continue to bring you great original content.  ???

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best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients)


Description

my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken wing sections
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 12-oz bottle dark, strong beer, such as IPA (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1 cup Frank’s RedHot Original or buffalo sauce of choice
  • for serving, as desired: freshly snipped chives, ranch or bleu cheese dressing

Instructions

  1. Brine the wings: Place the wing sections in a large airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Top with the salt and beer. Toss to combine. Brine in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 4 days. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to grill, pull the wings out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature for more even grilling. 
  2. Preheat the grill. The magic of these grilled wings comes from zone grilling – creating different temperature zones in your grill. Learn more about zone grilling & grilling temperatures in this post. If using a gas grill, light the burners on one half of your grill to their highest setting (our grill has a “sear station” on one side of the grill that’s built to get hotter than the rest of the grill, so that’s the side we light). If using a charcoal grill, light your charcoal & distribute it to one side of the grill to create a high heat zone on one side. The grill should be HOT – 500-600 degrees F.
  3. Grill the wings with indirect heat: Once the grill is hot, place the brined chicken wing sections on the side of the grill opposite the heat source. They will cook first from the indirect heat in the grill.
    1. Use a heat-resistant basting brush to brush the wings with two coats of Frank’s. Close the grill lid & cook the wings for 7 minutes.
    2. Flip the wings, rearranging them so the wings furthest from the direct heat source in the first half of the cook are closest to the heat during the second half. Brush the wings with two more coats of Franks, close the grill lid & cook for 7 more minutes. 
    3. After 14 minutes of indirect heat, the wings should be cooked through, registering an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer
  4. Char the wings over direct heat: Arrange the cooked wings over the direct heat to finish them off with a good crispy char, about 2 minutes per side or until as charred as desired, brushing with additional Frank’s as you go. 
  5. Serve immediately, with a sprinkling of finely chopped chives & ranch or bleu cheese dressing for dipping as desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Beer: I’ve tested these wings with all kinds of beer, & any kind will work well, however, a darker or hoppier beer (IPA, porter, stout) will give the wings a more prominent beer flavor that is just perfection when combined with the buffalo sauce. TL;DR: if you want a stronger beer flavor, it’s worth it to use a stronger beer. If not, just use whatever you have on hand. 

Keywords: grilled buffalo wings, grilled chicken wings

Don’t forget to pin these Perfectly Grilled Hot Wings for later!best grilled chicken wings recipe (3 ingredients) | my grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) stay juicy from a secret step & ingredient! plus my exact steps for how to grill chicken wings. #playswellwithbutter #chickenwings #grilling #chickenwingsrecipe #grilledchicken #easychickenwings

a method & recipe for how to make the perfect grilled buffalo chicken wings. these grilled wings are perfectly crispy & have the best charred buffalo flavor, but they stay juicy from a beer brine. served with a creamy cool feta ranch, grilled wings are perfect for an easy summer dinner when you’re having friends over for a summer party, or for game day fun!
 

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Comments

  1. 8.27.19
    Joe said:

    You don’t mention when and how to put the hot sauce on.
    I considered myself an expert at wings but always looking for other ideas. For fun, why don’t you explain when and how you sauce these up”

    Thanks

    Joe

    • 8.28.19
      jess said:

      hey joe! i like to brush the wings with sauce as they grill up – it creates that addictive crispy sauced-up crust that you crave when you think of grilled wings. i give the full run down in the recipe card – check out Steps 3-4!

  2. 7.28.19
    Dad said:

    Love wings

    • 8.5.19
      jess said:

      what’s not to love, right??

  3. 8.29.17
    McKenzie said:

    These look absolutely amazing! I think grilled wings aren’t given as much credit as they deserve. Thanks for sharing!

    • 8.31.17
      jess said:

      thanks, mckenzie! grilled wings are the best!!!

  4. 8.4.17
    Aaron C. said:

    Wow, these look excellent! I’m a big fan of the Daytona wings from Hooters and these look way better! Thanks for sharing.

    • 8.5.17
      jess said:

      thanks aaron! i’ve never had those wings, but i have had many, many grilled wings and these are top-notch for sure. let me know if you give them a try! xx

  5. 8.4.17
    Katie Dean Miller said:

    I am SO EXCITED to try this recipe out!! John + I are obsessed with buffalo wings and I can’t wait to try out grilled wings at home on our new grill versus going to a restaurant.

    • 8.5.17
      jess said:

      omg katie — you + john are going to LOVE these. they honestly could not be easier. beer brine + HIGH indirect heat. you’re going to almost think it’s too hot – but it’s NOT! just be patient. they’re so good – let me know how it goes!!! xx

  6. 8.3.17

    Pat has been asking for wings and I’M FINALLY GONNA DO IT. These look bananas. And your Thursday night sounds purrrrfect.

    • 8.3.17
      jess said:

      ellie, that makes me SO happy!!! let me know how it goes…i have a feeling pat’s gonna LOVE them. xx