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 totally 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!
A crispy grilled wing dunked in a small bowl of bleu cheese dressing, in the center of a small baking sheet of grilled chicken wings, topped generously with snipped chives & served with bleu cheese dressing. The tray sits atop a black & white striped linen on a white surface next to a bottle of Franks RedHot hot sauce.

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The BEST recipe for grilled hot wings!!!

I’m 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!

A small baking sheet of grilled chicken wings, & are topped generously with snipped chives. The tray sits atop a black & white striped linen on a white surface next to a bottle of Frank's RedHot hot sauce.

& 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…

These grilled buffalo wings have been a reader favorite ever since we published this recipe way back in 2017. If this is a new-to-you recipe…man, oh man, you’re in for a major treat!

Overhead angle of a crispy grilled chicken wing dipped into a small, marble bowl filled with bleu cheese dressing. The wing + bowl sit in the center of a small baking sheet of grilled chicken wings, & are topped generously with snipped chives. The tray sits atop a black & white striped linen on a white surface.

Absolutely perfect, absolutely every time. ♡ Read on to learn more about this perfect Grilled Chicken Wings recipe, or jump straight to the recipe & get grillin’!

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


Grilled chicken wings ingredients arranged on a white surface - a bowl of chicken wings, a bottle of Frank's RedHot hot sauce, a can of Surly Furious Double IPA beer, & a small wooden bowl of kosher salt.

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?

Choosing the right beer for the beer brine: 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!


Surly Furious Double IPA being poured from a can into a bowl filled with chicken wings.

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 thing for up to 3-4 days.

Chicken wings brining in beer in a large glass mixing bowl. The bowl sits atop a white surface.

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!


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 steps

A smiling woman standing next to a grill with a bowl of brined chicken wings in one hand & placing the brined wings on the hot grill grates with the other hand.

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.

A few dozen chicken wings cooking on a grill grate. Grilling tongs reach into the frame of the image, turning one of the chicken wings.

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!

A small baking sheet of grilled chicken wings, topped generously with snipped chives & served with bleu cheese dressing. The tray sits atop a black & white striped linen on a white surface next to a can & a few glasses of PBR beer.

The result? Perfectly crispy grilled chicken wings.

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!

A small baking sheet of grilled chicken wings, topped generously with snipped chives & served with bleu cheese dressing. The tray sits atop a black & white striped linen on a white surface next to a can & a few glasses of PBR beer & a bottle of Frank's RedHot Hot Sauce.

I can’t wait for you to try these Grilled Buffalo Wings! They’re truly one of my favorite recipes here on PWWB, with very good reason. I know you’ll love them!

If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know!: Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! Happy cooking! ♡

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A crispy grilled wing dunked in a small bowl of bleu cheese dressing, in the center of a small baking sheet of grilled chicken wings, topped generously with snipped chives & served with bleu cheese dressing. The tray sits atop a black & white striped linen on a white surface next to a bottle of Franks RedHot hot sauce.

Best Grilled Chicken Wings Recipe (3 ingredients!)

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours
  • Yield: serves 24 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: grilling
  • Cuisine: America


My grilled buffalo chicken wings recipe (grilled hot wings!) keeps wings SO juicy from a secret step & ingredient! Plus, exact steps for how to grill chicken wings.


  • 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 chivesranch or bleu cheese dressing


  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!


  • 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, easy, simple, beer brine, low-carb

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A small baking sheet of grilled chicken wings, topped generously with snipped chives & served with bleu cheese dressing. The tray sits atop a black & white striped linen on a white surface next to a can & a few glasses of PBR beer & a bottle of Frank's RedHot hot sauce.

Ready to Hit the Grill?

If this all still feels new to you, I encourage you to head over to Grilling 101, a compilation of tips & tricks for all of the grilling basics – everything from how to light your grill to how to clean your grill.

All this talk about grilling have you feelin’ ready to hit the grill? Me too! Be sure to check out this post for my 15 go-to marinades you need this grilling season. At our house, a good marinade is at the heart of grilling season. I’m positive these marinades will be on repeat at your house this summer! For even more grilled goodness, be sure to check out all of our Grilling & Smoking recipes.

& lastly! Be sure to give @playswellwithbutter a follow on Instagram – I’ll be teaching you how to grill up some goodness all summer long, & we have so much fun on Instagram!

Want more grilling tips & recipes?

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Don’t forget to pin these Perfectly Grilled Hot Wings for later!

Grilled wings with graphic text overlay for Pinterest.

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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  1. 6.27.21
    Natasha Tomich said:

    This are SO tasty and SO easy to make! Will definitely be making these again!

    • 6.28.21

      A total fave here, too! So glad to hear you enjoyed!

  2. 5.31.21
    Katie said:

    These were so.good. o.m.g. Jesse. The grilled flavor came through so perfectly due to your technique, and the brine gave the chicken itself such amazing flavor. Perfect for a Memorial Day cookout and will be easy enough to put together for a fun weeknight supper too. Thank you for sharing!

  3. 5.30.21
    Mitch said:

    I used a dry rub instead of the brine (personal preference,) but followed your cooking times on my Weber kettle grill. Your indirect-then-direct method worked perfectly with charcoal, too. The wings were right around 165 degrees after the total cook time, and were super moist inside. Most other grill recipes I’ve seen call for longer cook times, but the wings dry out if cooked much longer.

    I’m bookmarking this page as the best method.

    Oh, I did still have the beer – with the meal!

    • 6.20.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hi Mitch! So glad that this method worked out great for you, we swear by it for juicy wings! Thanks so much for sharing & glad you were still able to enjoy a beer with your grilled wings!

  4. 4.24.21
    Debra said:

    I thought these were amazing and the brine was well worth it! I do not understand the salt comment… they were not salty at all. ALL of my guests commented on how they loved the wings.

    • 5.3.21

      SO glad to hear it, Debra! Yes, the brine makes a world of difference. So glad you & your friends enjoyed – thanks for dropping a comment! Jess

  5. 4.15.21
    Anna said:

    These look amazing. I am hoping to grill these up this weekend. We love buffalo, but my kids love lemon pepper. Have you ever tried with any other seasonings? Or any recommendations?

    • 5.3.21

      Hey Anna! Sorry I’m just seeing your comment…Yes, lemon pepper would be awesome too! Let me know if you end up trying! Jess

  6. 4.11.21

    it is very delicious and full of nutrition and good for health thanks for share it

  7. 3.28.21
    Anna said:

    This is THE BEST wing recipe ever! I used this recipe the first time I ever tried grilling and these wings came out incredibly juicy and flavorful. Brining in beer and zone grilling is the way to go! I’ll never make wings any other way.

    • 5.5.21

      YAY, ANNA! Thank you for leaving a comment – so glad you love these wings as much as we do!

  8. 3.15.21
    Stacey said:

    These wings are seriously the best. The beer brine makes it so juicy and flavorful. I’ve made it twice now and the directions are clear so I can execute perfectly cooked chicken. And that char! A+ !

    • 5.14.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hi Stacey! We are SO glad to hear it, the beer brine definitely makes all the difference! If you loved this recipe stay tuned for even more grilled goodness this Spring & Summer when we kick off our 3rd Annual PWWB Grilling Series next week!

  9. 2.2.21

    You used an Furious IPA for the wings and have a PBR to drink in the picture with the final product? Child please

    • 2.2.21

      Sure did, Bud. Thanks for your condescension. Hope it made you feel better.

  10. 10.27.20
    Lauren said:

    These were INCREDIBLE and I felt like a rockstar for grilling these on my own! Thanks for the inspiration, Jess!

    • 6.20.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hey Lauren! We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed these wings!! We love how simple it is to make restaurant-quality wings at home & feel so fortunate to be a part of your grilling journey!!

  11. 7.19.20
    Fernando said:

    I just tried this, super salty. I do not recommend.

    • 3.12.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hey Fernando! Sorry to hear that. The salt is used in the brine & is meant to draw out moisture to be replaced with the beer – keeping the wings nice & juicy when grilled! Anyways, to each, their own!

  12. 7.12.20
    Peter Naughton said:

    Do you think taking a meat tenderizer to the wings will help crisp the skin? So more fat gets out during cooking?

    • 5.24.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hi Peter! We have not tested using a meat tenderizer, instead we opt to rely on the 2-zone grilling method to get these grilled wings deliciously charred & crispy!

  13. 7.5.20
    Judy Gorino said:

    I grilled these up for Fourth of July. It was about 300 degrees outside in front of that grill under the beating sun but soooo worth it!! Once plated everyone shouted “you cooked too many” and then they ate them all. So juicy, so tasty, so easy! Awesome

    • 3.8.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Haha thank you for sharing, Judy! You can never have TOO many wings 😉 – so glad to hear that everyone loved them!

  14. 6.13.20
    Haley Clayton said:

    These were so good!! We doubled the recipe and are still fighting over the leftovers! Best chicken I’ve ever had 🙂

    • 2.5.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Haley! Yes, these can definitely be hard to share 😉 so glad you enjoyed!

  15. 6.5.20
    Daryl said:

    Simply amazing! Best wings ever.

    • 6.24.20
      jess said:

      So glad you love them, Daryl! They’re a fave at our house too!!! xx

  16. 4.17.20
    Erica said:

    Just finished eating these and omg!!!! Thank you! I’ve never brined in beer and I could totally tell the difference. Soooo juicy! I didn’t use traditional wing sauce though. I used Buffalo Wild Wings Asian zing and it was amazing!

  17. 11.12.19
    Maria said:

    I’m crazy picky about chicken wings. Mostly, crazy picky about texture. And this recipe gives the most perfectly charred/juicy wing! I was a bit nervous about the brine because I’m not a beer drinker but, trust me, nothing tops that flavor.

    • 2.14.20
      jess said:

      Yesssss!!! I’m so glad you love these wings as much as we do, Maria! Agree about the beer – I’m not a huge beer lover myself, but it sort of just adds some delicious funky umami that pairs really well with the buffalo sauce. Thanks for commenting!!!

  18. 10.5.19
    Elizabeth said:

    I just made these and they are amazing! I only brined a couple of hours. Way better than a store bought sauce. I will be adding this to my recipe book. Thanks for sharing!

  19. 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”



    • 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!

  20. 7.28.19
    Dad said:

    Love wings

    • 8.5.19
      jess said:

      what’s not to love, right??

  21. 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!!!

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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