Grilled Garlic Chicken Wings

Grilled garlic chicken wings are one of my wife’s favorites. She has this thing for garlic. I do them on a Bubba Keg, which is a convection grill using natural lump charcoal. However, with a marinade like I’m preparing, you can do it on a gas grill and they will taste good too – just not as good in my opinion!

Now, this one was interesting because I had to use some substitutions. Not major ones, but it should give you a clue as to what you can whip together without running to the store just to meet the recipe literally. The more I do this, the easier it is to convince myself it’s OK. And in this case, the grilled garlic chicken wings turned out nicely.

Here’s the BBQ equipment you’ll need

  • Charcoal Grill or Gas Grill – I’m using charcoal because I like the extra flavor I get. Never knew what I was missing until I made the switch. It’s a long story 🙂
  • Gallon-Sized Freezer Bags – I use these for the marinade. The freezer bags are tough and have really secure zippers for mixing the stuff up. Doing the marinade in a bowl just doesn’t work for this much food in my opinion.
  • A Blender – Use this to mix the marinade ingredients
  • A Knife – To cut the wings up. I just snipped the tips off this time, but I usually separate the drum stick from the wing – actually, it’s all wing but you know what I mean.

The Ingredients

I don’t have a fancy online calculator but I’m doing about 60 wings (if they were separated) and these measurements are for that – about 10 servings. You will need to adjust accordingly or save leftovers for a later date.

  • 2 large packages of whole wings – probably come out to more than 60 once separated but it’s all good!
  • 5 Onions – I used 5 teaspoons of Onion Powder because I had it
  • 10 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic (or 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder). I had the minced garlic so that’s what I used.
  • 10 Tablespoons of Spicy Mustard –I used what was left of my spicy brown and some Dijon I had in the fridge.
  • 2.5 cups of dry red wine – I didn’t have any, so I opened a bottle of Blackberry wine my neighbor made.
  • 5 teaspoons of salt – I used plain old table salt, but usually use Kosher
  • 2.5 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 1.25 teaspoons of Cayenne pepper – you can add more if you want. My wife likes garlic, but she smacks me when I put too much Cayenne in there.
  • 5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 10 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce – store brand is good enough for me.

Depending on how you like your grilled garlic chicken wings, the prep time could be 15 minutes or 45 minutes. I only snipped the tips off the wing part this time and left the drum stick and the wing attached. This will make it easier to flip those grilled garlic chicken wings when they’re on the charcoal grill.

Once you’ve got them cut up as you like, mix all the marinade ingredients together in a blender. Don’t overdo it. Then put the wings in your freezer bags and cover them with marinade. Get the air out of the bag, seal it and mix the wings up well. Then place them in the fridge for 2-8 hours – the longer the better.

Should you grill with direct heat or indirect heat?

Personally, I choose the indirect method. With the charcoal grill, I basically have a lump fired convection oven. So, I get it going to about 450 degrees with a plate setter to diffuse the heat. The lump (and any wood chunks I choose to throw in) gives plenty of that smoky goodness. All the direct heat will do is burn the wings if you’re not careful. Trust me, these babies come out looking like they were on a grill. Just look and see!

If you decide to go with direct heat, it should take more than 15 minutes to cook. However, even at 450, it’s going to take about 30-34 minutes to cook indirectly. One thing I’ve noticed is that once I get the wings in, the temperature will drop to 350 or so and never really gets back up before the wings are done. Just something to stow away in the back of the brain when your cooking grilled garlic chicken wings, or any other grilled chicken wings for that matter.

One more thing. The original recipe suggested taking the leftover marinade and boiling it reduced by half. This can be used as a dipping sauce. Personally, even though it’s boiled, I have a problem using something that had raw chicken sitting in it.  I’d rather just make a little extra and set it aside for reduction. Enjoy your chicken!

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