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Cooking chicken wings on the grill is not a complicated task, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you grill wings. Maintaining a clean and functional grill and choosing quality food products will be a big factor in determining success as you grill chicken wings. Patience will also play a big role, so do not rush through the process because it can lead to unwanted results for your grilled chicken wings. Also, ensure you have your favorite buffalo sauce, bbq sauce, or hot sauce ready to get the flavor just right.
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The gas grill is always clean after the last use in an ideal world. Unfortunately, it is not always the case. If needed, scrape the grates with a grill brush, knocking the charred remains from the last grill into the underlying tray (if using a charcoal grill, ensure you do the same). Don’t forget to season your gas grill, if it has been a while. Next, check the burners by turning them on and looking for clogs. Clogged burners can lead to uneven cooking temperatures, so make sure to fully operational the burners. An orange-colored flame instead of a blue flame is a sign that an improper amount of fuel is passing through the tube and can cause varying temperatures. This can easily be remedied by using a steel wire brush to clear the holes. After cleaning, empty the tray where the debris was collected to lower the risk of fire and get ready to start on your grilled wings.
If you choose to buy whole chicken wings, there will be a little extra prep. The chicken wings will have two joints separating them into three parts. First cut the joint by the tip-off and discard. Next, cut through the joint by the drumette. Place the chicken wings in a steel bowl, cover with a dry rub, and toss to coat the chicken evenly. Seasoned salt is a classic dry rub that is used and mixes well with a variety of sauces, but feels free to use other blends. Place the seasoned chicken wings on a metal baking pan covered with aluminum foil and lightly brush all sides of the chicken with olive oil. Olive oil or vegetable oil will help with ensuring the wings don’t stick to the grill as they cook. Cover the tray with another sheet of foil and set aside.
When first igniting the grill, aim to get the grill temperature to around medium heat. If it is too hot it will cook the outside of the chicken too quickly, causing it to burn by the time the inside cooks. Let the grill heat up for around 10-15 minutes. Place the chicken directly on the grill and then slightly lower the heat if necessary to avoid way too crispy chicken wings. The chicken wings should be flipped and rotated to positions on the grill every 5 minutes. Rotating their positions is of great importance because grills tend to have hot and cool spots. Rotating helps address this issue and results in the chicken being cooked evenly. The total cooking time will be anywhere between 20-25 minutes. Having a thermometer on hand is an excellent idea for checking the internal temperature. To thoroughly grill chicken wings the chicken should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally to prevent foodborne illnesses.
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When the chicken has reached proper temperature pull them from the grill and place them back on the pan. Make sure the pan has been cleaned and has a new aluminum foil lining to prevent cross-contamination of the cooked wings. From this point, the steps to be taken are up to the cook. Choose your favorite sauces (i.e. Frank’s hot sauce, buffalo sauce, bbq sauce, etc…) to toss the grilled chicken wings in, or use no sauce at all. If tossing in multiple sauces, or entertaining for a larger crowd, serving family-style is recommended. Put the grilled chicken wings in serving bowls with tongs and let people grab what they want. A little blue cheese dressing goes a long way as wing sauce to ensure everyone is happy as they savor the best chicken wings they’ve ever tasted!
After the grill cools there is one last thing to do. Clean the grill.