Beer Brine Chicken Wings with Sticky Sweet Buffalo Sauce

5 reviews

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These Beer Brine Chicken Wings are handheld little morsels of tasty goodness. Nothing compares to a crispy, juicy wing exploding with flavor. Throw in a beer brine and a sticky sweet Buffalo sauce, and you may never make chicken wings the same way again!

beer brine chicken wings piled on a wooden cutting board next to sliced celery. Text overlay: "Beer Brine Chicken Wings with Sweet Buffalo Sauce."

 

Beer Brine Chicken Wings

Wings are the ultimate party food. They’re the perfect size for snacking, but they satisfy much better than the ol’ bag of chips. Not only are they the perfect size, but the sauce options are endless! Whether you like them sweet, spicy, or that perfect in between, you can really get creative with the flavor profile in chicken wings.

Finally, the real key to making the perfect chicken wings is in the cooking process, so that whatever sizzling sauce you choose will really shine. These wings are the ultimate in moist, delectable wings and are the perfect base for whatever sauce you like. I don’t say “perfect chicken wing” lightly, just FYI. I can safely say that I have grilled/consumed over 100 pounds of wings in the last few years. I’ve tried cooking them hot and fast to crisp the skin. I’ve tried low and slow to enhance the smoky flavor in the meat.

After lots of trial and error, I will tell you that the method for these beer brine chicken wings are the absolute best method I’ve found for delectable grilled wings.

uncooked chicken wings being brined in a white bowl

 

Chicken Wing Beer Brine

There is definitely a soft spot in my heart for a crunchy fried wing, but I would still pick these flame kissed beauties every time. The beer brine creates the juiciest chicken wings you’ll ever put in your mouth. The subtle flavor from the red pepper flakes and beer in the brine adds this little extra hint of sumthin’ sumthin’ that will have people going, “Oh man, what is that flavor?!”

It’s the combo of a chicken wing beer brine and Buffalo sauce that give these wings that amazing, delectable flavor. Scroll below and I’ll show you how to get the best texture and flavor from your wings.

Sticky Sweet Buffalo Chicken Wings

How to Make Beer Brine Chicken Wings

Alright, friends. Let’s dive into making some chicken wings, shall we? Now these guys require a bit of extra time and love, but I promise it will be worth it in the end. If you’d like a printable version of these steps, scroll to the bottom of this post.

  1. Start with a brine. Mix beer salt, and red pepper flakes to make the brine. Fully submerge the chicken wings in the brine, and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
  2. Dry out the wings. The skin is magically crisp because I give the uncooked wings some drying time in the fridge before cooking. I learned this magic technique from my grill loving friends Sean and Mary over at Vindulge (go check them out!) and will never grill wings any other way. The dry skin is crucial for the crisp wings that we all want.
  3. Cook them on the grill. Preheat your grill to 375 degrees F for indirect grilling (check out my post all about How to Cook with Two-Zone Grilling here for info on indirect heat). Place the brined and dried wings directly on the grill grates. Cook for 30 minutes, flip, and cook for another 15 minutes.
  4. Get saucy. Make the sticky Buffalo sauce by combining brown sugar and Buffalo sauce in a saucepan and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add in the butter. Once the wings are fully cooked, remove them from the grill and toss in the Buffalo sauce.

Once you have the brine/dry/cooking technique down, you can use any sauce you want with outstanding results. I’ve included the recipe for our most favorite Sticky Sweet Buffalo sauce. I mean, come on. That one practically sells itself. But, feel free to toss your amazing wings with whatever sauce your family fancies! I actually like to have an assortment of sauced wings so everybody can get what they want.

Beer Brined Grilled Chicken Wings

More Chicken Wings Recipes

For more amazing chicken wings recipes from Hey Grill Hey, look no further than these top three from our site:

Beer Brine Chicken Wings Recipe

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Beer Brine Chicken Wings with Sticky Sweet Buffalo Sauce

4.8 from 5 votes
These Beer Brine Chicken Wings are handheld little morsels of tasty goodness. Nothing compares to a crispy, juicy wing exploding with flavor. Throw in a beer brine and a sticky sweet Buffalo sauce, and you may never make chicken wings the same way again!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings6 people

Video

Ingredients
 

  • 3 pounds trimmed chicken wings

Beer Brine

  • 2 bottles dark beer
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Sticky Sweet Buffalo Sauce

  • cup Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce hot or regular, whatever you prefer
  • 1 ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

Instructions
 

  • Make the beer brine. In a large glass or plastic bowl, combine the beer, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir until the salt is dissolved in the beer and gently submerge the wings in the brine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or up to 12 hours.
  • Dry the chicken wings. Drain the brine from the wings. Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and arrange the wings on the rack. Pat each of the wings dry with a paper towel and return to the fridge. Allow the wings to dry in the fridge for 3-4 hours. This will take some of the moisture out of the skin and give you crispy skin.
  • Grill the beer brine chicken wings. Start your grill up and prepare for indirect grilling. Set your temperature to 375 degrees F. Place the wings directly on the grill grates. If you don't have an indirect grill, you can just put the cookie sheet with the cooling rack on top directly on your grill grates once your grill is preheated. Cook the wings for 30 minutes, then flip for the final 15 minutes.
  • Make the sticky sweet Buffalo sauce. While the wings are grilling, prepare your sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and wing sauce. Bring to a simmer (not a boil) stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Set aside until the wings are cooked.
  • Sauce the wings and enjoy. As soon as the wings are done, toss them in the sauce and serve immediately!

Nutrition

Calories: 502kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 552mg | Potassium: 290mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 634IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

**This post was originally published in January 2016. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

Sauced Beer Brine Chicken WingsBeer Brine Chicken Wings with Sticky Sweet Buffalo Sauce

About

FOUNDER/BBQ BOSS LADY

Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Recipe Rating




Reader Reviews

30 Reviews

  1. Allen Phillips says:

    I made these for new year’s did them in smoker.I used apple wood cooked at 400 shorten the cook time i could of used little more heat but the wife thought it was just right.

  2. Sherwinator says:

    These look awesome! I’m about to make them for Friendsgiving — just curious, is it really 45 minutes on the grill? That seems somewhat long for small wings, so figured I’d check first.Thanks!

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      That should be about right. Just pay close attention to them!

  3. Wendy says:

    Has anyone tried ginger beer?

  4. RobC says:

    I used an espresso stout, and they came out great in the smoker with cherry wood. Smoked at 250 for 30 min and bumped the heat up until 175. The only thing I’d do differently is add more Buffalo sauce to the mixture. It tasted good as described, but didn’t have enough heat.

    1. Phil says:

      That’s what I did. I when I put the original amount into the saucepan, it was really small amount. I doubled the amount of hot sauce and played it by seeing how much it was making.

  5. Ezra Petersen says:

    Great recipe. I’ve done wings on the pellet grill many times but usually use a water, salt, Worcestershire, red pepper and garlic/onion powder brine but this beer brine was definitely better I could taste the difference. So simple but so good. It’s definitely true, dry them for a nice crisp. I sat them on a wire rack in a pan so they could drip dry and the skin had a good crunch. I didn’t have any sauce, I put a little dry rub on them before throwing them on the grill and they turned out great. Rub, sauce or both you can go out from this recipe and make some great wings.

  6. Nifty Deb says:

    Took these to a Super Bowl gathering and they were a hit! When my husband says “pretty good Fred” that recipe is a keeper. And yes, I jumped to Mary’s “Vindulge” site and use some of her suggestions.
    Notes: Be patient with the sugar and the wing sauce, it’s worth it, and if you have an Aldi’s market near you, get their Kirkwood frozen wings. The bag I bought had nice big pieces, almost looked like small legs. They also have Sweet Baby Rays wing sauce and it was fantastic. Less than my regular supermarket for SBR or Franks.

  7. Mike Lamey says:

    These were absolutely amazing… you are a BBQ Goddess Susie!!

  8. Les Smith says:

    Can I bake the wings in the oven? If so, at what temperature and fir how long?

    Thx!

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Absolutely!! Follow the same time and temps!