Wings are the ultimate in party food. These beer brine chicken wings are hand held little morsels of tasty goodness. Nothing compares to a crispy, juicy wing that explodes with flavor. The sauce options are endless, but the real key is perfecting 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 lbs 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. I will tell you that these are the absolute best method we’ve found for delectable grilled wings.
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 sum’n sum’n that will have people going, “oh man, what is that flavor?!”
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. To see how I made their version of the perfect Buffalo wing, click HERE. The dry skin is crucial for the crisp wings that we all want.
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 Brine Chicken Wings with Sticky Sweet Buffalo Sauce
- 3 pounds trimmed chicken wings
- 2 bottles dark beer
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
Sticky Sweet Buffalo Sauce
- 1/3 cup Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce hot or regular, whatever you prefer
- 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 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.
- 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.
- Start your grill up and prepare for indirect grilling. Set your temperature to 375 degrees. Place the wings directly on the grill grate. 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 grate once your grill is preheated. Cook the wings for 30 minutes, then flip for the final 15 minutes.
- 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.
- As soon as the wings are done, toss them in the sauce and serve immediately!