Thursday, September 23, 2010

Grilled Buffalo Wings

It's football season again and, as everyone knows, the absolute best food to eat while watching a game is PIZZA. Buffalo wings, however, run a close second and are the most requested item for me to bring to football parties. Over the years, I have cooked wings every method conceivable. I started by putting oil in an 8qt pot and frying them on my (electric) stove which is very, very messy. Eventually I bought a deep fryer and used that for a long time. At one point, I owned two deep fryers just for making wings. After Wifey came along and complained the house smelled like oil when I fried, I took to baking the wings, but it took forever (over an hour) and the wings never seemed crisp, so I moved to the grill. First I grilled the wings and after they completely cooked, tossed them in sauce, but no one liked them. My cousin Mike told me how he and his brother grilled wings once, and the rest, as they say, is history. The technique is to cook the wings by alternating between grilling and braising, which imparts both the grilled smokiness and sauce spiciness into the wings. My grill is close to my back door, and as long as there isn’t snow on the ground I don’t mind grilling all winter. I make this recipe all the way into December (they are a must for my annual Army-Navy game bash)

  • Wings
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Hot sauce of choice

  • Grill
  • Pan
  • Tongs
  • Meat Thermometer

Tyson, Purdue, and other companies sell bags of individually quick frozen wings in supermarkets. Defrost the wings, and season with salt and pepper, or a dry rub if desired. Heat the grill until it has a medium high heat (350-400 degrees if you have a thermometer on your grill). Grill the wings for about a minute per side directly on the grate. Put the wings into a roasting pan and cover with sauce. Leave the pan on the grill and cook with the lid closed for about five minutes. Return the wings to the grill for another couple minutes, then back in the sauce for five. It usually takes three or four cycles for the wings to get fully cooked. Use an insta-read meat thermometer if you want to make sure the wings are done (160 degrees F).

Notes on sauces: You can use any sauce you want. I like Steve and Eds Buffalo Wing sauce, because it gives some heat, but my mom will eat them.

Homemade sauces can be cooked right in the roasting pan. Just put the ingredients in while the grill is preheating and turn the wings over the first time you put them in the pan.

A note on the thermometer: A good insta-read thermometer is indispensable in the kitchen. I recommend ThermoWorks Super-Fast Thermapen (now Splashproof). Simply the best cooking thermometer I've ever had.

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