Grilled Chicken Wings Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Grilled Chicken Wings

Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Grill: 20 min.
This crispy grilled chicken wings recipe is perfect with its stellar homemade wing sauce. Here's how to grill chicken wings on a gas or charcoal grill for your next party or picnic.

Updated: Apr. 18, 2024

When I was a kid, a stash of chicken wings was always in our freezer. My mother would buy a bag whenever we went to Costco or the local deli to create a frozen surplus that could feed the family (or a small army) on any given night. Her chicken-hoarding habits stuck with me. Today, I buy wings in bulk whenever I see them on sale and freeze them for later. Thawed chicken wings are perfect for all my favorite chicken wing recipes, including grilled chicken wings.

Turns out, knowing how to grill chicken wings on a gas or charcoal grill is a valuable skill. Crispy grilled chicken wings are perfect for summer parties, summer cookouts and potlucks. (And buying in bulk is a smart way to save money at the grocery store. Thanks, Mom!) The wings turn out almost as crispy as fried chicken wings and gain a smoky flavor and light char that hot oil can’t create.

My favorite way to enjoy this grilled chicken wings recipe is with a rich, tasty sauce. The quick and easy Buffalo-style sauce included here is perfect. As long as there are a few napkins around, it’s fine to get a little messy!

Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Wings

Grilled Chicken Wings ingredients laid out on a white wood surfaceTMB Studio

  • Chicken wings: You can purchase already-separated wings (sometimes labeled “party wings”) or whole wings and separate them yourself. The DIY option is our go-to choice for a perfect mix of wingettes and drumettes. Either way, if you start with frozen wings, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Olive oil: Oil helps the chicken skin crisp up and achieve a gorgeous golden color. If you don’t already have a favorite brand, these are our Test Kitchen’s picks for the best olive oil.
  • Cornstarch: Coating the wings in this gluten-free starch gives them a lightly crispy exterior. (Psst: Cornstarch is the secret behind our crispy Japanese fried chicken.)
  • Buffalo-style sauce: The wings get a spicy kick with this homemade Buffalo sauce. All you need is Louisiana-style hot sauce, white wine vinegar, garlic powder and butter.


Step 1: Prep the chicken wings

prepping the chicken wings in a large bowl tossed in cornstarch salt and pepper for grilled chicken wingsTMB Studio

Using a sharp knife, cut through the two wing joints. Discard the wing tips, and place the remaining wing pieces in a large bowl. Add the oil, and toss to coat. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the wings, and toss to coat.

Editor’s Tip: The whole wing has three sections: the tip, wingette and drumette. The tip burns easily and doesn’t contain much meat, so it’s best to remove it. You can throw the tips away or save these collagen-rich pieces in the freezer to make chicken stock.

Step 2: Preheat the grill

Preheat the grill to medium heat.

Editor’s Tip: If using a gas grill, bump the flame to the dial’s medium setting, or about 350°F on the grill’s thermometer. For a charcoal grill, gauge the temperature by holding your hand 5 inches above the cooking grate. If you can keep it there comfortably for five to seven seconds, it’s at medium heat.

Step 3: Grill the chicken wings

chicken wings cooking on grillTMB Studio

Oil the grill rack, then place the wings on the grill. Grill the wings, covered, over medium heat until the outsides are crisp and the juices run clear, 20 to 25 minutes, turning occasionally.

Editor’s Tip: To prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill, take the time to clean your grill grates. Then, using long-handled tongs, carefully rub a paper towel moistened with cooking oil over the grill rack. Move the towel from back to front, observing proper grilling safety tips during any brief moments of flare-up when the oil hits the hot flames.

Step 4: Make the sauce

While the chicken wings are on the grill, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the hot sauce, vinegar and garlic powder. Whisk in the butter until melted.

Editor’s Tip: Keep the sauce warm while you finish grilling the wings. Cold sauce doesn’t mix well with hot wings, and they’ll lose their crisp exterior.

Step 5: Sauce up the wings and serve

chicken wings in large bowl tossed in sauceTMB Studio

Place the crispy grilled chicken wings in a large bowl. Add the sauce, and toss to coat. With a slotted spoon, remove the wings to a serving plate.

Editor’s Tip: Serve the wings on a platter with more of the Buffalo-style sauce on the side if there’s extra. Pair this grilled chicken wings recipe with crunchy celery and carrots, and a cool, creamy dip like ranch dressingblue cheese dressing or Alabama white barbecue sauce.

Grilled Chicken WingsTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Use the broiler: Don’t have a grill? No worries! You can make this recipe indoors under a broiler. Broil the prepared wings 4 inches from the heat until the exteriors are crisp and the juices run clear, 20 to 25 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Change the sauce: We love pairing chicken wings with a spicy sauce, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other chicken wing sauce recipes. Try tossing the wings with barbecue sauce, lemon pepper butter or a spicy Thai-inspired glaze.
  • Use a dry rub: Instead of saucing the chicken, infuse the wings with flavor before they hit the grill. Add a paprika dry rub or an all-purpose barbecue seasoning blend to the cornstarch mixture.

How to Store Grilled Chicken Wings

Cooked chicken stored in the fridge in an airtight container lasts up to four days. Grilled chicken wings have the best flavor and texture when served immediately after cooking. To restore their crisp exterior, reheat the wings in an air fryer or oven. Skip the microwave—it will lead to soggy skin!

Grilled Chicken Wing Tips

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Should you marinate chicken wings for grilling?

This grilled chicken wings recipe doesn’t call for a marinade. Removing moisture is one way to ensure a good crispy chicken wing. That’s why we pat the chicken dry and toss it in a dry rub made with cornstarch, salt and pepper. If you prefer a marinated wing flavor, check out Asian-inspired chicken wings or sticky chicken wings.

How do you get crispy chicken wings on the grill?

The key to getting crispy grilled chicken wings is to cook them over direct heat and flip them occasionally. The grill’s flames will crisp the skin as the chicken cooks. The wings shouldn’t burn or over-char if you use medium heat and turn them a few times during the cooking process. However, if you’re concerned, you can always move the wings to the indirect side of the grill after browning the skin.

How do you grill chicken wings on a charcoal grill?

Start your charcoal grill with a charcoal chimney or one of these grill starters. When the coals turn white and no longer emit smoke, spread them evenly throughout the grill. We like to position them in the center, allowing the grill grate’s edge to become an indirect heat section if needed. Add the grill grate and lid. Keep the lid closed until the grill reaches 350°. Then, add the chicken and grill as directed.

How do you grill chicken wings on a gas grill?

To cook chicken wings on a gas grill, set the burners to medium-high and close the lid. When the grill reaches 350°, adjust the burners as needed to maintain the temperature inside the grill. If your gas grill has multiple burners, it’s a good idea to set one of the exterior burners to low in case you need to move the wings to indirect heat. Then, add the chicken and grill as directed.

How long should you grill chicken wings?

Grill chicken wings over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes to achieve crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside chicken wings. Keep the lid closed during the cooking session to trap the hot air inside the grill and help the chicken cook more quickly.

How do you know when wings are done on the grill?

The safest way to ensure chicken is cooked to perfection is to check its internal temperature with an instant-read meat thermometer. Chicken wings should register 165° when they’re cooked through. If you don’t have a thermometer, or you’re having a hard time getting a proper reading because the wings are so tiny, cut into the chicken wing. The meat should be white and opaque, and the juices should run clear. Once the wings have reached the correct temperature, remove them from the grill.

Watch how to Make Grilled Chicken Wings

Grilled Chicken Wings

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 20 pieces.


  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/3 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup butter


  1. Using a sharp knife, cut through the 2 wing joints; discard wing tips. Place remaining wing pieces in a large bowl. Add oil; toss to coat. Combine cornstarch, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over wings; toss to coat.
  2. Grill wings on an oiled grill rack, covered, over medium heat, or broil 4 in. from the heat until crisp and juices run clear, 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine hot sauce, vinegar and garlic powder. Whisk in butter until melted. Place chicken in a large bowl; add sauce and toss to coat. Remove to a serving plate with a slotted spoon.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 80 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 302mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 5g protein.

These simple grilled chicken wings are like a blank canvas ready to dress with your favorite sauce. —Taste of Home Test Kitchens