Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken Wings

May 22, 2020 | Appetizers and Snacks, Chicken and Poultry, Recipes

I have made no secret on this blog about the fact that I love chicken wings. I love them baked, roasted, deep-fried and of course barbecued. Today we are going to look at that last one, BBQ Chicken Wings. If you have never had BBQ Chicken Wings you are seriously missing out. I consider them to be superior to most other types of wings for a lot of reasons. The skin gets crispy, the meat stays tender, and a lot of the fat renders out making them a little bit better for you.

In this post we are going to talk specifically about how to make Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken Wings including a quick homemade sauce. However, more broadly, we are going to look at one of the many techniques for barbecuing chicken wings. Don’t worry, we will get to the other techniques over the next few months.

Okay, let’s get to it. This is how to make…

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken Wings

The Sauce

If you want a delicious chicken wing, you need a delicious sauce. For the sauce I decided that I wanted to go with a Southeast Asian influence. To do this I used Sambal as the base which is an Indonesian Chili Sauce. You can usually find it at most grocery stores but if you can’t find it you can use Sriracha or any other hot sauce you prefer. Along with the sambal I used soy sauce (Gluten-Free Tamari), honey, powdered ginger, garlic, and onion. To add a little more tartness to the sauce I also used a touch of rice vinegar. To bulk up the umami flavour I added a touch of fish sauce then finished the sauce with some sesame seeds. This all got whisked together and the sauce was ready.

You can find the full sauce recipe below.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wing Sauce

A quick and delicious Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wing Sauce
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Barbecue, BBQ, chicken wings, Wing Sauce
Servings: 2 lbs of wings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 2 tbsp Sambal Chili Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Powdered Ginger
  • 2 tsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce


  • Mix all ingredients, taste and adjust with a little more honey or soy sauce if needed.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

BBQ Chicken Wings

First things first, I heated my barbecue up over medium heat. Then I went to work on the wings. For the wings I used about two pounds which were slipt meaning the wings and drums were separated. I seasoned them lightly with salt and pepper. Lined them up on the grill then shut the lid and let them cook for four or five minutes.

After five minutes I flipped the wings, turned the heat down a little bit, moved the wings around a little bit to make sure they were all getting even heat. I put the lid back down and cooked them for another five minutes.

Once the wings cooked for about ten minutes in total I took them off the heat, tossed them in the sauce, then placed them back on the barbecue. I cooked the wings for about three minutes per side to bake the sauce on and caramelize a little bit. To me baking the sauce onto the wings is key. This makes the sauce sticky, and a little sweeter. It’s what really makes wings like this special. You can do this with any sauce, not just the sauce I used here.

I check the wings to make sure they were cooked by picking up the biggest wing and pulling the meat away from the bone. If the meat comes away from the bone easily, the wings are done. You can also use a thermometer to make sure the wings reach an internal temperature of 170°F.

With the wings fully cooked, I removed them from the heat, put them on a nice plated and garnished them with some sliced green onions.


It will come as no surprise that I thought these wings were absolutely delicious and I think you will too. As delicious as these were, and yes, you should make them, the important part of this post is really the technique for barbecuing the wings. Season the wings lightly with salt and pepper. Grill them on medium heat for about five minutes per side, sauce them then cook for another three minutes per side. Done and delicious.

A very important thing to remember when barbecuing chicken wings or anything for that matter is heat management. If the wings are flaring up, turn the heat down a little or move them to a cooler part of the grill. If some of the wings aren’t crisping up and others are getting too crisp, switch them. Barbecuing is not a passive style of cooking like baking is for example. With baking you put something together, put it in the oven, then forget about it until it’s cooked. Barbecuing requires much more attention and activity than that.

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Have a great weekend everyone!


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