The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Tue Jan 8, 2013

Sriracha Hot Wings

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Sriracha Hot Wings

Hell yeah, tomorrow is my birthday! Now solidly in my mid-thirties, I've noticed that each subsequent year, fewer and fewer friends openly celebrate their birthdays, but I'm still all gung-ho about mine. While I'm usually humble and reserved, on my birthday I want to feel special, be the center of attention, get what I want, and not be concerned about the selfishness of it all. I still throw myself a party, and I fill it with all of my favorite people and favorite foods. Among the bar foods that make up my birthday menu, wings take top billing, and the top of top are these Sriracha hot wings—a recipe I devised specifically for my birthday last year.

Sriracha Hot Wings

I could probably eat only wings until the world ends and be happy. They have all the intensity I gravitate to in food—meaty, juicy, crisp, and heavily sauced/seasoned. Getting all of these desirable characteristics in a wing is fairly simple when frying, but on the grill it takes some extra work. Specifically, getting a crunchy skin can be a bit of a challenge, but a simple solution to that is coating the wings in baking powder and letting them rest in the fridge for eight hours prior to grilling.

Sriracha Hot Wings

I've been using that little trick on grilled wings for years now, but the real story behind these babies is the sauce. Being a devout student of Sriracha, I find almost any excuse to bust out this king of hot sauces and give just about anything a hit of that spicy and garlic-y magic. So why not bring some that goodness to wings?

To create a balanced sauce that builds upon the flavors of Sriracha, I added to it: butter, honey, soy sauce, cilantro, lime, and rice vinegar. This gave the right mixture of richness, spice, sweet, and tang to create a killer wing.

Sriracha Hot Wings

On the grill, the chicken cooked up beautifully over indirect heat—with the little baking powder trick, the wings got a crackling skin after about 45 minutes. This extra-crunchy exterior is needed to keep a crisp bite to the chicken once sauce is introduced.

Sriracha Hot Wings

To double up the Sriracha awesomeness, the wings were first brushed with sauce in the last minutes of grilling. After that coating baked in, they were tossed with the remaining sauce, creating two layers of hot garlic goodness, ensuring every bite was full of flavor.

Sriracha Hot Wings

I made a triple recipe of these for my birthday last year, and their allure was instantaneous obvious as they flew off the plate. Credit should go mainly to Huy Fong's awesome Sriracha, but since I'm feeling entitled right now, I'll say that it was my doing, wedding that special sauce to the perfectly grilled wings. It was a match made in heaven, one that made my birthday even better than it already was.

Sriracha Hot Wings

A match made in heaven: the hot garlic goodness of Sriracha wed to crisp grilled wings.
  • Prep Time:
  • 15 Minutes
  • Inactive Time:
  • 8 Hours
  • Cook Time:
  • 45 Minutes
  • Total Time:
  • 9 Hours
  • Yield:
  • 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  
  • For the Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

Procedure

  1. Pat chicken wings dry with paper towels. Place wings in a large bowl and sprinkle with baking powder and salt, tossing to coat evenly. Arrange wings in a single layer on wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in sriracha, honey, soy sauce, cilantro, line juice, and vinegar until combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place wings skin side up over cool side of grill, cover, and cook until skins are crisp and browned, 30 to 40 minutes. Brush wings all over with sauce, cover, and continue to cook until sauce bakes in, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer wings to a large bowl. Pour remaining sauce over wings and toss to coat evenly. Transfer wings to a platter and serve immediately.

Comments

  • 01
  • Gloria says
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I've read a couple of your things on Serious Eats. You are VERY smart (MIT!) and I enjoyed all your articles. Have a great Bday!
    Best,
    Gloria
    Posted Tue, Jan 8 2013 8:37pm
  • 02
  • Josh says
    @Gloria Thanks, although I'm not the smart food scientist from MIT, that's Kenji. I'm merely a web designer and photographer who happens to love barbecue and can put together a halfway decent recipe (without understanding the science behind it, haha).
    Posted Tue, Jan 8 2013 8:44pm
  • 03
  • Steve says
    Happy Birthday!!!

    What temp did you cook the wings at?
    Posted Wed, Jan 9 2013 1:03am
  • 04
  • Josh says
    @Steve They cooked in the 400 degree range (plus or minus 25 degrees).
    Posted Wed, Jan 9 2013 9:07am
  • 05
  • Chris says
    Of my top 5 wings of all time, two are sriracha varieties. Now I have to try yours too, Josh! Happy belated Bday!
    Posted Sun, Jan 13 2013 11:07pm
  • 06
  • Katie says
    These are hands down the best wings! Just made them for dinner to christen my new Weber Spirit grill. Thanks for sharing this, my husband definitely also thanks you!
    Posted Sat, May 25 2013 6:43pm

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