Grilled Buffalo Wings

These grilled chicken wings are slow-grilled and slathered in a classic Buffalo chicken wing sauce. Make plenty because everyone will want seconds!

A plate of grilled wings.
Eliezer Martinez

Many years ago, when I was a cross-country runner in college on Long Island, our team had a Tuesday tradition: After an especially hard workout, we would go to a place called Big Barry's in Lake Grove and eat as many Buffalo BBQ wings as we possibly could.

Why Tuesday? That was the night when each wing cost only 13 cents.

The Best BBQ Wings of My Life

Now I've eaten thousands of Buffalo wings before and since, but none were like Big Barry's. I swear they had to be either roasted or grilled because Barry's wings were crisp and charred and very much not like those nasty, pallid fried things you get in most of the country.

Amazing what a slight difference in a cooking method can do for a humble dish.

I loved these BBQ wings. Loved them. So much so that one day, after an unusually tough workout (and not a few beers), I decided to pick up the gauntlet that Barry's threw down at every customer who walked in the door: Eat enough wings to get your name on the Plaque of Honor and your whole table eats free. No problemo, I thought.

A plate of grilled wings.
Eliezer Martinez

How Many Grilled Chicken Wings Can You Eat?

Because Barry's wings were barbecued (or roasted, I was never sure), and they could be ordered with sauce on the side, I had routinely eaten dozens at a sitting. I started with 25 wings, which went down easy. Another few Pabst Blue Ribbons and I was on to my second 25. Again, easy-peasy.

It was the final 25 that got me. Mind you, as a cross country runner I weighed maybe 140 pounds. The last dude who got his name on the plaque was a fireman from Middle Island who was 6'7" and weighed four bills, easy.

I hit a wall when I got to 60 wings. At the urging of my teammates (screaming, more like, because they didn't want to pay their bar tab), I managed to choke down another 7 wings before I gave up.

Don't Eat 100 BBQ Wings, but Make Plenty

Did I make it? Not even close, the waitress said, smiling sweetly. "Good try, though, especially since you're so skinny, but you'd need to eat another 40 wings to get on the board."

The thought of eating another 40 wings made me want to hurl, so we paid up and left as soon as we could.

This grilled chicken wings recipe is as close to Big Barry's BBQ wings as I've been able to make. They go down real easy, so make more than you think you'll need. But I'd advise stopping before you hit 100, OK?

Tongs picking a bbq chicken wing up off the grill.
Eliezer Martinez

Watch This Grilled BBQ Buffalo Wings Recipe

How To Break Down Chicken Wings

Here's how to break down those wings once you're back home:

  1. Wiggle the joint where the wing tip connects to the flat. With a chef's knife or kitchen shears, cut right through the middle of this joint.
  2. Do the same with the joint connecting the flat and the drumette. Cut right down the middle to separate.

Use the drumettes and the flats for this recipe. Save the wing tips in your freezer for the next time you make chicken stock.

READ MORE: How to Break Down Chicken Wings

Love Chicken Wings? Try These Recipes!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Grilled Buffalo Wings

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 90 mins
Total Time 95 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

We like to make our own Buffalo wing sauce, but you could use a store-bought one if you are pressed for time.

In this Buffalo chicken wings recipe, we are using a grill to mimic the low and slow cooking of barbecue. If the temp is too high, the wings will cook more quickly than indicated here. We are trying to achieve a low cooking temperature so that the wings cook slowly.


For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup hot sauce, such as Crystal, Texas Pete, or Tabasco

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the wings:

  • 3 pounds chicken wings

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Make the Buffalo sauce:

    Mix all of the ingredients together in a small pot set over low heat and stir constantly until the butter melts. Do not let it boil.

    Once the butter melts, whisk the sauce vigorously off the heat and set aside. It should remain liquid throughout the cooking process. If it starts to solidify, heat it up just enough to melt it, whisking all the time.

    Whisking bbq sauce for a grilled chicken wings recipe.
    Eliezer Martinez
  2. Cut the wings into parts:

    If you have whole chicken wings, you'll want to cut them into parts.

    Using a sturdy chef's knife or poultry shears, cut off the wing tips and either discard or reserve (we usually freeze) for making chicken stock. Then use your knife or shears to separate the drumettes from the flats (the mid-joint wings).

    Chicken Wings in the Instant Pot
    Irvin Lin
    Chicken Wings in the Pressure Cooker
    Irvin Lin
    Chicken Wings
    Irvin Lin
  3. Heat the grill:

    Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for low, indirect cooking. 250°F is a good temperature to shoot for, although even as high as 300°F will work. The goal is to slowly grill the wings and let some of the fat render out.

  4. Grill the wings:

    Toss the wings with the vegetable oil and the salt, and arrange in one layer on the grill set over indirect low heat. If you are using charcoal or wood, it will be very difficult to do this, so set your fire on one side of the grill and arrange the wings on the other side, away from the direct heat.

    You want them to cook slowly, with little or no sizzle. Cover the grill and cook like this for 30 minutes.

    Chicken wings set on a grill to show how to grill chicken wings.
    Eliezer Martinez
  5. Baste the wings and continue grilling:

    Turn the wings and paint with the Buffalo wing sauce. Close the grill and cook for another 30 minutes. Repeat the process, until the wings are done to your liking, this time painting the wings every 15 minutes or so. Make sure you have a little leftover sauce to toss the wings with at the end.

    Basting bbq sauce on grilled wings.
    Eliezer Martinez
    BBQ chicken wings on a grill.
    Eliezer Martinez
  6. Serve:

    Toss the chicken wings in the leftover sauce and transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately while warm.

    Overhead view of bbq wings on a plate.
    Eliezer Martinez
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
932 Calories
75g Fat
25g Carbs
39g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 932
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 75g 96%
Saturated Fat 30g 148%
Cholesterol 227mg 76%
Sodium 1325mg 58%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 15mg 77%
Calcium 57mg 4%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 592mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.