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Buffalo Chicken Wings

Buffalo Chicken Wings

  • RECIPE TYPE

    Poultry

  • SKILL LEVEL

    Medium

  • GRILL TIME

    4 hours

  • METHOD

    Smoking

  • SERVINGS

    Serves 4-6

Now that football season is winding down, we can all prepare for the biggest day in sports…. The Super Bowl!!!  While football is the main attraction here, we all know that the food that is served during the big game is what everyone will be looking forward to.  While there are many different finger foods to serve, chicken wings just seem to go with football like peanut butter goes with jelly or how Forrest goes with Jenny and how Charcoal goes with grilling.  OK, that one was a bit self-serving but hey, if the shoe fits…….

To really appreciate chicken wings, we have to take a look at how and where the famous Buffalo Wings got their origin.  The story goes like this.  There is a bar in Buffalo, NY named the Anchor Bar.  Back around 1964, it is said that Co-owner Teresa Bellissimo was at the restaurant late one night when her son and some friends came in.  Hmmm, late night munchies, huh?  Anyway, Teresa had a bunch of leftover wings out that she threw in the deep fryer and served to the boys with hot sauce.  Well, they were such a hit that the Bellisimos put them on the menu the next day and Buffalo Wings were born.

During the 1980’s, (remember neon and rubber bracelets…) people started to get a bit more health conscious.  Boneless skinless chicken breasts grew in popularity because of this “healthier eating” trend.  This left butchers and chicken plants with lots of “leftover” parts i.e.: wings and legs.  Sports Bars also grew in popularity at this time and bar owners were looking for the perfect food to serve during sporting events.  Well, what better way than some spicy and salty munchies to keep patrons happy and keep the pitchers of beer flowing?  Buffalo wings were a natural fit and they have grown in popularity ever since.  Their low cost and availability were the perfect solution.  You can even get wings in almost any flavor sauce imaginable these days.  You know what, I want to try every single one.  Of course, the price has certainly crept up over the last few years…thanks a lot COVID!!!

One of the benefits of being avid grillers is that we can find a way to cook anything on the grill.  Since we all love chicken wings so much, they have become a favorite of grillers everywhere.  There are really many ways to cook wings on the grill from indirect to direct to slow smoking them.  This just may be the best method that we have found for grilling chicken wings though.  They come out so crispy that they actually rival deep fried wings in crispiness and flavor.  That slight kiss of smoke from our all natural lump charcoal adds the perfect flavor that you just can’t get from wings fried in oil.  

Now we have made videos on how to cook wings using the indirect method before.  We really thought that they were the best wings that we had ever made.  Then along came the Vortex.  We have seen it all over social media and always thought that it was just some other gimmick to try to get us to buy another BBQ product.  Well, we finally got our hands on one and put it to the test.  The only thing that we are sorry about is that we waited for so long to try it out.  It really does produce a better wing.  There is no flipping required and no other grill work.  Simply put them on and let the Vortex do its thing.  

If you want to elevate your Super Bowl Party Food this year, pick up a Vortex, light that charcoal and throw some wings on.  I am sure that many of you will have plenty of other delicious treats, but I can almost guarantee that wings will be the first thing to go.  It happens every time.  I do think that it is ironic though.  Me, a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan, writing about food that is named after the town that our greatest rivals, the team that knocked us out of the playoffs (by the skin of their teeth thank you) the Buffalo Bills hail from.  If nothing else, that should tell you just how good these wings are.  Until next time, enjoy the wings, enjoy the Super Bowl, get out and grill and see you the next time, on the FOGO Life!

Directions:

  1. Clean out your grill of all old ashes and charcoal using your Kick Ash Basket.  Don’t have one?  What are you waiting for?????
  2. Lay the wings out on paper towels and blot them dry.  You can put them uncovered in the fridge overnight to air dry the skin which helps with creating crispy skin.
  3. Just prior to cooking, spray the wings all over with Duck Fat Spray and apply a light coating of the garlic salt.
  4. Place The Vortex in the center of the charcoal grate or Kick Ash Basket with the narrow end facing up.  Place 2 FOGO All Natural Firestarters in the Blazaball and light.  Once the starters are lit, fill the Vortex with FOGO Premium Charcoal and place the cooking grate in the grill and heat the grill to 375-400°.
  5. Once the grill is at steady temperature, place the wings on the grate around the center where the Vortex is.  For the drum sections of the wings, be sure to put them down with the fat part facing the center.  Again, do not put the wings over the fire.  This is an indirect method of cooking. 
  6. Allow the wings to cook for approximately 45 minutes or until the skin is crispy and they have reached around 190° internal temperature.  165 is safe food guidelines but wings can be cooked well past that.
  7. Once the wings are almost done, place the pan in the center over the heat.  Add all of the sauce ingredients and stir constantly until the sauce is melted and combined.  Remove from the heat.  Using your long tongs, remove the wings to a large bowl and pour the sauce over them.  Toss to completely coat the wings.
  8. You can now serve the wings with your favorite dipping sauce and carrot and/or celery sticks.
  9. FOR CRISPIER CHARRED WINGS, place the sauced wings directly over the fire for a hit until they begin to char.  Flip and char the other side but do not burn them.  You can serve them as is OR return them to the bowl with the sauce and recoat them (this is my favorite way to do them).

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