Make these easy, sticky, sweet and spicy chicken wings on the grill when the craving hits and nothing else but chicken wings will do.
This is not a gourmet recipe. It’s simple. It’s quick (under 30 minutes). And it hits the spot.
I don’t bother marinating the wings because the bold glaze covers so much surface, giving the wings plenty of flavor.
The glaze is really easy with only 4 ingredients. You just mix together sweet Thai chili sauce, mustard, soy sauce and garlic. No cooking needed.
Feel free to use whole wings or split wings. Either way, cut off the tips at the joint and discard or use for making soup.
Almost any side dish goes with these sweet and spicy chicken wings. Here are a few of my faves:
How many wings per person
- For a main meal, figure 4-6 whole wings per person (or 8-12 split wing pieces), depending on the size of the wings
- For an appetizer (when serving other appetizers as well), figure 2-3 whole wings or 4-6 pieces.
- For larger eaters, you will need about 1 to 1 1/4 lbs per person which is about 5-6 whole wings. For smaller eaters, about 3/4 lbs.
- Here’s a calculator for how many wings you will need.
Tips on how to grill chicken wings
If you buy whole wings and want to split them into the drumette portion and wing portion, here’s a video on how to cut chicken wings. I often leave my wings whole because it’s less work to turn on the grill. Whole wings will take a bit longer to cook though.
Other than that, just three tips will get you to success.
- Oil your grill with vegetable oil (or oil spray) before heating your grill. This will prevent sticking. To be even safer, I spray my wings with oil as well before putting them on the grill.
- Add the sauce in the last 5-6 minutes of grilling at a higher heat. This will prevent burning and sticking from the sugar content in the sauce. But still allow for nicely glazed wings with some char.
- Don’t overcook the wings if you like the meat moist, not dry. The temperature should be 160-165F. The total time to cook wings will be about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the wings and how hot the grill is. Large or whole wings will take a few minutes longer.
- Use any good bottled sauce you like. BBQ, teriyaki. buffalo and honey garlic are a few examples that will work well.
- Buy the wings already split (if you prefer split wings) or ask your butcher to do it.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Try Dijon instead of prepared mustard in the glaze.
- Add dried herbs to the glaze such as oregano or thyme.
- If you don’t like spicy, skip the Thai sweet chili sauce and use a combination of honey and ketchup (or balsamic vinegar) instead.
I prefer these sticky chicken wings fresh off the grill, but here’s a couple of options when that isn’t practical.
- Grill the wings – with no glaze – until almost, but not quite, cooked over lower heat. Set aside or refrigerate. Finish on grill with glaze for the last 6-8 minutes.
- Or, make the full grilled chicken wings recipe ahead (don’t overcook them) and warm the wings in a 350F oven for 5 -7 minutes or in the microwave for a minute or two.
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings
- 2 lbs chicken wings, whole or split tips cut off and discarded or saved
- salt, pepper, oil spray
- 6 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce (just over 1/3 cup)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce, low sodium
- 1 tbsp prepared mustard Dijon is OK instead
- 1 tsp minced garlic 1 clove
- optional: 1/2 tsp dried oregano or thyme
- PREPARE GRILL: Oil grill with paper towel dipped in oil or spray grill with oil. Heat grill to Medium-High, about 350-400F.
- MAKE GLAZE: Combine all glaze ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup until smooth. Taste and adjust to your taste, adding e.g. salt, more thai chili sauce, a dash of sugar, etc. Set aside.
- SEASON CHICKEN WINGS: Sprinkle wings on both sides with salt and pepper. Spray (or brush lightly) with oil to further prevent sticking on grill.
- GLAZE AND FINISH WINGS: Brush glaze on wings. Move wings to hotter side of grill. Grill for another 5-6 minutes until char marks appear. Brush on more glaze with a pastry brush as you turn them once or twice. Be careful they don't burn from the sugar in the glaze. Temperature of wings should be 160-165F. Transfer wings to platter, brush on any remaining glaze and serve hot or at room temperature. No need to rest them.
- Be sure to oil the grill to prevent sticking. I also spray the wings with oil before putting them on the grill.
- Add the sauce only in the last 5-6 minutes of grilling at the higher heat. This will prevent burning and sticking from the sugar content.
- Don't overcook the wings if you like the meat moist, not dry. The temperature should be 160-165F.
- The total time to cook wings will be 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the wings and how hot the grill is. Large or whole wings will take a few minutes longer.
- Grill the wings - with no glaze - until almost, but not quite, cooked over lower heat. Set aside or refrigerate. Finish on grill with glaze for the last 6-8 minutes.
- Or, make the full grilled chicken wings recipe ahead (don't overcook them) and warm the wings in a 350F oven for 5 -7 minutes or in the microwave for a minute or two.