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Easy Sweet Thai Chili Wings

Make these easy, spicy, sweet Thai chili chicken wings on the grill when the craving hits and nothing else but chicken wings will do. Just 5 ingredients plus salt and pepper.

This is not a gourmet recipe. It’s simple. It’s quick (under 30 minutes). And it hits the spot.

pile of grilled wings on plate garnished with fresh oregano

The flavors

The glaze is really simple with only 4 ingredients. You just mix together sweet Thai chili sauce, mustard, soy sauce and garlic. No cooking needed.

These chicken wings are really Thai-style (we’re not using fish sauce for example). You can certainly add lime and cilantro as garnish to make the recipe a bit more authentic.

We’re using a bottled sweet Thai sweet chili sauce that you can find in the Asian section at most grocery stores. It’s a sweet sauce with a spicy flavor.

I don’t bother marinating the wings because the bold glaze covers so much surface, giving the wings plenty of flavor.

If you don’t have a grill, we included instructions for baked chicken wings in the recipe card.

Best sides for chicken wings

Almost any side dish goes with this chicken wing recipe. Here are a few of my faves:

Tips for cooking 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Don’t overcook the wings if you like the meat moist, not dry. The temperature should be 160-165F/71-74C. 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.

How to make sweet chili chicken wings

split chicken wings in bowl, salt, pepper, Thai sweet chili sauce, mustard, garlic, oregano, soy
Split chicken wings, salt, pepper, Thai sweet chili sauce, mustard, soy sauce, garlic, oregano
season wings on grill
Season chicken wings and begin grilling wings on one side of the grill at a low temperature for about 5 minutes.
partially cooked wings on grill
Turn wings and grill another 3-5 minutes until crispy.
glaze in measuring cup
Stir the glaze ingredients in a small cup or bowl to make a sweet and spicy glaze.
glazed wings cooked on grill
Brush glaze on wings and move them to hotter side of the grill. Finish grilling – glazing and turning – for another 5 minutes.
pile of chicken wings on plate side view
Add a garnish on the Thai chicken wings if you like before serving: chopped fresh oregano, cilantro or thyme, lime juice, sesame seeds
inside of a chicken wing showing tender meat
pile of grilled wings on plate garnished with fresh oregano 1

How many chicken wings in a serving

  • Main meal, figure 4-6 whole wings per person (or 8-12 split wing pieces), depending on the size of the wings
  • Appetizer or party wings (when serving other appetizers as well), figure 2-3 whole wings or 4-6 pieces. Best to split the wings though – easier to eat.
  • Big eaters, you will need about 1 to 1 1/4 lbs (450-570 grams) per person which is about 5-6 whole wings.
  • Small eaters, count on about 3/4 lbs/340 grams per person
  • Here’s a calculator for how many wings you will need.

Shortcuts

  • 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

Here are a coupe of variations and substitutions you can try.

Chicken options

  • 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.
  • You can also replace the chicken wings with chicken pieces or even boneless chicken thighs or breasts. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Glaze variations

  • 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. To add just a bit of heat, add some red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Make ahead

I prefer these sticky chicken wings fresh off the grill, but when it’s not 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.

How to reheat chicken wings

Make the grilled sweet chili wings ahead (don’t overcook them) and warm the wings in a 350F/177C oven for 5 -7 minutes or in the microwave for a minute or two.

Love chicken wings?

Try our grilled chili lime chicken wings or our crispy oven baked chicken wings.

If you love grilled Thai food, check out our Thai grilled chicken.

pile of grilled wings on plate garnished with fresh oregano
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4.92 from 12 votes

Easy Sweet Thai Chili Wings

Make these easy, spicy, sweet Thai chili wings on the grill when the craving hits and nothing else but chicken wings will do. Only 5 ingredients plus salt and pepper. Nothing fancy, just delish.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time23 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Grilling
Servings: 2 good size portions
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

Chicken wing ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken wings, whole or split tips cut off and discarded or saved
  • salt, black pepper, oil spray
  • Optional garnish: chopped green onions or fresh herbs (thyme, oregano), sesame seeds, squeeze of lime juice

Glaze

  • 6 tablespoon sweet Thai chili sauce (just over 1/3 cup/78 ml)
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard Dijon is OK instead
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 clove (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • optional: 1/2 tsp dried oregano or thyme

Instructions

  • PREPARE GRILL: Oil grill with paper towel dipped in oil or spray grill with oil. Heat grill to medium heat, about 350-400F/177-204C. Note 2 for baked chicken wings.
  • 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.
  • GRILL WINGS: Place wings on one side of grill in a single layer and lower the heat to medium low or low heat (about 300-325F/149-163C). Leave other half on Medium-High heat. Cover and grill for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the wings, turning once, until you get crispy chicken wings.
  • 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. The internal temperature should be 160-165F/71-74C. The total cooking time will be about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the wings. Transfer wings to platter, brush on any extra sauce, add a garnish if you like and serve hot or at room temperature. No need to rest them.

Notes

  1. How many chicken wings in a serving
    • Main meal, figure 4-6 whole chicken wings per person (or 8-12 split wing pieces), depending on the size of the wings
    • Appetizer or party wings (when serving other appetizers as well), figure 2-3 whole wings or 4-6 pieces. Best to split the wings though – easier to eat.
    • Big eaters, you will need about 1 to 1 1/4 lbs (450-570 grams) per person which is about 5-6 whole wings. 
    • Small eaters, count on about 3/4 lbs/340 grams per person
    • Here’s a calculator for how many wings you will need.
  2. To bake chicken wings instead of grilling: Bake at 400F/204C for 25 minutes then brush with sticky sauce and bake again for 10 minutes. To brown further, broil close to heat for 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Variations for the glaze
    • Chicken
      • Feel free to use whole chicken wings or split wings. Either way, cut off the tips at the joint and discard or use for making soup.
      • You can also replace the chicken wings with chicken pieces or even boneless chicken thighs or breasts. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
    • 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. To add just a little bit of heat, add some red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
      • Make extra glaze to using as a dipping sauce. 
  4. Make Ahead: 
    • 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/177C oven for 5 -7 minutes or in the microwave for a minute or two.
Nutrition values are estimates based on 1 lb/450 grams wings per person which is typically a larger portion of wings.

Nutrition

Calories: 664kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 1307mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 3mg
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