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Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

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.

pile of chicken wings on plate 1

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.

What to serve with sweet spicy chicken wings

Almost any side dish goes with these sweet and spicy chicken wings. Here are a few of my faves:

If you love wings like me 🙂 try our grilled chili lime chicken wings or our crispy oven baked chicken wings.

How many wings per person

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

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. 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.

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

  • 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.

Make Ahead

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.

How to cook sweet and spicy 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.
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
Sprinkle with chopped fresh oregano (or thyme) if you like and serve.

pile of chicken wings on plateinside of a chicken wing showing tender meat

pile of chicken wings on plate 1
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4.84 from 6 votes

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

Make these easy, sticky, sweet and spicy chicken wings on the grill when the craving hits and nothing else but chicken wings will do.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time23 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Grilling
Servings: 2 good size portions
Author: Cheryl, Two Kooks In The Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken wings, whole or split tips cut off and discarded or saved
  • salt, pepper, oil spray

Glaze

  • 6 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce (just over 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard Dijon is OK instead
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 clove
  • 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-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.
  • GRILL WINGS: Place wings on one side of grill and lower the heat to medium low or low (about 300-325F). Leave other half on Medium-High. Cover and grill for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the wings, turning once.
  • 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.
    glazed wings cooked on grill

Notes

Tips for grilling sweet and sticky chicken wings:
  1. Be sure to oil the grill to prevent sticking. I also spray the wings with oil before putting them on the grill. 
  2. 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.
  3. Don't overcook the wings if you like the meat moist, not dry. The temperature should be 160-165F.
  4. 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. 
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 oven for 5 -7 minutes or in the microwave for a minute or two.
 
Nutrition values are estimates based on 1 lb wings per person which is typically a larger portion of wings.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 664 Calories from Fat 360
% Daily Value*
Fat 40g62%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 189mg63%
Sodium 1307mg57%
Potassium 411mg12%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 47g94%
Vitamin A 360IU7%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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