Introduction: Charcoal Grilled Perfect BBQ Chicken Wings

About: Angie Liew (known as Huang) is the founder and author of Huang Kitchen. Being a self taught chef, she focuses on improving cooking recipes, documenting and creating step-by-step how to guides. Her recipes span…

BBQ chicken wings are always a winner whenever and wherever they are served. They are a great way to spice up a summer barbecue. These wings marinated with the sweet and tangy Asian inspired homemade barbecue sauce are just GREAT for the grill. There's certainly no chicken wings we want more than that's been marinated and grilled to crispy-juicy perfection. A brush with honey just when the wings are about cooked give these wings such a glossy and delectable finish.


1 kg chicken wings, separated at the joints

3/4 cup teriyaki sauce

1 cup Oyster Sauce

1/2 cup light soy sauce

1/2 cup tomato ketchup

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1/2 cup dark rum

1/2 cup sugar

Step 1: To Grill the Chicken Wings, First Wash the Chicken Wings, Drain and Pat Dry.

Chicken wings have to be cleaned properly and thoroughly.

To clean, first let water run from the tap. Rinse each wing, one at a time under the running water to clean the surface.

Next, check the chicken wing for feathers or anything else that needs to be removed. Pluck the feathers and clean the wing with your fingers while still under the running water.

Then, remove the wings from the water and drained, drying it as best as possible with a paper towel.

Step 2: Use a Sharp Knife, Cut the Whole Chicken Wings Into 3 Sections.

It's cheaper to buy whole wings that are still in three parts and cut them up yourself. The whole wing consists of three parts: the drumette (looks like a miniature drumstick), the wingette (flat) or double boned wing part and the tip.

Step 3: Cut Down the Joint Separating and Discarding the Tip. and Another Cut Along the Drummet, Leaving 2 Pieces.

To cut a whole wing, start by cutting off the wing tip. Then cut between the drummet and the wing part. Try to cut the section apart at the joint that connects the wing portion, where the cartilage is softer than solid bone. Just slice through the joint and you're done.

Step 4: Discard the Tips.

There is virtually no meat on the wing tip and they take up room on the grill so you can either discard the wing tips or freeze them to make chicken stock.

Step 5: Put the Chicken Drumettes and Wingette (flats) in a Bowl and Set Aside While You Prepare the Sauce.

After cleaning and cutting up the wings, It's important to dry the wings thoroughly before you set aside as this will help prevent the skin of the wings from shrinking when you barbecued them.

Step 6: Next, Prepare the Sauce to Marinate the Chicken Wings.

There are many options for the marinades. if you don't have time, you can always use a store bought pre-mixed sauce. However whipping up our own marinade is also very easy and fun.

This is a homemade Asian-Inspired barbecue sauce. You can choose your own favourite barbecue sauce which works beautifully with chicken wings.

Step 7: Add All the Sauces Together in a Bowl.

Use a mixing bowl large enough to marinate all the wings.

First pour teriyaki sauce into the large bowl. Then add in oyster sauce along with the light soy sauce, tomato ketchup, garlic powder followed by rum. Lastly add sugar.

Step 8: Stir the Sauce Ingredients Together. Make Sure Its All Combined.

Mix thoroughly to ensure the sugar is fully dissolved.

Step 9: Then Place the Chicken Wings in the Sauce.

It's advisable to marinade the wings a couple of hours before we cook them. This will allow time for the marinade to fully infused the wings with flavour down to the bone.

Alternatively, if you're running short of time and can't wait a couple of hours, you can first line a tray with foil. Then place the chicken wings on the tray and brush with the marinade before transferring straight to the heat.

Step 10: Turn the Chicken Wings to Make Sure They Are Well Coated.

By turning the wings in the sauce, all the wings will be uniformly coated with the barbecue sauce.

Step 11: Cover the Bowl With Plastic Wrap and Leave in the Refrigerator Until We're Ready to Grill Them.

Alternatively, combine the marinade and wings in a resealable plastic bag. Always leave the wings to marinate in the refrigerator instead of at room temperature.

Step 12: Remove Marinated Chicken Wings From Fridge 1 Hour Before Grilling.

It's best to take the marinated wings out from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature before cooking them. This will enable the wings to cook faster and evenly. Otherwise you will risk drying out the skin before the inside of the wing can be cooked through. Be sure to drain off the marinade from the wings too.

Step 13: Place Charcoal Briquettes in the Centre of the Grill.

Perfectly grilled barbecue wings don't happen by chance. The trick to good barbecued chicken wings is to cook them slowly and with low heat. The key here is to moderate the heat as much as possible and cooked the wings using indirect heat. Indirect grilling get you the same crackling crisp skin and moist meat without having to worry about charring or flare-ups. Charcoal grilling is just perfect for indirect heat grilling

To prepare the charcoal grill, start by creating heat zones in your grill. So first line a stack of instant charcoal briquettes in the centre of grill.

Charcoal briquettes is ideal for indirect grilling as they burn longer and more evenly.

Step 14: Light the Charcoal Briquettes. It Takes About 15 Minutes to Have the Charcoal Turn to Coal and Glow Red.

After using the self-starting briquettes, re-seal bag tightly with clips or tape as the burning compounds will evaporate if the bag is not sealed properly.

Step 15: The Charcoal Grill Is Finally Ready.

Let the charcoal burn until it's completely covered with a thin coating of gray ash and glow red. Then use a fire shovel to scrape some of the hot coals to make a single layer of coals.

Make sure the hot coals are not smoking when you add them to the grill. This indirect heat method takes longer time to cook. So be prepared to add more coals if needed. The goal is to maintain a low enough grill temperature so that the chicken wings cook slowly.

Step 16: Place Grilling Grate Over the Hot Coal.

Be sure to oil the grilling grate before placing the wings on it so the wings will not stick to the grate when barbecued.

Step 17: Arrange Chicken Wings Around the Hot Coal With the Bone Part of the Wings Pointed Towards the Flame and the Fat Part Up.

Note that the hot coal is at the centre of the grill (Very Important). Place the marinated wings in a circle around the hot coal. Notice that the bone side of the wings are pointing towards the flame, the fat side of the wings facing up and all the wings are placed in an almost perfect circle. This is actually an efficient way to put as many wings as possible on a small grill.

Step 18: Pour Some of the Sauce Used to Marinade the Chicken Wings on Top of the Wings.

This is a great way to use up the leftover marinade.

Step 19: Put the Lid on and Grill Chicken Wings on One Side for About 25 Minutes.

The longer cooking time using indirect heat renders more fat out of the wings. Also it prevents the meat from drying out. Cook until the fat on the chicken skin gets crispy and browned all over.

NOTE that timing will depend on the grill set-up temperature, size of the wings and how cold the wing pieces are to start with.

Step 20: After 25 Minutes or So, Remove the Lid, Turn the Chicken Wings Around.

Using a pair of tongs, flip the wings over one at a time to ensure even browning and perfectly grilled wings.

Step 21: Cover and Continue to Grill for Another 25 Minutes or Until Juices Turn Clear.

Cover and let the wings cooked through.

Check for doneness by making a slit in the thickest part of one of the wings. If the juices run clear, the wings are done! However, the marinade may make this difficult, so check by cutting into a couple of wings on a plate. If the flesh around the bones are still pink, this means the wings need to be cooked a little longer.

Step 22: Then Brush the Chicken Wings With the Honey.

If we are finishing the wings with a barbecue sauce or glaze, especially one containing sugar or honey, apply it only towards the end of the cooking time so that the wings will not scorch.

Step 23: These Super-easy Tangy Chicken Wings Are Finally Cooked.

The low temperature makes the meat so tender and juicy. The longer time used to cook over burning coals lend a smokiness to the wings you just can't get any other way.

Grill the wings uncovered until they are crisp, golden brown and cooked through.

Step 24: Quickly Transfer the Grilled Chicken Wings to a Plate or Platter.

It's best to remove cooked chicken wings from the grill once it's cooked. Otherwise, it will be overcooked and rubbery.

Step 25: Put on Serving Plate and Serve Immediately.

Garnish with some greens, topped with sesame seeds and serve alongside a bowl of salad for a delightful experience. Also, do not forget to provide hot wet towels or tissues for sticky fingers. Enjoy!

Step 26:


Any size of chicken wings is suitable to be barbecued. However, try to choose the meatier wings as they will end up much tangier and juicer.

Besides, chicken wings, you can also use chicken thighs or drumsticks to barbecue. However, for chicken thighs and drumsticks, even if you do not plan on eating the skin, it's best to barbecue with it on as the skin can protect the chicken meat from drying out.

Summer Food and Drink Contest

Participated in the
Summer Food and Drink Contest