19 June, 2011

Wings on the Grill

The original Anchor Bar recipe for "Buffalo Wings" calls for the wings to be deep-fried until crispy.  Most home recipes ditch the deep fryer (does anyone besides me do any deep frying at home anymore?) and instead roast the wings at 425 F in the oven.

For me, though, grilling the wings over coals is definitely the way to go. I like the flavor of charcoal-grilled wings a lot more than fried or oven-roasted.
Wings don't have a lot of intramuscular fat, but they do have a lot of skin in proportion to their size, and skin is quite fatty. For this reason, wings have a tendency to "flare" and burn on the grill (especially when you're a fan of charcoal!) and they have to be looked after a little more carefully than the typical burgers or hot dogs.  Here's some tips:
  • If you use a gas grill, preheat the grill on high, but turn the burners down to low when your put the wings on. The wings will take a little longer to cook on low, but they'll be easier to tend and they'll cook more evenly.
  • With a charcoal grill, give the coals time to burn down a little before you put the wings on. I like to let my coals settle for about 5 - 7 minutes after I dump them from the chimney into the grill itself. 
  • You can carefully arrange the wings on the gridiron if you like and then check and turn them frequently.  I'm not that fussy, though.  I just dump the wings all over the damn grill and then turn batches of them over with a big-ass spatula every now and then as they cook.  It's king of like stir-frying on the grill, and it keeps the wings moving around over the coals so that no one spot collects a lot of grease to catch on fire.
When the wings are all crispy and delicious, get 'em off the grill, douse 'em in your favorite sauce, and serve 'em up.

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