Buffalo Grilled Hot Wings

There are truly hundreds of different ways to cook or grill chicken wings.  This particular recipe is nothing less than pure “man-grill” fun, as it calls for use of the outdoor grill, a little “cast-iron” element thrown in, and some personal attention to detail throughout the cooking process.  Because this recipe calls for the precise use of the grill by specifically managing the heat level, and having to handle the very hot cast iron, I’ve rated this recipe as “moderately” difficult.  But I do think that most backyard grill enthusiasts will find this exercise to be a satisfying one, and, once done, the final product provides a true “Buffalo” flavor, prepared from scratch, worthy of your efforts, and will satisfy the taste buds of any “wing-lover!”

**NOTE** The original recipe from which this recipe was adapted, called for the use of a charcoal grill.  If you are a charcoal grill fan, it’s just as easy to use charcoal if you would prefer.  My preference is propane, and specifically my Char-Broil tru-infrared grill, on which this recipe was prepared; it’s two-burner infrared grill; If you have more than two burners, or if you’re using a charcoal grill, make the necessary adjustments.  While the charcoal grill recipe calls for one side of the grill to be extremely hot and no heat on the other side of the grill, the use of an infrared grill eliminates the issues of problems with open flames prevalent on typical propane grills, or uneven zones of heat.  What helps cook these wings to perfection is cooking them in the “infrared heating zone,” and not over open flames.

Infrared cooking differs from other forms of grilling, which uses hot air to cook the food.  Instead of heating the air, infrared radiation heats the food directly.  Some of the obvious benefits of this form of grilling are a reduction in pre-heat time and less drying of the food. Also with their higher temperatures, infrared grills can also cook food faster than standard grills. But the biggest difference, and the one I like the most, is that instead of heating the air, infrared radiation heats the food directly, which results in the food retaining more moisture during cooking, and even though completely cooked, coming out much juicier and much less dryer than other grilling methods.  Also, infrared grills have the advantages of instant ignition, better heat control, and a uniform heat source.  I agree with other infrared grilling enthusiasts, that food cooked on an infrared grill tastes very similar to those cooked on an open flame grill and virtually nothing is lost in overall flavor and taste.

Total  Time: 1 hour
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook:  45 minutes
Yield: 24 Wings
Level: Moderate


dscn48842 doz. Chicken wings
1 TBSP olive oil
½ TBSP Salt
½ TBSP Black Pepper
1 tsp lemon juice


For the Buffalo Sauce

1 stick melted butter
8 oz tomato sauce
6 oz Crystal hot sauce
1 ½ TBSP chili powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


Barbeque Grill (charcoal or propane/infrared)

3” deep  12-15 inch diameter cast iron frying pan



Place wings in a deep stainless steel bowl.

Add olive oil, salt, black pepper, and lemon juice.





Mix until wings are covered well with the spices


Prepare the grill – You want it to be around 450F. dscn4896

Put the cast-iron pan on the grill, and carefully place wings on the grill, working around the cast-iron pan.




With the cast iron skillet in place and the wings distributed nicely, close the cover and cook at 450F for 20 minutes.


After about 20 minutes you’ll be able to see the wings beginning to brown nicely.


At this point, you’re ready to construct the hot sauce.  Add butter, tomato sauce, cayenne hot sauce, chili powder and crushed reds to heated cast iron pan.dscn4908






Stir/mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until all ingredients are fully integrated. Let the mixture simmer for about 5-10 minutes to fully integrate the flavors.

(**WARNING**) Use an asbestos or heavily insulated glove to hold the pan in place while you’re working with the sauce – the pan is going to be extremely HOT!!)

Using your BBQ tongs, add wings to the cast iron pan and gently mix with the wooden spatula/spoon until wings are thoroughly coated with the sauce.




Move pan with the coated wings off the grill.


Remove the wings from the sauce and place wings  back on the grill for a few minutes, then turn over and repeat on other side.



By this time the wings should be well-cooked, so be careful not to leave them on too long, you only want to sear in the flavor, not overcook them.


At this point, you can remove wings from grill, plate and serve — or — you can kick it up a notch.


Want a bit more “kick” to your wings?  Here’s an alternative application that adds another level of “Buffalo” flavor to the wings, and just kicks up that wonderful Buffalo taste a notch or two.  All it involves is an additional application of the Buffalo Sauce onto the wings, it’s a quick and easy step up.


Here’s the “kick it up” difference – after you have made the Buffalo sauce, stirred the wings in the sauce, grilled them according to the instructions above…you’re ready for those final moments of additional “sauce-hood…”  — using a pyrex measuring cup (or any other oven proof type of container), or a heat-proof ladle, carefully dip out the sauce, a little at a time, and pour a small amount over the wings.



Let them cook for about 2-3 minutes max once you’ve added the additional sauce, then turn them over and repeat the application of the additional Buffalo sauce on the other side.

Remember, the wings are fully cooked by this time, so you only want to brown and/or sear in the additional sauce, so no more than 2-3 minutes per side.


After allowing them to cook for 2-3 more minutes on the other side, remove them from the grill and plate them.  If you opt for this additional step, the wings will come out looking a bit darker.



Using this “kick it up” method will produce a stronger Buffalo sauce presence on the wings, and the additional sauce on the wings will more deeply brown or even blacken a bit, providing a much more in-depth level of that wonderful “Buffalo” flavor that wing lovers known and love.




Recommended accompaniments/garni: bleu cheese dip garnished with chopped scallions, and carrot and/or celery sticks.  Enjoy!






In addition to celery/carrots and bleu cheese dip, potato salad and/or boiled okra make some great side dishes to go with!

Bon Appetit!

Adapted from a recipe by Grilled





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