Smoky Habanero Barbecue Grilled Chicken Wings recipe – Crispy barbecue grilled wings smothered in smoky hot tangy habanero BBQ sauce!
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar (cider vinegar works too)
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (plus additional for coating chicken)
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus additional for coating chicken)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (plus additional for coating chicken)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or EVOO)
- 2 habanero peppers, stems and seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove)
- about 2 pounds of chicken wing sections (1st and 2nd), around 20 pieces
For the sauce:
- In a small bowl, whisk together ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. When hot, add habanero, onion, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should be translucent and the edges of the peppers turning brown.
- Add garlic, and stir immediately. Cook for about 30 seconds, then add the barbecue sauce mixture. Stir until everything is well mixed. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Toss with cooked wings immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The sauce can be prepared in advance and used when needed!
For the wings:
- Light the grill and let it heat up to 425 degrees F.
- Lay a couple paper towel sheets on a flat surface. Place wings in a single layer on the paper towels, and use additional paper towels to pat the wings dry (see notes for more detail on my setup).
- Gently coat the surface of the wings with salt, fresh ground black pepper, and smoked paprika. I like to apply a light dusting of each straight from the shakers, which uses about 1/2 teaspoon for each spice. Flip the wings over and repeat with the same seasonings.
- Using tongs, transfer the wings in a single layer onto the grill. Close the lid and let cook for 12 minutes.
- Open the grill and flip each wing so the other side can cook. Close the lid and let cook for another 12 minutes. The wings should be crispy and done to your preference.
- Remove the wings from the grill. Place in a bowl and toss with the prepared barbecue sauce. Serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Wing prep setup: Line a large cookie sheet or baking tray with two layers of aluminum foil. Ensure that the top layer of foil is longer, covering the bottom layer and as much of the sides of the tray as possible. On top of the foil, place a layer of paper towels to help soak up excess moisture from the wings. The top layer of the foil and the paper towels are removed after the chicken is placed on the grill, and then your clean tray is ready. This double layer will help ensure the raw chicken does not touch the same surface as the cooked chicken. This setup is shown in the photos.
Sauce recipe adapted from Simple Barbecue Sauce from New York Times Cooking.
- Serving Size: about 5 wings
- Calories: 422 (depends on your sauciness)
- Sugar: 14g
- Fat: 18g
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Protein: 20g