Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings Recipe

spicy grilled chicken wings on a plate

The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6
Yield: 24 wings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
32 Calories
2g Fat
3g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 32
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 814mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 64mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Ever since the popularity of Buffalo chicken wings hit bar menus and Sunday football spreads, a variety of recipes have burst onto the scene. From hot and spicy to sweet and saucy, and deep-fried to oven-baked, chicken wings have secured their own culinary category.

Sometimes it is good to go back to the basics, and that's where this recipe comes in. These are simple chicken wings, rubbed down with a few spices to give them a kick, and grilled until crispy and cooked through.

Feel free to adjust the amount of cayenne to vary the heat. Serve with blue cheese dressing and carrot and celery sticks.


Click Play to See These Spicy Wings Come Together

"These wings were really flavorful using a very simple dry rub. I used 1 teaspoon of cayenne instead of 1 tablespoon and served the wings with blue cheese dressing on the side. Don't worry if the wing tips don't stay tucked while grilling because you'll enjoy gnawing on the crispy charred end bits." —Diana Andrews

Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 24 whole chicken wings, about 6 pounds

  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    ingredients to make spicy grilled chicken wings

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Take the whole chicken wings and flip the tips around, tucking them so they don't burn.

    single chicken wing on a cutting board

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Combine the garlic salt, cayenne, black pepper, and dried oregano in a large resealable bag.

    spices in a reusable bag

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Toss the chicken wings in the bag with the spices to coat. Let sit in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.

    chicken wings in a reuseable bag

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Meanwhile, prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect heat. Adjust the heat on the active burner to medium-high (400 F to 475 F). When hot, place the chicken wings over the direct heat for 5 minutes, turning frequently. Grill the chicken wings in batches, if necessary.

    chicken wings on a charcoal grill

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Move the wings to the indirect (cooler) side and grill, turning once, and continue grilling until done (you want an internal temperature of 175 F to 180 F). This should take about 20 to 25 minutes. Watch closely to prevent burning.

    chicken wings on a charcoal grill

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Remove the wings from grill and serve immediately.

    spicy grilled chicken wings on a plate

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

Tip: Buying Raw Chicken Wings

  • Chicken wings—which are made up of the wing flat and wing drummette—are sold two different ways: whole or cut into sections. Whole wings mean that the wing flat is connected to the drummette, and some still have the wing tip still attached. A package that has been cut up will have the flats and drummettes separated, and there will not be any wing tips. Whole wings are the more affordable choice, but the parts will need to be separated either before cooking (by the cook), or after they are done (by either the cook or the eater). If you have a good set of kitchen shears the process is not that daunting, but it is time-consuming. Although you will pay more for the pre-cut wings, you do save time and effort in the long run.
  • Internal temperature of the chicken wings should be 175 F to 180 F, for food safety purposes.

What are some other grilled wing recipes?

Although the original recipe for Buffalo chicken wings is deep-fried, they are also wonderful when grilled. You can simply combine melted butter with Frank's Hot Sauce, or make your own spicy mixture, and then marinate the wings for a few hours before grilling. But Buffalo can't take all of the credit for the flavorful chicken wing as an appetizer; sticky wings have been on Chinese menus for years. Try a recipe for grilled Chinese wings using soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and Chinese five-spice powder.