Cooking your chicken wings on your Weber grill using a vortex gives you juicy wings on the inside while crisping up the skin on the outside creating the perfect wing. If you are not familiar with a vortex, it is a cone that you place in the center of the base of the grill to hold the charcoal and it is designed to work with the Weber Kettle or other kamado cookers to create direct and indirect heat.
However, creating the perfect chicken wing begins before you put the meat on the cooker. The very first step is in the seasoning. Trim the excess fat off your wings and then season them with your favorite rub on both sides. After seasoning them, you will want to refrigerate them for a minimum of 3 hours – overnight is better! Why? Because the salt in your rub will draw the moisture out of the skin and we want the skin to be very “dry” so that it makes very crispy skin. No one likes wobbly chicken skin wings.
After your wings are all prepped, you are going get the vortex hot with charcoal and then add your favorite wood on top to add a little smoke to flavor the wings. You can use any type of wood that you like, but, popular choices are pecan or hickory depending on how smokey you like your wings.
Next arrange your wings around the edge of the grate so your wings are cooking on the indirect heat. You don’t want them cooking on the direct heat as they will go from raw to burnt very quickly if the temperature gets to hot. Ideally you want to keep your grill at about 225-250 degrees F.
After about 2 hours your wings are fully cooked and ready for sauce. If you want to sure that the wings are fully cooked, you can use a meat thermometer and temp them to make sure they have reached an internal temp of 165 degrees F.
Now it is time for your sauce. Best advice for your sauce is to make sure you are saucing your wings with heated sauce. You don’t want to take sauce straight out of the fridge and put them on their wings, it will lower the temperature of the wings and stop your wings from crisping up. Sauce your wings and with hot sauce and put them back on the Weber to set the sauce, about 5-10 minutes.
You have now made the perfect smoked chicken wing using your Weber – no fancy, expensive smoker needed!
Mike Leger and Pete Kelleher are both Board of Director for the NEBS and are members of the Pike’s Pits BBQ team. If you have more questions or comments, please leave them here on the site or contact Mike or Pete directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can also follow their team at www.facebook.com/pikepits.