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Louisville Hot Wings

Submitted by: | Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen -- Tweeked by Grandpaskip

2011-01-26 Other
4.2 10

GRILLED, not deep fried, Hot Wings and a history lesson at the end.

  • Servings: 3 to 4 --- 18 wings
  • Prep Time: 4 to 5 hours marinating
  • Cook Time: Sauce 3 minutes --- Grill 30 to 40 minutes
  • Total Time: Approximately 5-1/2 hours


18 Whole Chicken Wings, about 4 pounds
2 Tbsp Lemon Pepper
2 Tbsp Sweet Paprika
Coarse Salt, kosher or sea
10 Tbsp (1 1/4 Sticks) Salted Butter
5 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
⅔ cup Dijon Mustard
⅔ cup Tabasco Sauce or Your Favorite Hot Sauce, red devil or crystal brand sauces are less hot
⅔ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
⅔ cup Bourbon, or substitute apple juice
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Celery Sticks, green onions and ranch dressing
You’ll Also Need:
1½ cups Wood Chips or Chunks, preferably hickory), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained


1. Rinse the chicken wings under cold running water and blot them dry with paper towels. Place the wings in a large nonreactive bowl or ziplock plastic freezer bag and toss them with the lemon pepper, paprika, and 2 Tablespoons of salt. Let the wings cure in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 hour.

2. Melt the butter in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant and sizzling but not brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mustard, hot sauce, lemon juice, bourbon, brown sugar, and black pepper. Season with salt to taste. Bring the bourbon mixture to a boil and let boil for 3 minutes, then let cool to room temperature. You’ll use this for the marinade and dipping sauce.

3. Pour half of the bourbon mixture over the wings and toss to mix. Let the wings marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 3 to 4 hours.


4. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to medium, then toss all of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.

5. When ready to cook, drain the marinade from the wings and DISCARD that marinade. Brush and oil the grill grate. Place the wings in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat, and cover the grill. Cook the wings until golden brown and cooked through 30 to 40 minutes.

6. During the last few minutes of cooking, move the wings a few at a time so that they are directly over the heat, and leaving the grill uncovered, cook them until crackling crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled wings to a platter or plates and serve at once with the remaining sauce/marinade mixture.

Provide plenty of hot, wet towels for sticky fingers.


America’s obsession with chicken wings, the story goes, began on October 30, 1964. Dominic Bellissimo was tending bar at the Anchor Bar, the popular Buffalo, New York, watering hole owned by his parents, Frank and Teressa, when a group of friends barreled through the door around 11:30 p.m. They were flush from a bowling victory and ravenous and thirsty. Dominic poured a round of drinks, then asked his mother to make something to eat other than the meatless dishes she’d been preparing all evening for the restaurant’s mostly Catholic clientele.

Teressa didn’t normally place meat orders on Fridays. But inspiration struck in the form of a case of chicken wings that had been mistakenly delivered to the kitchen. She chopped the wings into sections, dredged them in seasoned flour, and dropped them into the fryer. She then dunked the wings in a mixture of hot sauce (Frank’s RedHot, we hear) and melted margarine. The rest, as they say, is history.