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Grilled buffalo wings with ranch

Skip the messy fryer and try these grilled buffalo wings with ranch.

Chicken wing dipped in ranch

When I think of the one food I could eat everyday, its buffalo wings. That sounds weird I know but I’m a big wing guy. They are simple to make yet have so much flavor. The crispy grilled chicken paired with buffalo sauce is a match made in heaven. Dunk that in some ranch to cool everything down and now we’re talking.

In this recipe I’m going to show you how to grill the perfect chicken wing with crispy skin and a super easy homemade ranch to go along with it.

Where did buffalo wings originate?

You may have guessed it by the name, but buffalo wings originate from Buffalo, NY. Per the National Chicken Council, they were created for the first time in 1964 at Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY when the co owner of the restaurant cooked some left over wings in hot sauce as a late night snack for her son and their friends. They were such a hit that she placed it on the menu the next day and the rest is history.

Why grill wings instead of fry?

Don’t get my wrong I love a good fried wing but there is something about grilling wings that can’t be matched. The flavor you get from smoke and charcoal is hard to beat. Not to mention all the little charred bits around the edges that make it so delicious. Fried wings can get messy too and take a lot of oil. Save the mess and the extra calories and grill them instead.

What type of grill to use

When grilling with charcoal, I use my Burch Barrell with Fogo Charcoal. My Pitboss Tabletop pellet grill also works amazing for producing some of the best wings I’ve ever made. You can use a propane grill and get fantastic results too.

How to get crispy grilled wings

You can get crispy grilled wings by doing a few things:

  1. Placing your wings in the fridge to air dry for 24 hours.
  2. Adding cornstarch to your wings.
  3. Grilling over higher temperatures.

All three of these tips are to ensure the moisture from the chicken is drawn out. That makes the skin crispy instead of leathery which makes for an unpleasant bite.

What to serve with buffalo wings

Carrots and celery: Helps cut the richness of the wings and go great with ranch.

French Fries: A pile of crispy fries always pairs well with wings.

Pickles: Try something with a little acid to cut through the heat from the Buffalo Sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous try our bacon wrapped pickles. They are so good!

Prepping the wings

To start I recommend buying fresh wings and then separating the drum from the flat. Use a sharp knife and find the joints in the wing and carefully cut through them. You can also cut the wing tip off as there is no meat.

After you have separated the two wing parts place them on a wire baking rack with a baking sheet underneath. Pat the wings dry with a paper towel. You can then place the wings to air dry in your refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Chicken wings on a wire rack

Seasoning your wings

Now it’s time to season your wings. I place them all in a bowl, drizzle a little olive oil as a binder and then add a chicken rub like The Bird from Whiskey Bent BBQ. I also add cornstarch and give it all a good mix.

Once the wings are evenly coated place them on a grill that has been preheated to 400°F. Continue cooking the wings on the grill, flipping them back and forth until they reach an internal of 180°F.

Taking the wings past the recommend safe eating temperature of 165°F will not overcook them. The extra time on the grill will help get the skin crispy.

Chicken wings being grilled

After you remove the wings from the grill let them rest for a minute while you prepare the buffalo sauce.

Grilled chicken wings in a bowl

Take 1/2 cup of buffalo sauce like Franks Hot Sauce, a pinch of sugar, and 1/4 stick of unsalted butter. Melt the butter in the microwave and whisk together with the buffalo sauce to incorporate.

Allow the buffalo sauce to cool down for 5 minutes before pouring it over your wings and toss together to combine. Serve it up with ranch and you’re all set!

Grilled Buffalo wings with ranch and celery

Making ranch for your buffalo wings

Making your own ranch dressing is easy. Simply get yourself a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk the following together.

Mayonnaise and Sour cream: These form the base of the dressing and help with the creamy texture.

Buttermilk: This gives a nice tang and thins out the ranch so its not too thick but drizzly.

Dried herbs: Dried chives, dill and parsley provide earthy notes and balance the richness from the mayonnaise and sour cream. You can also use fresh herbs but be careful as they can be overpowering. 

Seasonings: Onion powder, garlic power, salt, and black pepper bring the flavor.

Cayenne Pepper: A little goes a long way and gives a nice zippy finish.

To see more details for homemade ranch dressing click here

Ranch in a mason jar

Be the hero at your next cookout and serve up these grilled buffalo wings with ranch. By following a few simple steps you can make great wings with crispy skin and a spicy zip. Take it a step further with the homemade ranch and no doubt you will really leave your guests impressed.

If you like Buffalo wings be sure to try Buffalo chicken dip! If you want all the great flavors of these wings in dip form we got your covered.

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Grilled buffalo wings with ranch

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Crispy grilled chicken wings tossed in buffalo sauce is a match made in heaven. Make a homemade ranch to pair it with and now we’re talking.

  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 whole chicken wings split into drums and flats
  • 2 tablespoons chicken rub (The Bird)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup buffalo Sauce
  • 1/4 stick unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 pinch of sugar

Instructions

  1. Carefully separate the drum from the flat of your chicken wings with a sharp knife. 
  2. If refrigerating the wings to dry out, pat them dry with a paper towel, place them on a wire rack, and into your fridge for up to 24 hours. (You can skip this and move on to step 3)
  3. Place your wings in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season with a chicken rub (Like the bird) and cornstarch. 
  4. Mix all of the wings together with the seasoning and cornstarch until they are evenly coated. 
  5. Place the wings onto a 400°F grill and cook them until they reach an internal temperature of 180°F flipping as needed. 
  6. Remove the wings from the grill and make your buffalo sauce by combing Buffalo sauce with a pinch of sugar and melted butter. 
  7. Toss wings in the buffalo sauce and serve immediately. 
  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American

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6 Comments

  1. These Buffalo wings were awesome! Great and easy recipe to follow. The wings even had a nice crisp thanks to the corn starch, which I have never thought of. The homemade ranch was killer too! I’ll never buy it from the store again. Thanks for another delicious recipe, Jordan!






    1. You could start at 225 for an hour to get some smoke on them and then turn the smoker up to 400 to get the skin crispy. I would cook the wings until they reach 175-185 degrees internal.

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