Classic Hot Wings

Classic Hot Wings
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
25 mins
Marinate Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
35 mins
Heat Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins


  • 12 chicken wings (about 2-1/2 pounds total)

  • cup bottled hot pepper sauce

  • ¼ cup butter, melted

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Desired dipping sauce

  • Celery sticks (optional)


The day before:

  1. Cut off and discard tips of chicken wings. Cut wings at joints to form 24 pieces. Place chicken wing pieces in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. For marinade, in a small bowl combine hot pepper sauce, melted butter, paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper. Transfer half of the marinade to a storage container to use as a basting sauce; cover and chill overnight.

  2. Meanwhile, pour the remaining marinade over chicken wings. Seal bag; turn to coat chicken. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. Drain chicken wings, discarding marinade. Place chicken in the prepared pan. Bake about 35 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink; cool slightly. Transfer chicken wings to a large disposable foil pan. Tightly cover with foil and chill overnight.

Tailgate day:

  1. Tote chicken wings, basting sauce, your choice of dipping sauce, and, if desired, celery sticks in an insulated cooler with ice packs.

  2. At the tailgating site, prepare grill (with a cover).* Uncover chicken wings. Transfer basting sauce to a small disposable foil pan. For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around edge of grill. Test for medium heat above center of grill. Place chicken wings and sauce in pans on grill rack over center of grill. Cover and reheat for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is heated through, turning and brushing chicken occasionally with sauce during grilling. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect grilling. Reheat as above.)

  3. Serve chicken wings with dipping sauce and celery sticks.


If you prefer, place chicken wings and sauce in pans on grill rack directly over medium-low heat. Cover and reheat about 15 minutes or until chicken is heated through, turning and brushing chicken occasionally with sauce during grilling.

Ragin' Cajun Wings:

Prepare as directed, except reduce hot pepper sauce to 2 tablespoons and omit paprika and cayenne pepper. Stir 1/4 cup chili sauce, 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, and 1 teaspoon vinegar into marinade.

Fiery Chipotle Wings:

Prepare as directed, except use bottled hot chipotle pepper sauce in place of bottled hot pepper sauce and use ground chipotle chile pepper in place of cayenne pepper.

Hot Habañero BBQ Wings:

Prepare as directed, except omit marinade. In a small bowl combine 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed. Place chicken wings and spice mixture in a resealable plastic bag; shake to coat. For sauce, in a small bowl combine 1/2 cup barbecue sauce and 3 to 4 tablespoons bottled hot habañero pepper sauce. Bake chicken as directed, except 10 minutes before wings are done, brush all sides with half of the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over baked chicken in disposable foil pan before chilling. Reheat on grill as directed, stirring once halfway through grilling.

Must-have equipment:

Large disposable foil panInsulated cooler with ice packsOn-site grill (with a cover)Small disposable foil pan

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

148 Calories
12g Fat
10g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 148
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 196mg 9%
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 1.2mg 6%
Calcium 10.1mg 1%
Iron 0.7mg 4%
Potassium 87mg 2%
Folate, total 4mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg

*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.

Related Articles