White sauce wings are a new twist on the chicken wings that everyone seems to love. Heck, nowadays we have brick and mortar establishments with wings as the primary menu focus. This Grillin Fool will introduce you to a different version of the beloved wings. The white sauce is not the ranch dressing dip that has been popular, but a tangy Alabama white dippin’ sauce originally developed by Big Bob Gibson and later published by author Chris Lilly, a righteous pitmaster himself, in Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book which can be purchased here (we highly recommend that you do). I’ve owned that book for several years and cherish it for the recipes and processes therein. I previously posted Spatchcocked Chicken with White Sauce almost 4 years ago and now will apply a similar process to chicken wings.
Here’s a look at what is required for Grillin Fool Greg’s recipe for some fantastic wings.
First the wings will receive a coating of a spicy, but not too spicy, dry rub.
Dry rub ingredients
18-24 fresh chicken wings and/or sections
2 tbsp Ancho chile powder
2 tbsp sweet paprika (use spicy variety for more kick)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3-4 tsp grapeseed oil (olive oil will suffice)
The wings are dumped into my old icebox pan and given a light coating of oil and then the rub is applied. Guess it is sort of a dry/wet rub combination but realize the oil really holds the rub on the wings as we’ll see later:
Nicely coated wings:
Now for the white sauce. I modified the book recipe by adding sugar to the mix thus generating a bit of sweetness to enhance some of the southern tanginess.
White sauce ingredients:
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup white vinegar
½ cup apple juice (fresh cider would work well also)
4 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp horseradish
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp fresh lemon juice (I squeezed a half a large lemon)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Squeeze that lemon (I think Robert Plant is wailing in the background), add the vinegar and apple juice:
Drop in the horseradish and spices then whisk together well. Use caution with this sauce and refrigerate if you have a lengthy time between prep and making your wings into white sauce wings. We’re dealing with mayo here.
My treasured CharBroil 940X is set up for indirect grilling with coals and smoke wood on one side and the seasoned chicken wings on the other. If you are in the market for a new grill, you can read our review of the 940X here.
The grill is stoked with Rockwood Charcoal, a Grillin’ Fool fave. It’s the best charcoal on the planet. It’s available at BBQ specialty shops, independent grocery stores and butcher shops in and around St. Louis.
A chunk of applewood is added for that sultry smoke flavor. For our complete list of smoke woods and what meats they pair with, click here.
The chicken wings are on the side with no heat and the smoke wood on the coals:
Pro Tip: Place the bigger, full wings closest to the heat and the smaller drummies and flats farther from the coals
Now close the lid and let the smoke and heat work their magic. Target internal temperature of the grill is about 250-275. Target cook time is approximately one hour or until internal temp of the chicken is 150. We’re not recommending you grill them to 150 and eat them. We still have to sear the chicken wings which will take them to the USDA recommended 160 degrees.
We’ve got some smoke happening at the 30 minute mark and a little bit of browning:
At close to an hour, the chicken wings are at about 150 degrees internal temperature and ready to sear:
Your grill may cook differently so please use a good probe thermometer rather than a time frame. Know the temperature, don’t guess at it.
Before searing, make sure to add fuel to ensure a raging hot fire to give the chicken wings a good blast of heat:
Then place the wings over the hot fire. Once they get a little charring and the skin firms/crisps up, remove them from the heat:
They look so good here I’m wondering why I made sauce!
Time for some dippin’ to truly make them white sauce wings:
How was the taste? Moderate heat, nice glow and very moist wings with a nice amount of crispness. The white wing sauce (now I’m hearing Stevie Nicks in my head) both moderated and complimented the dry rub. Scott and I, and later Mimi, demolished the white sauce wings. Should you wish to serve something slightly (well more than slightly) different to your dining guests I strongly suggest giving this recipe a try. Should more heat be desired simply use Chipotle chile instead of Ancho or kick up the amount of cayenne pepper. I try not to get too carried away with the heat but I really enjoy great flavor along with a nice glow.
Here’s one more picture, sunny side up so to speak:
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
- 18-24 fresh chicken wings and/or sections
- 2 tbsp Ancho chile powder
- 2 tbsp sweet paprika (use spicy variety for more kick)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3-4 tsp grapeseed oil (olive oil will suffice, I use grapeseed oil as it has a higher burn point)
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 cup white vinegar
- ½ cup apple juice (fresh cider would work well also)
- 4 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp horseradish
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (I squeezed a half a large lemon)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- Combine the dry ingredients from the rub in a bowl
- Place the chicken in a pan, drizzle and coat with the oil and then coat with the dry rub
- Prepare the grill for two zone/indirect grilling with coals and smoke wood on one side and nothing on the other
- Target temperature of the grill is 250-275
- Place the rubbed chicken wings on the side with no heat, a chunk of smoke wood on the coals and close the lid
- Prepare the white sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine
- Refrigerate until time to serve
- Once the chicken wings reach 150 degrees internal temperature (about an hour of cook time), then stoke up the fire and sear the wings to get them up to 160 degrees and firm/crisp up the skin
- Then serve with a bowl of the white sauce, dunking the chicken wings as you eat
And a bonus collage of the process: