I blogs.dir/blogs.dir/uploadsn’t intend on going all mango, all the time with this. I wanted to try out a few different things on wings. Something, I’m almost embarrassed to say, I have ever done on the grill. I’ve done chickens both whole and in parts, but I’ve never done chicken wings exclusively before. So I thought I would give it a go and try out a couple different sauces and a rub…
I started with a jumbo pack of wings from Sam’s that had 28 wings which was plenty to try a few different combos. This can be done with chicken legs as well.
First, let’s prep the wings. For 16 of the wings I doused them with salt, black pepper and Bear Claw Honey Butt Rub:
It’s a rub designed for pulled pork but it can be used on just about anything so I thought I would give it a shot.
First, I put the wings “upside down” on a cookie tray. I’ll explain the upside down part in a minute. I put on some coarse salt and fresh black pepper and the rub:
Now I flip them over so that the shape of the wing keeps a lot of the meat from touching the cookie sheet:
If you add the rub to this side first, then flip them over a lot of the rub is going to stick to the cookie sheet or cutting board. By doing the other side first, the shape of the wing keeps the majority of the meat (and the rub) from touching the cutting board or cookie sheet and thus more rub sticks to the meat.
Once rubbed on both sides, it’s time to get the fire going. Using my Father in Law’s Brinkman Offset Smoker, I went with indirect grilling here right in the chamber rather than using the smoker box as I will need to do some direct grilling later on. Coals on the left and nothing on the right where the wings will eventually go:
As you can see, I left the grill grate off the coals on the left side this is so I can add more coals and smoke wood. The smoke wood for this was hickory. The pile of coals is pretty good size as I wanted to get to the 250-275 range in terms of temps.
I put my 16 wings on with the rub:
Since the rub has some sugar in it, I put these as far way from the heat as possible. Then went the wings that had only salt and black pepper that I use for a baseline to do my comparisons:
Drop in a couple chunks of smoke wood and close the lid. Getting some good smoke:
The goal is to get the good smoke flavor infused into the meat before putting on the glaze. Basically a reverse sear method like the one I blogs.dir/blogs.dir/uploads with these pork steaks that is now my go to method for pork steaks.
After 40 minutes the wings are browning nicely:
At one hour I moved the grill grate over the coals and put the wings right over the heat to crisp up the skin:
Make sure to keep a constant eye on these and have a water bottle or beer ready to put out flare ups.
Don’t stress a little blackening, particularly with the wings with a sweet rub on them. It’s standard with cooking over high heat like this and is not a problem. A little blackening is good, a lot can be bad, but don’t stress out if you get some blackness.
At this point you’re wondering where’s the mango? Well, now that I have the hour of smoke infused into the meat and then got a flavor crust from the searing over direct heat it’s time to slather with the sauce. The two sauces I used were this mango garlic sauce from Lollipop Tree:
I bought it at a local farmer’s market. Those of you in the St. Louis area can find it at the Kirkwood Farmer’s market for $6.
The other sauce I used was also a Bear Claw product like the rub:
Once I have the smoke and the sear I brushed the sauces on the meat and put them back on the side with no heat and closed the lid:
I blogs.dir/blogs.dir/uploads two different brushings of each sauce over 30 minutes and closed the lid to allow it to caramelize on the wings. Some I blogs.dir/blogs.dir/uploadsn’t sauce to get a feel for the taste of the rub.
How were the sauces and the rubs? The mango garlic sauce was sweet and amazing. My in laws really enjoyed these as blogs.dir/blogs.dir/uploads a couple coworkers who got to sample them the next day.
The Bear Claw Honey Butt Rub was really good. For those of you who don’t want to go through the process of making your own rub and want to keep one on hand that is versatile and will be enjoyed by everyone then this is the way to go.
As for the Bear Claw Mango Chipotle sauce, well, I’m a sucker for the sweet and spicy stuff. The combination of the sweet mango and the smoky/spicy chipotle is really well done. It’s got some kick to it in terms of heat but it’s not over the top, taste bud numbing, like habanero peppers. That’s why I love the chipotle stuff so much. The sweet/smoky flavor is just as evident as the heat from the spices making it well balanced. I think I might try this on some ribs soon.
A quick note, neither Lollipop Tree nor Bear Claw paid me to make these recommendations or gave me their products to test. I bought them and am glad I blogs.dir/blogs.dir/uploads.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to shoot me an email or simply leave a comment below.
If you like this dish, click here for other poultry done on the grill.