Grilled Hot Honey Hawaiian Wings

Hot Honey Hawaiian Wings

A little hot and spicy and slightly sweet, these grilled Hawaiian wings are the perfect way to enjoy your next wing night!

We love wings here at Bon Appeteach, especially the kind that are grilled and smoked too. Before you dive into this post, check out my guide to crispy grilled chicken wings on the grill for reference before getting started.

If you love classic Hawaiian chicken, then you’re really going to love this fun take on this wing recipe. I incorporated a hot honey recipe into the Hawaiian chicken marinade (in place of other refined sugars) and really loved the outcome.

The flavors that make up a Hawaiian inspired hot wing are bright and refreshing ingredients like pineapple juice, soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic, and a little heat with chili paste and the hot honey to bring it all home.

Get all the helpful grilling tips and techniques below to help guide you through this cook, ingredient substitutions, and more. Ready to get cooking? Jump to this family friendly recipe below and let’s dive in!

Hot Honey Hawaiian Wings on grilled pineapple

“School” Supplies

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Plastic Bag
  • Basting Brush
  • Tongs
  • Sheet Pan

“Class” Notes:

Need to know more about this recipe? Use my culinary notes below to help guide you through. Enjoy!

What is hot honey?

It’s honey infused to be hot and spicy. You can make this easily at home by simply slicing a few hot peppers (like jalapenos with the seeds) to warmed honey to get it infused with some heat. It’s great on biscuits, French toast, corn bread, and now on wings!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 Small Jalapeno, sliced with seeds
  • 1/2 cup Honey,
  • 2 tbsp. Hot Water

Combine the hot water and honey first in small bowl. Whisk together so it’s dissolved and add the jalapeno slices. Let it steep for 1 hour, strain, and reserve the honey syrup for this recipe.

Hawaiian Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

I find the chicken wings need to be in this marinade for at least 2-3 hours minimum to really pick up the flavors. If you can even pre-make the marinade and soak them over night, then that’s even better!

Hawaiian chicken marinade ingredients

Here is what you’ll need to make your chicken wing marinade:

  • Chicken Wings- Split or whole, either work. Want to use a different poultry cut? This also works great with chicken thighs too.
  • Pineapple Juice- Use a no sugar added, real pineapple juice for this recipe.
  • Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce- Either will work for this recipe. I used the coconut aminos to keep this recipe soy free and paleo friendly for my dietary needs. Use what works for you!
  • Fresh Ginger- Fresh ginger, minced finely works the best here to really get that bright punch of flavor into the wings. In a pinch add dried ginger instead.
  • Fresh Garlic- Mince finely.
  • Hot Honey- If you want less heat, just use honey. But if you love hot sauce then go for the extra step with the hot-honey mixture I mention above. It’s worth it!
  • Chili Paste/ Sambal Oelek- I like to keep the heat going with some chili paste, adds a nice base to the marinade as well. Sriracha would also be an appropriate substitute.
  • Fresh Cilantro- Remove the stems, and mince.

Combine all your ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk until everything is blended and the honey is dissolved. Place your chicken wings into a plastic bag and pour all but 1/4 cup of the marinade into the bag. Seal the bag and remove excess air.

Place them in the fridge for 2-3 hours minimum. I really like to let these go 12 hours or more though for the best results. Be sure to flip the bag occasionally too to help redistribute the marinade over the chicken.

Hawaiian chicken marinade mixed in a bowl with a whisk
Chicken wings on a tray with paper towel
Chicken wings marinating in a bag with the Hawaiian chicken marinade mixture

Grilling Instructions and Tips:

I slow smoked these wings and finished them off at a slightly higher heat for color. Check out my crispy grilled chicken wing guide if you prefer to cook on a gas grill, use a grill pan, or use any other higher heat method to cook these wings.

  • Start by preheating your smoker to a medium heat of 350 degrees F. I used a Yoder YS640 pellet smoker for this recipe, but any grill will work (gas and charcoal included). Whatever you use, make sure you start with indirect heat.
  • Remove the chicken wings from the marinade and discard what is left in the bag. Place the wings onto the grill grates indirectly and cook the chicken to at least 165 degrees F. (this ensures your chicken is safely cooked at this point).
  • While your wings are technically cooked at this point, they taste better when they come up to a higher temperature between 180-190 degrees F. If your pellet grill can cook over direct heat, remove your wings and get the grill a little hotter to finish them off.
  • Use the reserved marinade and brush them on over the wings while over medium direct heat. Flip often, less than a minute per side to prevent them from burning and sticking.
  • Use a thermometer to check your final temperature and remove them from the grill. Grill up some pineapple if desired to pair them with for a great presentation and delicious treat. Serve your finished wings with a drizzle of the hot honey if desired and enjoy!
Hawaiian wings going on the smoker

Smoked on indirect at 350 F.

Hawaiian wings cooked and browned

After 1 hour on the smoker, internal of 165 F.

Hawaiian wings grilled over direct heat

Quick sear with remaining marinade over direct heat to finish around 180-190 F.

Love wings? Check out these popular Crispy Butter Chicken Hot Wings or these Thai Curry Hot wings too!

Yield: 24

Grilled Hot Honey Hawaiian Wings

Hot Honey Hawaiian Wings

A little hot and spicy and slightly sweet, these grilled Hawaiian wings are the perfect way to enjoy your next wing night!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 24 Split wings (or 12 whole)
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 cup Pineapple Juice (no sugar added)
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos
  • 1/4 cup Hot Honey (see blog post notes above)
  • 2 tbsp. Chili Paste (or Sriracha)
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, minced

Instructions

  1. Remove the wings from the packaging and pat them dry. Add the salt and set them aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce or aminos, the hot honey (recipe in the blog post above), chili paste, ginger, garlic, and cilantro together in a bowl. Whisk until combined.
  3. Place the wings in a bowl or plastic bag. Add all but 1/4 cup of the marinade (reserve this and set it aside). Cover the wings and let them soak for at least 2-3 hours or even overnight (the longer the better).
  4. Preheat your grill to 350 degrees F. and set the grill for indirect heat.
  5. Remove the wings from the marinade and place on the grill grates to cook for about and hour or until they reach 165 F. They are safe to eat at this point, but I prefer to get a little char on my wings.
  6. Place the wings over direct heat now and brush them with the reserved marinade mixture. Flip the wings constantly over the direct flame to prevent burning and too much caramelization. You will need to work quickly, work in batches if that's easier.
  7. Once they hit around 180-190 degrees F. they are ready to come off the grill. Remove and set aside to rest about 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with a little drizzle of hot honey or sriracha and grilled pineapple slices.

Notes

Want to make the hot honey syrup (you can buy this too, but it's simple to make).

Here is what you need:

  • 1/2 Small Jalapeno, sliced with seeds
  • 1/2 cup Honey,
  • 2 tbsp. Hot Water


Combine the hot water and honey. Let the jalapeno infused for an hour, strain and use in the recipe as needed. I like to make a little extra to drizzle over the wings at the end or use for BBQ sauce, cocktails, and more.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 427Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 2094mgCarbohydrates: 29gNet Carbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 19g
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