Homemade grilled wings are one of my favorite ways to prepare this classic game day dish! Whether you’re cooking for a crowd, eating a low carb or keto diet, and want to keep your budget in mind, this guide to making the perfect grilled homemade keto wings will not disappoint!
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Grilled chicken wings are on of my favorite “not-so-guilty” pleasures that I find to not only be incredibly delicious, but a super popular meal or appetizer to whip up anytime of the year (these are so much more than a game day treat).
Chicken of any kind is so versatile and the grill gives it so much flavor. If you haven’t checked out my guide with 7 tips to grilling the best chicken, then read this first to get a better general idea of successful methods for grilling poultry.
What is the most fun about cooking up some wings? Finding all the unique flavors and sauces to pair with them in a fun and healthy way. Use the information below to help guide you through making your own DIY grilled chicken wing platter.
Get the full break down below for recreating this epic DIY keto chicken wing platter at home! Read through for all the helpful tips and tricks, tools, and check out the video tutorial as well!
- Baking Sheet
- Cooling Rack
- Foil or Parchment Paper
- Mixing Bowls (for sauces and dry rub etc.)
Let’s tackle this topic head on! Below you will find a breakdown of commonly asked questions in regards to making crispy grilled chicken wings and find a step by step guide in both the photos in this post and the helpful video too!
How do you get chicken skin crispy on the grill?
I’ve mentioned this a handful of times, specifically on this post about crispy grilled chicken quarters. But, there are a few tips and tricks to getting the skin super crispy using just your grill! That’s right, keto friendly wings, sans the soggy skin, that doesn’t require deep frying or even an air fryer.
Your biggest culprits to soggy skin are excess moisture and fat.
This is because anytime you have water or natural juices present on meat, you often end up steaming it as opposed to browning it, or allowing for what’s called a Maillard reaction.
Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction that occurs (not just with chicken but any meat) when the natural proteins (also known as amino acids) and sugars within the meat. This process is not only important to getting crispy skin, but essentially what also helps develop flavor too!
How can you create a stronger Maillard reaction? By soaking up that moisture with a little help! I like using baking powder (lower carb) but cornstarch is a common method as well. Sprinkle this in your dry rub and let the wings rest for around 1-2 hours minimum to allow it to do its job and dry out the skin!
Besides removing any moisture from the skin, you need to also reduce the fat. Chicken skin is naturally fatty and requires some rendering (just like bacon does) to get crispy. You can do this slowly using a reverse sear method of grilling (like what I did) or by directly grilling the wings over the grates (just a little messier).
How long does it take to grill chicken wings?
Whether you’re reverse searing your wings or not, you want to shoot for temperature more than time. Though, it is good to note that it could take roughly 20 to 30 minutes to cook (especially if you’re looking to melt that chicken fat away like I mentioned above).
What temperature should grilled chicken wings be cooked at?
Shoot for medium heat for direct heat, ideally a grill set to 450 F works best. If I am smoking wings I go lower to around 250 F. Direct heat wings take 4-6 minutes and constant attention while indirect heat is roughly 45-60 minutes tops.
I have cooked on my gas grill and ceramic kamado smoker (Big Green Egg) using both methods. Unless you have a pellet grill that doesn’t go to a higher temperature or have a sear plate, any grill can accommodate either method mentioned.
How do you reverse sear chicken wings?
For reverse seared wings (this can be done on gas or charcoal grills), place the wings on an elevated rack and keep them on the cool side of the grill. I like my wings to reach an internal temperature of about 155-160 F. Poultry is considered safe at 165 F but I prefer to actually cook the wings to a higher temperature of 185-190 F. This makes the connective tissues tender and that skin crispy.
Once they reach this temperature, move them to direct heat to finish them off with a signature sear and slight char. This helps add the flavor, color, and final texture you would desire in a homemade buffalo wing!
How do I direct sear grilled wings?
If you opt to go straight for a direct sear, then set the grill for 425 F – 450 F. I prefer to work in a few batches so that it’s easier to manage rotating the wings. I prefer to rotate often until they reach an internal temperature of 185-190 F.
If you find the skin is getting too dark but they aren’t yet to a food safe temperature, move them to the cooler side of the grill and let them finish reaching an internal temperature this way!
What’s the best way to sauce grilled wings?
Personally? I prefer to keep the wing skin as crispy as possible and prefer to leave the wings dry, especially if they are going to sit out as an appetizer. This also allows for your guests to dip it in their choice of Keto Kansas City BBQ sauce, Keto Carolina Mustard Sauce, or in Keto Alabama White Sauce.
If you prefer to sauce them on the grill, place them back on the reverse side and glaze them. Let the glaze set for 5-10 minutes and then sauce them again before serving!
Serve your wings platter style with dressings, carrots, celery, and sliced radish chips or pickles (pictured).
If you like a good chicken recipe, be sure to also check out:
How To Grill Crispy Chicken Wings (Keto & Gluten Free)
- 2 lbs. Chicken Wings separated or whole
- 2 tbsp. Baking Powder
- Dry Rubs of Choice see notes below for ideas
- Prep Your Wings: Pat your wings dry with a paper towel. Combine the wings, baking powder, and dry rub or seasoning of your choice in a bowl. Mix well. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight to help them dry out for super crispy skin!
- Direct Heat Method: Preheat your grill for direct heat at 450 F. Place the wings onto well oiled and clean grates and flip every 30-60 seconds until cooked to at least 165 F. I take my wings closer to 185 F- 190 F. for better texture personally (see post notes above). Remove from the grill, sauce, and serve.
- Indirect Heat/ Smoked: Place the seasoned wings onto an elevated cooling rack over a baking sheet. Place on a preheated grill/ smoker set to 250 F. Let them cook until the skin is crispy, browned, and reached a minimum temperature of 165 F. I take my wings closer to 185 F- 190 F. for better texture personally (see post notes above). Remove from the grill, sauce, and serve.