Brown Sugar and Beer-Brined Wings

Brown Sugar and Beer-Brined Wings

Brown Sugar and Beer-Brined Wings

15 mins
4 hrs
35 mins

Wings are typically top-of-mind when you think tailgating. Flexible in flavor and easy to share with friends, wings bring it at game time. Brown Sugar and Beer-Brined Wings are built with layers of beer brine to impart flavor and a dry rub to bring the heat. Add bright citrus flavor and earthy cumin with a layer of your favorite BBQ sauce for a winning tailgate dish.


For the Wings

  • 12 chicken wings, cut into drumettes and wingettes
  • 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce

For the Brine

  • 1 12 ounce beer
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried onion flake
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf

For the Rub

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel, dried and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin


Step 1 Of 9
In a large bowl, mix together the beer, water, salt, brown sugar, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Wisk until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved.
Place the wings into a gallon bag and pour the brine in. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.
Preheat your grill to medium high heat, around 400°F, with two zones - one direct and the other indirect.
Hot Tip
For a charcoal grill, this will mean putting the coals on one side. For a gas grill, you will have burners turned on on one side and off on the other.
Take your wings out of the brine and discard the brine. Pat the wings as dry as possible.
In a bowl, mix together rub ingredients and throughly apply to wings.
Cook the wings over direct heat, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
Shift the wings to the indirect side of the grill and allow them to cook with the lid closed until they reach an internal temperature of 180-185°F. This should take about 20 more minutes.
Toss the wings in your BBQ sauce and return to the indirect side of the grill. This should be just long enough to cook the sauce, about 5 minutes.
Remove and serve.
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