These Asian Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings are marinated and grilled to perfection. This recipe is smoky, sticky, and gluten free!
This post has been sponsored by 7UP®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
These Asian Grilled Chicken Wings are out of this world. They're sticky, sweet, a little spicy and honest-to-goodness lip-smacking good.
We have entered a glorious time in Minnesota. It's the period where the threat of snow storms has officially passed and the mosquitoes have not yet arrived. Spending time outdoors is pure bliss. My husband and I like to celebrate this time by grilling. Lots and lots of grilling.
We hang out on the front porch, admire our freshly planted garden, and chat with the neighbors as they stroll by while walking their dogs. We fire up the old charcoal grill and like to see how creative we can get with it.
Of course, I love all the traditional grilled favorites like burgers and brats but sometimes it's fun to mix it up a bit.
Last week we ventured into the world of grilled chicken wings. It turned out to be a pretty tasty venture!
How To Make Grilled Chicken Wings Marinade
Grilled chicken wings are downright juicy and succulent. We wolfed them down and then fought a little over who was going to eat the last one.
The secret to these wings? It might surprise you - 7UP! Who knew that this classic soda would make for 'fighting over the last one' chicken wings? The lemon-lime flavor of the 7UP lends itself perfectly to the chicken.
It makes an awesome marinade - the 7UP in the marinade tenderizes the chicken and the sugars in the soda caramelize and create a sticky sweet glaze as they cook.
- In a small bowl combine 4 tsp. Sambal Oelek (chili garlic sauce), 4 Tbsp. Tamari (or low-sodium soy sauce if not gluten free), ⅛ tsp. sesame oil, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger, 2 tsp. rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and ¾ cup 7UP.
- Mix until completely combined.
- Place 2 lbs. of thawed chicken wings in a large bowl. Pour half of the marinade over the wings and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Reserve the other half of the marinade.
How To Grill Chicken Wings
Marinating the chicken wings for a few hours in the refrigerator will really help to tenderize them so I recommend not skipping this step.
As the wings hit the end of their marinating time feel free to fire up the grill. Get the charcoal nice and hot.
- Place the wings over the hottest part of the grill to start. Make sure that there is enough space between the wings so they cook evenly.
- Cook them for 5 minutes on the first side.
- Flip them over and repeat for another 5 minutes on the other side.
Chicken wings are full of skin and fat and starting them over the high heat will allow that fat to caramelize and will give you a nice sear on the outside.
The coals may flare up a bit as the fat melts so be careful of that as you're flipping the wings.
How Long Do Chicken Wings Take To Cook On The Grill?
- After the wings have cooked for 10 minutes (5 minutes per side) move them off of the direct heat to the other side of the grill. This will allow them to cook through but won't burn or char the skin.
- Once the wings have been moved to a more indirect heat, brush some of the reserved marinade over them. Cook for about 5 minutes, turn them over and repeat.
- The whole process is then repeated again, this time with the grill covered. Covering the grill will trap the heat and allow them to fully cook through. Basting them every 5 minutes or so with the reserved marinade will build up this sticky coating on the outside and the smoke flavor will really come through.
- It's a bit of a process but so worth it. Once the grilled chicken wings are fully cooked remove them from the grill and place on a serving platter.
- The safe internal temperature for chicken wings is 165 degrees. A grilling thermometer is a great way to check internal temperature when grilling meat.
What To Serve With Asian Chicken Wings
- Once the wings are off the grill and ready to serve I like to garnish them with some chopped scallions and sesame seeds.
- Simply cut 3-4 scallions into thin slices and sprinkle them over the wings. Pour 1 Tbsp. or so of sesame seeds over them as well.
- Cut 1-2 limes into wedges and place around the wings. A squeeze of lime reinforces the lemon-lime flavor in the 7UP and adds a little pop of brightness.
I normally insist that chicken wings need some kind of dipping sauce but I'm telling you that these ones don't need anything.
They're tender and juicy and the skin is caramelized. You've got the sweetness from the 7UP and a little spiciness from the chili garlic sauce. They just melt in your mouth.
This is the perfect recipe for a summer bbq or get-together with friends and family. It's fun and festive - Chicken wings really are the ultimate party food.
They can be made outdoors while you spend time with friends, family, and neighbors.
Love grilling? Check out these recipes!
- BBQ Sweet Potatoes
- Blue Cheese Burgers
- Grilled Chuck Steak
- Juicy Lucy Burgers
- Steak with Shallot Sauce
- Southwest Guacamole Burgers
- Roasted Poblano Avocado Dip
- Roasted Mushroom Tapenade
- Marinated Grilled Italian Chicken Sandwich
Looking For More Grilled Chicken Recipes? Don't Miss These!
Grilled Chicken Wings (Sweet and Spicy)
- 2 lbs. chicken wings
For The Marinade:
- Thaw 2 lbs. chicken wings.
For The Marinade:
- Combine 2 Tbsp. olive oil, ⅛ tsp. sesame oil, 4 tsp. Sambal Oelek, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger (use microplane or zester to grate), 2 tsp. rice vinegar, 4 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, and ¾ cup 7UP® in a small bowl. Stir to completely combine.
- Place the chicken wings in a large bowl. Pour half of the marinade over the chicken wings. Make sure all the chicken wings are coated in the marinade. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours.
- Heat a grill to medium-high. Place the chicken wings over the hottest part of the grill. Make sure there is some space between the chicken wings so they cook evenly. Cook for 5 minutes on the first side. Flip the wings over and cook for another 5 minutes. (10 minutes total on direct heat).
- Move the chicken wings to a more indirect heat. Baste the wings with the reserved marinade and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken, baste the over half and cook for another 5 minutes. Flip and baste again, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. Repeat one last time. Baste with the remaining marinade, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes (20 minutes total on indirect heat).
- The safe internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees. Feel free to check the meat with a grilling thermometer.
- Remove the chicken wings and place on a serving platter.
- Optional: Garnish with chopped scallions, sesame seeds, and a squeeze of lime.