Johnny Mac’s signature BBQ chicken wings

My Signature BBQ Chicken Wings

This BBQ chicken wings recipe (and method) is what started the journey which has now become Johnny Mac’s BBQ (you can read more about that here).

So if you’re ready to become your very own Wing King (or Queen), follow the steps below. Throughout the method there’s plenty of alternative options to the equipment detailed, so don’t panic if you’re cooking with different stuff.

Ingredients

  • 2kg whole chicken wings
  • 1 x 300g jar of Johnny Mac’s Crazy Chook (you won’t use all of it)

Equipment & more

  • 2 large roasting trays
  • Weber Kettle with a Kettle Kone
  • Chimney starter
  • Chunks of cherry and apple wood
  • Charcoal

Preparation time: 45 min
Cooking time: 40-60 mins

Method

Get fired up!

First things first, fill a chimney starter with charcoal and get it lit. While this gets going you’ll have plenty of time to prepare the BBQ chicken wings and enjoy a beverage of your choice.

Trim those wings

Begin by removing cutting off the wing tips from the chicken wings, I use a boning knife for this and the following steps, but you can use a kitchen knife, kitchen shears or whatever works for you.

With the wing tips removed, cut the skin around the wing joint and then bend the wing back on itself until the joint separates. This can take a little practice, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

One the joint has “popped” complete the cut through the joint with your knife and place each path of the wing (wingette and drumette apparently) into your roasting trays.

You don’t have to use roasting trays for this, any tray, bowl or plate will do – it’s essentially an easy container to place your protein into while you cover them with rub.

Rub a dub dub

Cover the wings liberally (all over) with Johnny Mac’s Crazy Chook, let them sit for around 10-15 minutes until the rub has absorbed a good amount of the moisture from the chicken. Re-coat the underside of the wings if required – you’re after a good even coating.

Let’s get cooking

By now your chimney should be full of blazing hot charcoal… place the Kettle Kone on the bottom rack in your Weber Kettle and fill it with your glowing coals. Put the lid on your weber and allow things to come up to temp for around 15 minutes.

Place your grill plate into the weber and add a chunk of apple and cherry wood directly over the coals and arrange your chicken around the outside edges and place the lid back on your Weber Kettle.

To ensure even cooking, rotate the lid of your Weber 90 degrees every 8-10 minutes.

Once you’ve done a full rotation (35-40 minutes) check the internal temperature of the chicken – if this has reached 165f (that’s 75C) then the chicken is “done” (or at least safe to eat)… personally I like to take things a little higher with wings and reach around 180-190f (80 – 90C).

And you’re done… BBQ chicken wings at the ready… and crowned the newest wing king or wing queen – welcome to the family!

Cooking Options

Don’t have a Kettle Kone? Firstly I’d recommend buying one as these are great for hot and fast cooks, and I love supporting other Australian businesses in the BBQ world, but there are still other options:

Got a JG BBQ Offset plate? Great stuff, you’re supporting another Aussie business! These also work a treat for hot and fast cooks! Follow the method above and dump a whole chimney of glowing coals into the charcoal side of your plate, place the wood chunks on the grilling plate above the charcoal. Arrange the chicken over the remaining cooking area and place the lid with the vent opposite the charcoal. One benefit here is you don’t need to rotate the lid.

Don’t have either of these awesome pieces of kit (yet)? Remember those little charcoal holder things that came with your Weber? Use them to set things up in a similar way to the offset plate above and get all of your charcoal going in a pile on one side of the Weber, arrange the chicken throughout the rest of the Weber ensuring it’s not too close to the charcoal (it will burn) and arrange the lid with the vent opposite. Typically this will be a bit of a slower cook as it’s hard to get the really high temps without something like a Kettle Kone or offset plate.

Charcoal Choices

The type of charcoal you use will vary the heat produced, and the required cook time. I’ve found that if using HeatBeads the wings will take around 40 mins to cook, but using Firebrand Charcoal I can get a much hotter temp and have these cooked in less than 30 minutes!

Share your results

How did you go? I’d love to see your results and get your feedback, share them with me on the socials, or leave a comment below:

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