BBQ Central Smoky Sweet Wings

BBQ Central Smoky Sweet Wings

The owner of the wing joint down the street told me that their biggest day for wing sales each year is always Superbowl. People order dozens of wings, bring them to their party, but by the time they get eaten, the wings are a sad, lukewarm pile of skin, fat and bones. I tapped Twitter last week for some wing recipe ideas, and Greg Rempe, host and founder of the BBQ Central internet radio show swooped in with a winning recipe.

This is his prized wing recipe, normally cooked on his charcoal grill. They are smoky, sweet and garlicky with just the right hit of spice. Instead of a marinade, Greg recommends a dry rub. In fact, I’d recommend making extra dry rub and using it to BBQ pork.

I know Greg’s a BBQ pro, but I couldn’t help but test the wings recipe in the oven, as many of you don’t have charcoal grills or are too lazy to start the fire. Either method works perfectly, and I guarantee you that there will be no wings left after the first quarter of the game. Celery and dipping sauces not needed at all – these wings hold up on their own.

If you’re interested in Greg’s show, tune in every Tuesday at 9pm at It’s a 2-year old internet radio show, which means it’s available everywhere and it’s free. Each week, Greg chats with different guests, from regular ‘ol backyard guys to pitmasters to manufacturers of BBQ equipment. On Feb 2nd, Scott Roberts, a self-proclaimed “Chilehead” and hot sauce expert, will be on the show.


We start with a dry rub of brown sugar, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and pepper. Then you coat the wings! If you have leftover dry rub (that’s been untouched by the raw chicken), keep it in a little jar to use another time.

BBQ Central Smoky Sweet Wings

I got lazy. Ran out of parchment paper. Didn’t want to spend 15 minutes to run to the store.

BBQ Central Smoky Sweet Wings

Instead, I spent 35 minutes scrubbing the pan.

But these wings were sure worth it!

BBQ Central Smoky Sweet Wings


BBQ Central's Smoky Sweet Wings Recipe

Servings: 6 Prep Time: Cook Time:

recipe from Greg Rempe, host of The BBQ Central Show


3 pounds chicken wings, joints separated, tips removed (save for stock)
Dry Rub
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper


1. Mix all ingredients of the dry rub in a large bowl or sealable bag. Add the wings and toss to coat evenly.

2. On charcoal grill: Start your kettle grill with a bucket full of coal, wait till they're nice and hot. When ready, dump the bucket on one side of the grill leaving the other side bare. Put the wings on the hot side the grill. Cook the wings until the coating starts to caramelize and you get some black grill marks, flip the wings and and repeat. Move them to the cool side of the grill, cover and cook for 30-35 minutes (less time if you like your wings juicy, Greg likes his drier).

On gas grill: Turn one side of the grill to high heat, the other side on medium-low heat.

In oven: Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil (this is an important step unless you want to spend an hour scrubbing your pan after cooking). Lay a baking rack on top of the baking sheet and place the chicken wings on top of the rack. Bake for 20 minutes, flip the wings and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

More great recipes

Here are some recipes that would be perfect with the wings:

Blackberry Lemonade Margaritas byย Valerie’s Kitchen

Black Bean Hummus by Heather Cheney


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Comments 72

  1. Murasaki Shikibu

    I’d like to make these, because I love chicken wings. Is this ordinary paprika or smoked paprika – because you mention ‘smokey’? =)

    1. SteamyKitchen

      You can use either smoked paprika or regular paprika. The smokey comes from the combinations of the spices of the dry rub – esp if you grill them over charcoal.

  2. Melinda

    These look wonderful! Do I HAVE TO listen to a football game to eat these? Because I really am not fond of football…in your respected opinion would a chick flick be a good substitution? ha

  3. Alta

    Ooh, these make my mouth water (and it’s 7 AM). Sounds perfect for the game. I bet they’d be even more smoky if you added smoked paprika instead of regular (I am a worshiper of smoked paprika – it’s like one of my favorite spices.).

  4. Jee

    This looks delish!!! I’ve been craving good wings for a while…
    I’ll definitely try these over the weekend!!
    I think I’ll use Korean chili powder instead of paprika for an extra kick.
    Will let you know the results!!

  5. Grifola frondosa

    I can confirm from personal experience, that these are the quickest, tastiest wings you can make.

    I usually dump the wings into a plastic bag, pour in the rub, and shake ’em up to make sure they get coated easily. The leftover rub stays clean and dry and if you have time, a time marinating for a few hours or overnight really infuses the flavor.

    I trim off the excess skin and fat and they don’t lose any flavor or crispness.
    I vary the recipe with chipotle and/or ancho chili powder to taste.

    WARNING: Could be habit forming.

  6. [email protected]

    That sugar sure does make pans hard to clean. Thanks for the reminder for parchment paper and a great recipe.

  7. Jason Sandeman

    LOL. @Jaden – I have been guilty of missing the parchment. I usually only forget that at work, as I have a crew of dishwashers. At home, I think I would get more than just dirty looks from my wife if I pulled that off. LOL

    Your wings are totally legit!

  8. Angie

    I have done my wings in the oven several times at different temps, and with steaming before hand, trying to get the skin crunchy, but I couldn’t pull it off. I have never tried a sugar based dry rub though, looks like it will work great. I always resort to frying, I can’t wait to try this.

  9. Pauli

    These look great. My favorite is LeeAnn Chins’ Oyster wings. Would it be possible for you to get the recipe? She and her daughter, Katie, are based out if Minneapolis. Love your blog. Emboldens me to get back to the wok….Keep it up…..Pauli

  10. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    Perfect. I have a wing recipe I love but it’s sweeter and I promised to bring a big batch to a Super Bowl party so needed a more traditional ‘hot’ wing. You did the leg work for me and these look fabulous. Thanks!

  11. Gaby

    First off… I am obsessed with wings. I am fairly certain I can eat more wings that my guy friends… and I’m not sure that is something to be proud of! These look perfect and smokey – def going to be adding these my my roundup of wings for the superbowl.

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  13. Mark Scarbrough

    OK, bad idea for the lack of paper or a baking mat. And I hate long clean-ups. But I swear, I would have stood in the kitchen for an hour, picking off the crunchy bits on the tray. All those burned-on bits. Shoot. Please invite me to be your housekeeper anytime.

    1. clive

      in the kitchen for an hour, picking off the crunchy bits on the tray
      that was the best part for me. the actual wings were OK at best…….maybe i used the wrong type of brown sugar?

  14. Dani H

    I’m glad I haven’t had dinner yet because I’d have to eat again. These look so good that I’m drooling. I think I’ll just have to make these AND your Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings for Super Bowl Sunday. It’s too hard to try and decide on just one.

  15. Rachelle

    Yum! Gonna make these for a Super Bowl party.

    What was the recipe for the one you made in Mount Dora? It was semi-sweet? I remember soy sauce … and that’s about it. LOL!

  16. Deanna

    We have to have dry rub at my house at all times since its what I put on popcorn. Oh my god is it good. Oh and I almost never use parchment paper anymore. I use my Silpat instead.

  17. Robin B

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I literally have 20+ pounds of wings in my freezer because my husband found them on sale, couldn’t pass it up, and then couldn’t figure out what to do with them because he wanted something “more” than the average buffalo wing! Grrrrr men! Every wing recipe I’ve showed him has gotten a “eh, doesn’t sound good” reaction. Until NOW! I don’t care if it’s 30 degrees out tonight, his butt is going to be grilling some of these wings!!!!

  18. Chris

    Greg puts on a good show! Last night he had Myron Mixon on, from the BBQ Pitmasters show. Your good friend Dr. BBQ has been on several times too.

    You’ve been eating a lot of chicken wings lately. I love that!

  19. Amanda

    Hey Jaden, what is the key to getting a good crispy wing in the oven? Do I need to move the oven rack to the highest placement? Mine always come out a little too soft for my liking. Thanks for this tasty little recipe!

  20. Georganna

    I just bought your cookbook and am loving it. The beef and broccoli was delicious and I’m making the coconut shrimp tonight for dinner. One recipe that looks fabulous and has my boys salivating over it is the sweet and sour meatballs. Is there a substitute for the lychee? I don’t have a close Asian grocery.
    Thanks so much!

  21. Jenn

    YUMMMMM…..I made these for my husband and he loved it so much he is asking for me to make them again. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Dorach

    My marinated chicken wings are now sitting in the fridge to be baked tomorrow. The dry rub smells sooo good. Can’t wait to taste it at dinner tomorrow.

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  25. Debby

    I have one son and a wonderful husband who LOVE wings (I don’t, but I love just about anything else). Super Bowl! BTW, I ordered your cookbook and I am excited to see what’s in it I’ve made two of your recipes, and they were amazing.

  26. Anne


    You should of put foil down. Try that next time you run out of parchment paper.

    I know what I am making for tomorrow’s game. I have parchment paper too.

  27. Rachelle

    I’m makin these tomorrow for Superbowl!!! The only thing I like about Superbowl Sunday is the food and the commercials. ;o)

  28. Avi

    These were great! I added a little extra cayenne and some chipoltle chili powder for some extra kick. These even made my don’t-mess-with-my-classic-spicy-hot-wing boyfriend extremely happy. I am glad I lined the backing sheet though, or I would still be cleaning it, instead of watching the Who at the half time show. Oh, I hope one of them doesn’t snap something.

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  30. Betty

    Jaden – I made these yesterday for my family and they were awesome!!!! Thanks so much for the recipe as I know I’ll make more of them during the summer months.

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  32. mijin

    Wow, this recipe is awesome! My husband took his first bite and said – “It’s a keeper!” Thank you for sharing it!!!! Make sure you take Jaden’s advice and use Parchment paper!!!!! It makes cleaning up so easy. Thank you again Jaden!
    P.S. I love your cookbook and I’m so happy for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Anna

    Thanks for this easy and great recipe! I’ve made it several times and each time, it’s delicious. It’s a keeper and I’ve been sharing it with my friends.

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  35. Erin

    I’ve made these 5 or 6 times, and my family always requests them! They are a favorite in this house. I highly recommend this to everyone!

  36. Suzie

    I made these to bring to a super bowl party. They were a huge hit and were the first appetizer to go ๐Ÿ™‚ I halved the cayenne, doubled the garlic powder and used half smoked paprika and regular paprika. YUMM!!!!

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