How to barbecue the perfect chicken wings

Chicken wings with red chutney
Winging it: Neil Rankin's method for barbecuing chicken wings ensures they're crispy on the outside and moist in the middle

Neil Rankin, top barbecue chef and author of Low and Slow: How To Cook Meat, shares his tips on how to barbecue chicken wings and recommends the perfect wine pairing – a delightfully quaffable malbec.

As spring gives way to summer and we think about firing up the barbecue, there is no one better to turn to for grilling advice than Britain’s top barbecue chef Neil Rankin, the author of the groundbreaking Low and Slow: How To Cook Meat.

Slow to hot

Low and slow, he says, is the key to meat cookery because it allows your chosen cut to retain as much of its juice as possible. And nowhere is this better seen than with the humble chicken wing.

The easiest thing, Rankin tells me, “is to put them in an oven at 120C (250F) for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, until they are just cooked.

“Then take them out and let them cool down a little, so that when you hit them with some hard heat it’s not going to overcook them. Then get your grill really hot and blast them for about five minutes.”

The result of this cool-and-hot method will be juicy, crispy mouthwatering wings. 

Grill guru: Neil Rankin is one of Britain's best barbecue chefs Credit: Paul Winch-Furness

Go for a glaze

While many of us might marinate wings before cooking, he advises us not to. “It creates too much moisture so you can’t get that lovely crust you want.” Rankin recommends glazing them after cooking.

Wine pairing for chicken wings

Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the wings and serve with a glass of Trivento Reserve Malbec. Its raspberry and cherry notes and sweet tannins make it a delightfully quaffable red wine, perfect with a sticky chicken wing. 

Hints of berries and cherries: Trivento Reserve Malbec is the perfect wine pairing for barbecued chicken wings

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