Grilled Chicken Wings with Hoisin Sesame Dipping Sauce

July 23, 2010

I was going to make Buffalo Wings, but because of the hot weather I decided to barbecue instead. In the past, I have tried barbecued chicken and Buffalo sauce, but now know the smokey flavor does not combine well with the spicy sauce. So, I decided to make Cook’s Illustrated Hoisin Sesame Dipping Sauce.

Great wings don't always come from Buffalo.

Start by brining the chicken wings in salt, sugar and water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, build a two-level fire and grill the chicken; first on the low-heat for 10 minutes, flipping half way through. Then grill on hot side until spotty brown. The sauce only takes a few minutes, and is best served warm.  The Charcoal-Grilled Chicken Wings recipe is here, and the Hoisin Sesame Dipping Sauce recipe is here.

Overall, these were great, especially during summer when I don’t want my oven to heat up the kitchen. I give them 4-1/2 stars, the Chinese flavors of the dipping sauce complemented the smokey flavor of the grilled wings. The lowest rating in the family came from Matthew,4-stars, who ate them without sauce, just ketchup.


  1. My bag of Kingsford charcoal is bad; it does not fully burn down into ashes.   This caused the cooking time to triple, from 15 minutes to about 45 minutes. Ultimately, I had to finish a few under the broiler.
  2. The Cook’s Illustrated recipe called for “12 whole wings (about 2 1/2 pounds)”. But mine weighted double that; 5-pounds. Sure, by the time you discard the wing tips and packaging it only weighed 4 pounds, but I’m not sure why their weights are so far off.
  3. There was not enough room on the hot/cool sides of the grill to follow the grilling instructions of the recipe. In the end, I just had to move the pieces around as best I could.

Rating: 4-1/2 stars.
Cost: $9 for 4-pounds of wings.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Start time 6:00 PM. Dinner time 7:30pm

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