Miami Wings

Miami Wings

Gators fans and sports lovers of all persuasions get pumped up for tailgate parties because a good barbecue makes the perfect prelude to the game. Here’s how my homestate of Florida reimagines a tailgate classic: Miami wings blasted with fire water, with skin so crisp, it actually crunches!

Other Recipes from Episode 209: Florida Tailgate Party


Miami Wings

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
  • Method: Indirect grilling
  • Equipment: 1 1/2 cups wood chips soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drained


  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup soy sauce or tamari
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup Crystal other favorite hot sauce
  • Plenty of freshly-ground black pepper

  • 3 pounds chicken wings, separated at the joints, tips discarded
  • Lime wedges, for serving

For the Finishing Sauce

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, salted or unsalted
  • 6 tablespoons Crystal or other favorite hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Recipe Steps

1: Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the chicken wings and toss to coat. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Turn the wings several times.

2: Set up your grill for indirect grilling and heat to 400 degrees. (Or use a smoker if your unit can maintain the higher temperatures needed to render the fat and crisp the skin.) Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it very well. (Chicken wings have a tendency to stick.)

3: Drain the wings, discarding the marinade. Arrange the chicken wings on the grate over the drip pan away from the heat. Leave a little space between each wing. Toss the wood chips on the coals (or place in the smoker box of your gas grill.) Indirect grill the wings until darkly browned and cooked through, 40 to 50 minutes depending on the size of the wings. Turn once halfway through. To check for doneness, make a slit in the thickest part of the largest drumette: There should be no traces of pink in the meat, though you might get a pink smoke ring near the bone. You can use a digital thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches a safe 165°F.

4: In the meantime, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the hot sauce and lime juice and keep warm.

5: Transfer the chicken wings to a large shallow bowl. Pour most of the butter mixture over them and toss to mix. (Re-whisk if necessary.) Pour the remaining butter mixture on top and dust with chopped chives. Serve at once with the lime wedges and chives.

Recipe Tips

Our thanks to the sponsors of Project Fire Season 2:

Big Green Egg Kalamazoo Green Mountain Grills FireMagic Creekstone Farms Weber Maverick Shun Basques Bonfire Workman Publishing Smoke n Fire

Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2019 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein.