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April 10, 2019

Good morning crew,

Spring 2019A couple people wrote in to ask me about my chicken wing recipe, and since grilling is one of my favorite things to talk about I am more than happy to share my tips.

The first thing I like to do is brine my wings for a couple hours. It doesn't take much. An entire turkey you can brine for 24 hours, but for a few dozen chicken wings two hours is good. You could even do 3 or 4 hours, but on the occasions I have had the patience to bring my wings that long I really didn't notice an appreciable difference (note: it's important to keep the wings and brine cold during this process).

The brine is just a cup of sea salt (Kosher if you have it) completely dissolved in a gallon of water. If you prefer your wings a little sweeter you can add some brown sugar, or if you like them a little tangier you can add apple cider, get as creative as you want, but really all you need is Kosher sea salt and water.

After the brine I give the wings a really good rinse and pat them dry. Then they go in a big bowl and I give them a thorough drizzle of olive oil (I like to get my hands in there and make sure they are completely covered), then comes the fun part.

Since they just came out of a brine I don't bother with salt, but my usual hit parade of seasoning is garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper. If I'm feeling kinky I'll use lemon pepper instead of black pepper, and maybe a little sage if I have it in the cupboard. I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to this part, so I usually season each piece individually. It's more work, but you get consistent wings.

After seasoning each wing they go in a baking pan, get covered in foil, and go into the oven at 325 degrees for an hour. This part I learned the hard way. I would be embarrassed to tell you how many batches of chicken wings I have ruined by putting them raw on a hot grill. The skin blackens, the meat sticks to the grill when you try to flip them, and they are always underdone on the inside.

But when the wings come out of the oven they are already practically ready to eat, so you don't have to worry about under cooking them. The denouement comes when you throw them on the grill. Really all you are looking for at this point is to crisp up the skin a bit and give them that beautiful golden color. Five minutes a side, at most. But you gotta watch 'em! They will start to turn black on you if you're not vigilant. It's at this point you can add barbecue sauce if you prefer it.

If you don't want to go through the baking part you can use a BBQ Grilling Mat. Basically it is a nonstick, high heat resistant material that turns your grill into a smooth cooking surface.

It's ideal for cooking veggies, shrimp, bacon, kabobs, and things like fish fillets without everything falling through the grates and sticking to the grill.

Using a BBQ Grilling Mat on your grill will let your wings heat up more slowly, making sure they're more thoroughly cooked, and keep them from getting black and sticking to the grill. It definitely saves a little time and effort over the oven method.

If you're interested you can pick up a 2-pack of them right here for a great price, just in time for grilling season.

If anybody feels like writing in I'd love to hear how your wings turned out!

Laugh it up,

Joe

joe@gophercentral.com

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