Grilled Beer and Brown Sugar Wings

Grilled Beer and Brown Sugar Wings

Grilled Beer and Brown Sugar Wings1

 Food people mark the seasons in a different way.

Sure, plant people mark it by what to plant when, and what to prune, what to seed. Fashion people pin the crap out of new wardrobes. The acting crowd doesn’t have weather seasons, they have “pilot season,” “award season,” “I hope my show doesn’t get canceled season.” We all have our things.

Beer and food follow similar patterns. For beer we have, “session ale season,” “harvest beer season” (some people confuse this with “Pumpkin beer season” or “Oktoberfest season,”), “barrel aged beer season,” and “fruit beer season.”

Food seasons, although weather dependent in most ways, hinge on what we can cook. Sure, you can grill in 10 degree weather, knee deep in snow but the first time you can do it in flip flops and a tank top the moment is a marker in the year. The first tomatoes of the year that grow in the ground remind you of how incredible they really taste when not grown in a greenhouse in New Jersey. The blood oranges leave the store just the peaches start to peek their heads out. It’s thrilling.

Maybe because there are so few connections we have to the many, many generations before us. Sure, our survival is no longer dependent on an early spring, but the feeling of excitement when the first flowers bloom and fruit starts to ripen on wild trees is something that won’t ever see an end.

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Grilled Beer and Brown Sugar Wings

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 2 lbs chicken wings
  • 2 tbs (36g) kosher salt
  • 24 ounces stout beer
  • 1 cup (148g) golden brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup (68g) Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup (64g) stout beer
  • 1 tbs (12g) sriracha chili sauce


  1. Lay the wings in an even lay in a baking dish. Sprinkle on all sides with salt. Pour the beer over the chicken until submerged (if chicken isn’t submerged add additional beer, cold water or chicken broth until just submerged). Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to 6 hours.
  2. Remove chicken from brine, rinse well, lay on a stack of paper towels covered by additional paper towels to dry. Allow chicken to dry for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium high.
  4. Stir together the remaining ingredients.
  5. Reserve 1/3 cup of the glaze. Brush the chicken with the remaining until well coated.
  6. Grill the wings on all sides until cooked through, brushing with glaze while the chicken cooks.
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9 thoughts on “Grilled Beer and Brown Sugar Wings

  1. I’ve made your Crispy Honey Porter and IPA Sriracha wings previously, but this became my favorite wings recipe the first time I made it! I really appreciate the different takes on a particular dish that your recipes often offer. One thing that does pain me about this preparation is pouring so much beer over the wings, only to discard it. Would it be possible to turn the marinade into a glaze as in some of your other recipes, or is that unwise because the beer is soaking with raw chicken, rather than raw fish, for example, as in your Maple and Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Beer Glazed Salmon recipe, where the marinade does become the glaze? I’m not sure whether boiling the marinade is enough to make is usable after soaking with raw chicken. Thanks for any thoughts — and for your recipes; I’ve cooked almost too many to count at this point and we nearly always love them!

    1. If you boil it, it does kill bacteria. Just like cooking raw chicken makes it safe to eat. It does seem scary for most people to brush their food with liquid that raw chicken soaked in, but boiling it does make it safe. As for the beer, it’s OK to use stale beer or beer that maybe you bough and don’t really like the taste enough to finish the rest.

      1. Thanks! I’ll attempt a reuse on the beer and see what I get 🙂 I did try using Guinness the last time I made these so it didn’t hurt so much to toss the beer, but I felt like there was a decrease in flavor (maybe I’m just prejudiced against Guinness as a very enthusiastic lover of craft dark beers).

  2. Would this work for any type of chicken? I cut up some chicken breasts for kabobs, and was looking for a new recipe to try. This sounded good.

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