Recipe courtesy of Pit Stop Catering

Suckerpunch Chicken Wings

The chile heat here seems to come out of nowhere and hit you about 10 seconds into eating...hence the name SUCKERPUNCH WINGS!
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Active: 2 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 50 wings
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Wing Rub:

1 cup paprika

1 cup brown sugar or turbinado sugar 

1/2 cup chili powder 

1/2 cup mustard powder 

1/2 cup onion powder 

1/2 cup Chicago steak seasoning 


5 pounds jumbo chicken wings, split (see Cook's Note)

One 23-ounce bottle Buffalo wing sauce 

1 cup gochujang (Korean chile paste) or comparable Korean hot sauce 

1 cup apple cider vinegar, plus as needed 

2 to 3 habaneros chiles, ground, optional

10 to 15 apple wood or cherry wood chips, soaked

1 bottle sweet BBQ sauce 


  1. For the wing rub: Combine the paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, mustard powder, onion powder and steak seasoning in a bowl. Mix until well blended. Transfer the rub to a large spice shaker, so you can sprinkle it over the wings during the final stages of cooking.
  2. For the wings: Prepare a charcoal grill for direct heat.
  3. Put the chicken wings in a large aluminum baking pan; the pan should be loaded to the top. Add the Buffalo wing sauce, gochujang and cider vinegar, and mix to coat. If you prefer  more heat, add the habaneros. Once the wings are covered in the sauce, they are ready and your grill should be, too.
  4. When the grill has reached 270 degrees F, place the uncovered pan of wings directly over the hot coals and cover the grill.
  5. Cook for about 30 minutes. Open up the grill and mix up the wings so the ones on the bottom are now on top, and vice versa. Put the lid back on the grill and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes; the wings should be getting very tender if not quite falling apart.
  6. Using potholders, remove the pan of wings from the grill. Shift the hot coals to one side of the grill, so you can now cook over indirect heat. Once the coals are in place, add a few of the soaked wood chips.
  7. Pull the wings out of the pan and place them, one by one, on the grill grate, away from the hot coals, so they can continue cooking "low and slow." Reserve the sauce remaining in the pan and keep warm. Put the lid back on the grill and cook for 30 minutes, basting the wings every 15 minutes with the reserved sauce; the grill's temperature should be 230 to 240 degrees F.
  8. After you have basted the wings twice, liberally sprinkle the wing rub on the wings for two additional bastes. During the final baste, brush the wings with sweet BBQ sauce to add even more depth of flavor. Cook for a final 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the wings from the grill and let sit for 5 minutes. The wings will now be very tender, almost falling off the bone, and a perfect combination of sweet, smoky and spicy.

Cook’s Note

Oftentimes you will be able to find split chicken wings at your grocery store. If only whole wings are available, you can easily slice them into three pieces. Simply remove and discard the pointy wing tips using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, and then slice between the joint of the drum and the wing to separate.