These Memphis BBQ Chicken Wings have an easy homemade Memphis barbecue sauce made in minutes. Crispy baked wings in a smoky, bold, sticky sweet BBQ sauce.
MEMPHIS BARBECUE CHICKEN WINGS
If you are from the Memphis area, you know dry rubs are preferred for slow smoked ribs, or really any cut of meat. And the best way to serve smoked meat is with a side of tangy sauce on the side. These Memphis Barbecue Chicken Wings recipe gives you the best of both worlds: the smoky dry rub flavors and a bold, sticky hickory sauce.
Memphis Barbecue sauce is a tomato based sauce with smoky Worcestershire sauce, sweet brown sugar, tangy vinegar and mustard, and spices to give it that signature bold flavor. It’s no wonder its the most popular BBQ sauce for grill masters and wing lovers everywhere.
Sticky sweet Memphis Barbecue Chicken Wings are a crowd pleasing appetizer for holidays and game days. They are perfect for dunking in cool Ranch Dressing, Blue Cheese Dressing, or just more Memphis Barbecue Sauce. For a tasty Southern BBQ dinner, serve them with Mac and Cheese and Coleslaw.
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The sauce for Memphis Barbecue Chicken Wings can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make extra Memphis Barbecue sauce and use it on other BBQ favorites like Baked Chicken Thighs, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, or Slow Cooker Ribs.
If you prefer a traditional Memphis dry rub for chicken wings, try the spice blend included in this post. You should soak your wings in apple cider vinegar for a few hours before smothering them generously with the dry rub. Bake as usual, flipping halfway through. Make the Memphis Barbecue Wing sauce on the side for dipping!
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VARIATIONS ON MEMPHIS BARBECUE CHICKEN WINGS
- Tomato Base: This recipe uses ketchup for the tomato base, but you can substitute either a cup tomato paste or tomato sauce, depending on how thick you want your BBQ sauce.
- Tangy: Give your BBQ sauce a different tangy kick with apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar. For the mustard, you can swap in spicy brown mustard or dijon mustard.
- Sweet: Instead of brown sugar, you can use traditional molasses, or dark corn syrup, maple syrup, or honey. Start with half the amount and add to taste, since some swaps are much sweeter than others.
- Smoky: This sauce uses Worcestershire sauce for the hickory element, but you can also use steak sauce, liquid smoke (very small amount!), or even soy sauce instead.
- Spices: Some more spices suggestions for your barbecue sauce are celery salt, garlic powder, sweet or smoked paprika, and ground dry mustard.
- Spicy: Make Spicy Memphis Barbecue Sauce by adding a ¼ cup hot sauce or increase the cayenne pepper by a ⅛ teaspoon at a time until it reaches the spice level you like.
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Dry Memphis Barbecue Rub
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pinch cayenne pepper
Mix the ingredients together and store in a covered container in your pantry for up to three months.
HOW TO STORE MEMPHIS BARBECUE CHICKEN WINGS
- Serve: Baked chicken wings can be out at room temperature for up to 2 hours before they should be refrigerated.
- Store: Keep your Memphis Barbecue Wings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: Cool chicken wings completely, or freeze on a baking sheet for one hour, and place in a sealed container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- 32 chicken wings
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 cups Memphis BBQ Sauce , (homemade recipe)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl toss the chicken wings with the vegetable oil, salt and pepper then line up on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake until wings are crispy and browned for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove the cooked wings and add them to a large bowl and toss them with the Memphis Barbecue Sauce, then bake them for an additional 5 minutes.