Memphis Barbecue Chicken Wings

8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

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.

If you’re serving Buffalo Wings for game day, you probably have a side of BBQ Chicken Wings too! This tasty party Appetizer Recipe is your favorite BBQ wings with a homemade sauce!

Memphis BBQ Chicken Wings in basket


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.


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!

Memphis BBQ Sauce ingredients


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.

Memphis BBQ Chicken Wings on baking sheet

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Memphis Barbecue Chicken Wings

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.
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


Chicken Wings

  • 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.


Calories: 558kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 863mg | Potassium: 451mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 489IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg

Memphis Barbecue Chicken Wings collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I would like to make this and maybe I’m just dumb but i don’t see the recipe for the sauce. I see the dry rub recipe. I’ve looked and read several times lol

    1. Hello Jason, the recipe for the sauce is separate from this recipe, If you search for “Memphis Barbecue Wing sauce” you will find it in a separate recipe card. So sorry for the confusion!

  2. Oh man! These wings turned out so juicy and perfectly cooked! The Memphis BBQ sauce is the bomb!

  3. These have become our favorite wings!! We used to love buffalo wings (and still do) but these are the ones that i make the most often!

  4. These chicken wings have my name written all over them! Love these tasty wings as appetizers!