BBQ Wing Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Chef Bren Ankrum – Culinary Editor

Most cooks that frequent the grill have a favorite, go to, barbeque sauce. There are many varieties, Asian, Jerk or Kansas City, to name a few, which start with various bases, mustard, ketchup, soy, ginger, etc. The sauce created with this recipe is a hybrid of flavors that I prefer to use with chicken, in this recipe, wings, it has been a guest favorite, is quick and easy to make. To be quite honest I never measure the ingredients due to the fact I’ve made this version so many times over the years. I know the flavor profile and ingredients intimately. The ingredient measurements given below will be close but you may want to add a little less of the hotter and stronger flavored spices or liquids, taste and then add more until you decide that the heat level, saltiness, etc. suits you.

The recipe given will make more sauce than required for one preparation of wings. The balance, held refrigerated for future use will only get better over time as the ingredients continue to marry in the bottle.

Equipment/ utensils required:

Mixing bowl, spatula, whip, funnel, covered refrigerator container, tongs, flat grill, outdoor charcoal, gas, or wood grill.


16 chicken wings

1 cup tomato ketchup

¼ cup spicy brown mustard

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. molasses

2 tbsp. raw cane sugar or light brown sugar

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. thyme

½ tbsp. rubbed sage

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. ground black pepper

2 tbsp. crushed red pepper or chile paste


  1. At least two hours, four preferably, place the wings into a covered container or marinade bag with water, 4 tbsp. salt and 4 tbsp. raw cane sugar. Be sure the water covers the wings completely with the brine. Place covered or sealed into the refrigerator for the duration until ready to toss with the sauce. Rinse the wings briefly before tossing with sauce to remove excess salt or sugars.
  2. Place all the ingredients except the wings into a mixing bowl and whip together, tasting to adjust taste to your desired flavor profile.
  3. Pour the sauce into the refrigerator container. (I use a cleaned ketchup squeeze bottle)
  4. Place the wings into the mixing bowl add enough of the sauce to coat well by tossing the wings and sauce.
  5. Cook on a flat grill over the hot spot on your outdoor grill until wings are tender and easily removed from the bone. Usually this equates to about 15 minutes on the first side and an equal amount on the other. This may and will vary depending on the heat and configuration of your grill. Be sure to cook the wings until the flesh completely done to the bone. You may add additional sauce from your squirt bottle for a more moist approach.
  6. Serve with your favorite side. In the dish pictured here I used an Israeli couscous and veggie combination pilaf. I will post that recipe soon.

Makes about 2 cups

Nutritional Information for a one ounce serving of the sauce:

Calories 35, Fat 0.2 gm, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 323 mg, Carbohydrates 8.2 gm, Protein .5 gm.

Nutritional Information for a one 3 oz. wing:

Calories 162, Fat 6.3 gm, Cholesterol 76 mg, Sodium 0 mg, Carbohydrates 0 gm, Protein 24.6 gm.

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