This chicken wing marinade is so easy and delicious. The marinade itself is only 4 ingredients, and the flavor soaks into the chicken fast. It has teriyaki vibes, but it's neutral enough to coat in any sauce you want after the chicken is cooked. It's fast, easy, healthy, and will make your wings taste way better than take-out.
Why We Love this Recipe
This chicken wing marinade is perfect for serving a crowd because you can make it ahead of time and let your chicken soak until you need it. It's great for Super Bowl parties, summer BBQs, and other celebrations.
These marinated chicken wings can be cooked in the air fryer, oven, or on the grill. All three methods are super easy and fool-proof!
If you're looking for other wing recipes, try our air fryer buffalo chicken wings.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Chicken wings- I don't like breaking down chicken wings, so I like to buy them already separated. The Kirkland Signature Chicken Party Wings at Costco are a great price and are already separated for you. They're also divided into three different bags, so you can make small quantities at a time and freeze the rest if you want to. We also love the frozen chicken wings from Trader Joe's if you don't want to buy in bulk.
Frank's Original RedHot Sauce- this is pretty much my favorite condiment on the face of the Earth, but if you have a different cayenne pepper sauce you'd rather substitute, feel free.
Maple syrup- Don't substitute pancake syrup. It's highly processed and just doesn't taste the same as the real stuff.
Soy sauce or coconut aminos- if you're gluten free, use coconut aminos.
Fresh garlic- Fresh garlic is a lot more flavorful than the pre-minced stuff.
Gallon baggies (or reusable bags)- these reusable baggies are perfect for marinades.
Step 1: Add the wings, Frank's sauce, maple syrup, soy sauce (or coconut aminos), and garlic to a gallon baggie and shake to combine everything. Then let the wings marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or for up to 24 hours.
Step 2: Cook the wings using your desired method. See some suggestions under "Suggested cooking methods" below.
Step 3: If desired, top with your favorite sauce. This marinade is super flexible and not overpowering, so you can coat the cooked wings in whatever sauce you want. They're great coated in buffalo sauce, BBQ sauce, or whatever else you can dream up.
Suggested Cooking Methods
Air fryer- Once the wings are done marinating, add them to the basket of your air fryer in a single layer. It's ok if they touch a little (mine usually do), but it's best to give them a little space—they'll get crispier that way. Cook them at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway (I usually flip mine around the 8 minute mark), until they reach your desired crispiness and reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
Grill- Cook directly on an oiled grill rack at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Flip the wings occasionally to prevent one side from charring more than another.
Bake- Place the wings in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Flip the wings at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.
Frequently asked questions
You can, but fresh or defrosted wings are best for this recipe. If your wings are frozen when you marinate them, they won't soak up the flavors in the right way. I'd recommend using fresh wings or making sure that your frozen wings are fully defrosted before you marinate and cook them.
You can! This marinade is super flexible and not overpowering, so you can coat the cooked wings in whatever sauce you want. They're great coated in buffalo sauce, BBQ sauce, or whatever else you can dream up.
That's the worst, isn't it? Here's an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to break down chicken wings.