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Chicken Wing Experiment, Does Marinating Make a Difference?

I’m always looking for a reason to eat chicken wings.  For some reason, football season makes me crave chicken wings even more than usual.  We’ve already covered grilled chicken wings before, but I had someone ask why I didn’t put the sauce on before I grilled the wings.  “Wouldn’t”, this person asked, “the wings come out much better if they were marinated in the sauce beforehand?”  That’s a good question, a great experiment to try and an even better reason to eat some wings!

Marinated grilled chicken wings

So for this experiment, I grilled and prepared one set of wings according to the method I described here.  For the other set of wings, I prepared a simple wing sauce and marinated the wings for 6 hours.  Here’s the sauce recipe, it’s super easy and great because all of the ingredients have a long shelf life in the cupboard:

4 tablespoons Crystal hot sauce (more to taste, depending on your preference for heat)

1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all the ingredients well, that’s it!

After 6 hours of marinating, I grilled the chicken wings just like the previous set of non-marinated wings.  About 8 minutes per side over a medium grill is all it takes, just watch for flare-ups (the oil in the sauce compounds this problem).

The Results

So how did they turn out?  The pre-marinated wings were very tender and juicy, but so were the wings grilled and then submerged in the sauce.  My wife is always the taste-tester for these experiments. As usual, I present her with a plate of my creation and then sit back and observe like a Scientist.  After finishing half of the marinated wing, she asked “where’s the sauce?”.  So needless to say we made another batch of the wing sauce and coated the marinated wings, the marinating process just didn’t cut it on it’s own.  In fact, I’m not convinced the extra waiting time was worth it at all.  I’ll continue to grill and then submerge my wings…it’s easier anyway and I am all for the easy route.

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