Brined 'Steely McWings' hot wings

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jul 26, 2008



Steelers fan "MJ," the man behind the blog SteelyMcStupid, chimed in last week with what he calls "Steely McWings" that he brines before grilling and dousing in hot sauce.
 
Brining is a little more time-consuming than just sticking wings in some hot oil (the tried and true CHFF method). But fans of brining insist it's worth the effort, because it tends to make food more juicier and more flavorful. Grilling wings is also healthier than frying them, if you're into things like health. So try it out and decide for yourself.
 
This recipe is for 4 pounds of wings
 
Equipment:
Medium sauce pan
Large bowl for brining
Large Ziploc bag (if you are brining at home and cooking on the road)
2 medium sized metal bowls or a large plastic pitcher with top
Grill (duh)
Grill tongs 
 
For the brine:
4 cups water
3 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons hot pepper flakes
1/4 c. cider vinegar
 
Place the 4 pounds of wings, washed and thawed, in a large bowl and add water, salt, pepper flakes and cider vinegar (CHFF would recommend mixing the salt, water, flakes and vinegar together first so that the salt totally dissolves, before pouring it over the wings). Cover the bowl and let the wings brine at least 3 hours (overnight is optimal). You can place the wings in a Ziploc bag for transport to the parking lot or the party.
 
For the hot sauce:
3 Tablespoons butter
2¼ cups hot sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot or Trappey's)
1 small dash very hot sauce (we use Dave's Insanity Sauce – be very careful, this stuff'll burn you down)
3 Tablespoons Heinz Ketchup (nothing but Heinz)
2 Tablespoons mustard
Generous dash of onion powder
Generous dash of white pepper
Generous dash of cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon honey
2 capfuls of cider vinegar
 
In a medium sauce pan on the stove-top or grill, melt the butter until it just begins to foam. Add the hot sauces, ketchup, mustard, spices, honey, and vinegar. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce (about 30 minutes). Stir vigilantly to keep the sauce form sticking or burning.
 
Grilling the wings:
Heat grill to high. Remove wings from brine, drain and pat dry. Cook, turning once, until well done and crispy (usually 10 minutes per side).
 
Saucing the wings:
Take the grilled wings and place them in a metal bowl with about a ¼ cup of sauce per 5 wings (we recommend saucing 5 to 6 wings at a time). Place another metal bowl over top to form a dome and shake vigorously for about 5 seconds. You can also do this directly in a plastic drink pitcher.
 
Serve with your favorite veggie and dressing. We recommend carrots, celery and chunky blue cheese.

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