Crispy Vortex Chicken Wings

Crispy chicken wings are a classic favorite for any backyard barbecue or game day spread. When cooked on a Weber kettle grill using a Vortex, these wings take on an extra level of flavor and crunch that will have your guests coming back for seconds. The combination of the high heat from the Vortex and the smoky flavor from the grill creates perfectly crispy wings with juicy meat that is sure to be a hit at your next cookout. Follow along as we break down how to achieve crispy perfection with this simple yet delicious cooking method.

What Is A Vortex

The vortex is a great tool, that delivers a delicious meal, no matter what it is you are cooking. Taken directly from the Vortex website, here is their explanation of how the vortex cooks.

It all started in an effort to get ‘fried-like’ skin on my chicken wings on the grill. The Vortex create a high heat that is directed upwards then radiates down around the kettle lid creating an EVEN high heat. Load up the Vortex Narrow Side Up. Let coals ash over. Put meat around perimeter. If smoke flavor is desired, place a tennis ball sized chunk directly over Vortex onto grill grate.

This method allows the chicken around the perimeter can get fried-like skin without getting the burn marks that happen while grilling wings directly. The heat increases enough to crisp skin without any direct flame. This is not unlike setting your fire off to one side of your kettle, the only difference with the Vortex would be an even amount of heat for every piece around the perimeter as opposed to the ones closest to the fire. No need for rotating or extra flipping.

Notes Before Starting Crispy Vortex Chicken Wings

Here are some notes before we get started!

  • No need to brine, but if you feel better doing so, go for it
  • You can get some smokey flavor by throwing as chunk of wood on top of the vortex, hickory is my go to
  • The vortex gets your grill hot! Please use caution, especially if you have kids in the area
  • This is mostly a time thing, since its hard to check IT. If you want to check IT, do it in the largest wing and I suggest using the ThermoPro TP19H. If you check you are looking for 165°
  • If you are using frozen wings, make sure they are defrosted already

Step By Step Crispy Vortex Chicken Wings

Step 1

Start the charcoal for the vortex. You can do this two ways. The first method is to get a chimney of charcoal going and then dump it into the Vortex. The other method is to place the charcoal in the vortex, unlit, then with a starter or two, get the charcoal going. I have done both and don’t have a preference for either way.

Step 2

Remove the wings from package and pat them dry with a paper towel. This will help ensure a nice crispy wing, in additional to the high heat we are going to cook with.

Step 3

If you have a bowl big enough, place the wings in the bowl, and add the dry rub of choice. Using the bowl, shake and continue to add the rub as need to coat the wings well. If you want to add some spice to this recipe, try our homemade Mexican Dry Rub!

Coated with Honey Killer Bee
Ready for the grill

Step 4

Place the wings on the grill. By the time you are ready the grill should be easily pushing temperature of 600+. At this time if you want some smoke flavor, place a chunk of wood either in the vortex but more ideally on top of the grate, directly above the vortex. I really enjoy the hickory smoke on the wings but a cherry, apple or pecan works as well.

Step 5

Cook the wings to a safe IT of 165°. Since it could be difficult to check the IT on the wings, you will only need about 40 minutes before they are ready. You will want to monitor around the 30 minutes mark, because depending on how hot the vortex gets, it could be a little faster than 40 minutes.

A little more than half way done

Step 6 (Optional)

So, I do not typically sauce up my wings. Since I started doing them on the grill, I usually go with a dry rub and then dip in a blue cheese or ranch dressing. If you are going to sauce them up, do so about 10 minutes before they are going to be done.

Step 7, Final Step

Remove from the grill, eat and enjoy!

Crispy chicken wings are a delicious and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you prefer them spicy or mild, the crunchy exterior paired with tender meat is sure to please your taste buds. So next time you’re craving a tasty treat, why not whip up a batch of crispy chicken wings and enjoy the mouthwatering goodness for yourself? Your taste buds will thank you!

Crispy Vortex Chicken Wings

Thanks for being here and checking out this Crispy Vortex Chicken Wings recipe. I hope you enjoy it! We always appreciate comments, 5 star recipe rating and social media shares. As always, keep that smoke rolling!

Need some other chicken or grill ideas? Here are some suggestions:

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Yield: 6 servings

Crispy Vortex Chicken Wings

Crispy Vortex Chicken Wings

Discover the secret to perfectly crispy chicken wings on a Weber kettle grill with the Vortex!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes


  • 3 lbs. of chicken wings
  • 1/2 cup of dry rub of choice


  1. Start the vortex, either directly or using a chimney and pour the charcoal in. A full chimneys worth of charcoal is enough
  2. While the grill is getting up to temperature, pat dry the wings and place in a bowl
  3. After having patted dry all the wings, while still in the bowl, coat with the rub of choice and shake or mix by hand.
  4. After coating with the rub, place on the grill and start to cook. If you are looking for some smoke flavor, either place a chunk of wood on top or in the vortex
  5. Grill for about 40 minutes. If you want to check the IT, find the largest wing and insert the probe. You are looking for 165° for an IT.
  6. Once done, you are good to remove, you only need to let them cook enough to touch and eat enjoyably!


If you are going to use sauce, add it about 10 minutes before you plan to pull the wings off the grill.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 495Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 594mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 26g

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