Tropical Hot Wings

Football season is in full swing and that means that tailgate foods are in high demand around my house. Saturday the weather was nice enough to grill some wings, so I made one of our very favorite recipes.  Tropical Hot Wings are full of great flavor and combine sweet, salty and hot. It’s a recipe I have made for over ten years and have many great memories associated with it.

Tropical Hot Wings
After the wings are grilled, they are placed in a bowl and tossed with about half of the sauce. Serve extra sauce for dipping. For tailgating, I like to have the sauce made ahead of time, I brine the wings ahead (and rinse) and then all I have to do is grill the wings on site. For entertaining at home I just put the wings in a low oven or in my slow cooker to keep warm, after tossing with the sauce. Either way they are wonderful!
Tropical Hot Wings
Have I convinced you yet? You need to make these, they will be the hit of any party! I do have some shortcuts that I’ll mention. If you are not a fan of using a brine, you can totally skip that step. I have cooked the wings several ways, baked, pan fried and deep fried. The wings will still be wonderful because the sauce is wonderful. The sauce will cook down and thicken faster if you use a larger pan that has more surface. Just watch it and stir occasionally.

Tropical Hot Wings

I also have a little party idea for you. First of all, play some Jimmy Buffet music, serve some cheeseburgers and margaritas … I’m sure you get the idea!  Yes, I have done this, on a cold and snowy night in Feburary….

Pinterest Photos ~ the perfect size for boards

Tropical Hot WingsTropical Hot Wings

Tropical Hot Wings

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 2 1/2 hours
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients and Directions:Tropical Hot Wings

For the wings:

2 1/2- 3 lbs chicken wings
1/2 C Kosher salt
1/2 C sugar
1 qt water
Black pepper to taste

Remove wing tips and cut each wing into two parts. In a deep bowl combine kosher salt, sugar and water. Add wings to the brine and refrigerate for about 30 min. or up to 6 hrs.
Remove wings from brine , rinse and pat dry with paper toweling. Sprinkle with pepper.
Grill over charcoal fire which is not overly hot as you don’t want to burn the wings. Remove from grill as they cook (approx. 8-10 min) and place in a 9×13 pan or large bowl. Toss with sauce. Can also be held in a 200° oven or held in a slow cooker on low. Serve with fresh sliced oranges if desired.


1 C water
1-6 oz can of pineapple juice
1/2 C vinegar
1 C sugar (add more to taste)
6 oz hot sauce (I use Tabasco or Franks. adjust amount for your tastes, 4 oz is hot enough for most)
1 orange
2-3 Tbsp ground red cayenne pepper (adjust to taste, 2 will give med heat and 3 will be hotter)

Slice the orange with the rind on in ¼ in thick slices, removing any seeds. Combine with rest of sauce ingredients in saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced to a syrup consistency, 1-2 hrs. Strain to remove orange pieces while sauce is hot. You should end up with about 1 1/4 Cups of sauce.

Sauce will thicken more as it cools. I have used it for a dipping sauce when just wanting to do a few wings. Keeps well in refigerator for weeks.

Nancy Copyright 2014