These fiery Mexican Buffalo Wings are grilled over the coals, tossed with homemade sauce, and then topped with crema and queso fresco. Serve with some lime and beer, because they are HOT!
Buffalo wings are popular for many reasons, mostly because the crispy wings are coated with a mouthwatering spicy sauce that keeps you coming back.
These Mexican buffalo wings are no different, tossed in a unique homemade Mexican buffalo sauce that comes together in minutes. Absolutely worth it!
Why This Recipe Works
- Classic flavors are kicked up. If you are also a huge fan of Mexican hot sauce, then these are the wings for you. They bring a lot of heat with smoky, vibrant flavors. Cooking the wings over the coals adds a wood-fired flavor that takes these over the edge.
- It’s still delicious buffalo sauce. You can’t mess with the classics, too much. The ingredients in the sauce are very similar to the classic buffalo sauce.
Grilled Chicken Wings
Fire up your grill, these wings love the smoke and char from cooking over direct heat. You can use a smoker if you prefer, but there’s just something different about wings cooked over charcoal.
Check out the Guide to Grilled Chicken Wings to learn about all of the nuances and advanced steps if you’re looking to master your game!
Ingredients You’ll Need
This recipe is very simple, but you’ll need to make a batch of Mexican buffalo sauce to make Mexican buffalo wings. See how that works? Head over there and whip it up, which only takes a few minutes!
- Chicken wings – Any size works! Yes, you can even use drumsticks if you want.
- Canola/Vegetable oil – This is used to lightly coat the wings before adding the seasoning. Helps to prevent them from sticking to the grill and promotes crispy skin.
- Celery salt – My choice of seasoned salt for chicken wings. The earthy flavors work perfectly with any type of buffalo sauce.
- Black pepper – Finely fresh ground is best, but use what you have. Just make sure it’s not coarse.
- Smoked paprika – Adds additional smoke flavor and color.
- Granulated garlic – Balances out the overall flavors and helps to add texture.
- Ancho chile powder – This choice of chile adds a fruity, smoky flavor without much heat.
Step 1: Mix and Marinate
In the spirit of keeping it simple, add your wings to a large resealable plastic bag. This allows you to just pour stuff in and mix everything around.
Pour in the oil and mix the wings to make sure they are fully coated.
Mix up the spices in a small bowl first before dumping them in the bag, that way you don’t get a big bite of smoked paprika. Pour in the spices and mix everything very well, massaging the wings to make sure they are completely coated in flavor.
Allow the wings to marinate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
Step 2: Smoke the Wings
Light up the coals in your grill and create a 2-zone setup. This will give you a hot and cool side to cook the wings. Heat the grill to medium heat, around 350-375°F.
Place the wings on the cool side, or around the coals as shown above. Use a hardwood chunk or woodchips for added flavor.
Cook the wings indirectly for about 35-40 minutes, flipping as needed. Your target temperature is about 165°F internally. This may take longer, just be watching.
Step 3: Sear to Finish
Once the wings hit that target temperature of around 165°F, sear them directly over the coals to finish.
Watch carefully and rotate to make sure they do not burn. This is a time when you need to stand by the grill and micromanage them.
Cook the wings until crispy, around 180-185°F.
Sauce and Toss
Have your Mexican buffalo sauce handy, it’s time to get messy.
Pull the wings off the grill and place them in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over and gently mix the wings with either tongs or by tossing the bowl carefully.
Don’t get mad at me if you lose a wing. I warned you not to toss the bowl too hard.
Toppings and Variations
You could stop here, no one would judge you. Mexican buffalo wings do not need more toppings, they are delicious on their own.
However, I like to take the extra mile. If you are a dipping person, then keep your crema or blue cheese on the side.
- Crema & queso – Drizzle some Mexican crema and sprinkle with queso fresco or cotija. This also helps to tame some of the heat.
- Blue cheese dressing – Yes, it works here too. It’s SO good with the Mexican buffalo sauce.
- Herbs – Try topping with cilantro, green onions, fresh parsley, or other herbs. Add right before you serve so they are the freshest.
- Pickled jalapenos – Don’t worry, they aren’t typically as spicy as they sound. The bright flavors are usually more mellow than fresh jalapenos and cut through some of this heat. Try the Smoked Pickled Jalapenos for a fun twist.
More Wing Recipes to LovePrint
- 2 pounds of chicken wings
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 teaspoons celery salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1 cup Mexican buffalo sauce
- Crema and queso fresco for garnish (optional)
- Mix the ingredients for the spices in a bowl and set aside.
- Place the wings in a resealable plastic bag and pour the oil in. Mix the wings to make sure they are completely coated with the oil. Add in the spices and repeat, making sure the wings are fully coated with color from the spices. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
- Preheat a grill or smoker for indirect cooking at 350°F. Remove the wings from the fridge and allow them to warm up at room temperature as the grill heats up.
- If using a charcoal grill, add some mesquite wood chunks or chips for an added smoke flavor.
- Place the wings on the grill away from the heat to cook them indirectly. Close the lid and allow them to cook for about 30 minutes undisturbed. Check on the wings and rotate them as needed, making sure they cook evenly. Continue to cook this way for another 15-20 minutes or so until the wings reach 165°F.
- Move the wings over the coals directly to crisp them. Cook and flip the wings until they are about 180-185°F and crispy on the outside. If using a pellet smoker, increase the heat to 400-425°F for this step.
- Remove the wings from the grill and place them in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the sauce and carefully toss the wings to fully coat them. Serve immediately, optionally topping with crema and queso fresco.
- Make sure the buffalo sauce is not cold when tossing it with the wings.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Marinate Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Chicken & Poultry
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: Appetizer
Keywords: chicken wings, Mexican buffalo sauce, buffalo sauce, grilled chicken wings, buffalo wings