Vortex Chicken Wings

If you follow our blog at all you know that I cook up a LOT of chicken wings. Sometimes I make them in the fryer, sometimes on the charcoal grill, sometimes on the gas grill, sometimes on the smoker, and often on the Char-Broil Big Easy. I even have a free eCookbook full of wing recipes.

I am always on a quest for the next best wing cooking idea. Recently, I discovered the best way for making crispy wings on the Char-Broil Big Easy, which came out fantastic. But, I was still looking for the best way to get crispy wings on my charcoal grill. That’s when I discovered the Vortex. The Vortex is an insert for your grill that let’s you concentrate the charcoal heat, making for an incredibly hot fire. As you can see below, the wings ring the Vortex, getting super hot and in just a while, crispy. And it couldn’t get any easier.
Vortex Chicken WingsI couldn’t be more happy with my Vortex purchase. I purchased the small-sized model, which works fantastic on my old 18″ Weber kettle and 22″ Weber Performer grills. A larger model is available for the 22″-26″ cookers.

The Vortex isn’t just for high-heat cooking of wings. Check out the Vortex web site for tons of other ways you can cook using the insert. Love Buffalo wings? Making them is easy using the Vortex.

Note: Since posting this, I’ve made wings on my Vortex hundreds of times. I’ve found that rotating the lid isn’t so critical (specially when cooking on a smaller grill such as the Jumbo Joe). For a little smoky flavor, throw a nice chunk of your favor wood (I like hickory or cherry) over the Vortex about 5 minutes before you put your wings on.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

Vortex Chicken Wings

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 4 -6 servings
Author Mike


  • A Vortex
  • 1 family pack 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes (tips saved for making broth)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup Cajun seasoning or your favorite rub
  • Your favorite wing sauce and dipping sauce.


  • Place the wings into a large resealable container or baggie.
  • Add the oil and seasoning. Seal and shake to coat well.
  • Refrigerate for 3 hours.
  • Light a charcoal chimney full of charcoal. Alternatively, you can fill your Vortex with charcoal and light them inside the unit.
  • Let the charcoal get fully ashed over.
  • Place the Vortex into the center of your grill and add in the charcoal.
  • Open the bottom vents on your grill by 1/3, while keeping the top vent open completely.
  • Close the gill and let it get hot, about 15 minutes.
  • Add the chicken as shown in the picture above. For the flats have the skin side up, and for the drumettes keep the meaty part away from the fire.
  • Close the grill and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook for another 15 minutes.
  • Flip the wings. Rotate another 90 degrees and cook 15 more minutes.
  • Check if the wings are as crispy as you like. If not, rotate another 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes.
  • Transfer wings to a bowl and toss with the wing sauce.
  • Serve with dipping sauce.

2 thoughts on “Vortex Chicken Wings

    • Hi Bob. I have been flipping my wings and rotating the lid for every cook… until recently. I stopped doing both and have noticed no difference in the wings. That’s on a smaller grill than the Performer (a Jumbo Joe) but I would expect the same results on a larger one. Until I can test it on my Performer I’m going to leave the post as is but I think you can get away without rotating or flipping.


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