Nashville Hot Chicken using the Vortex

I recently made ‘fried’ chicken on my Weber Performer grill using the Vortex insert. The chicken came out fantastic, which inspired me to then try making Nashville hot chicken in much the same way. Wow, oh wow, was it absolutely great chicken. Lightly crunchy, and a little spicy, it was a dish to remember. This method is definitely a great substitute for the traditional way of making Nashville hot chicken in a deep fryer.

I used split bone-in chicken breasts when I made this Nashville hot chicken. It’s our preferred cut of chicken, but you can use any cut you like. Just keep in mind that if you mix pieces that are greatly different in size some may be done before others. Smaller pieces can be checked for doneness after the 45 minutes cooking time.

Also check out my recipe for making ‘fried’ chicken using the Vortex.

5 from 1 reviews
Nashville Hot Chicken using the Vortex
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8 servings
 
Ingredients
For the dry brine
  • 3 pounds chicken cut into pieces (I used 4 large split bone-in breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
For the dip
  • 1 cup milk (I used buttermilk) Note: If you have pickle juice on hand, use 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup pickle juice instead
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
For the dredge
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
For the spicy coating
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-3 tablespoons cayenne pepper (I used 2 and found the flavor to be perfect, and not too terribly hot)
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For serving
  • Dill pickle slices
  • White bread slices
Instructions
For the dry brine
  1. Season chicken and place into a baggie or resealable container.
  2. Seal and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
For the dip
  1. Whisk together the milk, eggs and hot sauce in a pie pan or shallow bowl.
For the dredge
  1. Whisk together the flour and salt in a pie pan or shallow bowl.
For cooking
  1. Fire up your grill with the Vortex insert full of charcoal.
  2. Let the coals get good and ashed over.
  3. Working in batches, dredge the chicken in the flour. Shake off excess.
  4. Dip chicken into the milk mixture. Shake off excess.
  5. Return the chicken to the flour and dredge again. Shake off excess.
  6. Transfer chicken to the grill, placing it along the edges of the grill.
  7. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes.
  9. Brush the chicken with the spicy coating. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes
  10. Brush the chicken with the spicy coating. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes
  11. Check for doneness. Remove when done and let rest 10-15 minutes before serving.
For the spicy coating
  1. Heat the oil in a small saute pan.
  2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Keep warm until ready to use.
For serving
  1. Serve garnished with dill pickle and white bread slices, if desired.

‘Fried’ Chicken using the Vortex

This is the first time I tried making ‘fried’ chicken using the Vortex insert on my Weber charcoal grill. I use my Vortex a lot for making chicken wings, which are always fantastic, but I wasn’t sure how mimicking that great fried flavor would come out. Well, my worries were completely unfounded because the chicken came out absolutely fantastic. I swore I was eating chicken right out of a deep-fryer. Great Southern-inspired coating, tender meat and yes, very, very crunchy skin.
Since this was my first time I didn’t want to over-crowd my Performer with chicken. But now that I’ve got the process down, I could’ve easily added a few more pieces. And you don’t have to just use split bone-in chicken breasts like I did. Wings, legs, thights… you name it, all will come out great ‘fried’ using the Vortex. Just don’t let the pieces overlap, because wherever they touch, they won’t get crispy.

Making ‘fried’ chicken (some folks call it KFC – Kettle-Fried Chicken) on the Vortex really can’t get any easier. Also, check out my Nashville hot chicken recipe for the Vortex!

5 from 1 reviews
'Fried' Chicken using the Vortex
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (or whatever cuts you prefer)
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (you can use smoked paprika for more grilled-like flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Kettle grill with the Vortex loaded with charcoal. Don't start cooking until the cools are all lit and starting to ash over.
  2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients in a large baggie.
  4. Lightly brush the chicken with vegetable oil.
  5. Working in batches, place chicken pieces in the bag. Seal and shake. Shake off excess.
  6. Transfer chicken to the grill along the edges, skin-side up.
  7. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, turning the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes.
  8. After 45 minutes lightly brush the chicken with more vegetable oil. Use caution as the grill will be hot. Note: If you are using pieces other than split chicken breasts, you'll want to rotate the pieces at this time.
  9. Cover and cook another 15 minutes or until the chicken hits 160 F.
  10. Remove and let rest and come to 165 F before serving.

Buffalo Wings using the Vortex

I love the Vortex insert. I’ve had one for quite a while, using it to cook entire family packs of great chicken wings on my Weber Performer grill. But sometimes I don’t need 4 or so pounds of wings. I just need to cook enough for one or two people. That’s where the smaller Vortex comes in. It fits perfectly into my Weber Smokey Joe grill, making for some dynamite buffalo wings!
Buffalo Wings using the VortexOf course you can use the Vortex for more than just Buffalo wings, and on more than just a charcoal grill, but I bought mine to make wings. Wings. Wings. And more wings. And it does wings great. Super high heat makes for super crispy tasty wings in the end, with about as little effort as you can possibly get.

5 from 1 reviews
Buffalo Wings using the Vortex
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • A Vortex
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes (tips saved for making broth)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Buffalo seasoning
  • Frank's wing sauce
Instructions
  1. Place the wings into a large resealable container or baggie.
  2. Add the oil and seasoning. Seal and shake to coat well.
  3. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
  4. Light a charcoal chimney full of charcoal. Alternatively, you can fill your Vortex with charcoal and light them inside the unit.
  5. Let the charcoal get fully ashed over.
  6. Place the Vortex into the center of your grill and add in the charcoal.
  7. Open the bottom vents on your grill by 1/3, while keeping the top vent open completely.
  8. Close the gill and let it get hot, about 15 minutes.
  9. 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.
  10. Close the grill and cook for 15 minutes.
  11. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook for another 15 minutes.
  12. Flip the wings. Rotate another 90 degrees and cook 15 more minutes.
  13. Check if the wings are as crispy as you like. If not, rotate another 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes.
  14. Brush the wings with wing sauce and cook 5 more minutes.
  15. Flip wings and brush with more wing sauce. Cook 5 more minutes.
  16. Transfer wings to a bowl and toss with more wing sauce, if desired.
  17. Serve with dipping sauce.

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.

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
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 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.
Instructions
  1. Place the wings into a large resealable container or baggie.
  2. Add the oil and seasoning. Seal and shake to coat well.
  3. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
  4. Light a charcoal chimney full of charcoal. Alternatively, you can fill your Vortex with charcoal and light them inside the unit.
  5. Let the charcoal get fully ashed over.
  6. Place the Vortex into the center of your grill and add in the charcoal.
  7. Open the bottom vents on your grill by 1/3, while keeping the top vent open completely.
  8. Close the gill and let it get hot, about 15 minutes.
  9. 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.
  10. Close the grill and cook for 15 minutes.
  11. Rotate the lid 90 degrees and cook for another 15 minutes.
  12. Flip the wings. Rotate another 90 degrees and cook 15 more minutes.
  13. Check if the wings are as crispy as you like. If not, rotate another 90 degrees and cook another 15 minutes.
  14. Transfer wings to a bowl and toss with the wing sauce.
  15. Serve with dipping sauce.