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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 model comes in. It fits perfectly into my Weber Smokey Joe grill, perfect for making dynamite Buffalo wings using the Vortex!
Note: I think Vortex has stopped making the smaller sized unit for small grills like my Smokey Joe. No worries, just get the model that fits yours.
Of 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.
I see sometimes people like to add cornstarch or baking powder to their wings to get them more crunchy. I honestly haven’t found this to be necessary. The high heat and long cook times make the skin perfectly crunchy without the trouble.
TGI Friday’s makes a great bottled wing sauce that is perfect on wings made using the Vortex.
Buffalo Wings using the Vortex
- 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.
- Brush the wings with wing sauce and cook 1-2 more minutes.
- Flip wings and brush with more wing sauce. Cook 1-2 more minutes.
- Transfer wings to a bowl and toss with more wing sauce, if desired.
- Serve with dipping sauce.
Nutritional values are approximate.