Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wings


I’ll begin by quoting Neil Rankin

‘When you start getting serious over chicken wings,
you should start re-evaluating your priorities in life’

Wings are about getting messy, tasting great and for me most of all…….sharing.

Spicy, sweet, herby, garlicky, buttery, melt in the mouth chicken wings.  The stuff that BBQ dreams are made of.  This particular dream was inspired by a recipe from my friend and member of the UK BBQ community, Marcus Hender, and these buffalo ranch chicken wings are to die for!!  I have a bit of a thing for a chicken wing :)

I’ll be honest though, I was a little dubious when Marcus explained what the marinade consisted of, but the guy knows his food so I trusted him completely.  Now don’t be alarmed at the use of a whole bottle of hot sauce in the marinade, as the ranch dressing rounds out the heat leaving a really pleasant warmth that casually sidles up on your taste buds and gives them a big cuddle.  My two year old daughter virtually inhaled them!

If you follow the blog, you’ll know that I’m all about family friendly food that’s both simple and flavour packed.  This ticks all those boxes, as well as being a really inexpensive part of the chicken.  I urge you to try these.  And make more than you think you’ll need to avoid disappointment.  They disappear FAST!

Serves 4


2 kg chicken wings
1 bottle of Franks Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (148ml)
1 bottle of ranch dressing (I used Newmans Own 250ml)
A few tbsp of your favourite BBQ rub (optional)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp butter (I used smoked butter but don’t worry if you don’t have any)


An overnight marinade is best here, but a minimum of 4 hours will be ok.

I like to separate my wings into drumettes and winglets, saving the wing tips for making stock another day (throw them into a bag and stick them in the freezer).  But you can leave the whole wing in one piece, it’s entirely down to how you like to eat them.  I find that I can get a higher blue cheese dip to meat ratio doing it my way :)

Pop the chicken into a large zip lock bag (or a big bowl) and pour on the hot sauce and ranch dressing.  Massage the bag to combine.  Set aside in the fridge overnight.


I cook my wings on the BBQ, which I set up for indirect cooking at 300˚f/150˚c.  You could do them in the oven and finish them off under a hot grill though.

Remove the wing pieces from the marinade, shaking off any excess, and pop them onto a tray.   Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and set aside.  This next step is optional, but I sprinkled my wings with some amazing ‘Rib Tickler’ from Quiet Water Farm.  Use your favourite rub.

Once your grill is up to temperature, add a chunk of smoking wood if you like, something nice and subtle (see here for a Smoking Wood Guide) and then lay the wings on the indirect side of the cooking grate.  Smoke the wings for an hour.


While the wings are cooking put together the baste by adding the garlic to the remaining marinade and heat until piping hot.  Simmer for 5 minutes, add the butter and stir though to melt.  Alternatively, I just popped the marinade in a little balti dish with the butter and garlic and threw it on the BBQ with the chicken.

Once the wings have had an hour, give them a further 30 minutes basting twice in that time.  Your wings will be meltingly tender now.  To finish them off, give them a very quick flash over direct heat to char the skin a little.

Serve however you want.  They’re excellent with a simple blue cheese dip made up of

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


K x


23 thoughts on “Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wings

  1. Kelly, your blog bring a little sunshine to the grey and rainy days we are enduring here in Angus. I absolutely love your passion for food and good tasty recipes. Keep it up, I love opening my emails to find “dreaming of the good life” inspiration 😃 Roll on the summer!

  2. It’s as tho you’ve read my mind on favourite foods! Looks incredible, couldn’t wait, so marinating as I type. Will come close to the ‘Kellybab’ ? My family’s current favourite

    • The Kellybab (lol) is still the most viewed recipe on here Mark, but these wings are awesome I have to say. I only post recipes on here that we as a family love, so I always struggle to pick a favourite. It’d be like choosing between my children lol! Thanks for the support and please let me know what you think of them x

  3. Can you recommend a source of decent sized chicken wings in the UK? The ones I find are too small to make cooking them worthwhile, but yours seem bigger in the pics.

    • They weren’t huge Adam, but had plenty of meat. There were about 11 full wings in 1kg and I then separated them into winglets and drumettes (just the way we like to eat them) I think buying free range may provide you with larger wings, and buying from the butcher if he/can source them for you. But then I suppose it all depends on the size of the chicken in the first place.

  4. Hi Kelly. I followed your recipe and instructions but used thighs and drumsticks as they just happened to be on offer at the time. I did them on the BBQ with a few chunks of apple wood for smoke. Rachel and I both really liked them.
    A couple of days later, and I am just now, sat here eating the meat cold as a starter with very tasty spiralised courgette pesto feta sweetcorn salad thingy that Rachel made. Very nice it is too but the cold chicken really is superb. If you hadn’t guessed, this one is yet another thumbs up from me ! 👍🏻 Steve

  5. Fantastic. I’d never have thought of this marinade combination but as you say, Marcus knows his stuff and with your seal of approval, I’ll be doing these very soon.

  6. Tried these last week, but only half a batch as have a fussy eater in the house. After two mouthfuls, it was branded a huge success and a week later, I’m sat next to my bbq knocking up a whole batch. The sauce combo is just so more-ish. Thank you for yet another amazing recipe.

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