3 Amazing Wing Recipes for Your NASCAR Tailgate Party

September 04, 2015 Gameday Tips

Tailgate season is upon us!

If you are at the track having fun before the race begins, you have to have something delicious to eat. What’s one of my favorite things to bring? Wings. Whether you smoke them, grill them or deep-fry them, wings are always a crowd pleaser. They’re easy to make, easy to eat and really satisfying. At a tailgate, you have a few things to consider: space, time and people to feed. There are some fantastic ways to get wings to hungry race fans with minimal mess and equipment.

They’re easy to make, easy to eat and really satisfying

Buffalo Tradition The traditional way to make wings is to deep-fry them—that’s what they do in Buffalo, where the wing originated. If you have a portable fryer (like the one you might use for turkeys at Thanksgiving), you can deep-fry at a tailgate. However, it can be a little unsafe, and who wants to carry around all of that oil? If you want a traditional Buffalo wing experience without the mess, try grilled Buffalo wings. Grilling adds a nice, smoky flavor and really improves upon tradition. I love the marinade, which is garlicky and packs a little heat, and the homemade blue cheese dressing will persuade you to never buy the stuff from a bottle again.

Memphis Dry-Rub Have you ever tried dry-rubbed wings? A dry rub is a blend of spices—such as paprika, chili powder, mustard and even a touch of brown sugar for sweetness. In Memphis, that’s how they do barbecue, and wings are an easy way to bring the taste of Memphis to your NASCAR tailgate. All you do is put your wings and the dry-rub in a plastic bag, shake the bag to coat the wings, and then let them sit in your refrigerator for two hours or overnight. Put them on a hot grill, and you have tasty, spicy, unique wings that don’t even need sauce!

Sugar & Spice Do you like things spicy and sweet? Want to surprise your friends at the track with something a little different? Try these delicious wings. If you’ve never used chipotle chili powder, you’re in for a treat. It adds a rich, smoky heat that you can’t get anywhere else. These wings are dry-rubbed with chipotle pepper, sugar and a few other spices, and then grilled. Coat them with a buttery, honey-sweetened barbecue sauce, and then finish them on the grill for a sweet glaze that balances out the smoky wings. They’re a little different, but they are certain to become a fan favorite. Trust me; people will ask for them at the next race!

Grilled wings are the way to go for NASCAR tailgates this season. Play around with spices and create unique sauces—use our recipes as a guide, and make them your own.

* Tip: Looking for more race-day inspiration? Learn how to rule your next tailgate, or check out our collection of Gameday recipes.

Meet Julie Niesen

View all articles by this author