Sticky BBQ Canadian chicken wings.

Crispy Maple Glazed Canadian Chicken Wings on the Weber Kettle With the Vortex

Jump straight to the recipe.

Canadian chicken wings are like the polite cousins of their American counterparts.

Instead of being smothered in fiery sauces they politely apologize for inconveniencing your taste buds and offer you a sweet and sticky alternative.

So, if you want a wing experience that’s as friendly as a Mountie on a horse, Canadian chicken wings are the way to go, eh?

In This Recipe

Sticky Canadian chicken wings on a cutting board.

What Are Canadian Chicken Wings?

Canadian chicken wings are chicken wings that have been marinated in real maple syrup for that extra touch of Canadian sweetness. They are sticky, sweet, and delicious.

Picture this: crispy chicken wings glazed with a sticky, sweet maple layer, each bite transporting you to the heart of Canada. Perfect for game day, a family BBQ, or any day really!

Are you excited? I know I am! Let’s dive in and see what makes these wings a Canadian treat.

Chicken wings, maple syrup, salt, pepper, garlic powder, spices on the table ready to combine.

What Ingredients Do You Need?

Ah, the foundation of any delicious dish, the ingredients!

Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need to whip up these finger licking wings.

Main Ingredients

  • Chicken Wings: The star of the show. Preferably fresh and organic for the best taste.
  • Maple Syrup: Make sure to use genuine Canadian maple syrup. It’s the soul of this dish, giving it that unmistakable sweetness.
  • Seasonings: This includes the likes of SPG(salt, pepper, garlic powder). You can also use your favorite rub or seasonings like onion powder, and perhaps a dash of paprika for that extra kick.

Optional Ingredients for Dipping Sauces

  • Ranch Dressing: A creamy complement to the sweet and savory wings.
  • Blue Cheese Dressing: For those who love a tangy twist.
  • Hot Sauce: Add a dash (or more, if you dare!) for a fiery kick. We like to do the Hot Ones method. We have a variety of sauces and like to add them individually to the wings as we eat them.

Gathering the ingredients is like assembling the cast for a blockbuster movie. Once you have everything in place, you’re ready to create magic in the kitchen!

Preparing the Wings

Chicken wings in a foil pan.

Cleaning the Wings

First and foremost, cleanliness is key.

Rinse the chicken wings under cold water to remove any debris or residual feathers.

Then, pat them dry with a paper towel. Making sure they are dry helps in getting that crispy texture later on.

Trimming Wing Tips and Drumettes

While some people love the whole wing, others prefer them separated into the drumettes and wingettes (“flats”).

To separate them, find the joint between the two parts and use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut through.

You can also remove the wingtip, saving it for stocks or broths.

Sometimes they already come split, like the ones I am using today.

Handling and Safety Precautions

Chicken, as with all poultry, requires careful handling. Always wash your hands before and after touching raw chicken.

Avoid cross contamination by using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods.

When marinating, never reuse the marinade from raw chicken unless it’s boiled.

There’s a sense of satisfaction in preparing the wings just right. They’re now ready to soak up that scrumptious maple marinade and become the Canadian delicacy we all adore!

Kirkland Canadian maple syrup.

Making the Sticky Maple Chicken Wings Marinade

I’ll never forget the first time I stumbled upon the magic of maple syrup in marinades.

When the syrup kissed meat hit the grill, it sizzled and caramelized, creating a crust that was both sweet and savory.

The first bite was a revelation, an explosion of flavors that danced on the palate.

Maple Syrup: The Star Ingredient

There’s no denying it, maple syrup is the essence of this marinade.

Its natural sweetness beautifully contrasts the savory flavors of the chicken.

Ensure you’re using authentic Canadian maple syrup for that genuine flavor profile.

Additional Flavor Enhancers

While maple syrup is undeniably the hero, other ingredients elevate the marinade.

Feel free to make it your own and add in your wing flavor favorites.

Think minced garlic for that aromatic punch, a splash of soy sauce for depth, or a sprinkle of chili flakes for a hint of heat. 

Today, I am going with one of my favorite BBQ rubs, Dizzy Pigs Dizzy Dust.

The balance between sweet, savory, and spicy is the key!

Marinating Duration and Tips

Time is of the essence.

For the flavors to meld beautifully, marinate the wings for at least 2-4 hours. If you can let them sit overnight in the refrigerator, even better!

Just ensure you turn the wings occasionally so every part gets an even coat of that delightful marinade.

I’ve often found that the longer the wings marinate, the deeper the flavors penetrate. Making every bite a flavorful explosion.

Trust me, once you’ve tasted wings marinated in this concoction, there’s no turning back!

Seasoning chicken wings with dizzy pig dizzy dust bbq rub.

Seasoning the Wings

There’s an art to seasoning.

The right amount can elevate a dish to new heights, while too much or too little can fall flat.

Our maple marinade is a wet one, but adding a complementary dry rub before marinating or just before grilling can introduce a new layer of complexity.

Seasoning Tips and Tricks

  • Balance Is Key: Too much of any spice can be overpowering. Always aim for harmony between flavors.
  • Freshness Matters: Whenever possible, opt for fresh herbs and spices. Their aroma and potency are unmatched.
  • Experiment and Personalize: Everyone’s palate is unique. Don’t hesitate to tweak the seasoning to your liking. Maybe a hint of smoked paprika? Or a touch of cumin for warmth?
  • Dry Brining: Dry brining chicken involves rubbing it with salt and allowing it to rest for a period of time. It enhances its flavor and moisture retention. This method not only seasons the meat deeply but also results in crispier skin when cooked. Try dry brining before soaking in the marinade.

Personalizing the Flavor Profile

Seasoning isn’t just about following a recipe, it’s about making the dish your own.

While traditional Canadian chicken wings have their signature taste, don’t shy away from adding your spin. Perhaps a sprinkle of freshly chopped rosemary? Or a dash of zesty lemon pepper?

The world of seasoning is vast and exciting. It’s where you can let your culinary creativity shine, making those Canadian chicken wings truly one of a kind!

Vortex filled with hot coals in the middle of a weber kettle grill.

Setting up the Weber Kettle With the Vortex

Do you hear that? It’s the sizzle and pop of chicken wings on a hot grill.

There’s an unmatched satisfaction in grilling with fire, and using a Weber Kettle with the Vortex makes getting crispy chicken wings foolproof.

When I first got my Weber Kettle I was looking into accessories to up my game. I was introduced to the kettle/vortex combo in a YouTube video, and let me tell you, it was a game changer!

Introduction to the Weber Kettle and Vortex

The Weber Kettle is a classic charcoal grill, renowned for its versatility.

Pair it with the Vortex(a cone shaped insert) and you’ve got yourself a setup that creates an intense indirect heat zone.

This means crispy wings with a beautiful smoky flavor.

Assembling and Positioning the Vortex

1. Placement

Position the Vortex in the center of your Weber Kettle’s coal grate with the wide side down.

2. Loading Charcoal

For our wings, lump charcoal is recommended for its high heat and authentic smoky flavor. I don’t have any lump, so I am using Kingsford Blue Briquettes for this cook.

When it comes to filling the vortex with charcoal you have two options:

  1. Fill your chimney with charcoal and once it’s ashed over dump it into the vortex. This is the method I went for this time.
  2. Fill the vortex with unlit coals and ignite it from the top with a torch or fire starting tumbleweed or cube. 

3. Temperature Control and Maintenance

Maintaining the right temperature is crucial. Aim for around 375°F (190°C) to 400°F (205°C).

The Vortex design aids in consistent heat distribution.

If you find the temperature dipping, you might need to add more charcoal. But I have found a chimney full of charcoal is plenty to cook a batch of wings.

If it’s too hot, adjust the bottom vent of your Weber to reduce airflow.

Setting up the Weber Kettle with the Vortex might sound technical. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever grilled wings without it.

Those perfectly crispy, smoky wings will be well worth the effort!

Close up of chicken wings on the grill grate of a Weber Kettle.

How To Get Crispy Skin on Chicken Wings

The soul of a perfect chicken wing lies in its crispy skin.

Achieving that golden, crunchy exterior is a dream for many.

Let’s delve into the art of ensuring our Canadian chicken wings boast that coveted crispiness:

Patting Dry vs. Air Drying

  • Patting Dry: Before marinating or seasoning, always pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels. This simple step removes excess moisture, paving the way for crispiness.
  • Air Drying: For even better results, let the wings sit uncovered in the refrigerator for a few hours. This process dries out the skin further, making it super crispy when cooked.

Baking Powder Method For Extra Crispy Chicken Skin

A trick that many chefs swear by!

Lightly dusting the wings with baking powder (not baking soda!) before cooking can transform the skin’s texture.

The baking powder raises the skin’s pH, allowing it to brown more quickly and get crispy. Combine it with your dry rub for the best results.

Dry Brining Chicken Wings

Dry brining is a culinary technique that’s both simple and transformative.

It involves sprinkling salt over the chicken wings and allowing them to rest, typically overnight (12-24 hours is ideal). 

This process achieves two things:

  1. It seasons the meat deeply.
  2. It helps it retain moisture, ensuring juicy wings with every bite.

The Science Behind It

  1. Salt, when sprinkled over the chicken, draws out the meat’s moisture.
  2. This moisture then dissolves the salt, creating a brine.
  3. Over time, the chicken reabsorbs this brine, leading to seasoned and tenderized meat.

Flipping and Basting for Crispy Perfection

Consistent turning ensures even cooking.

Every 15-20 minutes, give those wings a flip to ensure all sides get that golden brown finish.

If you’re basting with additional marinade or sauce, do it during the last 10 minutes of cooking to avoid making the skin soggy.

There’s an unparalleled joy in biting into a chicken wing and hearing that satisfying crunch.

With these tips, your chicken wings will not only be flavorsome but also boast that delightful crispy skin!

A close up of a weekender wrist watch on a mans wrist.

How Long To Cook Chicken Wings

Chicken wings take 20-40 minutes at 400°F (205°C) depending on their size and if they are separated.

As the saying goes, “Patience is the key to perfection.” And nowhere is this truer than in the world of BBQ.

Let’s dive into the intricacies of cooking our wings to perfection:

Grilling With the Vortex

Given the intense indirect heat of the Vortex, chicken wings tend to cook faster.

Typically, they’ll need around 20-30 minutes.

This can vary based on:

  1. The size of the wings.
  2. If they are split into flats and drumettes.
  3. The exact temperature of your grill.

Oven Baking Method

Not grilling?

No worries! If you’re baking the wings in an oven:

  1. Preheat it to 425°F (220°C). 
  2. Place the wings on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet to allow for even air circulation.
  3. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they’re golden brown and crispy.
Temp probing chicken wings with the probe reading 173.8 degrees Fahrenheit

Checking for Doneness

Regardless of your cooking method, safety first!

The internal temperature of the wings should reach at least 165°F (74°C) when measured with a meat thermometer.

I like to take them to 175°F (80°C) to ensure the skin is crispy and get a little pullback so they are easy to strip off the bone. Don’t worry, the chicken is still juicy at this temperature.

Another sign of doneness is when the juices run clear, and the meat pulls easily from the bone.

Time and temperature go hand in hand when crafting the perfect wing.

So, whether you’re grilling in your backyard or baking in your kitchen, keeping an eye on the clock and a thermometer close by will ensure your Canadian chicken wings are cooked to mouth watering perfection.

Unique Twists on Chicken Wings

Let’s explore some innovative ways to jazz up our beloved wings:

Candied bacon wrapped chicken wings.

Candied Bacon Wrapped Wings

Imagine this: the sweet and savory fusion of Canadian chicken wings wrapped in crispy candied bacon.

It’s a flavor explosion in every bite.

Just wrap each wing in a strip of bacon coated with brown sugar and a pinch of cayenne, then grill or bake until crispy.

It’s a marriage of flavors made in heaven!

Poutine Inspired Wings

Channeling Quebec Canada’s iconic poutine.

Why not drizzle your wings with a rich gravy and top with cheese curds?

It’s a delightful blend of crispy, gooey, and savory. A guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Smoked Maple Glaze

Add a smoky dimension to the sweet maple glaze by incorporating smoked paprika.

The result? Wings that have a deep, smoky undertone, complement the sweetness of the maple.

Trying out these unique twists not only showcases your culinary creativity but also ensures your guests will be raving about your Canadian chicken wings for weeks to come!

Forgotten Flavor Enhancers

Sometimes, the most powerful flavors are the ones often overlooked.

This got me thinking about the unsung heroes in the world of chicken wings.

Let’s rediscover some of these underrated flavor enhancers:

Freshly picked herbs rosemary, thyme, and sage sitting on a cutting board.

Infusing Herbs and Spices

Beyond the usual suspects like salt and pepper, consider infusing your maple marinade with fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or even a hint of sage.

Spices like star anise or cardamom can also introduce a unique flavor profile to the wings.

Incorporating Canadian Cheeses

While cheese isn’t a traditional topping for wings, sprinkling a bit of sharp Canadian cheddar or crumbled blue cheese can add a delightful creamy contrast to the sticky sweetness of the wings.

Unique Dipping Sauces

Ditch the standard ranch and blue cheese dips.

How about a tangy cranberry dip? Or perhaps a creamy maple mustard sauce?

Exploring unconventional dips can elevate the wing eating experience.

By embracing these forgotten flavor enhancers you’re not just making wings. You’re crafting a culinary masterpiece that resonates with layers of taste and tradition.

Addressing Common Issues

Health Conscious Options

It’s undeniable that traditional BBQ wings might not align with everyone’s dietary goals.

For the health conscious:

  1. Consider grilling instead of frying for fewer calories and less fat.
  2. Opt for a low sugar maple syrup alternative or reduce the quantity in the marinade.
  3. Serve with a side of fresh veggies to balance the meal.

Cooking for a Crowd

Making wings for a large gathering can be daunting.

Some tips:

  1. Prep in batches: Marinate and season wings a day in advance.
  2. Use multiple grills or ovens if available.
  3. Keep finished wings warm in a low temp oven till serving time.
Cauliflower wings a popular vegetarian alternative.

Vegetarian and Vegan Alternatives

While chicken wings are inherently non vegetarian, there’s room for inclusivity:

  1. Offer cauliflower wings, a popular vegetarian alternative. They can be prepared similarly and are delicious when coated with maple marinade.
  2. Ensure vegan friendly dips and sides are available.

Addressing these concerns ensures that everyone, regardless of their preferences or dietary restrictions, can partake in the joy of a BBQ experience.

Step By Step Cooking Instructions

Having traveled through the vast landscape of Canadian chicken wings, it’s now time to bring all that knowledge together into a comprehensive recipe.

Ready to embark on this culinary journey from the comfort of your kitchen? Let’s get started!

Chicken wings, maple syrup, salt, pepper, garlic powder, spices on the table ready to combine.

1. Gather Your Ingredients

Ingredients Checklist:

  • Chicken wings: Fresh and organic, if possible.
  • Maple syrup: The genuine Canadian variety for authenticity.
  • Seasonings: SPG (Salt, pepper, garlic powder), and your favorite rub or other seasonings.
  • Dipping sauces: Ranch, blue cheese, hot sauce, or any other of your choice.

2. Gather Your BBQ Tools

Tools & Equipment Checklist:

  • Grill (preferably Weber Kettle with a Vortex) or oven.
  • Tongs
  • Meat thermometer
  • Paper Towels
  • Wire rack (Optional)

3. Preparation

Clean and trim the chicken wings by rinsing them in water as discussed earlier above. Pat dry or air dry for crispiness.

Pouring Canadian maple syrup on chicken wings.

4. Marinade

Combine maple syrup with chosen seasonings and herbs.

Marinate the wings for 2-4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator for best results.

5. Grilling

If using the Weber Kettle with Vortex, set it up as outlined above. Otherwise, preheat your grill or oven to the desired temperature of 425°F (220°C).

Canadian chicken wings spread around the vortex on the weber kettle grill.

6. Cooking

Place wings on the grill or in the oven, ensuring they’re not overcrowded.

Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, and crispy.

Check their temp with your meat thermometer and pull them when the internal temperature reads 165°F (74°C) – 175°F (80°C).

Temp probe checking the temp of a chicken wing on the grill.

7. Serving

Serve hot with chosen dipping sauces and a side of fresh veggies or salads.

Pairing Suggestions: Pair these succulent wings with a cold Canadian beer or a refreshing iced tea. The combination of the sweet and savory wings with a chilled beverage is truly divine!

Canadian Chicken Wings Recipe Card

Crispy Canadian Chicken Wings on the Weber Kettle With the Vortex

Recipe by Pitmaster RyanCourse: BBQ RecipesCuisine: CanadianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Marinate Time

2 – 4


Canadian chicken wings are marinated in real maple syrup and are sure to be a hit with all wing lovers. The vortex accessory for the Weber Kettle makes getting crispy skin easy peazy.


  • 2 lbs of fresh chicken wings

  • 1 cup (240ml) genuine Canadian maple syrup

  • 1 tbsp sea salt (for dry brining)

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • Cooking oil (for grilling or baking)

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

  • Your BBQ Rub of choice (optional)


  • Dry Brine the Wings: Clean the wings and pat them dry. Sprinkle salt evenly over each wing, covering all surfaces. Place them on a rack set over a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  • Prepare the Maple Marinade: In a mixing bowl, combine maple syrup, black pepper, garlic powder, and the rest of your chosen spices. Stir until all ingredients are well integrated.
  • Marinate the Wings: Take the wings out of the refrigerator and place them in a large bowl. Pour the maple marinade over the wings, ensuring each wing is thoroughly coated. Cover and let them marinate for 2-4 hours, or overnight for a deeper flavor.
  • Cooking the Wings
    Grill: Preheat the grill on medium heat. Lightly oil the grill grates. Place the wings on the grill and cook for about 15 minutes on each side, or until they have a nice char and are fully cooked through.
    Oven: Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Place the wings on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, flipping halfway, until they’re golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Serve the wings hot, drizzled with any remaining maple glaze if desired. They pair well with a cold Canadian beer or a side of fresh vegetables.

Recipe Video


  • For an added kick, consider adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the maple marinade.
  • These wings can also be enjoyed with various dips, from classic blue cheese to tangy cranberry sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 2 types of chicken wings called?

The two types of chicken wings are called drumettes and flats or wingettes

What is the difference between drum wings and flat wings? 

Drum wings (or drumettes) are meatier and resemble a small drumstick. Flat wings (or wingettes) have two bones and a flatter appearance.

Why are chicken wings so expensive in Canada?

Chicken wings are expensive in Canada due to supply management, which controls production and imports to stabilize prices. Additionally, factors like high demand, production costs, feed prices, and supply chain challenges contribute to the cost.

What is the chicken wing chain in Canada?

Wild Wing is a popular chicken wing chain in Canada.

What makes a Canadian chicken wing?

A Canadian chicken wing often features flavors and ingredients popular in Canada, such as maple syrup.

Do You Like Watching Hockey While Eating Chicken Wings?

I do! Wings make the perfect game day snack. They have universal appeal and are sure to be a hit at your next party.

That wraps up our journey through the world of Canadian chicken wings.

If you’ve enjoyed this tantalizing trip, don’t forget to Subscribe to our mailing list to cook perfectly crispy wings!

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