Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

I am a huge fan of barbecue sauce.  My absolute favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s Original sauce.  When I began making my dietary changes I finally paid attention to the ingredients in my favorite sauce, and it made me want to cry.  The first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, and it also contains corn syrup and sugar.  So, not only can I not have my milk, I can’t have the sauce that I dip almost any meat into.  For me it has been hard to find replacement BBQ sauces that are acceptable with my diet, especially at the local grocery store.  There are a few out there that I can tolerate, but I have come to accept the fact that they will never be Sweet Baby Ray’s.

My husband has gotten into smoking meat in the last year.  The first time we had chicken wings on the smoker I made a “homemade” wing sauce with Sweet Baby Ray’s, ranch dressing, Frank’s Red Hot, butter, parmesan cheese, and garlic.  They were amazing; however, I now don’t eat 3 of the 5 ingredients.  So, when my husband found this recipe I was anxious to try it.  Excited “anxious,” as well as a little scared “anxious.”


When I was first making the sauce, I got a huge “whiff” of it and almost threw it away.  It smelled so strongly of vinegar, and the smell of any vinegar makes me instantly want to gag (as well as the taste).  I reluctantly poured it over the wings and we tried it anyways.  I didn’t make the same mistake twice, and the second time we made these I intentionally kept my face away in order to not smell it 😉  However, since we made them again you can guess that they turned out to be very good.

The recipe was taken from:



  • Desired amount of chicken wings, separated
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos (I have found these at Kroger and Jungle Jim’s)
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (I added more, we like garlic!!)
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger

1.    Heat honey, lemon juice, water, coconut aminos, vinegar, garlic and ginger in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Turn heat down to low once it starts to simmer and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.
2.    Pour sauce over chicken wings (we put the wings in a large ziplock bag and then poured the sauce over them).  Let marinade in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
3.    Place wings on smoker and cook for 2-3 hours or until desired internal temperature is reached (use a meat thermometer, ours were cooked to ~164 degrees).

These were the first EVER chicken wings that I did not have to dip in any sauce.  This is a huge thing for me!!  Between the smoked flavor and the marinade the taste was able to speak for itself without slathering them in condiments.  The original recipe also gives an oven-baking option, which I think would be good as well, probably a little “saucier” and “stickier,” and it would work when it is not desirable weather for smoking/grilling and if you don’t have a smoker.  I think these would make a great dish for New Year’s celebrations and Super Bowl parties that you don’t feel guilty about eating a lot of!!  🙂


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