How to Keep Chicken Wings From Sticking To Foil (On the Pellet Grill)

One of the most frustrating things about making chicken wings at home is that they often stick to the foil and need a lot of work to get them off. It makes you wonder what are you doing wrong? Is the grill too high? This article will show you how to prevent this from happening!

How to Keep Chicken Wings From Sticking to Foil? (Summary)

To prevent the chicken wings to the foil while reheating on the grill, you can try using any of the steps below.

how to keep chicken wings from sticking to foil

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof method that will stop the chicken from sticking.

However, the methods below will keep most of the wings from sticking, and you won’t have to worry about losing a lot of the meat on the foil.

  • Wrap tightly: Use the correct size of foil to ensure no moisture or air gets inside the foil while on the smoker.
  • Don’t use cheap foil: Not all aluminum foil is created equally therefore you want to use high-quality Reynolds Aluminum Foil for grilling foods.
  • Use the right side: Place the wings on the non-stick or duller side of the foil.
  • Coat the foil: Coat the foil with a light coat of olive oil or non-stick spray to prevent sticking.
  • Crumble the foil: Crinkle the aluminum foil a little bit before wrapping the wings and the ridges will prevent the sticking.
  • Go skinless: Consider going skinless, since it’s the skin that sticks to the foil.
  • Use butcher paper: Many people in the smoking and grilling communities are replacing foil with butcher paper.
  • Watch the Temperature: If the temperature is too high or you cook the wings over direct heat, it can cause the wings to stick to the foil.

But this only summarizes the problem of the wings sticking to the foil. The details are more in-depth and specific. read on to find out how to fix the sticking problem.

Wrapping wings on the smoker should only be used for reheating.

If you’re smoking the wings, they should be cooked on the grill without aluminum foil. Be sure to check out this step-by-step article on cooking wings on the Pit Boss.

How to Prevent Wings from Sticking to the Grill? (Detailed)

Wrap The Wings Tightly

The main purpose of wrapping food in foil is to lock in moisture and prevent it from drying out. It also helps the food cook more evenly.

Improperly wrapped food will cause the heat and air from the smoker, gas grill, oven, etc to wash away the oil, causing the wings to stick and become dry.

The key is to completely cover the food with aluminum foil to minimize the loss of moisture.

Some moisture will inevitably escape through the cracks of the aluminum foil, but most will stay inside.

Use The Right Side

There have been huge debates on which side of the aluminum foil to cover the food with. This video talks about the online debates and which side to put on your food.

To prevent sticking, cover the wings with the dull side, shiny side of the foil facing out.

You can also use non-stick aluminum foil to prevent sticking problems. Nonstick foil is coated with a special food-safe non-stick coating that is perfect for linking pans, wrapping foods, without having to spray before using.

The food will lift right off without leaving a mess. When you’re shopping for Aluminum foil to use for grilling, choose the one that has “Nonstick” on the box.

Avoid Brittle Foil

Not all foils are made equal, therefore, not all will hold their structural integrity when exposed to high heat. Avoid using cheap aluminum foils when you’re cooking over high heat.

Not only is your food more likely to stick to cheap foils, but cooking with cheap foils can break down over time creating a rougher surface on your grill.

Check the aluminum foil for any type of imperfections such as; tears, bulges, or bumps. Imperfections of any kind can cause friction which will lead to the food sticking.

Coat the Aluminum Foil

If you don’t have nonstick foil, you can make your own. Tear a sheet of foil to cover the wings. Next, spray the dull side or the side that will be touching the food with PAM cooking spray.

Place the wings on the coated side of the aluminum foil. Then fold the foil until it covers all the wings completely and you can’t see any holes. When you take the wings off the grill, they won’t be sticking to the foil.

Crumble the Foil

A reliable method that works is to crinkle the foil before using it. This reduces the amount of surface area of tin foil that comes into contact with the chicken because it produces ridges in the foil. The more surface that comes into contact with the food, the more chances it will stick.

One way to do this is to tear off a piece big enough to cover the wings. Then crinkle the foil just enough to where there are some ridges and it is still useable, careful not to cut yourself from the sharp edges.

If you crinkle it too much, you won’t be able to use the foil without tearing it.

Go Skinless

Next time you smoke wings opt for skinless, especially, if you expect to have leftovers. The skin is the part of the wings that stick to the foil. Not only will it be easier to reheat the leftovers, but skinless wings are a healthier option.

Use Butcher Paper

Some people are replacing aluminum foil with butcher paper because it’s said to be a healthier option and you don’t have to worry about the food sticking.

The downside is that butcher paper is great for long cooks like a brisket, but may not work for reheating chicken wings.

Unlike aluminum foil, butcher paper does not trap moisture and may cause the wings to become dry.

Watch the Temperature

When reheating the wings on the pellet grill, they should be reheated at a temperature of 350°F over indirect heat. If the temperature is set too high, it will cause the wings to stick.

When the grill is set at a low temperature, it will cause the wings to stay on the grill too long, which can also cause them to stick or become dry.

Check out my step-by-step guide on reheating wings on the pellet grill.

Final Word

Any of these methods will work for reducing the chances of the wings sticking to the foil. But the method that works best for me is to use the nonstick side of the foil and coat it lightly with oil.

When you unwrap the food, be careful while opening it. If the wings are stuck, you should be able to peel the wings away from the tin, make sure you use a pair of tongs so you don’t burn yourself.

Just use a small amount of pressure and don’t just rip it off, otherwise, you’ll lose more than just the skin.

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