Tailgating with Joe Drozda: Cooking and heating food

Crispy oven baked buffalo wings are a classic for any tailgate. (Submitted photo)

Crispy oven baked buffalo wings are a classic for any tailgate. (Submitted photo)

Commentary Joe Drozda and Bob Bley


In the 1600s, the Caribbean Arawak tribe was cooking meat on sticks laid over a fire.  They called this process “barbacòa” and this was the forerunner of the American Bar-B-Q.  Two hundred years later, BBQ came to the southeastern United States, where pigs were cooked by pit-roasting before eating.  The charcoal briquette was patented in 1897 By Ellsworth Zwoyer.  After WWII, in the postwar boom in suburban lifestyle of the 40s, open outdoor grills become a backyard fixture.  The iconic Weber grill was born 1952 by George Stephen.  In the ‘60s, in a bid to get customers to buy more natural gas, employees of the Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company redesigned a charcoal grill to run on bottled propane.  These resulting broilers have led us to today’s tailgating grills.

If you look in a 2015 tailgating lot you’ll see mostly gas grills using those little dark green 16 oz. propane cylinders.  This is because portable gas grills have been designed and improved to be easy to use, easy to pack and affordable.  This season we have two adjacent tailgate parties, next to ours, using identical Coleman Road Trip Grills.  Although we have a newer version Coleman NXT300 version of that same grill, we see more and more of these, and less charcoal.

A most popular item for a tailgate party is crispy buffalo wings.  We experimented in our own kitchen and have found the perfect crispy recipe.

Crispy Oven Baked Buffalo Wings

Ingredients: (4 Servings)
2.5 lbs. chicken wings
I Cup FRANK’S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wings Sauce
2 cups flour
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Wash wings and clip off their tips with poultry shears (or knife).  Cut wings at the joint into two parts each.  Put wings on paper towels to dry.  In a gallon size re-sealable plastic bag put in two cups of all-purpose flour and a tablespoon of kosher salt and teaspoon of black pepper.  Place wings in the flour bag and coat them with the mixture.  Remove the wings with tongs, shaking off excess flour.  Place wings on a sheet pan rack with the pan below.  Place pan into the oven and bake 35 minutes.  Remove wings and place them into a bowl of the buffalo wing sauce to coat them slightly. Replace the wings onto the rack and cook them five or ten minutes more until they crisp slightly.
Remove the wings and let them cool.  Then place them in the refrigerator overnight in a zip bag.  On game day re-sauce and heat the wings on your grill in a disposable aluminum pan.  Serve with celery and blue cheese or ranch dressing.