Makes 24 wing pieces, serving 4 to 6.
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated, July 1, 1999.
Use a grill that is large enough to hold all the wings over roughly one-half of the rack surface. Brine the wings while the grill fire heats up to save time.
3/4 cup kosher salt (or 6 tablespoons table salt)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
12 whole chicken wings (about 2-1/2 pounds), wingtips discarded, and wings
separated into two sections
Freshly ground black pepper
1. In gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag, dissolve salt and sugar in 1 quart water. Add chicken; press out as much air as possible from bag and seal; refrigerate until fully seasoned, 30 minutes. Remove from brine, rinse well under running water, dry thoroughly with paper towels, and season with pepper.
2. Meanwhile, build a two-level fire in grill by igniting one large chimney (or about 6 quarts) of charcoal briquettes; burn until completely covered with thin coating of light-gray ash. Empty coals into grill and spread in even layer over bottom; place another three-quarters chimney full (or scant 4 quarts) of fresh briquettes over one-half of lit coals (pile should come to within about 2-1/2 inches of grill rack).
(If using hardwood charcoal, ignite about 10 quarts of charcoal and, once it is completely covered with gray ash, use fireplace tool to push about 3/4 of it to one side of grill.) Position grill rack over coals; heat until very hot, about 10 minutes.
3. Grill chicken pieces over lower-heat area (with single layer of coals), turning once, until color is light spotty brown, skin has thinned, and fat has rendered, 8 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, move chicken pieces to high-heat side of grill; grill, turning constantly to prevent charring, until wings are dark spotty brown and skin has crisped, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
4. Transfer to serving platter and serve immediately, with a squeeze of lemon or lime, or with an accompanying dipping sauce, if desired.