1st Vortex Wings, Timing Issues


TVWBB Member
Used my DIY vortex last night for the first time on some wings. Going into it I wasn't sure how long they would take, looking around I seemed to find numbers ranging from 40mins to 1hr40mins, both of which seemed too long to me since it would be at high heat. Here's how it went.

Set up:
Lump charcoal in the vortex. A foil packet of small apple wood chunks for smoke (didn't have any big pieces left and figured the small ones would burn up instantly if not wrapped in foil).
I foiled the charcoal grate around the vortex, for two reasons:
1 - catch drippings from the wings
2 - force all (well, most) of the air flow to go through the vortex.

We had six wings w/the drumlets attached. Used a few different rubs on them. FYI, Weber's Kickin' Chicken rub is kickin' indeed! Too spicy for my wife, almost too spicy for me, I'll do a lighter coating next time.

The vortex does generate some great heat, my dome thermometer was showing over 600*F. Not sure if it pegs out (meaning the temp could have been higher) or if it'll keep going. It's the highest temp I've achieved yet with the kettle for sure. That's with the lid on all the way (no air gap) and the vents wide open.

Put the wings on and set a timer for 20mins, when I'd check on them and flip them. They smelled amazing as soon as they went on the grill haha.

When the timer went off the wings were basically done! Two of them that had a peach bourbon rub were BLACK, that rub doesn't stand up to high heat apparently. We had just put some fries in the oven, so I didn't want to take them off yet. I flipped them, and closed the vents way down and set another timer for 15mins. When that timer went off the grill temp was just below 300*F and I took 'em off.

Next time I think I'll let them run for 10mins, flip, and then give them 10 more minutes. How are folks cooking them for nearly two hours without burning them to a crisp??

They tasted great! Even the two that were black haha.

On the grill they go.

Done. Not the best pic, should have taken one outside with better lighting.



TVWBB Olympian
When I do wings on my kettle, they're on for about 90 minutes. I'm probably running in the 400's temp wise. I don't sauce my wings on the BBQ, that's probably what's giving you the blackened appearance. I marinade my wings for at least a day in buffalo sauce, when I put them on, I dust them with a season salt based rub and that's all that goes on them until they come off. If anyone wants sauce, I provide it in a cup that they can dip. Towards the end of the cook, I put the cup on the BBQ to get heated / smoke flavoring

Dustin, your wings look great! I'd be all over them

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Barb and I just did the peach bourbon wings and three others and had no problems.
Did you baste them toward the end or apply the sauce at the start if that's what you did because of the brown sugar that probably burned. I applied the sauce at the 20 and again at the 30 minuet marks. Total cooking time was 40 minutes . Only difference was I used KBB, but the setup was the same.
Here's a link to the cook.


TVWBB Member
I didn't use any sauce, just a dry rub on everything, applied right before I put them on the grill. Two of each:
In order as shown on the cutting board, top to bottom:

Peach Bourbon (picked up at a local smoked meat joint)
Dizzy Pig Raging River
Weber's Kickin' Chicken

Don't get me wrong, they turned out great (we ate every bite), but I think at such a high temp I could have pulled them off at 20mins and they would have been just as good or better.

Rich - do you remember what temp yours kettle was running at?
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TVWBB Wizard
Using the true medium Vortex on my 22 with a well-lit overflowing standard chimney with KBB and all vents 100% open: I split my wings into thirds and discard the tips. I rub and do not sauce. I place them at the outer edge of the 22, touching its bowl. I rotate my exhaust vent throughout a 40-45 minute grill and do not flip (I might experiment with a flip, soon, though feel no real need aside from wings+Vortex feels too easy). As I pull I analyze the skin and selectively choose to drop some of them directly above the Vortex for 10 seconds for more crispness. I sauce in the kitchen. I have Never had black wings. I never add foil to catch drippings; a plastic putty knife after each cook is quick and easy. I am not a pro.
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Rob VA

TVWBB Member
I do pretty much like BFletcher.
Just dust, no sauce.
My temps are between Pegged and 500.
Don't flip, don't open lid, just rotate every 15min or so.

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Dustin_G;782167 Rich - do you remember what temp yours kettle was running at?[/QUOTE said:
Right around 425- 450 per the dome thermometer. Never used lump in the vortex but I bet it runs much hotter than KBB.
Your peach bourbon was a rub and ours was a glaze, so comparing apples to oranges.

Robert McGee

TVWBB Gold Member
The dome temperature really tells you little in this situation. In fact, I remove my lid thermometer to keep it from "dying" from possible over temps (it is right over the "volcano cone") and in no way helps you to determine what the temperature is where the wings cook. I put my Maverick probe on the grate when I cook the chicken. Using Kingsford Original, the temps were 437 degrees. I flip my wings at 20 minutes, then look again in ten minutes and again when appearance calls for it. Larger wings take longer as do thighs and drumsticks.

I have been using Weber's Kick'n'Chicken liberally applied after brining for 30 minutes to an hour, patting dry, and using Olive oil, then applying the rub. The next time I do wings, I plan to use a light coat of real mayonnaise then apply the rub. I am expecting a bit more moisture in the wings and a better browning (just a bit better than I have been getting (only wonderful:rolleyes:).

I put a chunk or two of Applewood on the food grate centered over the fire of the Vortex.

I go for crisp skin and have no problem with dryness of the meat as long as I don't overcook them.

I am a BIG Vortex fan:


Back on point, the O.P.'s wings look FINE!

Keep on smokin',


TVWBB Wizard
I have a vortex for the JJ. Load up the wings around it, & let rip for about 50 minutes, rotating every 15 mins. Big lump of one's choice of timber on the cooking grate above the vortex. Snipped tips, & no flipping. Cooking temp +/- 420f.
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Pat G

TVWBB Gold Member
Medium Vortex on the Performer. Fill the Vortex to the top with lit KBB, naked wings, flip at 25, usually done at about 50, spun with sauce. I usually don't pay much attention to the thermo, I know it's very hot in there. I did some wings with lump the last time and I pulled them at 40 minutes, probably should have pulled them at 35. The lump definitely cooks them a little quicker than the KBB.

BTW your wings look great!

Ben Hunt

TVWBB Member
I do wings with vortex almost every week. 3/4 chimney of lit kbb. 22" kettle. Bottom vents slightly open. Grate temp of 375 degrees. Wood chunks placed directly over vortex. Wings are drums and flats. Rubbed. On for 15 min. Flip and let them cook 20 more min. Internal temp between 185 and 200 degrees. If I sauce, they are tossed in sauce after cooking. Perfect every time. Check my IG for photos and setup. Instagram.com/maidennc3
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