Tropical Tequila Fire Wings

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by El Yucateco Brand. As always, all opinions are my own.

Tropical Tequila Fire Wings are a healthier, tropical twist on your gameday fare. Baked in the oven and finished under the broiler or grill, these wings have a tastebud-tingling sweet, crave-worthy heat.

Platter of Tropical Tequila Fire Wings and a side of dipping sauce made with El Yucateco Habanero and Pineapple Hot Sauce

El Yucateco Hot Sauces

Six new flavors of hotsauce from El Yucateco hot sauces.

When the weather turns cooler (unless you’re here in Florida) and football season rolls around, I find myself thinking of new ways to make wings. Fortunately for me (and now, for you), my friends at El Yucateco sent me their new line of six amazing hot sauces! Each one is full of flavor and perfectly balanced. There’s a reason they’re #kingofflavor!

El Yucateco has been a pioneer in producing habanero-based hot sauces and marinades since 1968 when Mr. Priamo J. Gamboa O founded the company. They have thirteen sauces to choose from – seven classic and six NEW flavors – for the first time since 2016. 

Their new hot sauce flavor lineup includes Coffee and Habanero, Ghost Pepper and Habanero, Red Marisquera, Black Marisquera, Chiltepin and Habanero, and my favorite, Grilled Pineapple and Habanero.

It comes as no surprise that El Yucateco is the #1 habanero sauce in the US and ranks in the top 10 of all hot sauces in the US. There’s a flavor and heat level to meet every need, so check them out and order a six-pack sampler box

You can imagine my excitement as I sampled each of them, and my mind immediately started spinning with ways to use each one in new and exciting recipes – everything from cocktails to desserts.

Vertical closeup of a platter of Tropical tequila Fire Wings and a bottle of El Yucateco Habanero and Grilled Pineapple Hot Sauce.

Tropical Tequila Fire Wings

While I loved each of the new sauces, my favorite was the Grilled Pineapple and Habanero. It has a bright, sweet, fruity flavor with a hint of smoke from the grilled pineapple and a gentle, gradual heat that warms the back of your throat. Perfect for wings.

This recipe bakes the wings instead of deep frying them, making them healthier yet still flavorful. I used the hot sauce in the marinade, which was then boiled and reduced to make a glaze and dipping sauce. 

The wings can be packaged after baking and taken to your tailgating site to glaze and finish on the grill or under the broiler at home before guests arrive. I’ve included instructions for both. If your friends and family are anything like mine, they want their wings ASAP at the tailgating site. By baking the wings at home, you’re only using the grill to reheat the wings and get a char on the outside, getting them on the table in minutes. This will leave your grill available for all those brats and burgers.

These Tropical Tequila Fire Wings are seriously satisfying. So, grab a beer and a stack of napkins and dig into a pile of sticky, sweet, and spicy wings. 

White plate with two Tropical Tequila Fire Wings and a side of dipping sauce made with El Yucateco Habanero and Grilled Pineapple Hot Sauce.

Game Day, Tailgating, And Wings

Football is big, no matter what part of the United States you live in. However, in the South, SEC football is almost a religion. Birthday parties, showers, and even weddings are planned around the big game on Saturday. 

Then there’s the NFL. Profession football is a Sunday and Monday night tradition across the States, with millions of viewers. So, if you’re lucky, you can watch a great game on Monday, Thursday, and all day on Saturday and Sunday. If you have a football fanatic in your house like I do, that’s a lot of gameday food planning!

Whether for college or NFL games, tailgating, and Gameday Watch parties are much-loved traditions. There’s something about gathering with like-minded sports fans, with their combined energy, that makes the game AND the food more enjoyable. And what’s ubiquitous with tailgating or watch parties? Chicken wings! They’re budget-friendly, fun to eat, portable, and, when cooked properly, tender and delicious.

Ingredients Needed

  • Chicken wings – I like separate flats and drums, but whole wings may be easier to grill. You can purchase the wings already separated-either fresh or frozen. If using frozen wings, thaw them completely in the refrigerator before starting the recipe. Buying whole wings is cheaper, and butchering them into sections takes about ten minutes. I have instructions below.
  • Tequila – this helps tenderize the chicken and adds a bright, pungent note. The recipe will remain family-friendly; the alcohol will cook off, leaving only the flavor.
  • Limes – we’ll be using both the zest and the juice. The lime will add an acidic layer to the dish. It also has natural enzymes that help break down the protein in the chicken and tenderize it. Please don’t use bottled lime juice. It’s worth the time to juice fresh limes.
  • Pineapple juice – the pineapple juice will bring a sweet, slightly floral note to the marinade and balance out the acidity of the lime juice.
  • El Yucatero Habanero and Grilled Pineapple Hot Sauce 
  • Worcestershire sauce – adds a malted, vinegary flavor to balance out the pineapple’s sweetness.
  • Olive oil – the oil holds together the other ingredients, helps get an even distribution of flavor, and helps to keep the protein moist and juicy.
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Paprika – I used sweet paprika so the smoky notes in the hot sauce shine through.
  • Onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Habanero peppers
  • Cilantro – not a fan of cilantro? You can swap parsley or omit it.
  • Agave nectar – you can also use honey, granulated sugar, or the sweetener you choose. I like using the agave nectar to highlight the taste of the tequila.
  • Butter – used in the glaze. It adds richness and a beautiful, shiny sheen to the glaze.

Steps To Make This Recipe

Although it may look like a long list of ingredients, the recipe comes together quickly and easily. Here’s how to do it:

  • Make the marinade by whisking together all of the marinade ingredients.
  • Place the wings into a zip-top bag. Toss in the cilantro and sliced habanero.
  • Pour the marinade into the bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 90 minutes up to overnight.
  • Remove wings from the marinade and save the marinade.
  • Place wings on a baking sheet and bake for 55-65 minutes.
  • Boil the marinade until it reduces by half and thickens.
  • Brush the wings with the glaze and place under the broiler until they are golden and beginning to turn crispy.
  • Serve warm.

Tips for How To Separate Chicken Wings

Illustration showing a whole chicken wing and then the three sections - the wingette, the drumette, and the wing tip.

You can save up to 70 cents per pound on chicken wings by purchasing whole wings and separating them yourself. It can feel daunting, but with a bit of practice and a very sharp chef’s knife, you’ll be butchering and cooking your own wings in no time. Use the wing tips for stock to save even more money and not waste anything. Just toss them into a freezer bag and store them in the freezer. Here’s how to separate the wings:

  1. Stretch the wing out. You will have three sections – the drum, the flat, and the wing tip. Flip it over so the inside portion of the wing faces up so the joints are easily visible.
  2. Feel the ridge between the wing tip and the flat. Place a sharp knife between the ridge between the joints to slice through it. Discard or save the wing tip for stock.
  3. Separate the flat and the drummette. Place the knife between the joints and slice through. If you feel resistance, wiggle the knife slightly until you feel less resistance.
Top view of a white plate with two Tropical Tequila Fire Wings and a side of dipping sauce, both made with El Yucateco Habanero and Grilld Pineapple Hot Sauce.

Tips And Tricks for Cooking Chicken Wings

  • If you want to minimize the heat of the marinade, remove the seeds and veins from the habanero pepper. Remember that as you reduce the marinade, the flavors will intensify. So, that mild heat you get at the start will double or triple in intensity in the glaze.
  • Double the marinade ingredients to have enough marinade to make the glaze and a dipping sauce.
  • For extra crispy chicken skin, place a wire cooling rack over the baking sheet, spray it with cooking spray, and place the wings on the rack to bake. This way, the hot air circulates around the wing, so you don’t get the dreaded ‘soggy bottom.’
  • Be sure to boil the marinade for at least 5 minutes to kill bacteria. The marinade will take longer than that to reduce, ensuring any nasty e-coli are killed.
  • Dry the wings well with paper towels before baking them. This will help the skin turn crispy and golden.
  • Don’t put the brush you used to glaze the chicken back into the glaze, or it will contaminate the remaining glaze. Use a new brush or wash the used one in very hot, soapy water before using it again.
  • To take the wings with you to finish at your tailgating site, package the wings and glaze separately. Don’t forget to toss in a few brushes or spoons to glaze your chicken AND keep bacteria out of the remaining glaze.
  • If you’re finishing the wings on the grill, oil your grates to prevent the wings from sticking.

What To Pair With Tropical Tequila Fire Wings For The Perfect Gameday/Tailgating Party

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Tropical Tequila Fire Wings

  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Tropical Tequila Fire Wings are a healthier, tropical twist on your gameday fare. Baked in the oven and finished under the broiler or grill, these wings have a tastebud-tingling sweet, crave-worthy heat.



For the marinade:

  • 3 pounds chicken wings
  • ½ cup tequila
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (juice of 3 limes)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons El Yucateco Habanero and Grilled Pineapple hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 habanero pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

For the glaze:


Whisk together the tequila, lime juice, lime zest, pineapple juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, garlic, cumin, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

In an extra large zip-top bag, place the wings, sliced habanero pepper, and the minced cilantro.

Pour the marinade into the bag with the wings.

Zip the top and massage the marinade into the wings.

Place in the refrigerator for at least 90 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Remove the wings from the bag, reserving the marinade.

Pat the wings dry with paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray.

Lay the wings on the baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 50-55 minutes until golden on the top, and they register 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.

Meanwhile, make the glaze.

Strain the reserved marinade with a fine mesh strainer and add to a medium saucepan.

Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the agave syrup, hot sauce, and butter.

Simmer for another 5-7 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

When the wings come out of the oven, brush the glaze on all sides of the wings.

Place the wings under the broiler for 5 minutes, turning once or until the tops have caramelized slightly. 

Remove from the broiler and brush again with the glaze.

Serve hot with some of the glaze on the side for dipping.


Alternatively, preheat your grill to high.

Lightly oil the grates.

Place the wings on the grates and grill until they begin to lightly caramelize and char on all sides.

Brush the wings again on all sides with the glaze before serving.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Main Dish – Poultry
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: #kingofflavor, #NewFlavorExpansionPack, #ElYucateco, #sponsored, hot wings, wing recipes, grilled pineapple and habanero hot sauce, hot wings, game day food, game day recipes

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