“Chicken wings are a BBQ standard but, for me, I often find they are too sticky and dripping in too much sweet sauce. These are a bit of an antidote.” – James Whetlor 

SUITABLE FOR: All BBQs and the tandoor



100ml/scant ½ cup coconut milk
2–4 fresh bird’s eye chillies (or another fresh chilli
as you prefer)
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges
1kg/2lb 4oz chicken wings
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a blender, whizz the coconut milk, chilli, garlic, sugar, paprika, olive oil and lime juice to a smooth sauce, adding a generous amount of salt and black pepper to taste.

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and arrange in a bowl. Season lightly with salt and coat in half the marinade, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight if possible.

When ready to cook, preheat the BBQ to a medium heat. 

Lay the chicken pieces on the grill over the heat in a single layer and bake for about 30 minutes or until the skin has turned crispy and the meat is cooked through. While cooking, baste the chicken with the reserved marinade two or three times. 

Serve with lime wedges on the side.

Reprinted with permission from The DIY BBQ Cookbook; How to Build You Own BBQ and Cook up a Feast by James Whetlor  (Quadrille, £20), 2023, Photography by Sam Folan

Check out our interview with James Whetlor to learn more about DIY BBQs. 

About The DIY BBQ Cookbook

Whether you want to cook a BBQ on the beach, at a campsite, in your garden or even on your balcony, James Whetlor showcases over ten different BBQs you can actually build yourself.

You’ll never use a store-bought instant BBQ tray again, as James guides you through the DIY BBQ section with illustrations, photographs, tips and techniques. BBQs include a konro (a small portable Japanese grill), a washing machine drum BBQ, a tandoor oven made from a flowerpot, and an open-faced grill made from bricks or breeze blocks. Once you’ve mastered the art of barbecue building, there are 50 stunning recipes that you will turn to time and time again. 

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