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These smoked chicken wings are cooked with sweet smoke and low temps giving you tender, fall of the bone wings with crispy skin!
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All about these smoked chicken wings
Whether you’re new to using a smoker or you’re a backyard pit master, this recipe is guaranteed to become a new favorite. Some of the reasons why we absolutely love this wing recipe:
- Pellet Grill: using an electric smoker makes it easy to get perfect wings every time! Although, this recipe can be followed with any smoker. Smoke times can vary depending on the type o smoker used.
- Rub: a sweet and spicy dry rub guaranteed to make mouthwatering wings.
- BBQ Sauce Glaze: brushing bbq sauce on before the last step of broiling the wings (or grilling at a high heat) creates a caramelized glaze that will have you licking your fingers clean.
- Chicken Wings: purchase drumettes, flats or the whole wings.
- Dry Rub: a homemade rub is made with a combination of salt, light brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, granulated garlic, granulated onion, cayenne and black pepper.
- Oil: avocado oil is a great neutral tasting oil with a high smoke point.
- BBQ Sauce: use your favorite store bought or homemade sauce.
How to Make
- Prep the chicken wings, if you bought whole wings, you will need to separate the wing, drumette and tip by cutting between the joints.
- Pat dry using a paper towel or clean towel, pat the chicken wings dry.
- Drizzle with oil and evenly coat the wings with the dry rub.
- Smoke at 225 degrees F for approximately 1 hour until the wings reach an internal temperature of 175 degrees F.
- Place the wings on a wire rack on top of a large baking sheet, brush with BBQ sauce and broil for 3-4 minutes until the skin is crispy.
Best Wood For Smoking Chicken
- Hickory (small amount mixed in with another, otherwise it’s too strong)
Crispy Skin Tip
If your smoker can get up to temperatures of 475-500 you can finish off the wings on the smoker or grill instead of broiling in the oven. The high temps is what is going to crisp up the skin on these smoked chicken wings.
How Long to Smoke Chicken Wings
Meat should always be cooked to internal temperatures and not according to time. Since chicken wings are dark meat, they actually are more tender when they are cooked to an internal temperature above 175 degrees F up to 195 degrees F. At this temperature the collagen breaks down and creates a more tender bite.
The approximate time to smoke chicken wings at 225ºF is 1 hour to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Chicken wings are small and difficult to probe for internal temperatures since there’s not much meat. Look for visual cues of done-ness such as the fat under the skin bubbling, the skin turning crisp, and the meat pulling off of the bone.
You need to start with thawed chicken wings. If the wings are frozen when placed in the smoker, the smoke will not go through the skin.
Due to the short time needed to smoke wings, there is no need to spritz them.
Rubbery wings happen when they are not cooked to a high enough internal temperature. Chicken is safe to eat at 165 degrees F. However, dark meat is best when cooked to a higher temperature allowing the collagen to breakdown. Cook legs, thighs and wings to 175-195 degrees F.
What to Serve with Smoked WIngs
- Dip: wings are best served with a cold, creamy dip! Some classic options include Homemade Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing. Other options include this Avocado Ranch, Cilantro Lime Sauce, or cool Lime Crema.
- Salads: a cold, refreshing salad is the perfect partner for smoked meats. Some popular salad options include this Classic Wedge Salad, Southern Coleslaw, Mexican Street Corn Salad, and this Italian Pasta Salad.
- Potatoes: in all their forms! This Texas BBQ Style Potato Salad, Twice Baked Potatoes, Smashed Potatoes, and Creamy Mashed Potatoes.
Smoked Chicken Wings
- 3 pounds chicken wings
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup bbq sauce
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Preheat smoker to 225 degrees F.
- Pat the chicken wings dry using a paper towel and place on a large baking sheet.
- Drizzle the wings with oil and then sprinkle with the dry rub.
- Using your hands or tongs, toss the wings until completely coated with the oil and seasoning mixture.
- Place the chicken wings skin side up on the grill grates of the smoker.
- Smoke for approximately 1 hour until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 175-180 degrees F. (This may take more or less time depending on the thickness of the wings)
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Prepare a large baking sheet with a wire rack on top.
- Remove the chicken wings to the baking sheet placing the wings on top of the wire rack.
- Brush with the BBQ sauce.
- Broil the wings for 3-4 minutes until the skin is crispy and the sauce is caramelized on top.
- Remove and allow to cool for several minutes before serving.
- Serve with extra BBQ sauce for dipping.
- Smoker: this recipe was tested using an electric pellet smoker.
- Cooking Temperature: the internal temperature of the chicken wings should reach between 175-190 for tender meat.
- Best Wood Options: sweeter woods such as Maple, Apple, Cherry. Hickory can be used if mixed with something sweet so it’s not overpowering.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Photography by the talented ModernFarmhouseEats