Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings

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If you’re in the mood for smoked chicken wings, why not make the best crispy smoked chicken wings ever? These wings combine the best of both worlds. You get all of that tasty smokehouse flavor but with extra delicious crispy skin!

extra crispy smoked chicken wings slathered in wing sauce on a wooden cutting board

Smoked Chicken Wings

I consider myself a connoisseur of smoked chicken wings, and the point of perfection has got to be how to achieve tender and juicy meat while getting that crispy crunchy skin on the outside. There are several methods I’ve tried and each produce the desired effect with a different cooking process.

I’ve cooked wings that require a drying time in the fridge and others that are smoked and then flash fried. Both give me crispy skin, but the first method takes a bit of planning ahead and deep frying can be quite messy. The smoked chicken wing recipe I’m showing you today is by far the easiest of the bunch in terms of prep time, and it requires the least steps. And the final result is awesome: you get the perfect doneness inside and mega crispy skin outside.

How to Smoke Chicken Wings

Scroll below for my full, printable recipe card on how to smoke chicken wings, then check out these tips below to help you make the best crispy smoked chicken wings ever:

  1. Start with super dry chicken wings. Pat down the chicken wings with paper towels to get all moisture off of the skin. You want these nice and dry.
  2. Toss the wings in baking power and salt. Please note, you need to use baking powder, NOT baking soda. The baking powder helps remove all the moisture from the skin of the wings so they can crisp.
  3. Smoke your wings at a lower temperature to start. You can really use any wood you like with wings. This step helps render the fat from under the skin, add in loads of smoky flavor, and dry out the skin.
  4. After smoking you will need to increase the heat to really crisp that skin. If you’re using a pellet smoker, you can simply turn up the temperature. If your smoker can’t jump up in temp quickly, your best bet may be to move the wings to a preheated oven. Place the wings on an elevated cooking rack above a baking sheet to catch drippings if you’re finishing these in the oven.
  5.  Toss in your favorite sauce or serve plain. If you do decide to sauce, simply toss the wings in sauce that has been heated through to avoid cold sauce softening the crispy skin.

How Long to Smoke Chicken Wings

It takes less than a hour to smoke chicken wings with your smoker running at a consistent temperature. For this recipe, smoke the chicken wings for 30 minutes at 250 degrees F. Next, increase the heat to 425 degrees F until the wings reach 175 degrees F internal temperature.

Make sure to use a thermometer to check for doneness (this is my favorite instant read thermometer). Wings are actually best cooked to 175 degrees F, instead of the usually recommended 165 degrees F for chicken. The higher temperature breaks down some of the tight connective tissues in wings and makes them fall-off-the-bone tender. Plus, the wings are fatty enough to stay nice and juicy.

smoked chicken wings covered in Buffalo sauce on a wooden cutting board

Best Sauce for Smoked Chicken Wings

I always recommend using flavors and sauces you like best, so when it comes to saucing up these wings, you can’t go wrong with anything you choose.

I’m a big fan of Buffalo sauce on my wings. To make awesome Buffalo sauce for wings, simply heat 1 cup of Buffalo sauce and 2 Tablespoons of butter. Warm the sauce and butter over medium heat and stir until combined. Don’t bring the sauce to a boil or the butter will separate from the sauce. If you like BBQ sauce on your wings, you’ve got to give my Apple Jalapeno BBQ Sauce a try!

More Smoked Chicken Wings Recipes

Looking for even more delicious smoked chicken wings recipes? You’ve come to the right place! Hey Grill Hey LOVES making chicken wings, and we have quite the variety to please any palate. Check out these smoked chicken wings recipes below for more wing goodness:

Smoked Then Fried Chicken Wings
Honey Heat Smoked Chicken Wings
Smoked Jerk Chicken Wings

Smoked Chicken Wings Recipe

Follow the recipe, and I’ll teach you the simple steps to making your own smoked chicken wings at home. Hey Grill Hey is dedicated to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. You can find more of my smoking and grilling recipes and videos on YouTubeInstagram, or our Facebook Page.

Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings

By: Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)
4.72 from 53 votes
If you're in the mood for smoked chicken wings, why not make the best crispy smoked chicken wings ever? These wings combine the best of both worlds. You get all of that tasty smoke-house flavor but with extra delicious crispy skin!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Servings6 people

Video

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Ingredients
 

  • 5 pounds chicken wings flats and drumettes
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Dry your chicken wings thoroughly on all sides with a paper towel. Place them in a zip top bag.
  • Add the baking powder and salt to the wings, close the bag, and toss to coat evenly.
  • Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F using your favorite wood. Place the wings directly on the grill grates, close the lid, and smoke for 30 minutes.
  • Increase the heat in your smoker to 425 degrees until the internal temperature of the wing reads 175 degrees F.  You can rotate or flip the wings as needed to maintain even cooking and avoid any hot spots on the grill.
  • Remove the wing from the grill and serve. You can serve plain, toss in your favorite BBQ seasoning, or hot sauce.

Notes

I adapted my recipe for Smoked Chicken Wings from Nagi at RecipeTin eats. If you want an oven version of this recipe, check it out here: https://www.recipetineats.com/crispy-oven-baked-chicken-wings-honey-garlic-sauce/

Nutrition

Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 157mg | Sodium: 541mg | Potassium: 823mg | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 241mg | Iron: 2.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

**This post was originally published January 2019. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

About

FOUNDER/BBQ BOSS LADY

Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Reader Reviews

188 Reviews

  1. Jean Pierre Lewis says:

    Can you smoke the crispy chicken wings on a gas grill?

  2. Jeff E says:

    Hey Susie. Just found your site after getting a new Traeger pellet grill. I really like your recipes and how you explain them.
    Question about crispy chicken wings. If I wanted to try the skins a little more by letting them sit out in the refrigerator for a while but I want to toss them in the baking soda and salt first or put them on a rack in the fridge first and then toss them just before putting them on the grill?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      You could let them sit for around 30 minutes.

  3. Mike says:

    First time making wings tonight on my pellet smoker. Wings were sooo good. Fantastic recipe! So easy!

  4. Jim says:

    I seek your recipes over others. I appreciate what you do and my family enjoys the results!! Thank you.

  5. Jeff says:

    Along with the salt, I also added pepper, garlic, a touch of ancho chili powder and a small dash of cayenne pepper to the baking soda. Smoked with hickory chips for at least an hour and then finished baking in the oven. Tossed small portions in different sauce per family member request. The hickory flavor is good and forward but pairs well with most sauces, buffalo and bbq especially! Will definitely be doing this again!

  6. Toby says:

    Awesome Recipe!
    Thank you

  7. Scrub Harvey says:

    475 started my smoker on fire. Bad idea. Charcoal chicken wings…

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Sorry to hear that happened to you. The recipe says to smoke at 250 for the first smoke and then 425 for the second half.

    2. John dinkleburg says:

      Bro you’re just dumb af

    3. Koll says:

      That’s only happened to me one time when there was too much residual grease in my smoker. I’ve since been meticulous about keeping a clean smoker, especially when cooking briskets and pork shoulder weekly.

  8. Chris Noblett says:

    I love how the baking powder makes them crispy. Just be sure to shake off the excess or they get a little chalky. I have a hot wing rub I like so I sprinkled them with that before shaking in corn starch. All in all, great recipe.