Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings

January 27, 2020

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 for 45 minutes, or 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.

Need some rubs and sauces to go with these wings? Patio Provisions sells Hey Grill Hey Signature products for a great price. Best of all? We deliver them straight to your door!

smoked chicken wings
Print Recipe
4 from 8 votes

Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings

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 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked Chicken Wings
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 457kcal
Author: Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)

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 F and continue cooking for 45 more minutes, or 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.

Video

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

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

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60 thoughts on “Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings

  1. These sound so yummy! My family is hooked on the sauce recipe that goes on top of your “jacked up” smoked meatloaf, so needless to say… I’ll be tossing the wings in that sauce. My daughter and husband could put that sauce on everything!

  2. Unbelievable. Never have I had such a delicacy. Tossed them in a Savory, Honey, Garlic Sauce. Thanks for the recipe! I also joined the Grill Squad yesterday, love your Hey, Fit Grill ebook!

  3. Hi Susie – I want to use a dry rub instead of a wet. Should I add that when I do the baking powder? Or after they are done smoking?

  4. 425 degrees for 45 minutes to finish seems like a long time at that temp. Is that really the time and temp needed? Don’t they dry out or burn?

    1. So I followed this recipe and checked out of an abundance of caution at 38 minutes in, and nearly all of the wings were at 205ish degrees with charred, burnt, black skin. I bet they were probably done closer to 20-25 minutes at 425.

      1. I had to adjust the cooking time. I smoked ours at 250 for 30 min then set the temp up to 450 for about 20 min and they were done. Since we have an adjustment to keep our smoker on a low setting i turned it back down to rest.

        1. Agreed. 45 mins at 450 was way too long for me. Charred the wings. Really like 15-20 mins would be fine I think, depending on how quick the smoker jumps temp.

    2. Made these today. I hate rubbery and saucy wings. Slight variation but mostly the same. We added dry rub to the baking powder. 1/2 Cajun and 1/2 garlic parm. They were great and very crispy. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Some people, I understand about 20%, find the taste of baking powder very off putting, with a strong metallic taste. This is due to the aluminum sulfate. Aluminum free baking powder is readily available. I can tell no difference, except the metallic taste is gone.

  6. I hosted a group of 15 young men at my house and used this recipe. I cooked over 50 wings and could have cooked more!! Several people commented on the fact that these were the best wings they had ever had!

  7. I’m looking forward to making these this weekend! Should I plan to smoke these with an indirect heat method and keep the wings on a cool side or have the heat on the perimeter and wings in the center. I’m using a kettle-style grill, and not a real smoker.

    Thanks!

  8. Sounds delish… Any further suggestions when using an electric smoker?

    Do I remove the wood chips before turning the temp up to 425?

  9. Crisp smoked chicken wings. Great recipe for some people an members of my family. Everyone said it tast great, but for me something was off. Not sure if it is the baking powder or what. Tastes great but then some kind of flavor I can not describe. It will make you not want to eat anything. An example is if you fixed a sprite to drink an upon drinking it. It tasted like sprite but the after taste was wasabi. It did not taste like wasabi that was an example.

  10. Could you use this very same method for smoking drumsticks instead of wings? I have a lot of drumsticks to smoke on the Traeger tomorrow and I’d like to try these tips (though I really want to try wings next!) Thanks for the great information!

  11. My pellet smoker only goes to 350. Should I just transfer to the oven or will 350 get it done? Thinking they may not get crispy enough.

  12. Smoked 40 party wings using this recipe and method.

    I ate 38 of them while watching football.

    I will never ever buy pre made wings ever again.

  13. I’m getting ready to smoke my first batch of hot wings. I normally make them by marinating the wings in zesty Italian salad dressing and Louisiana hot sauce for 8 hours and cook them on my Weber charcoal grill basting the wings the last 20 minutes and when I pull them off the grill. 1 hour and 10 minutes total cooking time. Cook them over medium heat (375-400) and fire cools down due to fat and marinating sauce dripping on the charcoal.

    I just purchased my first smoker for Thanksgiving Turkey and 1 trial run (Chicken breast) the week before. Both meals came out fabulous. My wings cooked on the Weber have always been the hit of my party, juicy, moist and crispy skin, usualy for football games (Packers) and everybody always loves them. So now I am excited to try something new on my smoker. I am planning on using the same marinating recipe with a bowl of water underneath them. They may or may not come out with crispy skin which is a must when make my hot wings. If they do not come out crispy, will remove the bowl of water when I turn the temperature up from 250 to 425.

      1. I ended up leaving the wings in my smoker while the temperature was heating up. They did get done quicker than expected, but I was monitoring them. They ended up great. My wife bragged about how good they were and she ate most of them. I used frozen wings and let them thaw out before putting the seasoning on them. I will have to get a bigger bag of wings the next time.

        Thanks

  14. Me too. I took these to a party and they were a hit. I’ve made them several times since and this is now my go to recipe. I use a Pit Boss Pellet Grill and set it to 200 because it fluctuates a bit. The raise it to 400 for about 25 minutes. I’ve tossed them is just about every sauce Food City sells and have never been disappointed.

    Hey Grill Hey, you rock.

  15. I had the same experience last night. The chicken meat was great but the skin was like rubber. Smoked at 250 for 30 minutes. Finished them in the oven at 425 but I had to pull them after 25 minutes since the chicken meat had passed 175 in temp. I guess I will let them go longer next time and watch so they don’t burn. The fat was still rendering when I pulled them. Plus I could see some fat on the back of the skin as I peeled it away.

  16. Any ‘do ahead tips’ ?
    I prefer to watch the game, rather than fuss with watching for flare-ups, temp variations, etc.
    If I did the low temp smoking part of your method before the game starts, but saved the high temp oven part for the 2nd quarter, would that affect the crispness of the wings?

  17. Another Home Run from following your recipes/tips.

    Thanks for all you do, used to have a large number of sites I would use to get my BBQ recipes and guidelines but now it’s just HeygrillHey!!

  18. Well you are awesome, I first used your smoking temps and time for ribs and my wife and friends say they keep being the best they ever had. So I decided to try your wing temp and time, I have my own rub I make and marinate all my stuff over night, and again praise from family and friends that they are the best ever. Keep up the great work cause I can’t wait to try more of your stuff and waiting for new ones. Also I have found being in different states you have to adjust time and temp but that’s easy.

  19. I just got finished eating these wings! The smoke on the wings is awesome. My Camp Chef grill had the wings well above temp in about 20 minutes after turning up to high. The next time I will start checking the wings about 15 minutes after turning the temp up. The baking powder does the trick. The wings were crispy. This is my new go to recipe for wings. AWESOME, thanks!

  20. Hi Susie. If I cut the wings in half I should cut the baking powder and salt in half also, correct ?
    Thank you,

  21. Made them yesterday. Put my own BBQ sauce on them. They were crispy and amazing flavor. They didn’t last 5 minutes at my niece and nephews graduation party. Definitely will be making them again. Some of the best wings I ever had.

  22. I made these tonight and they were phenomenal! I did 30 minutes at 250 and 30 minutes at 450. Any longer would have been been too long. So crispy.
    Thank you for the recipe.

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