If you’re in the mood for smoked chicken wings, why not make the best crispy smoked chicken wings? All of that tasty smoke-house flavor, but with extra delicious crispy skin!
Crispy 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 requires the least steps. Bonus, you get the perfect doneness inside and mega crispy skin.
How to Smoke Chicken Wings
These tips will show you how to smoke chicken wings with great crispy skin:
- Start with super dry chicken wings. I pat mine down with paper towels to get all moisture off of the skin.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Toss in your favorite sauce or serve plain. If you do decide to sauce, simply toss in sauce that has been heated through to avoid cold sauce softening the crispy skin.
How Long to Smoke Chicken Wings
Smoke the chicken wings for 30 minutes at 250 degrees F. Then increase the heat to 425 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until the wings reach 175 degrees F internal temperature.
Sauce for Smoked Chicken Wings
I definitely prefer classic Buffalo sauce on my wings. I simply heat 1 cup of Buffalo sauce and 2 Tablespoons of butter. Warm 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!
Smoked Chicken Wings Recipe
- 5 pounds chicken wings flats and drumettes
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
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.
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/