Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings

January 24, 2019

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!

Smoked Chicken Wings

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:

  1. Start with super dry chicken wings. I pat mine down with paper towels to get all moisture off of the skin.
  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. 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.
  6.  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.

how to smoke chicken wings

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

3.67 from 3 votes
smoked chicken wings
Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 25 mins
 
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked Chicken Wings
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 457 kcal
Author: Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)
Ingredients
  • 5 pounds chicken wings flats and drumettes
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Dry your chicken wings thoroughly on all sides with a paper towel. Place them in a zip top bag.

  2. Add the baking powder and salt to the wings, close the bag, and toss to coat evenly.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Remove the wing from the grill and serve. You can serve plain, toss in your favorite BBQ seasoning, or hot sauce.

Recipe Video

Recipe 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/

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23 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.

  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?

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