Smoked, then fried chicken wings are a new way to marry the best of both wing worlds. All of that rich flavor and tenderness from low and slow smoked wings with all of the crispy, crunchy goodness of a fried wing.
Step 1: Smoked Chicken Wings
The key to making these wings the best ever is the low and slow smoke they get in this first step. I smoke my chicken wings at 225 degrees F over a fairly strong flavored wood like oak or hickory since they won’t be in the smoke for an extended period of time. Smoke until the wings reach the internal temperature of 145 degrees F, usually about an hour to and hour and a half.
Before you smoke these chicken wings, feel free to add any seasoning blend you like. Always start by tossing in a little olive oil and then seasoning all over with your spices. I like using my Homemade Sweet Rub because I love that little kiss of brown sugar and BBQ flavor, but you can stick with simple salt and pepper, lemon pepper, or really any seasoning blend you like.
Step 2: Fried Chicken Wings
Once your wings hit 145 degrees F, it’s time for the second step, frying in hot oil. Fill the pan with the oil, about 1/2 inch deep. Preheat your favorite cooking oil (I prefer vegetable, canola, or peanut oil) to 375 degrees F in a large, shallow pan. I use my 12 inch cast iron skillet for deep frying and it works great to retain the heat in the oil.
You don’t need to deep fry the wings, just fry each side for 2-3 minutes and then flip. Keep frying and flipping until the skin is golden brown and the internal temperature of the wings reads 175 degrees F. You may need to do this step in batches so you don’t overcrowd your pan.
Step 3 (optional): Chicken Wing Sauce
Now, this step is totally optional. If you like naked wings, remove the fried chicken wings from the cast iron skillet, sprinkle with a little additional sweet rub and serve immediately. If you like your wings sauce, you can get creative here. Toss in a mixture of 1 cup Frank’s Buffalo sauce with 2 Tablespoons melted butter for the perfect Buffalo wings. Toss with 1 cup Kansas City BBQ sauce and 2 Tablespoons honey for out of this world Honey BBQ Wings.
- 3 pounds chicken wings flats and drumettes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons Homemade Sweet BBQ Rub link in recipe notes
- 2 cups canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup Buffalo sauce
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F with a strong flavored wood like oak or hickory.
In a large zip top bag, combine your wings, the olive oil, and the sweet rub (or seasoning of your choice)
Place the wings on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, about 1.5 hours.
Preheat the canola or vegetable oil over medium high heat in a cast iron skillet until the oil temperature reads 375 degrees F.
Transfer the wings from the smoker into the hot oil, working in batches so that the wings don't touch or overlap.
Fry 2-3 minutes per side, flipping regularly, until the internal temperature of the wings reads 175 degrees F.
Remove the wings from the skillet and either sprinkle with additional sweet rub before serving or toss in the Buffalo sauce mixture. Serve with napkins and enjoy!
Homemade Sweet BBQ Rub: https://heygrillhey.com/best-sweet-rub-grilled-pork-chicken/