posted February 01, 2022
Smoked Then Fried Chicken Wings
Smoked then Fried Chicken Wings bring you the best of both wing worlds. These chicken wings get an extra layer of flavor by being flash-fried after sitting in a slow smoke. Each bite gives you all of that rich flavor and tenderness from a low and slow-smoked wing combined with all of the crispy, crunchy goodness of a fried wing.
Smoked and Fried Wings
These wings are totally delicious because they are both smoked AND fried. When I was competing on the third episode of Food Network’s show BBQ Brawl, I knew I had to bring out the big guns to wow the judges during the chicken wing challenge, and these hit the spot!
By cooking the wings this way, you get double the goodness. The key to making these wings the best ever is the low and slow smoke they get in the initial 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.
Seasoning for Smoked Fried Chicken Wings
Before you smoke these chicken wings, feel free to add any seasoning blend you like. Always start by tossing the chicken in a little olive oil and then seasoning all over with spices. I like using my Sweet Rub because I love how it adds a little kiss of brown sugar and BBQ flavor. You can make your own or purchase my Sweet Rub pre-made from the Hey Grill Hey Store.
If you don’t have Sweet Rub available, you can always stick with simple salt and pepper, lemon pepper, or your favorite seasoning blend. Feel free to experiment a bit to get these wings just the way you like them.
How to Make Smoked Fried Chicken Wings
Ready to make these smoked fried chicken wings? Here’s the steps to making these tasty party treat.
- Smoke! First, these chicken wings are smoked to infuse them with a tasty smoky flavor. With your smoker preheated to 225 degrees F, smoke until the wings reach the internal temperature of 145 degrees F. This usually takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours to smoke.
- Fry! Once your wings hit 145 degrees F on the smoker, it’s time for the second step: frying in hot oil. 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.
- Sauce! 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 sauced, you can use your favorite wings sauce. I personally love to toss in a mixture of 1 cup Frank’s Buffalo sauce with 2 Tablespoons melted butter for the perfect Buffalo wings. Mix it with 1 cup Kansas City BBQ Sauce and 2 Tablespoons honey for out-of-this-world Honey BBQ Wings.
Tips for Making Smoked and Fried Wings
One last thing before you dive into these wings. I’ve compiled a few tips I think you’ll find helpful as you make these wings.
- Go bold! Use hardwood with a nice strong smoke to really taste the smokiness in the wing. The step of frying actually mutes some of the smoky flavor, so going heavy and strong during the smoke stage helps keep that smoke nice and bold.
- Make sure your oil is hot enough to fry. If your oil is too cool, your wings will be soggy and oily instead of crispy.
- Smoke then air fry! If you have an air fryer and don’t want the full deep-fried experience, you can move the smoked wings to a 400 degree F preheated air fryer to a crisp! It will take the same amount of time to air fry as it does to deep fry.
You’re officially ready to go! Make sure and come back to this post once you’ve made and tried these wings to let me know how they turned out for you!
Smoked Chicken Wings Recipes
Smoked wings are truly one of the best ways to enjoy chicken wings. Hey Grill Hey has a handful of smoked chicken wings recipes to keep your crowd satisfied.
Smoked then Fried Chicken Wings Recipe
This post was originally published in April 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.
Watch the video below, and let’s make something delicious! Here at Hey Grill Hey, we’re all about helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a BBQ hero Check out more Hey Grill Hey behind the scenes action on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!
Smoked Then Fried Chicken Wings
- 3 pounds chicken wings (flats and drumettes)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub (link in recipe notes)
- 2 cups canola or vegetable oil
Buffalo Sauce (optional)
- 1 cup Buffalo sauce
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F with a strong flavored wood like oak or hickory.
- Season. In a large zip top bag, combine your wings, the olive oil, and the sweet rub (or seasoning of your choice)
- Smoke. Place the wings directly on the grill grates on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. This should take about 1.5 hours, but adjust as needed.
- Heat the oil. Preheat canola or vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a cast-iron skillet until the oil temperature reads 375 degrees F.
- Fry the wings. 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.
- Season or sauce. 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!
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