Smoked Then Fried Chicken Wings

April 8, 2018

Smoked chicken wings get an extra layer of flavor by getting flash fried for 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.

smoked chicken wings

How to Smoke 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.

Smoked then 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.

Smoked Chicken Wing Sauce (optional)

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.

Smoked Chicken Wings Video

Smoked Chicken Wings Recipe

smoke then fried chicken wings
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Smoked Then Fried Chicken Wings

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Author: Susie Bulloch (


  • 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

Buffalo Sauce (optional)

  • 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!
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19 thoughts on “Smoked Then Fried Chicken Wings

  1. Made these tonight. Half naked (just seasoning), the other half honey-bbq sauced. So boys, which way is better?
    Well…they’re gone right? So I guess both are good! 😉

    Thanks Susie

  2. You mentioned that these wings can just be fried in a skillet. However, I am feeding a decent crowd (~20 people) and I have a fairly large deep fryer. Would deep frying them still be ok, or would they end up too oily/greasy?



  3. I made these yesterday and they were fantastic! Tender, delicious, and the perfect crispiness on the outside. I did half a batch of buffalo and left the other half naked, and my guests couldn’t decide which was better!

    I smoked these earlier in the day, stuck them in the fridge for a few hours while waiting on guests, and then fried them up when it was time to eat.

    One note, these got up to 145 on the smoker faster than expected. It only took about 45 minutes. I might have had smaller wings.

  4. What causes the wings to pop and explode at the joint when dropping them into hot deep fryer? I tried the recipe and dropped them straight into the deep fryer from the smoker and they popped and exploded and looked terrible after taking them out.

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