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The Ultimate Smoked Buffalo Chicken Wings

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 5 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Barbecue


  • 12-18 chicken wings drumettes and flats
  • 1 cup Frank's RedHot Sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • This success of this recipe is ALL in the technique. Well, that, and the Frank’s. But seriously pay attention to the technique! Rinse wings in cold water and pat dry (this is a good habit to get into when cooking any kind of poultry).
  • Place a drying rack over a cookie sheet and place wings on top.
    Uncooked chicken wings arranged on a red wire rack atop a metal baking sheet
  • Place into a refrigerator, uncovered, for up to three hours to dehydrate. This is crucial to the end texture of the chicken. This process will prevent the wings steaming when you cook it, which creates a rubbery texture. We’re going for crispy here, trying to emulate the texture of fried wings. *Special note: The first, most important step, is cleaning, patting dry, and then dehydrating your wings in the fridge. If you don’t do this you run the risk of your wings steaming in the smoker, creating a rubbery skin. Who wants wings with rubbery skin?! I see very few recipes recommend this, and you know what? Those recipes result in rubbery skin. Gross.
    close up shot of uncooked chicken wings on wire rack
  • When ready to cook, preheat smoker to 225 degrees. Put wings on the smoker for one hour.
  • Then increase heat to 325 and let wings cook another 30 minutes, then flip for remaining 30 minutes (flipping gives grill marks to each side). Conditions can change which can lead to more time. The key is to not pull the wings off until you get that crispy outside. You can tell by touch. *Special note: If, when they are fully cooked, you don’t see a nice char or crispy outside, feel free to adjust the temperature on your smoker. I like to jack up the heat for a few minutes to give them a burst of heat helping to create a crispy outside.
    cooked chicken wings on grill grate inside the grill
  • Prep sauce just before the wings come off the smoker. Bring butter and sauce to simmer (not boil!!) and remove from heat. Place into a bowl. *Special Note: Watch the temperature you melt the butter at. Slowly simmer this and don’t melt at a high heat. We’ve made this mistake before. If you melt the butter at too high a heat, and then add the Frank’s, the result is oily and the Frank’s does not integrate with the sauce. Instead the hot sauce separates from the butter. It’s a sad oily mess, and the sauce doesn’t stick to the chicken. No bueno.
  • Remove from smoker and toss immediately with sauce.
    cooked chicken wings in a white bowl with brown sauce
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.