Smoked Chicken Wings – A Short Guide

Smoked chicken wings are a party favourite. They are crispy, saucy delicious bites that just melt in your mouth.

This short guide will give you plenty of information and answer many of your queries about how to smoke chicken wings.

Smoked Chicken Wings How Long?

At 250°F (or 121°C) it will take somewhere between 2-2 1/2 hours in the BBQ smoker. You will need to go by the internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat, which should be 165°F or 74°C.

You will also need to factor in brining the chicken overnight, preparing and rubbing the chicken, as well as a resting time of around 10 minutes. 

Brine For Smoked Chicken Wings

Brining the chicken wings is optional, however we recommend that you do brine them overnight. It’s a fantastic way to infuse flavour and it also helps the wings take on the smoke and crisp up better.

It’s a kind of insurance to avoid rubbery, leathery chicken wings.

For every gallon of water (4.5L) you will need 1 cup of salt and half a cup of sugar. The lemon, garlic, thyme and peppercorns are optional if you want a simple brine solution, although if you are going to the bother of brining you might as well make the most of it!

Brine Ingredients

  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt 
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 head of garlic halved
  • 1 whole lemon halved
  • 4 sprigs of thyme or rosemary
  • 8-10 whole peppercorns

Smoked Chicken Wings Dry Rub

Before you put the wings into the smoker you will need to pat them dry with kitchen roll, and rub them all over with a tasty dry rub.

This dry rub has some deep, complex and flavoursome notes to it. It’s sweet, spicy, salty and savoury in a balanced way and easy to make. 

Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together.

Dry Rub Recipe for Chicken Wings

  • ¼ cup of coarse salt
  • ¼ cup of freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup of smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 ½ tablespoons dried oregano
  • ¼ cup garlic powder

Smoked Chicken Wings Temperature

While beef and pork can be served medium rare, all poultry should be at an internal temperature of at least 165°F or 74°C to make it safe to eat.

Smoked Chicken Wings Recipe

If you enjoyed this short article on smoked chicken wings you may also enjoy ‘Top 10 Best Smoked Chicken Wings Recipes.’

Or our popular post, ’Sauce for Buffalo Wings Recipe.’

Why Are My Smoked Wings Rubbery?

There are a few things you can do to avoid rubbery smoked wings. First, make sure you brine them overnight in the fridge. 

You can also roll them in a little potato or cornstarch (UK Cornflour) to help them crisp up better.

If you still find the wings rubbery, increase the heat in the smoker and finish them off on the hot grills. This will help make them crispier, and get you some nice chargrill marks.

Some people even like to finish their smoked wings in the deep frier.

How Do You Keep Chicken Moist When Smoking?

If you are concerned about your chicken drying out, spritz the meat with a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water or brush with butter or oil.

Should I Put Oil on Chicken Before Smoking?

Some people like to put oil, butter or mustard on their chicken before adding a dry rub. This acts as a binder and gives the rub something to stick to. 

It isn’t strictly necessary however.

Can Chicken Wings Be a Little Pink?

As long as the internal temperature of the wings is 165°F at the thickest part they are ready to eat.

Sometimes chicken can have a tinge of pink, especially if you are using red powders like paprika or cayenne in your dry rub.

Can You Overcook Chicken Wings?

Yes, but this won’t happen if you regularly check the internal temperature of your wings near the end of the smoke. 

Don’t let them get above 165°F (74°C) or they may begin to dry out.

When to Sauce Smoked Chicken Wings

We would recommend saucing the wings after smoking, serving the sauce on the side, if using.

This is because we don’t want anything stopping the wings from crisping up, and because the sugar in some sauces can easily burn in the smoker.

Best Sides for Smoked Chicken Wings

The classic sides to go with smoked chicken wings would be french fries, coleslaw, pasta salad, fresh green salad, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes or corn on the cob.

You can serve them as appetisers with a blue cheese dip or Buffalo Hot Sauce, and as a starter before ribs or beef brisket.

Top 10 Dips for Chicken Wings – Best Sauces for Chicken Wings

For another helpful guide on smoked chicken wings try here:

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