Top 5 Things You Ever Smoked – A Complete Guide To Smoking Chicken Wings

​​​​​​​​​​​​Introduction

Those unfamiliar with the process of smoking meat may not appreciate why smokers consider it to be such a “big deal.” In truth, it is kind of a big deal. Smoking meats is a cooking practice that dates back to our Stonehenge ancestors.

While the cooking time is lengthier, it is well worth it: the meat will come out tender and juicy. As an added bonus, the smells and flavors that you will sense are a unique infusion of natural fire, fresh seasonings, and the perfect cooking temperature.

This tutorial is all about chicken wings! Tender and supple, they make one of the best items to smoke and grill. Check out these top 5 wing recipes I have ever smoked.

They are:

  • Grilled chicken wings
  • 3- ingredient chicken wings
  • Sweet and spicy chicken wings
  • Dry rub chicken wings
  • Jack Daniels Whisky wings

Pieces that are cooked with the bone attached, such as wings, allow for an even flow of heat that achieves the perfect tenderness. There are plenty of reasons why you, too, should try to smoke your own wings today.

Section 2: What You Will Need For The Recipes

As an ancient practice that dates back thousands of years, there is a minimalist approach to smoking. All you need are the following items:

  • Wings

Get both wingettes (flats) and drumettes, either frozen or fresh

  • Brine, or your choice of seasoning

Brine is a mixture of any liquid of choice combined with seasonings. The idea is to use it as a marinade, or as a topper for meat, during the cooking process. You do not need to use brine for smoking but sometimes it helps enhance the flavor of the meat. You can also use “rub” or powder-based seasoning, or sauces.

Sometime smokers are contraptions designed to be used on top of the grill to isolate specific meats and leaving them. Moreover, new grills are being designed out of different materials that achieve the time to temperature ratio that makes smoking so successful.

The last two items you will need are the heat conductors:

  • Coals, any type, with an optional accompaniment of fragrant woodchips to enhance flavor.
  • And, finally, the most important ingredient: fire

*The golden rules of using chips:

  • Soak the wood chips in water about an hour before grilling.
  • Drain the water before you use the wood chips.
  • Scatter the woodchips over your coals.

When you are about to begin

Traditionally, the first step is seasoning the meat to your liking. Most people prefer to use brine, or a marinade that involves:

  1. A binding liquid: whether oil, water, juice or vinegar
  2. Seasonings of choice to add to the liquid
  3. Time to marinade the meat

The next step is to get that meat smoked. Each cut is different, so pay close attention to the time-to-temperature ratio on each recipe. It varies all the time.

Here is the basic smoking process for wings 

  1. coals are placed at the sides of the grill
  2. high heat on one side of the grill
  3. smoking wood for 20 minutes
  4. remove the wood
  5. turn both burners on medium high
  6. close the lid of the smoker or grill and keep it closed at all times
  7. smoke the wings until desired crispiness is reached.

Step by Step Instructions On How to Make 5 Things You May Have Never Smoked Before

I. Grilled Chicken Wings

For this recipe you will need:

  • 3 lbs wings, both wingettes and drumettes with no tips
  • ¼ c soy light sauce (light)
  • 1/3 c dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbs vinegar

Procedure:

  1. Option 1: Saturate the wings with the oil of choice. You can treat the meat by massaging the spices onto the wings.
  2. Option 2: You can choose to make the brine in a large zip lock bag, add the wings, and leave them there to marinade.
  3. You can add more marinade as you cook.
  4. As you heat the smoker, add hickory chips, or any other fragrant woodchips of choice.
  5. The time to temperature ratio for chicken wings is usually the same when smoking them.
  6. The chicken is ready when the densest part of the wing hits 165 degrees. This normally happens after 20 minutes.
  7. Make sure that you give the wings 10 minutes per side on low, indirect heat, if grilling
  8. If smoking, follow the golden rule for smoking wings:
  • coals are placed at the sides of the grill
  • high heat on one side of the grill
  • smoking wood for 20 minutes
  • remove the wood
  • turn both burners on medium high
  • close the lid of the smoker or grill and keep it closed at all times
  • smoke the wings until desired crispiness is reached.

II. 3-Ingredient Chicken Wings

The three ingredients that make this recipe are:

  • 1 cup Zesty Italian dressing
  • 2 lbs wingettes and drumettes
  • 3. ½ c BBQ sauce

Procedure:

  1. Marinate the wings in the Italian dressing/BBQ sauce mix for at least half an hour.
  2. Add the wings to your smoker already marinated.
  3. Ideally it is best to give each side no less than 8 minutes, but no more than ten.
  4. You can cook for 8 minutes and then use the last 2 to grill with more sauce on.

If smoking, follow the golden rule of smoking chicken:

  • high heat on one side of the grill
  • smoking wood for 20 minutes
  • remove the wood
  • turn both burners on medium high
  • close the lid of the smoker or grill and keep it closed at all times
  • smoke the wings until desired crispiness is reached.

Remember the 165F rule for the densest part of the meat to ensure that they are thoroughly cooked. The time-to-temperature ratio is 165 F in the densest part of the wing meat for 8 to 10 minutes on each side.

III. Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs thawed chicken drumettes and wingettes
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ chili pepper paste
  • ¼ cup balsamic

Procedure:

1. To grill these wings, the first step is to marinate them in a period ranging from 1 hour to 2 days. You can leave more marinate to sauce and glaze during cooking (last ½ hour).

2. If smoking, follow the golden rule of smoking chicken:

  • a) high heat on one side of the grill
  • b) smoking wood for 20 minutes
  • c) remove the wood
  • d) turn both burners on medium high
  • e) smoke the wings until desired crispiness is reached.

3. Remember the 165F rule for the densest part of the meat to ensure that they are thoroughly cooked.

4. Smoking is about low, indirect heat. For this reason, allow the smoke and woodchips (optional) to heat and stay at around 165F.

5. For the wings to have more fragrant scent, be sure to close the lid of your smoker. Do not forget to wash and drain the woodchips every time you use them for smoking.

6. The time to temperature ratio for grilling wings would be 8 minutes on each side, at 165 F as per your meat thermometer in the thickest (densest) part of the wing.

IV. Dry Rub Chicken Wings

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds drumettes and wingettes
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 5 tbsp adobo (such as Goya)
  • 3 cups EVOO, preferably truffle-laced

Procedure:

  1. Add all the rub ingredients in a zip loc bag.
  2. Add the wings to the bag.
  3. Be sure to treat the meat and rub the ingredients onto the meat for it to penetrate.
  4. You can choose to remove the wings after half an hour or leave overnight.
  5. If grilling, the time-temperature ratio will drop to 7 minutes on each side to avoid burning the dry rib directly onto the meat.
  6. If smoking, follow the golden rule of smoking chicken:
  • high heat on one side of the grill
  • smoking wood for 20 minutes
  • remove the wood
  • turn both burners on medium high
  • smoke the wings until desired crispiness is reached.
  • do not open the lid during the smoking process

Remember the 165F rule for the densest part of the meat to ensure that they are thoroughly cooked.

V. Jack Daniels Whiskey Wings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds wingettes and drumettes combined
  • 3 tbsps. brown sugar
  • ⅓ butter, preferably
  • 4 oz Jack Daniels (or any other whiskey)
  • ¼ cup Franks hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tbsp adobo

Procedure:

  1. Make the sauce: On a pan, simmer all the “tasting” ingredients once the butter is melted. The simmering process will reduce the alcohol content of the recipe.
  2. Place wings in the middle of the grate and add smoking wood to each pile.
  3. Smoke for 20 minutes
  4. Remember the golden rules:
  • coals are placed at the sides of the grill
  • high heat on one side of the grill
  • smoking wood for 20 minutes
  • remove the wood
  • turn both burners on medium high
  • close the lid of the smoker or grill and keep it closed at all times
  • smoke the wings until desired crispiness is reached.

Section 4: Conclusion

Will you venture to try out any of these recipes? They are ways to smoke chicken wings in a way that you will maximize the flavor that you can get out the ancient process of smoking meat. Be your friend’s favorite caveman or woman, and venture out to try these amazing recipes, the old school way. If you have tried these before, or will go for it, please go ahead and share your experiences in your comments section!

​Frequently Asked Questions

​Are Drumettes Chicken Wings?

​How Long Does it Take to Smoke Wings?

​How Do You Make Crispy Chicken Wings?

​Are Grilled Chicken Wings Healthy?

​Is It Better to Grill or Smoke Chicken Wings?

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