Smoking Buffalo Wings With Dry Rub Recipe

Smoking Buffalo WingsWith Dry Rub Recipe

Everyone loves a good Buffalo wing. That crispy exterior combined with that tangy, spicy sauce makes for a flavor unmatched by anything else, let alone another type of wing. There's a reason it's become one of the all time favorite foods of people across the world.

Smoking Buffalo Wings With Dry Rub Recipe

While it might seem a bit odd to smoke a Buffalo wing, trying new things is part of the fun of life. It may not be the traditional preparation, but smoking your wings leads to entirely new flavors you've never been able to experience before.

Now that we've won you over, you're probably wondering exactly how you're supposed to smoke a Buffalo wing. Fear not, as we're about to explain that and some other helpful tips and tricks right here.


In order to cook up some Buffalo wings smoker style, you'll need to grab a few supplies first. Like any good chicken wing recipe, though, the most difficult ingredient to find will undoubtedly be the wings themselves (i.e. it's not going to be hard at all).

  • 24 chicken wings.
  • 1/2 cup olive oil.
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar.
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt.
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder.
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder.
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin.
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper.
  • 1/2 tbsp sweet paprika.
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard powder.
  • 1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper.
  • 1/2 cup water and white vinegar solution (1:1 ratio).
  • Buffalo sauce or clarified butter (optional).
  • Charcoal grill.
  • Natural chunk charcoal.
  • Apple and hickory wood chunks or chips.
  • Large mixing bowl.
  • Paper towels.
  • Meat thermometer.
  • Plastic spray bottle.


After collecting the necessary tools and ingredients for this dish, you can begin work on the recipe itself. Unlike most smoking recipes, cooking your own Buffalo wings will take substantially less time, making it a great choice once you realize you overslept and the cookout starts only five hours from now.

Step 1: Cut the Wings

If you've bought whole chicken wings, you'll need to take a minute to cut each of them into pieces. Using a sharp knife, cut between the drumette and the flat, then the flat and the tip. They should snap apart easily in these places. Both the flat and drumette are edible meat, but the tip can still be reserved for things like making stock.

Step 2: Season the Wings

After doing any necessary breaking down of the wings, you can start to season them. First, dry off any moisture on the surface of the wings with paper towels. While you're there, use this as a chance to pluck out any stray feathers that the butcher may not have removed from the chicken skin.

Once dried, immediately toss the wings in olive oil. This will help them stay moist while they cook and make it easier for the spices to adhere to the surface. Combine the seasonings listed in the ingredients in a large bowl and drop the wings in, tossing them to coat thoroughly on all sides. If hot wings are more to your taste, you can also add to your spice rub chili powder, ground mustard or hot cayenne pepper.

Light The Charcoal Grill Smoke The Wings

Step 3: Light the Grill

Instead of a smoker, this recipe works best when using a regular charcoal grill. This is because, to properly smoke the wings without overcooking them, you'll want to more easily create a two zone fire.

Pile up charcoal on one side of the grill and light it. Once the fire has had a chance to burn down a bit, place on your wood. If you used wood chips instead of chunks, remember to pre-soak them in hot water at least half an hour out from when they'll be going on the fire to keep them from burning up too quickly.

Place on your grill grate and put down the lid to give the smoke and heat a chance to build up. Shoot for a temperature around 225 degrees Fahrenheit before you even think about putting on your wings.

Step 4:Smoke the Wings

After your fire is sufficiently hot and your wood is sufficiently smoky, you're ready to cook. Place your wings onto the colder half of your grill (the side not above direct flames) and close the lid.

As they cook, pay attention to the charcoal and wood levels of the grill and add more as needed, though this will likely be unnecessary given the short cooking time. If you do, remember to adjust your air vents to keep the temperature consistent.

In total, the cook time for your wings will likely be around two hours or so. Every ten minutes, spray your wings down with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar to help give them some of that signature Buffalo flavor and keep them moist.

Near the end of cooking, start checking the internal temperature of the wings. When they hit 160 degrees Fahrenheit, you know they're almost done. At this point, move them to direct flame to char the outsides a bit. Finish them like this for about five minutes before taking them off the heat, flipping once halfway through to hit both sides evenly.

Step 5: Rest and Sauce the Wings

Like all meat, you'll need to rest your wings before you start eating them. This gives them a chance to finish cooking and climb those last five degrees. They'll have to sit for around ten minutes to preserve the maximum amount of flavor and juiciness.

Rather than just wait, though, you can use this as an opportunity to sauce them if you desire. While you've already seasoned up the wings with Buffalo-style rub, you can go all the way and toss them in some delicious Buffalo sauce once they're off the grill, too.

Another common saucing idea is to toss them with clarified butter to let the rub's flavors come through more prominently. To make clarified butter, all you need to do is melt a stick of butter and strain out the milk solid, the liquid that remains being your butter.

Step 6: Serve the Wings

After a not at all long but still quite excruciating wait, you'll be ready to eat. Serve them up next to some hot sauce, blue cheese dressing, and celery sticks for that sports bar authenticity. Like any good wing recipe, this one is set up to easily be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled as you like, so don't be shy. Make as many as you and your friends could possibly eat.

Serve The Wings Add Hot Sauce

In Conclusion

Now that you're armed with the knowledge of how to make some fantastic smoked Buffalo wings, get out there and go do it. While it's certainly a different taste from the traditional deep fried chicken wing, this smoking recipe is a nice change of pace with its own unique and delectable flavor. It's definitely worth a try.

If you enjoyed this recipe, let us know in the comments. Give us your tips on making a dry rub to emulate that classic Buffalo wing flavor if you like. As always, remember to show this page to a friend who's been craving that Buffalo flavor but might want to cut back on the deep fry.

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