Smoking Buffalo Wings With 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to cook chicken wings?
There are a number of different ways to cook chicken wings. Some people like to fry them to get a super crispy exterior, while others prefer the deep flavor of grilled wings. Our favorite way to cook buffalo wings is on the smoker, which gives them a sweet-and-smoky flavor that adds depth to the chicken when combined with a spicy wing sauce.
How do you cook chicken wings on the grill?
After extensive testing, we’ve found that cooking the wings via an indirect heat method is the best way to grill chicken wings. If you have a one-zone fire on the grill, the wings tend to get too charred and can burn before they’re ready to eat. Using a two-zone indirect fire, on the other hand, allows the wings to benefit from the heat of the grill without directly touching the fire. Then, when they’re almost finished cooking, you can char them over the direct heat to give them extra flavor.
How long does it take to smoke chicken wings?
If you’re cooking the wings at a temperature of 225 degrees F, it should take about 90 minutes for the chicken wings to cook fully. You know when they’re done because they’ll reach 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. They will continue to rise the extra 5 degrees as they rest to reach a safe eating temperature.
How do you make Buffalo wing sauce?
Buffalo wing sauce is the most famous type of hot sauce used for dressing chicken wings. It’s usually made by taking a tangy hot sauce, such as Frank’s red hot sauce, and mellowing it out by adding a few tablespoons of unsalted butter. You can also add other ingredients, like vinegar to make it tangier, cayenne to amp-up the spice factor, or Worcestershire to add some savory flavor.
What are the two types of chicken wings called?
There are two edible parts of the chicken wing. The drumette is a tinier version of a chicken leg and only has one bone. It has a lot of meat on the top part and less meat along the long side of the bone. The wingette has two bones, which easily come apart as you eat them. Many people find this portion of the chicken wing to be meatier since it has less cartilage than the drumette. There is sometimes a wing tip attached to the chicken wing, which doesn’t contain any meat at all and is usually discarded before serving.