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Smoking Buffalo Wings
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5 from 4 votes

Smoking Buffalo Wings

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.

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Buffalo Wings
Servings: 4
Calories: 890kcal


  • Charcoal grill
  • Natural chunk charcoal
  • Apple and hickory wood chunks or chips
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Paper towels
  • meat thermometer
  • Plastic spray bottle


  • 24

    Chicken wings

  • 1/2 


    Olive oil

  • 1/4

    Cup Dark brown sugar

  • 1


    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


    Water and white vinegar solution (1:1 ratio)

  • Buffalo sauce or clarified butter


  • 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.

  • 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 with Buffalo dry rub seasoning.

  • If hot wings are more to your taste, you can also add to your spice rub chili powder, ground mustard or hot cayenne pepper.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


Serving: 354g | Calories: 890kcal