Smoked Chicken Wings

When fall and football come each year you simply can’t enjoy the cooler temps and the hopeful season without Smoked Chicken Wings. While they are a staple year round in our house, they seem to be a little extra tasty during this time of year. I will share with you an extremely easy recipe for our Buffalo style chicken wings that will make you think they were take-out from your local sports bar!

There are numerous ways to prepare chicken wings both in method and in added flavor via spices used in a marinade. Certainly we all love deep-fried, skin on wings from a restaurant, but replicating that at home is a mess and if only making a meal for two just not worth it. In the past we would bake our wings in the oven, either skin on or skin-less, and then half way through coat them in Franks Hot Sauce. I have taken this method and kicked it up a notch by doing them in my smoker which adds that “grilled” taste that can’t be beat.

I typically buy the “value package” at the local wholesale club which has several pounds of wings and drummies. Start by washing them off well with cold water and pat dry using paper towel. Next I use some inexpensive olive oil to coat the wings very lightly. Place the wings into a large zip-lock bag. I then add a generous amount of Frank’s Red Hot sauce in the bag of wings – working the marinade around as much as possible. Marinate them in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours and don’t forget to turn the bag over a few times to allow the marinade to soak into all of the wings. That’s it – you can’t get a simpler marinade that tastes as good as this! Over the years I have always tried different spices and sauces, but this simple marinade for us is just perfect. As in many other recipes on Weekend Grilling, you can always add heat and spice after you grill or smoke if you want, but you can’t take it away. I can eat hot spicy wings as much as the next guy, but I will happily trade heat and spice for greater flavor any day.

Smoked Chicken Wings

Set your grill for indirect heat or your smoker at 265° and coat the grates well with Pam. Place the wings onto the grate and turn every half hour for 90 minutes, or when they reach 180° internal temperature. If you desire more of a darker “char” on the wings, then crank up the heat the last 20 minutes or so being careful not to over cook the wings.

Smoked Chicken Wings

We like to serve our wings with a nice variety of dipping sauces, not just the old ranch or blue cheese that the restaurants will offer up. I typically have three or more different sauces on my plate for added variety. On this particular night I had a sweet chili sauce, leftover from a prior Asian dish that my wife made, along with one of our house staples – Sriracha sauce, and rounded out the trifecta with the Chile-Garlic blend of Cholula brand hot sauce. We finished off the plate with a slice of baguette with butter and a bottle of our house beer – The Champagne of Bottled Beer to be exact.

If we have the kids or guests over I will usually do a variety of marinades or simply just coat them well with my recipe for dry rub. As the saying goes, “Variety is the spice of life” and this recipe for Smoked Chicken Wings allows for all the variety you like and giving you all the flavor of perfectly grilled chicken.