These sauce-coated smoked chicken wings make a great alternative to traditional fried wings. Yeah, they’re messy to eat, but doesn’t that somehow make them taste better? And even though they are already sauced, don’t be afraid to pair them with a big dipping bowl of ranch.
You’d think making smoked chicken wings was as easy as throwing them into a smoker and coming back after a few hours, but there’s a trick to it. Usually, you want to brine poultry before you cook it. This brining process gives you a nice moist result but basically adding extra water to the meat that would normally be lost during cooking. But the wetter the wings when you start to smoke them, the more rubbery the skin can get. You can also experience dreaded rubbery skin by having your smoker temperature set too low.
The solution is simple, and just takes a little extra effort. Be sure to dry your wings off really really well before you season them. Like, get aggressive with that paper towel. Soak up as much of the surface moisture as possible. Also, we’re going to cook at a higher temperature, which should help things along.
The reality is, straight smoking, even at a higher temp, will not give you a completely bite through experience like frying would. If you want to add an extra layer of flavor and texture to your smoked wings, consider a quick sear over charcoal before saucing. This will also help crisp up the skin.
- For the brine: 1/3 cup kosher salt, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 gallon cold water
- 4 lb chicken wing pieces
- 3-4 tablespoons Hardcore Carnivore Red seasoning
- 1 cup BBQ sauce of your choice
- 24 hours before you plan to cook, start by brining the wings. Combine the sugar and salt with about 2 cups of water. Place over low heat and stir regularly until dissolved. Pour cold water into a large container. Add the brine mix. If warm, you can add a few ice cubes. Add the chicken wings then place in a refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat a smoker or pellet grill to 275f.
- Remove the wings from the brine. Drain and then dry the wings VERY well using paper towel.
- Season the wings with Hardcore Carnivore Red seasoning, tossing to make sure they are well coated.
- Lay the wings in the smoker or pellet grill, and cook until the internal temperature reads 165f. Be sure not to touch the thermometer probe to the bone, or push too far through the meat, otherwise you will get an inaccurate reading.
- When at desired temperature, remove the wings from the smoker or pellet grill, pour the sauce over and toss to coat. Serve immediately.