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There are more ways to prepare chicken wings than I have fingers. They can be fried, baked, or grilled, and covered in hot sauce, BBQ sauce, or white sauce. My favorite is with only a few spices and the ultimate addition: smoke.

Why Smoked Wings Are the Best

Chicken wings’ dark meat can withstand a lot of heat—they become most tender cooked for an extended time over low heat in the smoker or on the grill with smoke. This allows the collagen in the meat to slowly melt. And while the low heat works magic on the meat, the skin gets a perfect crisp when the wings are finished over high heat.

Some recipes apply baking powder on the wings and refrigerate them overnight, uncovered. It’s a great way to get crisp wings. However, since these are smoked low and slow, they only need a good pat-down with paper towels and a light coat of olive oil.

When smoking wings, I stick to a simple dry rub. If I want a sauce, I dip the cooked wings into them right before serving.


  • 3 lbs chicken wings party style
  • ▢3 tablespoons homemade BBQ spice rub or your favorite store bought rub
  • ▢1 cup homemade BBQ sauce or your favorite store bought BBQ sauce


  • Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F. Load the smoker with apple wood, cherry wood or hickory chips.
  • Coat the chicken wings with the spice rub and place in the smoker.
  • Cook for 2 hours, refilling wood as needed, or until the internal temperature of the chicken wings registers 165 degrees F with a thermometer.
  • Transfer the chicken wings to a sheet pan.
  • Optional: Preheat the broiler. Place the sheet pan of wings under the broiler and cook for 3-4 minutes or until skin is crispy.
  • Brush the wings with the BBQ sauce and serve.

By KhaliL

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