Bringing Crispy, Tender, and Smoked Chicken Wings home tonight. And it’s right from your BBQ or smoker. These wings are simple and easy. One bite will have you making this recipe again and again.
Why We Love Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings
- Crispy and Smoked – The best of both worlds done in under an hour. I used mesquite wood for its classic intense flavor and for the crispiness just increase the temp.
- Simple dry rub – Three ingredients onion salt, smoked Paprika, and cornstarch. Cornstarch is the secret to crisping up the wings.
- Party and Tailgating – What is better than fresh wings? You can make a bunch in no time.
- Dry vs Wet – This is the hardest thing you have to decide. Okay, just do both. The wings are perfectly crispy and tender, dry. Add your favorite BBQ or hot sauce for the extra flavor.
- Chicken wings – frozen or fresh
- Onion salt
- Smoked Paprika
- Smoking wood
See the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for a full list of ingredients with measurements.
- Each type of smoking wood brings a unique flavor to this cook. We enjoy doing the recipe with our other favorite woods. Check out the “Smoking Wood” section in the Smoked Sausage post for other wood ideas.
- Smoking the chicken wings, make sure to have the wood smoking before placing the wings on the grill grate. It is a fast smoke.
- Cornstarch, a little goes a long way.
- Need more wings, use an elevated rack to nearly double the amount of wings.
Smoked Chicken Wings Recipe
1. Prepare and preheat – Unpack and dry the chicken wings. Preheat the BBQ or smoker to 250 degrees F. BBQers set up for an indirect cooking method. Combine the dry rub in a small bowl. Add the chicken into a large mixing bowl and coat with the rub.
2. Smoking and crisping time – Place your wings on the grill grate and smoke for 30 minutes with the lid closed. Then, increase the temperature to 400 degrees F.
3. Serve and Enjoy – Once the wings’ internal temperature reaches 190 – 195 degrees F., they are done. Now the battle “Dry vs Wet”. Heck just do both…Yum!
Continue down to the recipe card for full instructions and ingredient amounts.
Storage / Leftovers / Rewarm
Storage – The wings can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 – 4 days, per USDA. If you made a bunch you can freeze them for up to 4 months, per USDA.
Leftovers – This may be a bit of work but worth it. Take the meat off the bones and use it in one of our recipes:
Rewarm – The air fryer can have the wings hot and ready in about 5 minutes at 350 degrees F. You could even put them back on the BBQ before you cook something else as an appetizer. The time and temperature will vary from the air fryer but it gives you a baseline.
Absolutely! Just don’t add the wood and follow the rest of the recipe.
Yes. That is why I love this recipe so much. We had 15 wings, so why not have the best of both worlds? The dry is perfectly moist and crispy with a hint of the smoke flavor. The wet get all the above with the addition of your favorite BBQ or Buffalo sauce.
Oh Yeah! That is a great substitute.
Yes, 165 degrees F. is recommended, per USDA. What I have found with chicken wings is you can take them to a higher temperature to break down the connective tissue. The fat level will keep them nice and tender without drying out.
Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings
- Smoker or BBQ
- Mixing Bowls
- Instant read thermometer
- BBQ tongs
- 1 chunk mesquite wood (Or your favorite)
- 3 lbs. chicken wings (15 pieces)
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons onion salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Sauce (optional for wet wings)
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce: Stubb's Hickory Bourbon BBQ Sauce coats 8 wings
Prepare and preheat
- Unpack and prepare the chicken wings. Ensure they are thawed if frozen and dry the wings with paper towels.
- Preheat the smoker or BBQ to 250 degrees F. and add smoking wood. BBQers use an indierct cooking method.
- Mix together the cornstarch, onion salt, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.
- Place the wings in a large bowl and coat with the dry rub.
Smoking and crisping time
- Put chicken on the preheated smoker or BBQ and smoke for 30 minutes with the lid closed.
- After 30 minutes of smoking, increase the smoker or BBQ to 400 degrees F. Leave the lid closed.
- Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, until internal temperature is 190 – 195 degrees F.
Serve and Enjoy
- Pull the wings from the smoker or BBQ. Now, it's decision time, "Dry vs Wet". This may help, the dry wings can be enjoyed right off the grill.
- If you choose to do wet/sauced wings, let them rest for 5 minutes. This will allow them to cool a bit and allow the sauce to adhere better.
- Place wings to be sauced in a mixing bowl and coat with your choice of sauce. To give you an example for the 8 wings I used a ¼ cup of BBQ sauce.
- Serve and Enjoy!