Bringing crispy, tender, and smoked chicken wings home tonight. And it’s right from your grill or smoker. These wings are simple and easy. One bite will have you making this recipe again and again.
They are so quick and simple to cook. I prefer mesquite wood for its strong flavors, honestly, any smoking wood will work. The mesquite’s intense aromatics are perfect for the quick smoke at the beginning of the cook. Once you increase the temperature for crisping, the mesquite is ideal because it burns fast and hot.
Smoking these wings with our savory onion and paprika dry rub allows all the flavors to combine. The best is you can enjoy them dry or wet. Eat them right off the grill dry or simply pick your favorite sauce for another WOW FACTOR!. We used Stubb’s Hickory Bourbon BBQ Sauce. It’s one of our favorites.
How long to smoke chicken wings
This is a fast smoke, only 30-minutes. So, if you are using a charcoal grill, make sure you have a good smoke coming off the wood before cooking. The wings will pick up the smoky flavor before you increase the heat to 400 degrees F to get them crispy.
Chicken wings dry rub
The dry rub for this recipe is simple and easy: onion salt and smoked paprika with cornstarch. What does cornstarch have to do with anything?
Well, that’s one of the secrets to crisping the wings. Keep in mind a little will goes a long way. Onion salt brings nice sweetness. Smoked paprika heightens the smoky flavor of the wood and adds a subtle spice. The rub is not overpowering and it lets the chicken flavor be the star with the smoking wood as the costar.
Equipment you will need for Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings
Ingredients to make Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings
- Chicken Wings – Frozen or fresh
- Onion Salt
- Smoked Paprika
See the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for a full list of ingredients with measurements.
Crispy Smoked Wings recipe
- Prep – Prepare your chicken wings, make sure they are thawed completely, dry, and ready to cook. Preheat your BBQ grill (indirect cooking) or smoker to 250 degrees F. Add your smoking wood.
- Season the chicken wings – Mix together your seasonings in a small bowl. In a large bowl place your wings and coat them completely.
- Smoke – Place your wings on the preheated grill grate and smoke for 30-minutes with the lid closed. Then, increase the temperature to 400 degrees F with the wings still on the grill.
- Crisping – Cook an additional 15 – 20 minutes, lid closed, until a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F. I recommend a minimum of 180 degrees F to get the wings into the crisp and tender zone. After doing this recipe many times, we have found that 190 – 195 degrees F gives the wings the perfect crisp and tenderness.
- Dry or Wet – Okay you got this! Big decision time, but don’t worry either way they are delicious.
- Dry – Serve and Enjoy!
- Wet – Give the wings 5-minutes to let the skin cool. It will help maintain the crispiness once you add the sauce. Place your cooled wings into a large mixing bowl and add your favorite BBQ/Hot sauce. Mix well. Serve and Enjoy!
This step-by-step guide will give you the highlights of how to make this recipe, find the full instructions and ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.
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 sauce or Buffalo sauce for some hot wings.
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.
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We had fun making this recipe. Did you? Let us know.
Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings
- Smoker or BBQ Grill
- Wood for Smoking
- Mixing Bowls
- Instant read thermometer
- BBQ spatula
- 3 lbs. chicken wings about 15 pieses
- 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 the wings. Ensure they are thawed if frozen. Dry the wings with paper towels
- Preheat smoker or BBQ grill to 250 degrees F. Add smoking wood
Season the chicken wings
- Mix together the cornstarch, onion salt, and smoked paprika in a small bowl
- Coat wings in a large bowl with dry rub
- Put wings on the preheated grill grate and smoke for 30-minutes, lid closed
- After 30-minutes of smoking, increase the smoker or BBQ grill to 400 degrees F, lid closed with wings on the grill grate
- Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, until internal temperature is 190 – 195 degrees F
- Pull the wings
- Serve and Enjoy!
- Rest wings 5-minutes
- Place wings in a mixing bowl and coat with sauce.
- Serve and Enjoy