Smoked Chicken Wings are sooo good! The addition of this homemade bourbon BBQ sauce makes these wings irresistibly good! Finger licking good at its best. The bourbon pairs great with the sweetness in the sauce from brown sugar and the acidity of apple cider vinegar.
There are so many different ways to cook chicken wings and so many different ways to flavor them. I guess that’s what makes them so popular!! This is a really simple but great recipe, although it does take a little time. But isn’t that like all the best things in life?
Whenever you are smoking any type of food preplanning is the key. The low and slow method of smoking meats does take a long time. But you impart that smoky taste into the meats that you just simply cannot do any other way!
hoW TO SMOKE CHICKEN WINGS
When you are smoking chicken wings you will want to first spice them up with a dry rub. Everyone has a different idea about what that rub should be. You might like a simple rub for your wing recipe, or you might like to include everything but the kitchen sink. Or, you might be somewhere in between, like this smoked wing recipe.
Preparing your smoker is the next step. I cook my wings at a smoker temperature of 225 degrees F. It takes a few hours to get them to the right internal temp of 165 degrees F. So this is not the best method to cook your wings if you are in a hurry; I would try them fried, baked or even grill them if you need to serve them right away.
- Chicken wings
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Apple cider vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Worcestershire sauce
HELPFUL ITEMS FOR THIS RECIPE
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If you are starting out with whole chicken wings, you will need to cut the tips off as they tend to burn, and there isn’t really any meat on the tips anyway. You can split the drumette from the flat if you like, or leave them whole whatever you prefer.
In a small bowl, mix together the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place the wings in a large bowl and sprinkle the spices over the wings. Toss the wings with the spices to coat, then set them aside.
In a small saucepan add the ketchup, bourbon, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, and pepper. Whisk until well combined. Pour 3/4 of a cup of sauce over the wings, cover with plastic wrap and allow them to marinate for an hour.
While the chicken wings are marinating take the remainder of the BBQ sauce and heat it over medium heat on the stovetop until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens, stirring occasionally. Then set it aside to cool.
Can I smoke chicken at 225 degrees?
The answer is yes! The optimum temperature at which to smoke chicken wings is 225 degrees F. At this temperature, it will take between 3-4 hours to smoke your chicken wings. This allows time for the smoke to penetrate the skin of the chicken wings and impart all that wonderful flavor.
You are going to want to smoke these wings on a tray rather than directly on your smoker grates. You can use either a baking sheet or a recyclable foil pan. Because they are very saucy it works best if they are on a pan.
Smoke the wings for one hour, then baste them with the bourbon BBQ sauce. Smoke them for an additional 1/2 hour, then turn the wings on the tray and generously brush the other side with the bourbon BBQ sauce.
Allow the wings to smoke for another hour, then brush again with the bourbon BBQ sauce. After another 1/2 hour check the temperature of the wings to see if they are done. You should use a good quality instant-read meat thermometer. I love my ThermoWorks instant-read thermometer for just this type of thing. Remember you are cooking to temperature, not time.
You are looking for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F or more. If you are not quite there allow the wings to smoke for another 30 – 45 minutes and check the temperature again.
How do I get the skin crispy on smoked chicken?
When you smoke chicken or any meat for that matter at a low temperature, which is required for smoking, you will never get crispy skin. In order to crisp up the skin, you will need to cook the wings under a broiler for a few minutes on each side.
But I prefer to fire up the grill; I like to have the grill nice and hot, around 500 degrees F, and crisp the wings for a couple of minutes per side. You get some really great grill marks but still have all that fantastic bourbon BBQ sauce coating the wings!
You do need to be careful as they will burn very quickly because of the sugars that are in the BBQ sauce. You really have to watch them closely while they are grilling.
Remember there is nothing better than taking your time when you are making smoked wings. Make sure you make the recipe your own. If you like spicy that add some hot sauce. If the recipe calls for a lot of spices that you don’t have don’t worry about it, you can improvise.
Personally, I like to use hickory wood chips, but you can use a fruit wood like apple or cherry too. It’s fun to play around with all the factors that go into smoking. There isn’t really a right or wrong as long as you have the basic technique down, you need to find out what you like best!
Pin it HERE!!
Pin it HERE!!
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Cut the wing tip off and discard, cut into sections or leave whole, whichever you prefer.
- Place the wings in a large bowl and season with onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and set aside.
- In a small saucepan whisk together the ketchup, bourbon, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper.
- Pour 3/4 of a cup of the sauce over the chicken wings, cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, bring the remaining sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F.
- Place the wings on a sheet pan or a foil pan, making sure that they are not touching.
- Put the tray into the smoker and smoke using hickory wood for 1 hour.
- Baste the wings with the BBQ sauce and return to the smoker for 30 minutes.
- Turn the wings, baste with the BBQ sauce and return the wings to the smoker for 1 hour.
- Baste again with the BBQ sauce and smoke for an additional 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Serve with the remaining BBQ sauce for dipping.
- If you like the skin crispy grill the wings for 3-5 minutes per side over a hot grill. Be careful not to burn them; the sugar in the BBQ sauce will burn quickly!
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Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker, 30 inch, Black
Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware, Baking Sheet, 2-Piece Set
Hotec 5 pieces Set Silicone Heat Resistant Marinade Meat Basting Pastry Brush Spread Oil Butter Sauce Marinades for BBQ Grill Barbecue Baking Kitchen Cooking BPA Free Dishwasher Safe (Multicolor)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1018Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 2653mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 2gSugar: 49gProtein: 40g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.