10 Tips for the Best Wings
1. The Wings
The most important part of accomplishing great smoked wings is, of course, the wings themselves. Feel free to use whole wings or wingettes. You can even cut your own wingettes from splitting your whole wings between the drum and the flat. If possible, start with fresh wings, and if you opt for frozen, be sure to properly defrost them.
2. Dry Wings Only
One of the best parts of great wings is the texture of the skin. Nobody likes soggy or soft skin. Many complain that chicken skin does not crisp up during the smoking process, and that is just wrong. The secret to achieving crispy skin in the smoker is to always start with DRY skin. Be sure to pat each wing down with a paper towel. For even more effective results, place the wings in your refrigerator overnight to dehydrate the skin as thoroughly as possible.
3. Marinade or Rub
Chicken is a protein that is great at absorbing whatever flavor you put into it. Whether you choose a rub or a marinade, combine thoroughly in a mixing bowl or a zip lock bag until all pieces are coated. For optimal flavor, refrigerate overnight. For the crispest results, we’d recommend using dry rub/dry seasonings.
4. Crispier Skin
For even crispier skin, many pitmasters use cornstarch or baking powder within their seasoning mixture, which further absorbs the moisture out of each chicken wing, creating an overall crisper result.
When it comes to chicken, there are so many different ways to experiment with the flavor. From Lemon Pepper to Asian Inspired or even Cajun, there’s no reason you shouldn’t switch it up every time.
6. Putting Wings on the Smoker
As you’re placing your wings on the smoker, be sure to place them in one single layer, without any overlap, so that the entire surface of each wing will be exposed to the heat and smoke.
7. Low n’ Slow
Unlike large cuts of meat, when going low n’ slow with wings. They generally don’t take longer than 2 hours to cook between 225-250°F. Always cook them until they have an internal temperature of 165°F and feel free to flip halfway through with tongs, though it is not necessary.
8. Final Stretch
During the final 5-7 minutes of cooking, crank your grill temperature up to 375-400°F to get that skin even more crispy. It’ll be a nice finishing touch to the overall taste and quality of your chicken wings.
Just like any other smoked meat, when you remove your chicken wings from the smoker, allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes before digging in. This will guarantee juicy deliciousness for every wing!
If you plan to prepare a buffalo or BBQ wing, save the saucing for last, as it will guarantee a coveted crispy texture and ensure the sauce doesn’t burn in the heat of the smoker. You can also optionally serve the wings with a side of sauce.