Tips for Grilling and Smoking Chicken Wings

While fried chicken wings are great, grilled and smoked chicken wings are really where it’s at. Charcoal flavor and charring give them uniquely crispy skin and taste like the best of summertime. Here are the top tips you need for grilling and smoking chicken wings.

Prepare the Wings

Whether you are smoking or throwing them straight on the grill, there are a few preparation steps that you need to take to get the wings ready to hit the heat.

Cut the Wings

If you purchased whole chicken wings and want them to look more like the wings you get at your favorite dive bar, you’ll need to cut them up. Place the wing on a cutting board and cut through the two joints. First cut the joint that connects the wing to the wing tip and discard the wing tip. Then cut the joint that is between the middle section and the drumette.

Season the Wings

After you have cut up the wings, cover them with a light coating of oil and season thoroughly with salt and pepper. If you want a dry rub, this is where you will add your favorite rub to the wings.

Preheat Your Grill

If you are grilling your wings, preheat your grill to medium, direct heat. If you are smoking your wings, preheat the grill to medium low and set up the grill for indirect heat. Want to use the Vortex method? Check out our article here.

Cook the Wings

For grilling, you want to place the wings on the grill for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the wings every five minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. After they hit 165, remove them from the grill and let rest for ten minutes.

For smoking, you’re going to add some wood chips or chunks to your charcoal before getting started. This will add a nice smoky flavor to the wings. Set the wings on the side away from the direct heat and close the grill lid. Cook the wings until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You want your grill between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoke the wings for about 2 hours. Turn the wings every 30 minutes. Remove from the grill and set aside to rest for ten minutes.

Toss and Serve

If you used a dry rub and don’t want sauce, skip this step. If you do want sauced wings, take the rested wings and put them in a large bowl. Add your favorite sauce and toss to coat evenly with the sauce. Serve immediately.